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

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