How to spot an aristo in disguise and on the run? Check servants for implausibly soft hands. Dead give away.
A superb summary of the topsy-turvy changeability in their fortunes during the closing decades of the Austro-Hungarian empire.
Now, where did they stash those rubies?
All over Europe rulers were either hiding jewels in strange places and disguising their familes as implausibly soft-palmed servants, or they were coming up with new designs for palaces and coronation robes, depending on the latest news.
For a great sampling of Winder’s triologisms, and a quote-packed tribute to his earlier book on Germany, see our bestellar review.
Source: Simon Winder, Danubia: A personal history of Habsburg Europe (London: Picador, 2013), p. 291