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The Thirty Years War by C. V. Wedgwood

The Thirty Years War (1938)

by C. V. Wedgwood

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Read in August, 2013

The Thirty Years War by Cicely Veronica Wedgwood. Narrated by Charlton Griffin

nonfic> hist> central european war> prossies versus catlicks

The second defenestration of Prague. (The First Defenestration of Prague involved the killing of seven members of the city council by a crowd of radical Czech Hussites on 30 July 1419.)

Starting 1618, central europe errupted into a series of politico-religious conflicts that near bankrupted all of the (many) contestants, and the body count, according to wiki was, can you guess?: (view spoiler)

Utter lunacy.

Dense pedant-friendly text that covers all pretty well, yet some writers have a knack of drawing in a reader, so am left with the feeling that Tuchman, Massie and Fraser would have done a slightly better job. but we will never know.
  mimal | Aug 26, 2013 |
  saintmarysaccden | Aug 2, 2013 |
This book is excellent narrative history writing and I know next to nothing about this era so I am going through it a second time. This was written in the 1930's and the author has a very literary as opposed to journalistic writing style. She does an excellent job of taking some of the main actors in the events all through the thirty year span of the book. Ferdinard III is the head of the Austrian Hapsburgs. Her portrayal of him was so vivid and true to life it made it easier to remember.
This war was a world war of it's time. Spain, France, Austria and Sweden were some of the main combatants. They fought back and forth all over for Germany for the whole 30 years. At the end of the war German civilization was put back 200 years. There were numerous and sundry types of death and destruction. The battles were the least of it. Disease and the pillaging of the soldiers caused the greatest damage.
Soldiers killed each other and ravaged the civilian population. The descriptions of the destruction of the towns and countryside left me with more than one bad memory.
Through the thirty year span the reasons for the war changed. In the beginning it was primarily religion. The revolution of Protestant Prague against Catholic Austria began the conflict. Sweden invades Germany and Spain fights against Holland from Spain and the Spanish Netherlands. There were very few parts of Central and Western Europe that are not fighting at some point in time.
The author provides a very insightful analysis of the effects of the war on the countries involved and the area where the fighting took place. My understanding is that the war brought the end of medieval times and replaced the power of the churches with the beginning of nation states.
Excellent book and fascinating times. Change and destruction went hand in hand in a very significant era of European history. ( )
1 vote wildbill | Aug 19, 2012 |
Jolly good ( )
  Eyejaybee | Jun 26, 2010 |
This is very vivid, but for me written from an rather unusual viewpoint, essentially German nationalist, seeing a united Germany as best regardless of who ruled it. Very different from the popular Englsih-speaking Protestant historiography ( )
  antiquary | Jul 24, 2009 |
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C. V. Wedgwoodprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Grafton, AnthonyForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0416320201, Paperback)

Europe in 1618 was riven between Protestants and Catholics, Bourbon and Hapsburg--as well as empires, kingdoms, and countless principalities. After angry Protestants tossed three representatives of the Holy Roman Empire out the window of the royal castle in Prague, world war spread from Bohemia with relentless abandon, drawing powers from Spain to Sweden into a nightmarish world of famine, disease, and seemingly unstoppable destruction.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:31:43 -0400)

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