Despite the gravity of the situation, the Hapsburg Emperor of Austria, in opening his splendid rococo palace to the European royals and providing elaborate banquets and lavish entertainments, set the stage for the most extravagant pageantry since the fall of the Roman Empire. Guests were swept up in the dazzling whirlwind of social events - masquerades, hunts, and elaborate dinners - even as maps were being redrawn, rulers reinstated or ousted, and fortunes transferred. Ultimately, the Congress of Vienna ushered in the longest period of peace Europe has ever known.
Vienna 1814 is a rich, impeccably researched history of the intrigue and frivolity that would forever mark the Congress of Vienna as the greatest Vanity Fair of all time.
©2008 David King; (P)2008 Tantor
"Deftly paced and engagingly written." (Publishers Weekly)
"A worthy contribution to the study of a critical historical event long neglected by historians." (Library Journal)
This books does a nice job bring the reader, listener, into the life of the Congress of Vienna, part party, part diplomacy. With the party dominant. It turns out that the party aspects of the event were closely interlocked with the diplomacy aspects, at least insofar as the author is able to show. So it seems necessary to be cognizant of both. At times, I found the party aspects a bit overwhelming, but the author (& the narrator) are able to bring things together at the end of each thematic section to make what you have heard relevant. I am more comfortable with political/diplomatic history of this period, so it some ways it was refreshing to see the players in their times of pleasure & partying, and not just in their times of plotting.
This is a terrific book, full of interest and historical detail. But as other listeners have pointed out, the pronunciation errors are inexcusable. This guy simply butchers foreign names--and even English ones! The publisher should know better than to release such a shameful performance.
This book is well written, and covers an important topic that not a lot has been written about recently. This topic isn't just the culmination of 30 years of events in Europe, but also sets the stage for the trouble later in the century, which ultimately leads to WW1 and WW2. This book also helps you understand why certain events around this time in America occurred as they did, such as the end of the War of 1812. I also liked the details it gives about life in Vienna in the early 19th century, which almost makes you feel like you are there. My only complaint is that by the second half of the book, some of the social details become a bit repetitive. This is minor, and the book overall is well worth it.
I agree with Daniel -- I enjoyed this book. But I have a complaint -- bad pronunciation of non-English words. Castlereagh of Ireland should be CASTLE-RAY not CASTLE-RAW. Go to dictionary.com to hear it pronounced correctly. Dorothee, a German name, should be DO-RO-TAY not DO-RO-thee. And many more.
This is a fine history, interesting and useful. It is wonderfully insightful for anyone interested in the Napoleonic Era.
Sadly, Mr. Foster does not even know how to properly pronounce Viscount Castlereagh's name, which is both distracting and enevitably annoying as he is a key participant. Any reasonable narrator should be able to handle this responsibility.
A fine tome mishandled by a poor narrator.
This is an entertaining and informative account of the Congress of Vienna. It is a good reminder that politicians and diplomats have always been up to no good and those of our own age are no worse than others. But why did the producers choose a narrator with little command of German pronunciation? One would think that would be a basic requirement. If you know any German, you will find this audiobook a truly irritating listen.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.