- Also check our best rated Biography reviews
The Assassination of the Archduke: Sarajevo 1914 and the Murder that Changed the World Hardcover – Unabridged, 26 Sep 2013
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The tragic story behind 'the shot that rang round the world' - the assassination of Franz Ferdinand and his beloved wife in Sarajevo in June 1914
The tragic story behind ‘the shot that rang round the world’ – the assassination of Franz Ferdinand and his beloved wife in Sarajevo in June 1914
From the Back Cover
On 28 June 1914 the heir to the Austro-Hungarian empire, Franz Ferdinand, and his wife, Sophie, were killed by an assassin's bullets on a state visit to Sarajevo - shots 'that rang round the world' and which led, just four weeks later, to the outbreak of the First World War.
The Assassination of the Archduke offers readers a vivid account of their lives - and cruel deaths - set 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 human drama, it lays bare the lethal circumstances surrounding the death of this most famous of archdukes, his family, and their momentous collision with destiny in 1914.
'Carefully separates fact from fiction . . . [and] brings the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie to life' Carolyn Harris, royalhistorian.com
'Marvellous . . . put it on your Christmas list and if nobody buys it for you, then purchase it yourself . . . Simply wonderful' Random Jottings Books of the Year
'A rich biography . . . one that inspires genuine pity for and anger on behalf of its main subjects and their children' BookbagSee all Product description
51 customer reviews
Review this product
Read reviews that mention
Showing 1-3 of 51 reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
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?'
Woolmans and King present a well-rounded picture of a real person with real flaws and aspirations, and as in their book about the Mayerling tragedy, are less than complimentary about the intransigence of Emperor Franz Josef and the obstinate traditionalism of the Habsburg court over which he presided. In an ideal world, Franz Ferdinand and Sophie would have overseen a gentler transition to a modern state, but it wasn't to be - partly, as is suggested, because the Emperor regarded his then heir as unsatisfactory, and therefore a target for nationalists that the Empire could easily do without.
A much-needed addition to information about this fascinating period in history.
Was there a conspiracy to kill him in Serbia? According to the authors it seems the answer is yes and the Prime Minister knew it. Did it include Russia? Did the conspiracy reach all the way to Emperor Franz Joseph? The world may never know but it is certainly possible. The book is really fascinating and I would highly recommend it. Definitely worth five stars.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?