Danubia: A Personal History of Habsburg Europe

  • ISBN13:


  • ISBN10:


  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1/13/2015
  • Publisher: Picador

Note: Supplemental materials are not guaranteed with Rental or Used book purchases.

Purchase Benefits

  • Free Shipping On Orders Over $59!
    Your order must be $59 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
List Price: $20.00 Save up to $7.00
  • Rent Book $13.00
    Add to Cart Free Shipping


Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.
  • The Rental copy of this book is not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.



From the end of the Middle Ages to the First World War, Europe was dominated by one family: the Habsburgs. Their unprecedented rule is the focus of Simon Winder's vivid third book, Danubia.

Winder's approach is friendly, witty, personal; this is a narrative that, while erudite and well researched, prefers to be discursive and anecdotal. In his survey of the centuries of often incompetent Habsburg rule which have continued to shape the fate of Central Europe, Winder does not shy away from the horrors, railing against the effects of nationalism, recounting the violence that was often part of life. But this is a history dominated above all by Winder's energy and curiosity. Eminently readable and thrillingly informative, Danubia is a treat that readers will be eager to dip into.

Author Biography

Simon Winder is the author of two books: the Sunday Times (London) Top Ten Bestseller Germania and the highly praised The Man Who Saved Britain. He works in publishing and lives in Wandsworth Town, London.

Table of Contents

Maps xv

Introduction 1
Place names » The Habsburg family

Chapter One 17
Tombs, trees and a swamp » Wandering peoples »
The hawk’s fortress » ‘Look behind you!’ » Cultic sites »
The elected Caesars

Chapter Two 51
The heir of Hector » The great wizard » Gnomes on horseback »
Juana’s children » Help from the Fuggers » The disaster

Chapter Three 87
‘Mille regretz’ » ‘The strangest thing that ever happened’ »
The armour of heroes » Europe under siege » The pirates’ nest »
A real bear-moat

Chapter Four 117
The other Europe » Bezoars and nightclub hostesses »
Hunting with cheetahs » The seven fortresses

Chapter Five 147
A surprise visit from a fl ying hut » ‘His divine name will be
inscribed in the stars’ » Death in Eger » Burial rites and
fox-clubbing » The devil-doll » How to build the Tower of Babel

Chapter Six 177
Genetic terrors » The struggle for mastery in Europe » A new
frontier » Zeremonialprotokoll » Bad news if you are a cockatrice »
Private pleasures

Chapter Seven 209
Jesus vs. Neptune » The fi rst will » Devotional interiors »
The second will » Zips and Piasts

Chapter Eight 243
The great crisis » Austria wears trousers » The Gloriette »
The war on Christmas cribs » Illustrious corpses »
Carving up the world

Chapter Nine 277
‘Sunrise’ » An interlude of rational thoughtfulness »
Defeat by Napoleon, part one » Defeat by Napoleon, part two »
Things somehow get even worse » An intimate family wedding »
Back to nature

Chapter Ten 313
A warning to legitimists » Problems with loyal subjects »
Un vero quarantotto » Mountain people

Chapter Eleven 343
The Temple to Glorious Disaster » New Habsburg empires »
The stupid giant » Funtime of the nations »
The deal » An expensive sip of water

Chapter Twelve 375
Mapping out the future » The lure of the Orient » Refusals »
Village of the damned » On the move » The Führer

Chapter Thirteen 411
The sheep and the melons » Elves, caryatids, lots of allegorical
girls » Monuments to a vanished past » Young Poland

Chapter Fourteen 439
‘The fat churchy one’ » Night music » Transylvanian rocketry »
Psychopathologies of everyday life » The end begins

Chapter Fifteen 471
The curse of military contingency » Sarajevo » The Przemys´l
catastrophe » Last train to Wilsonville » A pastry shell »
The price of defeat » Triumphs of indiff erence

Conclusion 505

Map of Modern Central Europe 514
Bibliography 517
Illustrations 529
Acknowledgements 533

Index 535

1. The splitting of Charles V’s inheritance xvi
2. The Habsburg Empire, 1815 xviii
3. The Dual Monarchy xx
4. The United States of Austria 444
5. Modern Central Europe 514

Rewards Program

Write a Review