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History of Transylvania Hardcover – May, 1994

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Hungarian
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 750 pages
  • Publisher: Akademiai Kiado (May 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9630567032
  • ISBN-13: 978-9630567039
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 7 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,046,725 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Thomas Ahlswede on January 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is an abridged translation of a three-volume history of Transylvania ( http://www.amazon.com/History-Transylvania-Vol-Beginnings-1606/dp/0880334797/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1325803922&sr=1-4 ) written by a group of Hungarian scholars. On one hand, it is by far the best book on Transylvanian history that I have found so far: the most complete and the most carefully researched. But it is not perfect!

It expresses the "Hungarian view" of Transylvanian history very strongly, though it recognizes and (mostly) respects the "Romanian view". Unfortunately, while trying to eliminate the more chauvinistic aspects of the original work, the authors have allowed a few extreme (not to say snide) comments on various aspects of the Romanian view.

On the other hand, it has one virtue that the translated "full" version does not have: it contains excellent plates, some in color, including some detailed color renderings of valuable maps. For the three-volume "full" version, illustrations have all been eliminated, and maps have been reduced to line drawings, some of them too small to be readable - by us older folks, anyway.

(I have to insert an irrelevant remark: among the color plates in this edition was a portrait of a "young Hungarian gentlewoman" of the early 18th century. This coincided perfectly with one of my literary characters, a Transylvanian baroness of, oddly enough, the early 18th century! I missed this picture terribly in the three-volume version.)

As for the conflict of views between Romanians and Hungarians, I suspect that no compromise will ever be accepted. Transylvania is a precious place to both nationalities!
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