Sunday, June 29, 2014
Franz Ferdinand of Austria, RIP
I wasn't online yesterday, & hence didn't comment on the importance of the 28th of June for the history of the First World War. It was the day, of course, on which, in 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand was murdered, setting in motion the events which tragically led the world, a month later, into the great and awful war of 1914-1918. This year being the centennial of the start of that war, I encourage any and all to take time to study the First World War anew. Regarding the Archduke, I am fascinated by his life and his place in Austro-Hungarian history, but also by his insistence on marrying the woman with whom he was in love, despite the fact that, by royal custom, since Sophie was not a member of one of the reigning families, they had to endure the humiliating social consequences of a morganatic marriage. Their marriage was loving, and produced four children, Sophie, Ernst, Maximilian, and a stillborn.