Martyn Rady is Masaryk Professor of Central European History at University College London. He has written several major works on the history of Hungary, from the medieval period to the twentieth century, but has also written on topics as diverse as the Hussites, vampirism and the Emperor Charles V. He has honorary doctorates from the K?roli University in Budapest and the Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu in Romania.
This profile of the Habsburgs is concerned as much with the personal as it is the political. It is a tale of survival, from modest origins to control of an empire and, finally, twentieth-century catastrophe. * History Revealed * Martyn Rady has written a splendid account of the grandest old dynasty of Europe: the Habsburgs. With wit and firm opinion, he takes the reader on something akin to a tour of the Wunderkammer of the dynasty's many-centuries-long career. Including vampires, an empress's waist size, and cocaine-laced health drinks, Rady's narrative glitters with apt quotes and telling, often ironic details. -- Steven Beller, author of THE HABSBURG MONARCHY 1815-1918 This is a first global history of Europe's most famous and durable dynasty, chronicling its exploits with great panache over nearly a millennium of rule across wide swathes of the continent and beyond. Martyn Rady writes incisively and judiciously, drawing on much recent international scholarship in a range of languages to illustrate multiple facets of Habsburg governance in theory and practice. At the same time his text is accessible and entertaining, his ready wit providing a delectable counterpoint to the notorious humourlessness of so many of the dynasts he examines. -- Robert Evans, Regius Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Oxford A tour de force. Thorough, accessible, and resolutely erudite, this is the volume that this vitally important subject so desperately needed. Martyn Rady should be congratulated. -- Roger Moorhouse, author of POLAND 1939: THE OUTBREAK OF WORLD WAR II The Habsburgs - ambitious, illustrious, and at times incestuous - were once Europe's foremost royal family. Rady tells their story with verve and authority, casting a curious eye over their eccentricities and peccadilloes while all the time revealing their extraordinary influence and global vision. A fascinating read! -- Alexander Watson, author of THE FORTRESS and RING OF STEEL The Habsburgs is gripping, colorful, and dramatic but also concise, scholarly, and magisterial. Martyn Rady recounts the story of Europe's greatest dynasty that ruled an empire, on which the sun never set, from Peru to the Philippines. Revealing a key player in world history for almost a thousand years, The Habsburgs is a chronicle of high politics and family intimacy involving religion, murder, incest, madness, suicide, assassination. History on an epic scale! -- Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of THE ROMANOVS and JERUSALEM: THE BIOGRAPHY Lucid and entertaining ... Rady is as good on the Habsburgs' artistic and cultural legacy as he is on the politics. -- David Crane * The Spectator * In The Habsburgs, Martyn Rady has produced a Rolls-Royce of a narrative that motors through ten centuries of history with an effortlessness that belies the intellectual horsepower beneath the bonnet ... The vast cast of characters is depicted with a mix of insight, sympathy and astringent Gibbonian wit that makes them instantly memorable ... It is not the least of Martyn Rady's achievements that his book sheds light on the present almost as brightly as it illuminates the past. -- John Adamson * Literary Review *