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King, Kaiser, Tsar: Three Royal Cousins Who Led the World to War

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King, Kaiser, Tsar: Three Royal Cousins Who Led the World to War

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    Available in PDF Format | King, Kaiser, Tsar: Three Royal Cousins Who Led the World to War.pdf | English
    Catrine Clay(Author)

During the last days of July 1914 telegrams flew between the King, the Kaiser and the Tsar. George V, Wilhelm II and Nicholas II, known in the family as Georgie, Willy and Nicky, were cousins. Between them they ruled over half the world. They had been friends since childhood.

But by July 1914 the Trade Union of Kings was falling apart. Each was blaming the other for the impending disaster of the First World War. 'Have I gone mad?' Nicky asked his wife Alix in St Petersburg, showing her another telegram from Willy. 'What on earth does William mean pretending that it still depends on me whether war is averted or not!'

Behind the friendliness of family gatherings lurked family quarrels, which were often played out in public. Drawing widely on previously unpublished documents, this is the extraordinary story of their overlapping lives, conducted in palaces of unimaginable opulence, surrounded by flattery and political intrigue. And through it runs the question: to what extent were the King, the Kaiser and the Tsar responsible for the outbreak of the war, and, as it turned out, for the end of autocratic monarchy?

'A fascinating history.' (Publishing News)'[A] fascinating and often hilarious study of European Royalty in the run up to the Great War' (Nigel Jones, Literary Review)'Proof that good storytelling is a true art ...fascinating' (Caroline Moorehead, The Spectator)'A kind of real-life fairytale ... weird and wonderful' (Hilary Spurling, The Observer)

4.2 (12013)
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Book details

  • PDF | 432 pages
  • Catrine Clay(Author)
  • John Murray (5 Oct. 2006)
  • English
  • 9
  • Biography
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Review Text

  • By Jeffrey Compton on 11 March 2007

    I often wondered how World War I got started considering the first cousin relationship between the British, German and Russian Royal families - and this book does an excellent job illuminating the three central figures: George V, Nicholas II, and Wilhelm II as well as those who surround them.I especially appreciated the discussion of the two Royal Danish sisters Dagmar (Queen Alexandra of England) and Minnie (Queen Marie of Russia) and how their anti-German feelings (caused by Prussia capture of Schleswig-Holstein during the 1964 Danish-Prussian War)were passed on to their respective households. The book also does a good job in showing why the English constitutional monarchy was a advantage over the traditional monarchies of Germany and Russian.Best of all, Ms Clay does a good job of portraying the three cousins as real people - two of which (Nicholas and Wilhelm) do not have the naturaly gifts needed to carry our their jobs during the time they reigned - and in the former case, it led to truly tragic consequences.

  • By Mr. Adrian J. Gardner on 24 June 2007

    It is one of history's ghastliest ironies as to how Europe almost stumbled into World War 1 following the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Serbia in 1914.Unfortunately, he happened to be the heir to the Austrian throne although, aside from his devoted wife and children, he was a particularly unloveable individual.The by then almost senile Austrian Emperor Francis Josef had little control over Austria's bellicose reponse to Serbia and as 'Protector of the Slavs'Russia's orders for an immediate full mobilization guaranteed that there would be war in Europe.The three cousins who are the subject of this book had themselves little or no control over events that then took place.George V, the only constitutional monarch of the three could only act on the advice of his ministers.Nicholas II was an autocrat only in name being weak-willed and dominated the more the war progressed by a wife whose neuroses often bordered on madness.Wilhelm II, despite his public posturings, was almost totally paranoid and as the war dragged on he was increasingly side lined by his generals.This is a well written and entertaining book but, for me, Ms Clay offers no new insights on a subject about which countless books have already been written.

  • By K. SPOTTISWOODE on 6 February 2007

    This book makes history come alive. It also highlighted for me the fact that these royal figures were ordinary human beings living extraordinary lives. The relations between them were no different than any other family.This is the book for you if you like all things royal.

  • By Mrs. Y. B. Norman on 26 October 2006

    this book is a real page turner.I never knew that history could be so interesting. I didn't realise that the king kaiser tsar were cousins.it's like a great big family saga.

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