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History - The Hapsburg Empire

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The Hapsburg Empire
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1976. Wallenstein, His Life. Narrated by Golo Mann; Translated by Charles Kessler

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Mann, Golo; Kessler, Charles (translator) 'Wallenstein: His Life Narrated by Golo Mann', published in 1976 in Great Britain by Andre Deutsch in hardback with dustjacket, 909pp, ISBN 023396813X. Sorry out of stock, but click image to access a prebuilt search for this title on Amazon UK
1976, Andre Deutsch, hbk
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  • Wallenstein: His Life Narrated by Golo Mann [top]
    Translated from the German Original by Charles Kessler
    Published in 1976 in Great Britain by Andre Deutsche in hardback with dustjacket, 909pp, ISBN 023396813X. Original price when first sold: £10.50
    Front cover shows detail from the painting of Wallenstein by Christian Kaulfersch in Schloss Friedland

About this book/synopsis: From 1618 to 1648, all of Europe was embroiled in the Thirty Years War, that savage, ostensibly religious conflict in which the ruling houses and armies of Austria, Germany, Sweden, The Netherlands, Spain, France, Denmark, and even Poland struggled for territorial and political aggrandizement. The most important, yet mysterious figure to emerge from the turmoil was Albrecht von Wallenstein, son of a petty Bohemian aristocrat, who bound himself to the fortunes of the Austrian Habsburgs. During his service of the Habsburgs, Wallenstein (1583-1634) became one of Europe's most powerful princes. His genius as administrator and strategist, his enigmatic personality and the grandeur of his style made him a legend in his lifetime, and the fact that he was finally struck down because the Emperor, his master, had come to fear him, confirmed his legendary status. He seemed to belong to literature rather than to history. Golo Mann has pursued the truth about Wallenstein through an immense body of material. He never offers anything but logical inferences deduced from clear-sighted and comprehensive verification of facts, but the scrupulousness of his approach has not inhibited imagination. On the contrary, it has sharpened it to intensity so that he is able to enter with complete confidence into the way men thought and behaved in Wallenstein's day. The politics of Europe at the beginning of the 17th Century - their scale, complexity and hidden motives, the degree to which they depended on personalities, the bearing of one event on another - are mapped with impressive authority. So, too, is the conduct of the war - that trundling of huge, hungry armies of mercenaries across Europe, leaving a trail of famine and plague. To quote C. V. Wedgwood again, this is "very much more than the life story of a man, being at once a significant contribution to the sombre and complex history of the Thirty Years War and to the understanding of Europe in the 17th century".

But it is the presence of the man at the centre of the story that makes its attractions so powerful. As Golo Mann traces Wallenstein's rise and fall, allowing his greatness and his limitations gradually and surely to emerge, he persuades us that here is the most complete and true portrait of him that we are ever likely to get, and at the same time he enables us to assess that portrait with new eyes in relation to its setting. It is an achievement that matches its subject in grandeur

Contents
Foreword to the English-Language Edition
Childhood: A Mosaic with Many Stones Missing
The World in Which he will have to Live
He seeks his Course and Finds Help
He Observes the Ways of the World and Cautiously Obtrudes
The Bohemian Revolution
Bila Hora
Victors' Return
Major Matters
Europe's Feeble Resistance
Duke and Duchy
The Offer
The First Generalate
Germany's Subjugation
An Adversary
Stralsund
Mecklenburg
Dialectics of Victory
Belief in The Stars
The Dismissal
Restless Retirement
The Duel
The Labyrinth
The Camp at Pilsen
Piccolomini
Wallenstein's Death
A Final Chapter
Postscript on Annotation
Bibliography; Index

 

 



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