George, Nicholas and Wilhelm: Three Royal Cousins and the Road to World War I
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.
Part I: THREE CHILDHOODS, THREE COUNTRIES
Chapter 1. An Experiment in Perfection: 1859 - WILHELM
Chapter 2. Coming Second: 1865 - GEORGE
Chapter 3. A Diamond-Studded Ivory Tower: 1868 - NICHOLAS
Part II: FAMILY TIES, IMPERIAL CONTESTS
Chapter 4. WILHELM EMPEROR: 1888–90
Chapter 5. YOUNG MEN IN LOVE: 1891–94
Chapter 6. WILHELM ANGLOPHILE: 1891–95
Chapter 7. PERFIDIOUS MUSCOVY: 1895–97
Chapter 8. BEHIND THE WALL: 1893–1904
Chapter 9. IMPERIAL IMPERATIVES: 1898–1901
Part III: A BRIGHT NEW CENTURY
Chapter 10. THE FOURTH EMPEROR: 1901–4
Chapter 11. UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES: 1904–5
Chapter 12. CONTINENTAL SHIFTS: 1906–8
Chapter 13. A BALKAN CRISIS: 1908–9
Chapter 14. EDWARD’S MANTLE: 1910–11
Chapter 15. CELEBRATIONS AND WARNINGS: 1911–14
Chapter 16. JULY: 1914
Part IV: ARMAGEDDON
Chapter 17. A WAR: 1914–18
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