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56 Reviews
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3 star:
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2 star:
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simon Winder does it again...
Another idiosyncratic, rollicking book, dealing with a highly complicated not to say confused subject: the history of the Habsburgs. Simon Winder achieves the virtually impossible: he manages to throw light on while retaining our interest in the doings of this family who exercised such enormous influence over large chunks of Europe through the ages. Obviously a sound...
Published 18 months ago by K. Catleugh

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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading but a bit of a disappoinment
Bought this on the strength of Germania, and it does not compare well. The humour of the first book is lacking, as is an overall perspective - much of the narrative seems unconnected chapters. Interesting enough but not as good as expected.
Published 18 months ago by cpsw


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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 12 May 2015
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Mr. D. Kinsey (Uk) - See all my reviews
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Having read Germania which I found excellent this one is just as good
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 15 May 2015
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Just the right thing for my friend who is an avid reader of history
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a very personal view of the habsburgs, 2 Oct. 2013
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It is a most entertaining journey through the history of the Habsburg dynasty. The author gets carried away quite often by by a new train of thought leaving the reader floundering
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 18 Mar. 2015
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Justin Scott "jcdscott" (Melbourne) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Danubia: A Personal History of Habsburg Europe (Hardcover)
Essential reading for any student of European history.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Germania, 7 Mar. 2014
This review is from: Danubia: A Personal History of Habsburg Europe (Hardcover)
Less successful than Germania, the patchwork approach is more of an irritation here. The author avoids telling us much about the more recent Habsburgs but the detail about the Holy Roman Empire became tedious to me.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece., 2 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: Danubia: A Personal History of Habsburg Europe (Hardcover)
A stunning book in terms of research, insight and readability. I shall never forget some of the imagery, and what an understanding of modern Europe it draws from the horrors of the past!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enough tongue in cheek, 18 Feb. 2014
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Christopher Truss (Birmingham, Al USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Danubia: A Personal History of Habsburg Europe (Hardcover)
to make one of the most boring complex era's of western civilization readable. The Hapsburg Empire??? The Holy Roman Empire. I am actually enjoying the book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great bores of Mittel Europa, 6 May 2015
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The Hapsburgs were the most successful family of the second millennium. Through strategic marriage they acquired vast territories, most of them indefensible wastelands. This is the history of the slightly less worse branch, the Austrian one.

To preserve this inheritance they routinely married their cousins, with predictable results. One empress called the emperor "uncle" throughout their happy and fruitful marriage because ... er ... he was.

Not surprisingly the duty to provide an heir hangs heavy, and the only juicy sex scandal is ignored. The author bimbles around dusty museums and mad, crazy, demented architecture (adjectives used far too often - where are the pictures?) but in the end it doesn't work, Whatever the dementedness, craziness, etc the truth cannot be hid. The Hapsburgs were a strikingly dull lot. Parade ground martinet follows Catholic bigot and vice versa over centuries and they all seem much of a muchness.

Simon Winder has had a heroic stab at making this book interesting, and has bravely omitted biography of the even duller emperors. But I challenge any future reader to finish this very long book without a sigh of relief.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and amusing in equal measure., 2 Oct. 2014
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If PG Wodehouse had been a historian... I now have a long list of places to visit and the stories to go with them.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, 13 Dec. 2013
By 
R. Foster "Roger Foster" (Scarborough, North Yorks) - See all my reviews
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A very enjoyable and amusing approach to history, even if it is at times hard to know quite where or when you are meant to be.

I feel wiser, and a little better informed.
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Danubia: A Personal History of Habsburg Europe
Danubia: A Personal History of Habsburg Europe by Simon Winder (Hardcover - 12 Sept. 2013)
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