The Kaisers

The Kaisers

4.12 (63 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Paperback
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Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 126 x 192 x 20mm | 222.26g
  • Random House Children's Publishers UK
  • Corgi Childrens
  • London, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • Ill.
  • 0552093939
  • 9780552093934

Review Text

Stolid and histrionic, arrogant and petty, the Hohenzollerns were one of Europe's least lovable dynasties. With characteristic aplomb Aronson (The Royal Vendetta, 1966; The Defiant Dynasty, 1968) continues his tour of royal boudoirs and ballrooms with this display of the three Kaisers of the 47-year Second Reich (1871-1918) replete with their consorts, uniforms and swords, and Bismarck "bull-necked, bulbous-eyed, florid-faced" who managed their politics and manipulated their family quarrels for the greater glory of the Empire. Wilhelm I, who became Kaiser at age 74, was an unrepentant Prussian autocrat for the rest of his unconscionably long reign. His reluctance to die kept from power his liberal, sensitive son, Crown Prince Frederick, "a Lohengrin in real life" who finally ascended to the throne just in time to die. His son, the bratty, vainglorious Kaiser Willie, suffered from a withered arm, advanced egomania and an incurable appetite for saber-rattling. Frederick's wife Vicky, Queen Victoria's spirited daughter, railed against "the most superficial, rubbishy political views. . . rank, retrograde and chauvinist nonsense" of her son and lamented the missed opportunity to sculpt Germany in the image of her father Prince Albert. The emphasis is on family feuds and generational antagonisms but political events are deftly sketched in the background. Not as richly evocative of Germany ascendant as Masur's splendid Imperial Berlin (1970), this is an ebullient, gossipy peek into the private lives of the family which ruled as "the bailiffs of God." (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

63 ratings
4.12 out of 5 stars
5 40% (25)
4 37% (23)
3 21% (13)
2 3% (2)
1 0% (0)
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