Simon Winder


Born
London, The United Kingdom
Genre


SIMON WINDER has spent far too much time in Germany, denying himself a lot of sunshine and fresh fruit just to write this book. He is the author of the highly praised The Man Who Saved Britain (FSG, 2006) and works in publishing in London.

Average rating: 3.64 · 3,948 ratings · 597 reviews · 11 distinct worksSimilar authors
Danubia: A Personal History...

3.81 avg rating — 1,651 ratings — published 2013 — 22 editions
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Germania: In Wayward Pursui...

3.45 avg rating — 1,515 ratings — published 2010 — 21 editions
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Lotharingia: A Personal His...

3.93 avg rating — 333 ratings — published 2019 — 13 editions
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The Man Who Saved Britain: ...

3.29 avg rating — 234 ratings — published 2006 — 10 editions
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Night Thoughts

3.83 avg rating — 18 ratings
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Sea Longing

3.33 avg rating — 3 ratings
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The Feast

really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 2 ratings — published 1998
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Herzland: Eine Reise durch ...

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Doctor No (James Bond, #6)

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3.79 avg rating — 19,749 ratings — published 1958 — 339 editions
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My Name Is Bond, James Bond

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3.72 avg rating — 43 ratings — published 2000 — 3 editions
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“In Transylvania it was memories of the Romanian revolt that stalked the Hungarian aristocratic imagination.. In Galicia it was memories of Tarnow that performed a similar service for the surviving Polish noble families. Both societies shared something of the brittle, sports-obsessed cheerfulness of the British in India - or indeed of Southerners in the pre-1861 United States. These were societies which could resort to any level of violence in support of racial supremacy. Indeed, an interesting global history could be written about the ferocity of a period which seems, very superficially, to be so 'civilized'. Southern white responses to Nat Turner's Slave Rebellion in 1831, with Turner himself flayed, beheaded and quartered, can be linked to the British blowing rebel Indians to pieces from the mouths of cannons in 1857.”
Simon Winder, Danubia: A Personal History of Habsburg Europe

“It is possible to get too hung up about this point. In, for example, the genealogical multiple pile-up of Swabia with almost every hill under its own prince, it is possible to imagine a feudal version of Jorge Luis Borges’ infinite library, a world of so many hundreds of rulers that every variation of behaviour is possible, or indeed certain, in any given moment. So somewhere a ruler with a huge grey beard is dying surrounded by his weeping family and retainers; somewhere else a bored figure is irritably shooting bits off the plaster decorations in the ballroom; another is making an improper suggestion to a stable boy; another is telling an anecdote about fighting the Turks, staring into space, girding for battle, converting to Calvinism, wishing he had a just slightly bigger palace, and so on. This dizzying multiplicity makes each of hundreds of castles a frightening challenge – with the possibility of the guide making my head explode with the dizzying details of how the young duchess had been walled up in a tower for being caught in a non-spiritual context with her confessor and how as a result the Strelitz-Nortibitz inheritance had passed, unexpectedly, to a cousin resident in Livonia who, on his way home to claim the dukedom, died of plague in a tavern near Rothenberg thus activating the claim of the very odd dowager’s niece, long resident in a convent outside Bamberg. But it is probably time to move on.”
Simon Winder, Germania: In Wayward Pursuit of the Germans and Their History

“Rather than defeat the reader with a family tree which would look like an illustration of the veins and arteries of the human body drawn by a poorly informed maniac, I thought it better to start with this summary of just the heads of the family, so the sequence is clear. I give the year each ruler became Emperor and the year the ruler died. It all looks very straightforward and natural, but of course the list hides away all kinds of back-stabbing, reckless subdivision, hatred, fake piety and general failure, which can readily be relegated to the main text. To save everyone’s brains I have simplified all titles. Some fuss in this area is inevitable but I will cling under almost all circumstances to a single title for each character. To give you a little glimpse of the chaos, the unattractive Philip ‘the Handsome’ was Philip I of Castile, Philip II of Luxemburg, Philip III of Brabant, Philip IV of Burgundy, Philip V of Namur, Philip VI of Artois as well as assorted Is, IIs, IIIs and so on for other places. So when I just refer to Philip ‘the Handsome’ you should feel grateful and briefly ponder the pedantic horror-show you are spared.”
Simon Winder, Danubia: A Personal History of Habsburg Europe

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