counter create hit In Destiny's Hands: Five Tragic Rulers, Children of Maria Theresa - Download Free eBook
Hot Best Seller

In Destiny's Hands: Five Tragic Rulers, Children of Maria Theresa

Availability: Ready to download

The powerful epic of an imperial mother, determined to forge alliances through marriage, and the price her children paid for it.


Compare

The powerful epic of an imperial mother, determined to forge alliances through marriage, and the price her children paid for it.

30 review for In Destiny's Hands: Five Tragic Rulers, Children of Maria Theresa

  1. 4 out of 5

    Feisty Harriet

    Maria Theresa, Holy Roman Empress and Austri-Hungarian Queen in the 1700's, had 14 children, five of whom became rulers in their own right across Europe. This book follows the stories of those five children with bits and pieces of their other siblings, their children, the history and political landscape of a revolutionary Europe, history of Prussian, Russian, Ottoman, French, and Spanish wars, including the French Revolution and Napoleon's campaigns. I loved learning more about Joseph II (Maria Maria Theresa, Holy Roman Empress and Austri-Hungarian Queen in the 1700's, had 14 children, five of whom became rulers in their own right across Europe. This book follows the stories of those five children with bits and pieces of their other siblings, their children, the history and political landscape of a revolutionary Europe, history of Prussian, Russian, Ottoman, French, and Spanish wars, including the French Revolution and Napoleon's campaigns. I loved learning more about Joseph II (Maria Theresa's successor and Holy Roman Emperor; Leopold II, Duke of Tuscany and Holy Roman Emperor after Joseph's death; Maria Amalia, Duchess of Parma in Italy, Maria Carolina/Charlotte, Queen of Naples; and Marie Antoinette, Queen of France. I was astounded at how these five individuals and their political alliances and strategic marriages covered over a third of Europe. Maria Theresa had 55 grand children and they were spread from the Netherlands to Italy, the Bourbons in Spain and France, and throughout Central Europe, including a granddaughter who was Napoleon's second wife and therefore Empress of the French, and another who married Louis Phillpe d'Orleans and become Queen of France. All this being said, this author needs a serious editor. I felt that there were contradictory statements within paragraphs, he always calls these five rulers "Maria Theresa's five special children" which just grated on my nerves (special? really? Is that the best you can do?). I also think that as these rulers started having children, who all had the same names, essentially, it was really confusing to try and keep them straight. And the wars and alliances that had individual cities or regions switching their allegiances would have been easier to keep straight with a few more maps (there is one map in the front, and a few family charts, but I still found them lacking).

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Huston

    A look at five of the children of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, and their turbulent times on the thrones of Europe. Each of them in their own ways had to deal with revolution, war, and the ending of their dreams. Joseph II became Holy Roman Emperor after the death of his father, and co-ruler with his mother, but his personal life was a shambles, and he nearly brought Hapsburg rule to an end. Leopold II was first Grand Duke of Tuscany, and married happily (sixteen children there),and would su A look at five of the children of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, and their turbulent times on the thrones of Europe. Each of them in their own ways had to deal with revolution, war, and the ending of their dreams. Joseph II became Holy Roman Emperor after the death of his father, and co-ruler with his mother, but his personal life was a shambles, and he nearly brought Hapsburg rule to an end. Leopold II was first Grand Duke of Tuscany, and married happily (sixteen children there),and would succeed his brother as HRE, but had the misfortune of dying early. Of the sisters, Amalia married the Duke of Parma, and while the marriage started off badly, she did manage to get some proficency in the art of ruling. Maria Carolina married the King of Naples, bore numerous children (seventeen children there), and turned herself into a thorn in Napoleon's side in his attempts to conquer southern Italy. Then there's Marie Antoinette, the most unfortunate of the daughters, and last Queen of France. The book does have some innaccuracies, and quite a few typos, but on the whole the research is solid. There is a bibliography, index and extensive notes. Overall, this gets four stars.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    I'd been delaying reading this book for a while, thinking it might be a boring slog through European history. I couldn't have been more wrong. "In Destiny's Hands" tells the dramatic, sometimes heart-breaking, stories of the children of Empress Maria Theresa, the queen of Hungary and Holy Roman Empress in the 18th century. They include France's ill-fated Queen Marie-Antoinette, Emperors Joseph II and Leopold II, Queen Carolina of Naples, and the Duchess of Parma. As the book progresses, the chil I'd been delaying reading this book for a while, thinking it might be a boring slog through European history. I couldn't have been more wrong. "In Destiny's Hands" tells the dramatic, sometimes heart-breaking, stories of the children of Empress Maria Theresa, the queen of Hungary and Holy Roman Empress in the 18th century. They include France's ill-fated Queen Marie-Antoinette, Emperors Joseph II and Leopold II, Queen Carolina of Naples, and the Duchess of Parma. As the book progresses, the children seek their destinies in the courts of Europe, only to come back together as the next generation inter-marries and wars and revolutions change the political landscape. Those who enjoy reading history will be interested in how the family dynamics and personalities -- not to mention tragedies -- continue to shape Europe today.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Marilyn

    A Marvelous read for those History Nerds such as myself! Particularly, those who have wondered, Whatever happened to Marie Antoinette's sister s, daughters of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria? They are maddeningly mentioned in the Biographies of both Queens, usually with a cliffhanger anecdote on what impression they made on the tragic Reine or her mothers emotions, but then there is silence about these royal ladies. There are many history filling incidents about that eras other mover s and shak A Marvelous read for those History Nerds such as myself! Particularly, those who have wondered, Whatever happened to Marie Antoinette's sister s, daughters of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria? They are maddeningly mentioned in the Biographies of both Queens, usually with a cliffhanger anecdote on what impression they made on the tragic Reine or her mothers emotions, but then there is silence about these royal ladies. There are many history filling incidents about that eras other mover s and shakers lodged within this well written and researched volume, as well.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Wang

    Honestly, it was alright. Very easy to read but it was pretty clear that the author is quite biased. If you want to get a general sense of what life was like for this Austrian family, then this is an easy read. But if you want actual facts and precise dates, this is not for you. The dates are all jumbled together, a map would've helped, and the names just get really confusing when multiple children have the same first name but the author doesn't spend the time to address who is who. Honestly, it was alright. Very easy to read but it was pretty clear that the author is quite biased. If you want to get a general sense of what life was like for this Austrian family, then this is an easy read. But if you want actual facts and precise dates, this is not for you. The dates are all jumbled together, a map would've helped, and the names just get really confusing when multiple children have the same first name but the author doesn't spend the time to address who is who.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    This tells the story of Maria Theresa and her Habsburg family in fascinating detail. It does make history seem to come alive during this turmoil filled time. She seems to be the Queen Victoria of the Austria Hungarian empire, loving and trying to guide her children with great wisdom and love.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Connie Haller

    A very stimulating read An interesting read for the history buff and people who enjoy stories about royalty. I'd recommend this book highly to fans of history A very stimulating read An interesting read for the history buff and people who enjoy stories about royalty. I'd recommend this book highly to fans of history

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mirinda Rossetti

    Slightly dry and slow in parts, but interesting anyway. It was easy to power through the less fascinating details to get to the more interesting family dynamics involved.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    Review Loved this! After reading quite a bit of Queen Victoria, I decided that I should branch out my learning and read about Maria Theresa and her descendants.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Suanne Laqueur

    The writing is a little trite and textbookish, which made it the perfect airplane read. Detroit and back in five lifetimes. Not bad.

  11. 5 out of 5

    prinzheinelgirl

    The author's style is quite engaging but I like to stick to (historical) facts as much possible. And this is my main issue with this book... I'm uncertain that this book is even close to facts. Specifically on the parts that referred to Maria Amalia, Duchess of Parma. It seems to me that the author did not even cite the sources of most of his "facts" on her, because plenty of his information just seems to be mere inferences! It appears that he didn't bother to look for more sources but just made The author's style is quite engaging but I like to stick to (historical) facts as much possible. And this is my main issue with this book... I'm uncertain that this book is even close to facts. Specifically on the parts that referred to Maria Amalia, Duchess of Parma. It seems to me that the author did not even cite the sources of most of his "facts" on her, because plenty of his information just seems to be mere inferences! It appears that he didn't bother to look for more sources but just made a mumbo-jumbo of secondary sources and then proceeded to make his own conclusions based on trite comments or suppositions by other authors. And worst of all, his inferences were made out as "facts". He certainly got many trivial things wrong, like the godmothers of Maria Amalia's daughters, but that's nothing compared to his other errors...... For instance, where on earth did he get that "fact" that Emperor Franz I/II sent his aunt Maria Amalia out of Vienna's way and sent her to Prague instead during her exile? My own sources clearly indicate that she had, at the very least, very cordial relations with Vienna during the Napoleonic years and even promoted the careers of her (commoner) godsons at the Viennese court. That would've not had happened without the approval of and a good relationship with her nephew, whom she certainly met on her visits to Tuscany. The BEST sources on Maria Amalia's life in Parma would be her own (still extant) correspondence to friends and also that of her husband Ferdinand of Parma, some of the (unbiased) Italian authors. and the state archives of Parma and Piacenza. Sadly, Mr Vovk MISSED those important sources. It would've been great to get many inaccuracies about the Duchess of Parma cleared. Instead, the author added MORE inaccuracies (on her relationship with her mother, husband, and how she was viewed in the duchy, to name a few). I'm sorry to say that this isn't a reliable biography of the Duchess of Parma. Also, he was positively fawning over Maria Carolina, who was quite a **nasty** person and had an **overrated** intellect. He also downplayed MC's **bullying** of her husband (calling it only "dramas" but such would've lasting effects later on; even her brothers Joseph and Leopold cautioned MC on her behaviour towards him), which led her husband to (eventually)hate her. I doubt if a good number of the Neapolitans or Sicilians appreciated her (useless) fights with Napoleon or her rule overall. The government of Naples and Sicily were so corrupt during that time and wasn't well-managed. If MC was as brilliant as he claimed her to be, she would've cleaned up the government at the very least. And as another review elsewhere put it, MC was only a middling figure in the 18th century but the author exceedingly bloated her importance and "achievements" (if they can be called such). Also, on beauty, let's see...why did Mr Vovk choose to describe Maria Luisa of Spain and Maria Beatrice d'Este as "beautiful"? I look at the portraits of said ladies and by no stretch of imagination could anyone call them such (Joseph described Beatrice to Leopold as "undescribable"). I also look at Maria Carolina's portraits and do not find her very attractive as he claimed her to be. Some of those English travelers or authors might claim so but if I were an (objective)author, I'd be more conservative about such claims. MC still attractive in her late 40s and early 50s? She wasn't even one of the prettier sisters at any rate and certainly aged very fast due to numerous pregnancies (not to mention her bad temper). Overall, I'd recommended it only as an INTRODUCTION to these siblings.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kay

    I actually started this during a trip to Prague and Budapest, when I realized how little I knew about the Habsburg dynasty that ruled central Europe for 150 years. Vovyk concentrates on just five of Enpress Maria Theresa's children, whom she used unashamedly to create alliances with other powers. I couldn't help but pity the fate of very young girls sent off to foreign lands to marry men, some of whom were half-wits or boors. Marie Antoinette, for example, was only 15 when she was dispatched to I actually started this during a trip to Prague and Budapest, when I realized how little I knew about the Habsburg dynasty that ruled central Europe for 150 years. Vovyk concentrates on just five of Enpress Maria Theresa's children, whom she used unashamedly to create alliances with other powers. I couldn't help but pity the fate of very young girls sent off to foreign lands to marry men, some of whom were half-wits or boors. Marie Antoinette, for example, was only 15 when she was dispatched to France, where she was forced to renounce her Austrian nationality in the most brutal fashion: being stripped naked of her Viennese clothes and having her entire retinue--including her puppy--sent back to Austria. She is also a more compassionate person than is commonly believed. For example, when over 100 Parisians died in an accident during her wedding celebrations, she sent her entire clothing allowance for that year to be used as relief for the surviving families--a most uncommon gesture for 17th century nobility. Some of her older sisters fared better. Charlotte, Queen of Naples, became a very effective monarch and actually ruled the roost because her husband preferred hunting to governing. And their brother Leopold brought excellent reforms to the Kingdom of Tuscany until Napoleon invaded. If you want a well-researched and readable book about late Eighteenth Century Europe, I highly recommend this one.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

    I really wanted to like this one more than I did. Sadly, I just couldn't. While an interesting and fairly easy and quick read—which I do appreciate, especially for a book following multiple people with similar names—it also lacked sources for a lot of what was said, which always worries me when I'm reading about something I don't already have a decent amount of knowledge on myself. Not bad, but not great. I would say if you're going to pick this one up don't take everything that is written in it I really wanted to like this one more than I did. Sadly, I just couldn't. While an interesting and fairly easy and quick read—which I do appreciate, especially for a book following multiple people with similar names—it also lacked sources for a lot of what was said, which always worries me when I'm reading about something I don't already have a decent amount of knowledge on myself. Not bad, but not great. I would say if you're going to pick this one up don't take everything that is written in it as being 100% factual.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ghost of the Library

    about Maria Theresa so much has been said and written, about her daughter Marie Antoinette oh my god, twice as much probably! now about the other brothers and sisters..i for one knew almost next to nothing so this book was a very good read and a very informative surprise! all the brothers and sisters are presented in a clear and very engaging manner, with a ton of information on the lesser known ones being presented to us and it is fascinating! may not be perfect in terms of historic content but i about Maria Theresa so much has been said and written, about her daughter Marie Antoinette oh my god, twice as much probably! now about the other brothers and sisters..i for one knew almost next to nothing so this book was a very good read and a very informative surprise! all the brothers and sisters are presented in a clear and very engaging manner, with a ton of information on the lesser known ones being presented to us and it is fascinating! may not be perfect in terms of historic content but it is certainly worth the read!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kitty

    It was interesting enough, but there wasn't a whole lot of new information I hadn't already heard of before. It would probably serve better/be more interesting for someone who didn't already know a lot about the Habsburgs as I do. There were quite a few factual errors that annoyed me as well, such as saying something to the effect of "Marie Antoinette had to watch her brother in law, the Comte de Provence, marry a Savoyard Princess and have children of his own." That was the Comte d'Artois, Prov It was interesting enough, but there wasn't a whole lot of new information I hadn't already heard of before. It would probably serve better/be more interesting for someone who didn't already know a lot about the Habsburgs as I do. There were quite a few factual errors that annoyed me as well, such as saying something to the effect of "Marie Antoinette had to watch her brother in law, the Comte de Provence, marry a Savoyard Princess and have children of his own." That was the Comte d'Artois, Provence never had children.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Joan

    An interesting book, about the reigning children of Maria Theresa. There were a few inaccuracies and typos, and the most unhelpful family tree I have ever seen. (A good clear one would have clarified rather than muddled the complex family relationships here!) Still- I was somewhat unfamiliar with some of the historical figures here- especially the families in Naples and Parma, so it is a good starting point for further reading.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Margaret Hren

    Good book as an overview of the children of Empress Maria Theresa. I've read other more detailed books, but this one is good for anyone looking for a detailed refresher on these facinating people who shaped history. Only think that bothered me was all the heavy footnoting in each chapter. Made me feel like the author was copying word for word from other texts. Good book as an overview of the children of Empress Maria Theresa. I've read other more detailed books, but this one is good for anyone looking for a detailed refresher on these facinating people who shaped history. Only think that bothered me was all the heavy footnoting in each chapter. Made me feel like the author was copying word for word from other texts.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Theresa

    This was a very enjoyable and interesting read. I have not read much of most of the featured historical figures before. the exception is Marie Antoinette. There was a lot of her in this book, but much of 4 of her other siblings and her mother, Maria Theresa. I recommend this book to anyone interested in European and/or Royal History.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Belinda

    Enjoyed this history lesson of the Hapsburg's and The Holy Roman Empire as led by Maria Theresa and then her 5 special children very much. Not historical fiction but still told in an engaging and colorful manner which not only held my interest but had me looking forward to my history lesson. I loved it. Enjoyed this history lesson of the Hapsburg's and The Holy Roman Empire as led by Maria Theresa and then her 5 special children very much. Not historical fiction but still told in an engaging and colorful manner which not only held my interest but had me looking forward to my history lesson. I loved it.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Buck

    I liked the book but as usual with more than one subject, I lost track of who was who... Especially with their children. They had a habit of naming children after each other so there were several with the same names.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    O.k. so it too me over six months to get through this book, and I still don't know enough about Maria Theresa. Here's an example of where an ebook is just not as good as a "real book." I needed pictures, maps and genealogical charts. O.k. so it too me over six months to get through this book, and I still don't know enough about Maria Theresa. Here's an example of where an ebook is just not as good as a "real book." I needed pictures, maps and genealogical charts.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    Despite the fact that 33% of the book is comprised of endnotes and bibliography, which could indicate a very dry narrative, this book was a pleasure to read. Vovk does an excellent job of revealing each of the principal's characters throughout their illustrious and ultimately tragic careers. Despite the fact that 33% of the book is comprised of endnotes and bibliography, which could indicate a very dry narrative, this book was a pleasure to read. Vovk does an excellent job of revealing each of the principal's characters throughout their illustrious and ultimately tragic careers.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    Loved the history behind the book but found the format hard to read. Kind of a history text book combined with letters and diaries.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    This is incoherent and I am not sure it is even entirely accurate. My edition could have done with better diagramming to try to work out who was who

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ellen Turnbaugh

    Well written and thorough

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mary Coleman

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alicia allen

  28. 4 out of 5

    Gabrielle Gove

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lucy E. Goff

  30. 5 out of 5

    Telesilla

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.