La inceputul secolului XX, Marea Britanie, Germania si Rusia erau conduse de trei veri: regele George al V-lea, kaizerul Wilhelm al II-lea si tarul Nicolae al II-lea. Rivalitatile personale si competitia lor pentru intaietate au dus la declansarea unuia dintre cele mai distructive razboaie din toate timpurile, care avea sa inaugureze un nou capitol in istoria continentului. Miranda Carter descrie cu umor si acuitate personalitatile celor trei veri si viata de la curtile lor, dar schiteaza si un tablou al intregii belle epoque vazute prin ochii caselor regale, acea belle epoque care in 1918 era doar o amintire. Kaizerul a fost silit sa abdice si a plecat in exil, iar tarul si copiii sai au fost ucisi de revolutionarii bolsevici; singur regele George, cu sanatatea subrezita, se mai afla in fruntea poporului sau saracit. Absolutismul monarhic in Europa a luat sfarsit odata cu ei.
The Three Emperors by Miranda Carter is the juicy, funny story of the three dysfunctional rulers of Germany, Russia and Great Britain at the turn of the last century, combined with a study of the larger forces around them. Three cousins. Three Emperors. And the road to ruin. As cousins, George V, Kaiser Wilhelm II and the last Tsar Nicholas II should have been friends - but they happened also to rule Europe's three most powerful states. This potent combination together with their own destructive personalities - petty, insecure, bullying, absurdly obsessive (stamp collecting, uniforms) - led not only to their own dramatic fallouts and falls from grace, but also to the outbreak of the First World War. Miranda Carter's riveting account of how three men who should have known better helped bring down an entire world is a gripping story of abdication, betrayal and murder. 'Fascinating. A wonderfully fresh and beautifully choreographed work of history' Mail on Sunday 'Miranda Carter's story is full of vivid quotations...a romp though the palaces of Europe in their last decades before Armageddon' Sunday Times 'Fascinating. Carter is a gifted storyteller and has written a very readable account' Independent 'That these three absurd men could ever have held the fate of Europe in their hands is a fact as hilarious as it is terrifying. I haven't enjoyed a historical biography this much since Lytton Strachey's Victoria' Zadie Smith Miranda Carter's first book, Anthony Blunt: His Lives, won the Royal Society of Literature Award and the Orwell Prize and was shortlisted for the Whitbread Biography Prize, the Guardian First Book Award, the Duff Cooper Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. The book was named as one of the New York Times Book Review's seven best books of 2002. Miranda lives in London with her husband and two sons.
In the years before the First World War, the great European powers were ruled by three first cousins: King George V of Britain, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. Together, they presided over the last years of dynastic Europe and the outbreak of the most destructive war the world had ever seen, a war that set twentieth-century Europe on course to be the most violent continent in the history of the world.Miranda Carter uses the cousins correspondence and a host of historical sources to tell the tragicomic story of a tiny, glittering, solipsistic world that was often preposterously out of kilter with its times, struggling to stay in command of politics and world events as history overtook it. George, Nicholas and Wilhelm is a brilliant and sometimes darkly hilarious portrait of these mendamaged, egotistical Wilhelm; quiet, stubborn Nicholas; and anxious, dutiful Georgeand their lives, foibles and obsessions, from tantrums to uniforms to stamp collecting. It is also alive with fresh, subtle portraits of other familiar figures: Queen Victoriagrandmother to two of them, grandmother-in-law to the thirdwhose conservatism and bullying obsession with family left a dangerous legacy; and Edward VII, the playboy arch-vulgarian who turned out to have a remarkable gift for international relations and the theatrics of mass politics. At the same time, Carter weaves through their stories a riveting account of the events that led to World War I, showing how the personal and the political interacted, sometimes to devastating effect.For all three men the war would be a disaster that destroyed forever the illusion of their close family relationships, with any sense of peace and harmony shattered in a final coda of murder, betrayal and abdication.From the Hardcover edition.
When Anthony Blunt died in 1983, he was a man about whom almost anything could be - and was - said. As Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures and Director of the Courtauld Institute, Blunt's position was assured until his exposure in 1979 left his reputation in tatters. Miranda Carter's brilliantly insightful biography gives us a vivid portrait of a human paradox. Blunt's totally discrete lives, with their permanent contradictions, serve to remind us that there is no one key to any human being's identity: we are all a series of conflicting selves.