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.
Danubia plunges the reader into a maelstrom of alchemy, skeletons, jewels, bear-moats, unfortunate marriages and a guinea-pig village. 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. Joining Germania and Lotharingia in Simon Winder's endlessly fascinating retelling of European history, Danubia is a hilarious, eccentric and witty saga.
Author: Winder, Simon, Binding: Paperback, Imprint: Picador, Series: N/A, Publisher: PAN MACMILLAN , Published: 20/02/2020, Pagination: 464 pages, Classification: Europe,