“With swift pace, clear focus and a series of brilliant character sketches, this is narrative history at its best.” The New York Times
The Congress of Vienna
A Study in Allied Unity: 1812-1822
978-0-8021-3744-9 • $17.00 • Paperback • Jan. 2001
In 1812, at the end of the Napoleonic Wars, a congress convened in Vienna at which the fate of Europe for the next hundred years was to be determined. Beginning with Napoleon’s harrowing retreat from Moscow, Harold Nicholson’s classic account sweeps its audience through the many stages that led up to the negotiations in the Austrian capital. While the balance of power rocked unsteadily back and forth, personal relations broke and mended, and egos, weaknesses, and strengths were exposed. Nicolson’s portraits of the great statesmen of the time are masterpieces of characterization—the wily French foreign minister, Talleyrand; his brave but misguided British counterpart, Lord Castlereagh; the conservative Austrian chancellor, Prince Metternich; and the idealistic but unstable Tsar Alexander. Powerfully told and wonderfully paced, the narrative holds throughout the final negotiations, where the struggle to restore a lost world and ensure a stable future caused unforgettable turmoil and tested even the strongest of men.
Hailed by The New York Times as “narrative history at its best,” this harrowing account exhibits a compelling study of policymaking as well as the heroic study of the men who sought to impose order on a dynamic world.