Danubia

Front Cover
Pan Macmillan UK, Sep 1, 2013 - History - 400 pages

For centuries much of Europe was in the hands of the very peculiar Habsburg family. An unstable mixture of wizards, obsessives, melancholics, bores, musicians and warriors, they saw off - through luck, guile and sheer mulishness - any number of rivals, until finally packing up in 1918. From their principal lairs along the Danube they ruled most of Central Europe and Germany and interfered everywhere - indeed the history of Europe hardly makes sense without them.

Simon Winder's extremely funny new book plunges the reader into a maelstrom of alchemy, skeletons, jewels, bear-moats, unfortunate marriages and a guinea-pig village. Danubia is full of music, piracy, religion and fighting. It is the history of a dynasty, but it is at least as much about the people they ruled, who spoke many different languages, lived in a vast range of landscapes, believed in many rival gods and often showed a marked ingratitude towards their oddball ruler in Vienna. Readers who discovered Simon Winder's genius for telling wonderful stories of middle Europe with Germania will be delighted by the eccentric and fascinating stories of the Habsburgs and their world.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Widsith - www.librarything.com

Half an hour's drive north of me, following the path of the River Reuss, is the little hamlet of Habsburg. The first time I saw it on a roadsign, I assumed it was a coincidence, since the House of ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nmele - LibraryThing

This is a decidedly quirky history of the Habsburg holdings, one with references to heavy metal bands as well as the Habsburgs' famous facial features. Winder spices up his text with odd details like ... Read full review

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About the author (2013)

Simon Winder is the author of the highly praised 'The Man Who Saved Britain' and the "Sunday Times" top-ten bestseller 'Germania'. He works in publishing and lives in Wandsworth Town.

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