Biographies & Memoirs

George, Nicholas and Wilhelm: Three Royal Cousins and the Road to World War I

George, Nicholas and Wilhelm: Three Royal Cousins and the Road to World War I

In the years before the First World War, the great European powers were ruled by three first cousins: King George V of Britain, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. Together, they presided over the last years of dynastic Europe and the outbreak of the most destructive war the world had ever seen, a war that set twentieth-century Europe on course to be the most violent continent in the history of the world.

Through brilliant and often darkly comic portraits of these men and their lives, their foibles and obsessions, Miranda Carter delivers the tragicomic story of Europe’s early twentieth-century aristocracy, a solipsistic world preposterously out of kilter with its times.

Introduction

Part I: THREE CHILDHOODS, THREE COUNTRIES

Chapter 1. An Experiment in Perfection: 1859 - WILHELM

Chapter 2. Coming Second: 1865 - GEORGE

Chapter 3. A Diamond-Studded Ivory Tower: 1868 - NICHOLAS

Part II: FAMILY TIES, IMPERIAL CONTESTS

Chapter 4. WILHELM EMPEROR: 1888–90

Chapter 5. YOUNG MEN IN LOVE: 1891–94

Chapter 6. WILHELM ANGLOPHILE: 1891–95

Chapter 7. PERFIDIOUS MUSCOVY: 1895–97

Chapter 8. BEHIND THE WALL: 1893–1904

Chapter 9. IMPERIAL IMPERATIVES: 1898–1901

Part III: A BRIGHT NEW CENTURY

Chapter 10. THE FOURTH EMPEROR: 1901–4

Chapter 11. UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES: 1904–5

Chapter 12. CONTINENTAL SHIFTS: 1906–8

Chapter 13. A BALKAN CRISIS: 1908–9

Chapter 14. EDWARD’S MANTLE: 1910–11

Chapter 15. CELEBRATIONS AND WARNINGS: 1911–14

Chapter 16. JULY: 1914

Part IV: ARMAGEDDON

Chapter 17. A WAR: 1914–18

EPILOGUE

NOTES

BIBLIOGRAPHY

ILLUSTRATIONS