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The Phoenix Land
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The Phoenix Land [Paperback]

Miklos Banffy , Patrick Thursfield , Kathy Banffy-Jelen
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 1, 2003 1900850850 978-1900850858
As this memoir reveals, Count Miklos Banffy lived in a time and era of great transition. B-nffy's life as a statesman and author residing in Hungary at the end of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, during the downfall of the Hapsburg dynasty, is detailed. His life story includes such notable accomplishments as obtaining Hungary's admission to the League of Nations and organizing the last Hapsburg coronation for King Karl in 1916. B-nffy also reflects upon his country's experiences through World War I, the first socialist republic, and the terrifying communist rule of Bela Kun.

Editorial Reviews


'Fascinating. He writes about his quirky border lairds and squires and the high misty forest ridges and valleys of Transylvania with something of the ache that Czeslaw Milosz brings to the contemplation of this lost Eden' - W. L. Webb, Guardian 'Pleasure of a different scale and kind. It is a sort of Galworthisn panorama of life in the dying years of the Habsburg Empire - perfect late night reading for nostalgic romantics like me' - Jane Morris, Observer Books of the Year

About the Author

Count Miklos Banffy (1873-1950) was variously a diplomat, MP and foreign minister in 1921/22 when he signed the peace treaty with the United States and obtained Hungary's admission to the League of Nations. He was also responsible for organizing the last Habsburg coronation, that of King Karl in 1916. His Transylvanian Trilogy (They Were Counted, They Were Found Wanting and They Were Divided) was published before the outbreak of the Second World War. It was ignored under the communists, and has recently been republished to acclaim in his native country.

Product details

  • Paperback: 444 pages
  • Publisher: Arcadia Books (April 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1900850850
  • ISBN-13: 978-1900850858
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.7 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,929,420 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting July 23, 2004
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For those of you who love non-fiction, biographies, autobiographies, diaries, memoirs et al, THIS is the book for you! Not only will you need to try to slow down to savor this fantastic treasure of the Hungary of Count Miklos Banffy, but you will slow down to ponder some of your own memories for tidbits, real or imagined, long buried.

A good set of historical maps is required. Reading some of the internet stuffing from various areas of the world today (2004) makes this book all the more important for us all to read.

Thank you for publishing this book and I wish that there were maps, photos and reproductions of documents included in a deluxe edition.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
The book (actually a complation of three by the same author) opens with a richly detailed account of the last coronation of a Hungarian king, the Hapsburg Emporer Karl. Banffy was responsible for the decorations for the entire occasion, and had some humorous interactions with the various guests.

The next section is his tragi-comic failed attempt to reach the Allied powers at Versailles to give them an account of the communist uprising in Hungary. He never got there, and ended up "stranded" in Holland, eking out a living as a painter!

The last section deals with his time as Foreign Minister of Hungary after Triannon, and how he and others attempted to make the best of things. It gives an account of King Karl's second putsch (which came perilously close to succeeding, which would have meant immediate invasion by the Czech and Serb armies).

This, along with Horthy's memoirs, give a detailed an accurate understanding of what transpired in Hungary from 1916 to about 1945, and Baffny sprinkles it throughout with amusing anecdotes.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant historical records and literature reading October 28, 2013
A very rare consice from a world class politician and diplomat who gives you valuable insights for the time bw. 1916 and 1945.
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