Emperor of Austria, Apostolic King of Hungary, King of Jerusalem, King of Bohemia, King of Dalmatia, King of Transylvania, King of Croatia and Slovenia, King of Galicia and Illyria, Grand Duke of Tuscany and Cracow, Margrave of Moravia, Duke of Salzburg, Duke of Bukovina, Duke of Modena, Parma, and Piacenza and so on, another thirty or so titles could be added. Was ever a monarch so festooned as Emperor Francis Joseph? He ruled from the Year of the Revolutions, 1848 until his death in 1916. His empire was the most multi-national state ever. An ethnic map of 1910 shows there to be Germans, Magyars, Czechs, Slovaks, Poles, Ruthenes, Serbs, Croats, Slovenes, Italians, Jews, Muslims, Ladins (in the Tyrol) and Roumanians. What is more, even together the Germans and the Magyars constituted a minority. And yet, as Alan Palmer observes no other European monarch 'exercised full sovereignty for so long.' Unlike Queen Victoria he ruled rather than merely reigned. That alone suggests he was something more than the humourless bureaucrat he is commonly thought to have been, and Alan Palmer is successful in providing a more rounded and sympathetic portrait of him both as head of an empire and head of a family. His personal life was punctuated with tragedy: his brother, Maximilian was executed y Mexican republicans; his only son, Rudolf shot himself and his mistress at Mayerling; his wife, Empress Elizabeth, was stabbed to death in Geneva, and his nephew and heir, Francis-Ferdinand was assassinated at Sarajevo. This was the first biography of Francis Joseph by an English writer and was acclaimed when originally published in 1994. 'With great skill Mr Palmer blends in the Emperor's private life with the story of the Empire. . . This is an important book; also an entrancing one.' Allan Massie, Daily Telegraph 'A compelling read' Lawrence James, Evening Standard
The Tragedy at Mayerling and the End of the Habsburgs
Author: Greg King,Penny Wilson
Pubpsher: St. Martin's Press
On a snowy January morning in 1889, a worried servant hacked open a locked door at the remote hunting lodge deep in the Vienna Woods. Inside, he found two bodies sprawled on an ornate bed, blood oozing from their mouths. Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria-Hungary appeared to have shot his seventeen-year-old mistress Baroness Mary Vetsera as she slept, sat with the corpse for hours and, when dawn broke, turned the pistol on himself. A century has transformed this bloody scene into romantic tragedy: star-crossed lovers who preferred death together than to be parted by a cold, unfeeling Viennese Court. But Mayerling is also the story of family secrets: incestuous relationships and mental instability; blackmail, venereal disease, and political treason; and a disillusioned, morphine-addicted Crown Prince and a naïve schoolgirl caught up in a dangerous and deadly waltz inside a decaying empire. What happened in that locked room remains one of history’s most evocative mysteries: What led Rudolf and mistress to this desperate act? Was it really a suicide pact? Or did something far more disturbing take place at that remote hunting lodge and result in murder? Drawing interviews with members of the Habsburg family and archival sources in Vienna, Greg King and Penny Wilson reconstruct this historical mystery, laying out evidence and information long ignored that conclusively refutes the romantic myth and the conspiracy stories.
The calamity of World War I spawned dozens of liberation movements among ethnic and religious groups throughout the world. None was more successful in realizing the goal of self-determination than the Czechs and Slovaks. From its humble beginning the Czecho-Slovak liberation movement grew into an impressive struggle that was waged from the capitals of Western Europe to the frozen steppes of Siberia. Its ranks included exiled propagandists, war prisoners-turned-legionaries and conspirators inside Austria-Hungary. This book shows how these groups overcame their estrangements and coordinated their efforts to win independence for their homeland. It also examines the consequences of the Czecho-Slovaks’ achievements, including their entanglement in the Russian Civil War and their impact on the postwar settlements that redrew the political boundaries of Central Europe.
In 1848, an 18-year-old boy assumed the throne of Austria, one of the most powerful countries in Europe. He would be its last significant emperor, the only monarch to serve two countries, and the last cogent head of the prestigious Habsburg dynasty. Emperor Franz Joseph's reign was marked by revolutions, often fueled by rising liberalism and nationalism, and wars orchestrated by conquering architects such as Napoleon, Metternich, and Bismarck. This book gives attention to these political and cultural events, but it is essentially a biography of Emperor Franz Joseph and his enigmatic wife, Empress Elisabeth. Franz Joseph, with an overwhelming sense of dynastic responsibility, played all the roles assigned to him as Emperor. Elisabeth played none, as a wife, mother or Empress. Many factors played a part in her "abdication" and in the decisions Franz Joseph made during his reign--none more enigmatic than the self-proclaimed Peace Emperor's final act of mobilizing of Austria-Hungary's armies, detonating World War I at the cost of 16 million lives.
The Brest-Litovsk Conference and the Remaking of East-Central Europe, 1917–1918
Author: Borislav Chernev
Pubpsher: University of Toronto Press
Category: Brest-Litovsk Peace Conference
Borislav Chernev, through an insightful and in-depth analysis of primary sources and archival material, argues that although its duration was short lived, the Brest-Litovsk settlement significantly affected the post-Imperial transformation of East Central Europe.