The End of the Habsburgs

The Decline and Fall of the Austrian Monarchy

John Van Der Kiste

Imperial Austria weathered the year of revolutions in 1848 when Ferdinand abdicated in favour of Francis Joseph, whose reign saw family tragedy and scandal. His successor Charles abdicated in 1918, though his son Otto was a Member of the European Parliament. This examines the final Habsburg chapter, from the Napoleonic era to post-war Europe.
Date Published :
February 2020
Publisher :
Fonthill Media
Illustration :
48 black and white
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781781557709
Pages : 208
Dimensions : 9.21 X 6.14 inches
Stock Status : In stock


In 1806, the Holy Roman Empire ceased to exist when Francis II became Emperor of Austria. 112 years later, the Habsburg empire collapsed after the First World War after surviving many tribulations. During the year of revolutions in 1848 the much-loved but incompetent Emperor Ferdinand had abdicated in favour of his young nephew Francis Joseph. His long reign was marked by defeat in several wars, family tragedies and scandals including the execution of his brother Maximilian, Emperor of Mexico, the suicide of his son Crown Prince Rudolf, and the assassinations of his wife Empress Elizabeth, and nephew Francis Ferdinand. He was succeeded in 1916 by the succession of his great-nephew Charles, who abdicated in 1918 and died after two unsuccessful attempts to regain the throne of Hungary, but his eldest son Otto remained head of the family and Member of the European Parliament for twenty years. This book looks at the final chapter of the Habsburgs, from the Napoleonic era to the age of the dictators and post-war Europe.

About The Author

John Van der Kiste has published over forty books including works on royal and historical biography, local history, true crime, music and fiction, and is a contributor to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. His previous titles include Queen Victoria's Children, Kaiser Wilhelm II and The Romanovs: Tsar Alexander II of Russia and his Family and ‘Alfred—Queen Victoria's Second Son’ and ‘Prussian Princesses’ for Fonthill. He lives in Devon.


Introduction: The Habsburg Monarchy and the Holy Roman Empire; 1 Francis and Ferdinand; 2 ‘A young man of great promise’; 3 ‘All power stays in my hands’; 4 ‘The smile of an angelic sphinx’; 5 Death at Mayerling; Death at Geneva; 7 ‘He no longer understands the times’; 8 ‘A higher power has restored the old order’; 9 ‘Then it will be the end’; 10 ‘I renounce all participation in the affairs of state’; 11 ‘An eminently lovable if weak man’; 12 The Imperial Survivors; Endnotes; Bibliography; Index.

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