A SUNDAY TIMES, FINANCIAL TIMES, TLS AND DAILY TELEGRAPH BOOK OF THE YEAR 2020
"The Habsburg dynasty ruled for nearly a thousand years. From humble beginnings, the family’s relentless ambition to expand its power led it to control the Holy Roman Empire and large parts of Europe, South America and the Far East. This control continued until the First World War after which it collapsed. The author explains the driving forces behind the expansion of power while detailing the intrigues and duplicity."
Martyn Rady has written a splendid account of the grandest old dynasty of Europe: the Habsburgs. With wit and firm opinion, he takes the reader on something akin to a tour of the Wunderkammer of the dynasty's many-centuries-long career. Including vampires, an empress's waist size, and cocaine-laced health drinks, Rady's narrative glitters with apt quotes and telling, often ironic details. -- Steven Beller, author of THE HABSBURG MONARCHY 1815-1918 A tour de force.
Thorough, accessible, and resolutely erudite, this is the volume that this vitally important subject so desperately needed. Martyn Rady should be congratulated. -- Roger Moorhouse, author of POLAND 1939: THE OUTBREAK OF WORLD WAR II
This is a first global history of Europe's most famous and durable dynasty, chronicling its exploits with great panache over nearly a millennium of rule across wide swathes of the continent and beyond. Martyn Rady writes incisively and judiciously, drawing on much recent international scholarship in a range of languages to illustrate multiple facets of Habsburg governance in theory and practice. At the same time his text is accessible and entertaining, his ready wit providing a delectable counterpoint to the notorious humourlessness of so many of the dynasts he examines. -- Robert Evans, Regius Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Oxford
The Habsburgs - ambitious, illustrious, and at times incestuous - were once Europe's foremost royal family. Rady tells their story with verve and authority, casting a curious eye over their eccentricities and peccadilloes while all the time revealing their extraordinary influence and global vision. A fascinating read! -- Alexander Watson, author of THE FORTRESS and RING OF STEEL
The Habsburgs is gripping, colorful, and dramatic but also concise, scholarly, and magisterial. Martyn Rady recounts the story of Europe's greatest dynasty that ruled an empire, on which the sun never set, from Peru to the Philippines. Revealing a key player in world history for almost a thousand years, The Habsburgs is a chronicle of high politics and family intimacy involving religion, murder, incest, madness, suicide, assassination. History on an epic scale! -- Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of THE ROMANOVS and JERUSALEM: THE BIOGRAPHY