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Nobles and Nation in Central Europe
Free Imperial Knights in the Age of Revolution, 1750–1850

$43.99 (C)

Part of New Studies in European History

  • Date Published: November 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521123150

$ 43.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • No group better embodied the traditional noble ideal in the late Holy Roman Empire than the pedigreed knights, Protestant and Catholic, of Electoral Mainz. This study traces the transnational "geocultural" landscape in which they thrived and its transformation by social, political and national revolution. It explores the comparative history of the knights who became divided between those who emigrated to the Habsburg Empire (where their geocultural landscape survived) and those who remained in Germany and forged a new identity as nobles in the cultural world of the "nation".

    • Unique perspective on the social changes wrought by the Revolutionary era
    • Makes a major contribution to the history of early German nationalism and Habsburg supranationalism
    • Based on extensive archival research
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "William Godsey has written a highly insightful portrayal of the Holy Roman Empire’s imperial nobility during its crucial century of outward decline. Specialists will be pleased that this volume is no mere historiographical digest of recent works. Rather, it is the product of exhaustive research conducted in nearly two dozen public and private archives within Austria, the Czech Republic and Germany. For this reason, Godsey consistently offers his readers not only fresh perspectives, but also fresh material."
    - H-German, Todd Berryman, Department of History, Hendrix College

    "the book will interset specialists in the history of the nobility and more tentatively, historians of nationalism." - Kelly McFall, Bethany College

    "A fascinating work that demonstrates the importance of the Holy Roman Empire and its end for the development of modern Germany, Nobles and Nation in Central Europe is a model historical mongraph, one of many that Cambridge has recently published in its series, 'New Studies in European History'." - Jonathan Sperber, University of Missouri

    "...provides an important contribution to the question of noble identity in Central Europe." -Rita Krueger, Austrian History Yearbook

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2009
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521123150
    • length: 320 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.47kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Wealth and noble autonomy: the free imperial knights in Maine on the eve of revolution
    2. Nobles becoming Germans: the transformation of a concept
    3. Nobles becoming Germans: the destruction of a 'geo-cultural landscape'
    4. Between destruction and survival: knights on the Middle Rhine 1750–1850
    5. The past recaptured: knights in the Habsburg Empire 1792–1848
    6. From cathedral canons to priests: the Coudenhoves and the 'Catholic revival'
    7. The beginnings of conservative German nationalism: the 'naturalization' of Baron Carl vom und zum Stein (1757–1831)
    Appendix. Families of Free Imperial Knights (1797).

  • Author

    William D. Godsey, Jr, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien

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