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The Assassination of the Archduke: Sarajevo 1914 and the Murder that Changed the World
 
 

The Assassination of the Archduke: Sarajevo 1914 and the Murder that Changed the World [Kindle Edition]

Greg King , Sue Woolmans
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

In The Assassination of the Archduke, Greg King and Sue Woolmans offer readers a vivid account of the lives – and cruel deaths - of Franz Ferdinand and his beloved Sophie. Combining royal biography, romance, and political assassination, the story unfolds against a backdrop of glittering privilege and an Imperial Court consumed with hatred, taking readers from Bohemian castles to the horrors of Nazi concentration camps in a compelling, fascinating human drama. As moving as the fabled romance of Nicholas and Alexandra, as dramatic as Mayerling, Sarajevo resonates with love and loss, triumph and tragedy in a vibrant and powerful narrative. It lays bare the lethal circumstances surrounding that fateful Sunday morning in 1914, examining not only the Serbian conspiracy that killed Franz and Sophie but also insinuations about the hidden powers in Vienna that may well have sent them to their deaths.
With a Foreword from the Archduke's great-granddaughter, Princess Sophie von Hohenberg, and drawing on a wide variety of unpublished sources and with unique access to previously restricted Hungarian and Czech archives, including Sophie’s diaries and family papers, King and Woolmans have written the most comprehensive account of this momentous event available in English. In doing so, they offer readers an intriguing and startlingly revisionist look at this most famous of Archdukes, his family, and their momentous collision with destiny in 1914.

Book Description

In The Assassination of the Archduke, Greg King and Sue Woolmans offer readers a vivid account of the lives – and cruel deaths - of Franz Ferdinand and his beloved Sophie. Combining royal biography, romance, and political assassination, the story unfolds against a backdrop of glittering privilege and an Imperial Court consumed with hatred, taking readers from Bohemian castles to the horrors of Nazi concentration camps in a compelling, fascinating human drama. As moving as the fabled romance of Nicholas and Alexandra, as dramatic as Mayerling, Sarajevo resonates with love and loss, triumph and tragedy in a vibrant and powerful narrative. It lays bare the lethal circumstances surrounding that fateful Sunday morning in 1914, examining not only the Serbian conspiracy that killed Franz and Sophie but also insinuations about the hidden powers in Vienna that may well have sent them to their deaths. With a Foreword from the Archduke's great-granddaughter, Princess Sophie von Hohenberg, and drawing on a wide variety of unpublished sources and with unique access to previously restricted Hungarian and Czech archives, including Sophie’s diaries and family papers, King and Woolmans have written the most comprehensive account of this momentous event available in English. In doing so, they offer readers an intriguing and startlingly revisionist look at this most famous of Archdukes, his family, and their momentous collision with destiny in 1914.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A family tragedy 28 Sep 2013
By Amanda Jenkinson TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
2014 marks the 100 year anniversary of the fatal shots that not only ended the life of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, but precipitated the First World War. That their assassination caused the war is common knowledge. What this timely and highly readable publication from Greg King does is fill in the details of what happened on that momentous day and puts human faces to the political and historical figures who were involved. Most historical accounts focus primarily on the assassination itself and its consequences, but this one gives equal weight to the personal tragedy, and thus becomes a gripping human drama.
The book is divided loosely into two halves. The first concentrates on Franz Ferdinand himself, as heir to the Hapsburg throne, but also as devoted husband and loving father and family man. The second describes the background to the assassination, the dreadful events of the day itself and the aftermath, examining en route the many conspiracy theories that have since been propounded, and looking in detail at both the facts and also rumours that continue to surround the murder. Greg King goes on to report the fate of the couple's 3 children, who were just 13, 12 and 10 when they lost their parents and whose own lives were blighted by their deaths. From castles and royal courts, to concentration camps and battlefields, this is biography and historical writing at its best. A moving picture of the end of an era, it draws on a variety of sources, including letters, diaries and archives, access to many of which has been restricted until now. This is a vivid and totally compelling account of a pivotal event in 20th century history.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
We've all heard of Archduke Franz Ferdinand whose assassination sparked the First World War. But I for one knew little about him personally.

The assassination, and the politics surrounding it, are condensed into a few chapters. The book is really the story of Franz Ferdinand and his happy marriage to Sophie, who died alongside him that June day in Sarajevo one hundred years ago. But what a fascinating tale it all makes.

Not born to be Emperor, this reserved and shy man found himself suddenly heir to the Austro-Hungarian crown upon the suicide of his cousin the Crown Prince. Franz married Sophie for love. She was aristocratic but, crucially, not royal. The Archduke and his Countess endured years of slights and snubs from the imperial family in Vienna. The couple's children were barred from the succession. So strained was Franz's relationship with the old Emperor, his uncle, that the Archduke's children only met Franz Josef twice in their lives.

But Franz Ferdinand had ideas for Austria-Hungary which may have prevented the Empire's extinction after the Great War. Following a visit to the USA, he considered re modelling the crumbling Behemoth on federal lines.

King and Woolmans have written a very readable book, with useful family trees and dramatis personnae. My only slight criticism is that the fairytale motif was a little overused - the repeated comparisons between Franz and Sophie's love story and the Cinderella fable came to jar after a while. But otherwise, a great book. Thought-provoking too: I always remember my school history teacher asking 'what would have happened if Gavrilo Princip had missed?'
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The First Victims of the First World War 1 Oct 2013
Format:Hardcover
The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie at Sarajevo in 1914 had momentous consequences. Just six weeks later the First World War broke out, leading to the downfall of several European dynasties as well as the deaths of millions of people. As the centenary of this event approaches it is a good time to take a closer look at the first two victims of this war, the Archduke and his wife.
Archduke Franz Ferdinand has previously come across as aloof, charmless and arrogant. In fact his childhood was blighted by the death of his mother and his youth by tuberculosis. He never expected to become heir to the Austro-Hungarian crown but the suicide of Crown Prince Rudolf and the death of his own father (after inadvisably drinking contaminated water from the River Jordan), thrust him into the spotlight. He seems never to have got on with the ageing Emperor Franz Joseph, a situation that was only exacerbated when Franz Ferdinand fell in love with Countess Sophie Chotek. Unfortunately, the letters between Franz Ferdinand and Sophie were destroyed by their son, nor did they keep regular diaries, but the authors have done a good job piecing together the story of their courtship.
Sophie, as a `mere' countess, was not sufficiently noble to marry an Archduke, and it took all the persuasion of Franz Ferdinand's stepmother Archduchess Maria Teresa before the old Emperor allowed them to marry morganatically. Sophie could never share her husband's rank and their children could never succeed to the throne.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars a very good book
I picked up this book knowing much at all about Franz Ferdinand but was drawn into the plot and characters, which were most ably brought to life. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Steve Vickars
5.0 out of 5 stars Knowledge
A story of how the 1st World War started, Of the love the Archduke felt for his wife Sophie, and how the Habsburg family treated her appalling. Read more
Published 9 days ago by buster
5.0 out of 5 stars Anyone for a little war?
Very sad but interesting tale of a love match that ended in tragedy 100 years ago.I was intrigued to find out what happened to the children and saddened by the awful way they were... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Chris
5.0 out of 5 stars I know one of the authors. Very interesting read ...
I know one of the authors. Very interesting read and a whole new prospective on WW1. Well done Sue.
Published 1 month ago by hugh
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
very good read
Published 1 month ago by GEOFFREY P WHITEHEAD
4.0 out of 5 stars A different angle on a familiar story
With the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I looming most people know that the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo was the main trigger that started the... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Henry H8
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
A vital story to be told and read, it is very pertinent when so much time and interest is being concentrated on WW1.
Published 3 months ago by Christian Dewar Durie
3.0 out of 5 stars For fans of Royal Courts, perhaps not so much for gritty historical...
I bought this book in preparation for a role in a historical reenactment to mark the 100th anniversary of this event. Read more
Published 4 months ago by MR D R ELLISON
5.0 out of 5 stars The life and love of one of history's most important figures
While most people know that the murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie in Sarajevo on 28th June 1914 was the spark that ignited the First World War, few know little... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Lance Grundy
5.0 out of 5 stars Start of WW1?
This uis an excellent book...many have been written about the events in Sarajevo but this book is good in that it follows the children of the Archduke and their chilldren right up... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Joppaboy
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