By David King
“Reads like a unique. A fast moving page-turner, it has every little thing: intercourse, wit, humor, and adventures. however it is an impressively researched and significant story.”
—David Fromkin, writer of Europe’s final Summer
Vienna, 1814 is an evocative and brilliantly researched account of the main audacious and indulgent peace convention in glossy ecu heritage. With the scary Napoleon Bonaparte possibly defeated and exiled to the small island of Elba, heads of a few 216 states amassed in Vienna to start piecing jointly the ruins of his toppled empire. significant questions loomed: What will be performed with France? How have been the newly liberated territories to be divided? What kind of restitution will be provided to households of the deceased? yet this remarkable amassing of kings, dignitaries, and diplomatic leaders unfurled a possible never-ending circulate of private vendettas, long-simmering feuds, and romantic entanglements that threatened to undermine the the most important paintings handy, whilst their hard-fought coverage judgements formed the future of Europe and resulted in the longest sustained peace the continent might ever see.
Beyond the diplomatic wrangling, even though, the Congress of Vienna served as a backdrop for the main staggering self-importance reasonable of its time. Highlighted by means of such celebrated figures because the stylish yet quite useless Prince Metternich of Austria, the unflappable and devious Prince Talleyrand of France, and the unstable Tsar Alexander of Russia, in addition to appearances by way of Ludwig van Beethoven and Emilia Bigottini, the sheer famous person energy of the Vienna congress outshone approximately every thing else within the public eye.
An early incarnation of the cult of famous person, the congress devolved right into a sequence of debauched events that continuously behind schedule the growth of peace, till note arrived that Napoleon had escaped, by surprise halting the revelry and shrouding the continent in panic as soon as again.
Vienna, 1814 superbly illuminates the complex social and political intrigue of this history-defining congress–a glorified celebration that possible valued frivolity over substance yet still controlled to vastly reconfigure Europe’s stability of energy and herald the trendy age.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Additional info for Vienna, 1814: How the Conquerors of Napoleon Made Love, War, and Peace at the Congress of Vienna
First, he brought the notice finishing his dating with the Duchess of Sagan, after which, later that night at a ball over at count number Zichy’s mansion, he declared his stance on Saxony in a enormous letter to Hardenberg. He had made up our minds to simply accept Prussia’s provide of help in go back for annexation of Saxony. yet definite adequate, Metternich connected a few very important stipulations to his tentative recognition: Prussia needs to surrender all different claims to Germany, regard this annexation as a part of the bigger payment, and, most crucial, needs to really achieve combating the tsar from gaining Poland. Alexander, Metternich used to be now extra confident than ever, needs to be stopped. It should have been a tense evening for Metternich. Emotionally, he used to be a break; diplomatically, he had simply passed over a letter that might reason, in Gentz’s phrases, “more grief in 3 months than he has had in all his existence. ” AS AUSTRIA TENTATIVELY licensed of Prussian earnings, Metternich wasted no time in hard that Hardenberg satisfy his finish of the discount. Prussia needs to sign up for Austria instantly, and, in addition, they'd to behave instantly. On October 24, simply days away, the Austrian emperor, the Russian tsar, and the king of Prussia would go away for a weeklong journey to Hungary. Metternich desired to determine a typical method earlier than that trip—that is, earlier than the Austrian emperor will be out of city and cooped up with those shut allies. at the afternoon of October 23, the day ahead of the departure, Metternich and Hardenberg had a rushed assembly. Castlereagh, worried as ever of a robust Russia, joined them. through the tip in their inner most consultation, held at Castlereagh’s headquarters at the Minoritenplatz, the 3 ministers had made up our minds to confront the tsar with a united stance and insist that he cooperate on Poland: Alexander might both need to conform to an absolutely self sustaining Poland, or there will be no Poland in any respect. Russia, Prussia, and Austria might in its place cut up the territory between them. yet certainly not may the tsar be allowed just to impose his will. they might supply Alexander 5 days from his go back to Vienna to conform, or, as Castlereagh advised, they'd threaten to place the query of Poland ahead of the complete neighborhood of powers. With this plan agreed upon, it was once pressing for Metternich and Hardenberg to realize approval straight away from their sovereigns. The Russian tsar, in the meantime, used to be feeling his personal experience of urgency to wrap up Poland prior to he went on his journey. He had heard how displeased the French delegation had turn into with the peace convention, and back enable it's recognized that he needed to talk with Talleyrand. The French minister, obeying etiquette back, then asked an interview with the tsar. Talleyrand was once certainly unsatisfied. Prussia, his largest worry, used to be nonetheless urgent its revolting ideas, aiming to dethrone kings and ruin kingdoms. Metternich, oblivious to the risks, was once simply “the plaything of the intrigues that he believes he's directing. ” Castlereagh, worst of all, was once fumbling approximately like a “schoolboy in international relations.