By Greg King & Sue Woolmans
St. Martin’s Press, $27.99, 384 pages
King and Woolman’s book length biography of Archduke Franz Ferdinand aims to set the record straight on this notable historical figure, which, for most of us is just a historical footnote in the launch of the first World War. The Assassination of the Archduke consults heavily with the living family of Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie, and much of the book is devoted to revealing their zealously guarded private lives. The restrictions imposed on the couple by the etiquette of the Habsburg court really brings home to modern readers just how close we are to a style of life that has vanished. The book itself is very readable, and pays close attention to the places that it deviates from the standard historical record, which students of history will appreciate. It also includes lovely pictures of Europe in the early 20th century.
Reviewed by Katie Richards