The Habsburgs: To Rule the World
The Habsburgs were one of the most incestuous and, at times, disastrous dynasties to ever rule in Europe. With their combined Austria-Hungary and Spanish holdings, their empire crossed most of the world, although saying that they actually had any control over the particularly far-flung regions would be a lie.
This book offers a general examination of the dynasty from its earliest origins, which are often shrouded in mystery since the records concerning many early lineages have been lost or destroyed, onward. A little over half way through the book, after following a certain chronology between Spain and Austria, the author switches approach so that he spends half a chapter examining a certain European trend, such as Rococo or the Enlightenment, before spending the other half covering the reign of a particular Habsburg, which really slows the book down immensely.
This is a fairly general book, probably decent for someone needing a quick overview or perhaps a chapter dedicated to a specific ruler. Its good up until the 1700s, at which point it really losses focus and meanders in directions in which it does not need to travel.
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