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A Victorian Intellectual Monument
on 6 March 2014
James Bryce (1838-1922) was a professor of jurisprudence who became a leading Liberal politician and who, among many other services to the nation, wrote the Bryce Report on German atrocities in Belgium at the start of the First World War. But he had already written this weighty study back in 1864, when he was still a young man. The edition available is that of 1904, which enabled Bryce to add chapters describing and evaluating the enormous changes that had come about in central Europe during the previous forty years, above all Bismarck's creation in 1870 of the new German Empire, headed by Prussia, which had replaced the old Holy Roman Empire, for centuries headed by Austria, until the latter's formal ending, after a thousand years, in 1806. The writing is clear and vivid, and even today gives the English-speaking reader insights into how the two world wars of the following century came about, and why the structure of the German Federal Republic, created under the aegis of the victorious Western Allies in 1949. has proved so successful in gathering together all the positive elements in German history, and leaving behind the vicious and negative ones. The book is an excellent read, and at only 37 pence, it is a snip!