For a third of a century, from 1814 until 1848, the Austrian Empire was the strongest state in Europe: not only the Habsburg territories but German and Italy were ruled from Vienna.
Throughout this period, the Imperial chancellor was Clemens von Metternich who, through his brilliant diplomacy maintained Austria’s dominance.
He had brought the empire through the Napoleonic maelstrom and his diplomatic genius at the Congress of Vienna ensured there would not be another continental war for a hundred years – he played a key role in creating the European Alliance, precursor of the League of Nations and NATO.
Among the greatest of nineteenth century statesmen, his hatred of war and chauvinism should never be forgotten.
‘Few characterisations are as refreshing and positive as Seward’s… The book relies heavily on Metternich’s personal and state papers and contains superb sections on his rather tragic daily life.’
‘This book helps us to see Metternich’s achievement and his personality.’