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George, Nicholas and Wilhelm

Three Royal Cousins and the Road to World War I

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Paperback published by Vintage (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

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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.
 
Through brilliant and often darkly comic portraits of these men and their lives, their foibles and obsessions, Miranda Carter delivers the tragicomic story of Europe’s early twentieth-century aristocracy, a solipsistic world preposterously out of kilter with its times.

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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.
 
Through brilliant and often darkly comic portraits of these men and their lives, their foibles and obsessions, Miranda Carter delivers the tragicomic story of Europe’s early twentieth-century aristocracy, a solipsistic world preposterously out of kilter with its times.

Product Details
Paperback (560 pages)
Published: March 8, 2011
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Imprint: Vintage
ISBN: 9781400079124
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  • (Introduction) July 1917, as the First World War reached its third exhausting year, was not a good month for monarchs.

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  • It was a horrible labour.

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  • Nevertheless, each country, each emperor, continued to paper over the cracks with cousinly gestures, each increasingly irrelevant.

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  • As the Armistice Day crowds came to Buckingham Palace to cheer, George was the only emperor still standing on his balcony.

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  • (Epilogue) In 2000 the Russian Orthodox Church, buoyed by a great surge in Russian patriotism and a desire to wipe away seventy-two years of Soviet rule, declared the last tsar and his...

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