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The Phoenix Land

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  12 ratings  ·  2 reviews

The thousand-year-old kingdom of Hungary, was finally dismembered by the Western Allies by the terms of the peace treaties which followed the First World War. Phoenix-like the Hungarian people survived the horrors of war, the disappointment of the first socialist republic, the disillusion of the brief but terrifying communist rule of Bela Kun, and the bitterness of seeing

Published April 1st 2003 by Arcadia Books
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This review is of the first part of this book, entitled From My Memories. It begins with the death of the Emperor Franz Josef, continues with the coronation of his successor in Budapest (which Bánffy had a role in stage managing). Shortly afterward, while still in the middle of World War I, the Hungarians single-handedly decided to declare themselves neutral—an interesting notion considering that Hungarian armies were still in the theatres of war. This was followed by the so-called “Aster Revolu...more
The memoirs of Miklós Bánffy cover two separate yet interlinked time frames: the first describes life in Budapest in 1916 as the war rages on around Hungary, and everyday life tries to go on; the second describes the immediate aftermath of the war: the revolutions and turmoil that gripped Hungary and the rest of Central Europe.

Bannáfy's vivid descriptions and language really bring the scenes he lived through to life, and the book is the equal of his later fictional work.
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