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Martyrdom1649

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can anyone recommend books about the Habsburgs/ Austro- Hungarian empire?
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Martyrdom1649

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Reply with quote  #2 
It doesn't have to be Ausria, imperial Spain is also fine
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perla12

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Reply with quote  #3 
thid you ever try to search  in this web site
 I saw a books there
NE7

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https://www.amazon.com/Habsburgs-Rule-World-Martyn-Rady/dp/1541644506/
May be a good place to start?

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royalcello

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Reply with quote  #5 

Pieter M. Judson, The Habsburg Empire: A New History

 

https://www.amazon.com/Habsburg-Empire-New-History/dp/0674047761

Peter

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Reply with quote  #6 
I have the Martyn Rady book, and while it's not terrible and I learned things from it I wasn't wildly enthused. I've just been having a look at Judson's book on Amazon, which allows you to read the first part, and noticed an error or two even in that brief skim. Rudolf I is called Holy Roman Emperor when he was only German king, then it is asserted no other Habsburg was Emperor until Friedrich III. True, in fact you could leave out 'other', but if Rudolf I counts then what were Albrechts I and II? Chopped liver?

But perhaps surprisingly I wasn't put off, the subject of the book is not dynastic details but rather the institutions of the Habsburg lands from Maria Theresa onwards, and how they affected the lives of the people. And these are things I'd like to know more about, so I do intend to get the book once I've cleared my current reading, somewhat backlogged at present. I'll report back later then, maybe.
Peter

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Reply with quote  #7 
I finished Pieter Judson's book yesterday, and was impressed and felt I'd learned a lot. Not about the dynasty, which is not the book's subject, but about the empire, the development of its institutions and how they impacted the lives of its people. The dynasty aren't ignored, of course, they were too important in the empire's administration and direction for that to be the case, but they aren't the main theme. So really the book is recommended for those interested in the historical nitty-gritty, but not for those who aren't especially, who frankly would be likely to find themselves fearfully bored.

Despite the above I did pick up a clearer impression of the characters and reigns of Maria Theresa and Joseph II especially, later Emperors (Leopold II, Franz II/I, Ferdinand, Franz Joseph, Karl) not so much. Not because they aren't mentioned, they are, but because at most the narrative added detail to the impressions I had already formed. On Franz Joseph in particular, while the book gives no verdict on him overall you do get the feeling that if there was a mistake he missed making during his very long reign then it was a lonely little specimen without a great deal of company. And that, I'm afraid is a view I've long had, now reinforced. Which is not at all to say he was a bad man, clearly he wasn't. Just that, despite the near-religious reverence for him in his last decades, he really was not a very capable or successful ruler. On the other hand, after six decades with him at the head of affairs the Empire by no means appeared imminently doomed, and had it not been for WWI it could easily have lasted for decades longer, even until today. So, leaving aside any personal responsibility for that war starting, not an entire failure either.

Following my earlier post, Albrecht II's existence does get acknowledged in a footnote, though Albrecht I remains in limbo. The author does however appear to have an impression, entirely mistaken of course, that Albrecht II somehow belonged to a different family branch than Rudolf I. He belonged to a different branch from Friedrich III, but both those branches sprang from Rudolf I, via the overlooked Albrecht I.
Peter

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Reply with quote  #8 
Another name for this list is Simon Winder's Danubia. It is highly irreverent and frequently scathing, but (usually) gives credit where it's due, is full of information and very entertaining. Recommended, I thoroughly enjoyed it, but make sure you pack your sense of humour before embarking on the journey.
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