Joseph II: Joseph II. Vol. II: Against the World 1780-1790

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Joseph II

Joseph II. Vol. II: Against the World 1780-1790. Derek Beales. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. 2009. xix + 733 pp. 80 [pounds sterling]/$145. 7 "The second and final volume of this superlative biography of Joseph II appears some twenty years after the first, which encompassed Joseph's upbringing, apprenticeship and co-regency with his mother. The present volume covers the ten years of personal rule in seventeen chapters, interleaving thematic and narrative sequences, almost like a sequence of musical variations, with the whole rounded off with an introduction and substantial coda, which expound and then ultimately rework the main themes.... [T]he completion of this massive project represents a major event in Habsburg and indeed early modern European historiography.... Beales has written a study of enlightened Europe's most ambitious and energetic ruler which will stand as the leading account in any language for many years to come."

Tim Hochstrasser. Austrian Studies 15 (2010): 194-95.

"Beales has completed his awesome project on Joseph with another monumental volume, this time on the final decade, the ten years--actually just over nine--of his sole rule in Austria. …