The Habsburgs have been described at one extreme as demons - responsible for a 'long history of atrocities'; and, at the other, as dodos - living fossils unable to adapt to the modern world. In reality, the flamboyant royal family appear, in many ways, to have behaved much like most other monarchies. Their story, however, is none the less enthralling for that. It is populated by such unforgettable figures as mad Queen Juana, progressing through Spain with her husband's decaying body; the 'heroically fertile' Maria Theresa; and, the quixotic Maximilian, 'Emperor' of Mexico.
Andrew Wheatcroft has written and lectured widely on European and Middle Eastern history. His books include The Ottomans and The Hapsburgs.
The Castle of the Hawk 1020-1300; cosa nostra (our cause) 1300-1400; universal empire 1400-1500; el dorado (the golden one) 1500-1550; a war to the last extremity 1550-1660; Felix Austria - the happy state 1660-1790; the last cavalier 1790-1916; finis Austriae - the end? 1916-1995. Family trees - The House of Habsburg 1000-1922.