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Head of Zeus
The Burgundians
14 Oct 2021 * EBOOK * £9.99 * 9781789543452

The story of the Burgundian elite and its remarkable court and culture, a medieval and early modern epic of dynastic struggle, artistic achievement and eventual extinction.

Non Fiction / HBLC1 (Medieval History)
Extent: 608 pages  Illus: Illustrated
Exclusive: GB CA AU NZ IN ZA SG US
The Burgundians: A Vanished EmpireBart Van Loo

A publishing phenomenon in Europe, where it has sold 230,000 copies in hardback, Bart van Loo's epic history of the dukedom of Burgundy has the grip of a great historical novel and the fascination of a wonderful factual narrative.

At the end of the fifteenth century, Burgundy was extinguished as an independent state. It had been a fabulously wealthy, turbulent region situated between France and Germany, with close links to the English kingdom. Torn apart by the dynastic struggles of early modern Europe, this extraordinary realm vanished from the map. But it became the cradle of what we now know as the Low Countries, modern Belgium and the Netherlands.

This is the story of a thousand years, a compulsively readable narrative history of ambitious aristocrats, family dysfunction, treachery, savage battles, luxury and madness. It is about the decline of knightly ideals and the awakening of individualism and of cities, the struggle for dominance in the heart of northern Europe, bloody military campaigns and fatally bad marriages.

It is also a remarkable cultural history, of great art and architecture and music emerging despite the violence and the chaos of the tension between rival dynasties.

Rightly compared to great narrative historians like Barbara Tuchman, Bart van Loo has written a popular and scholarly masterpiece.

Bart Van Loo has developed a rare twin talent over the years. While drawing big crowds in the theatre, he is also the author of the universally praised France a Trilogy and the bestseller Chanson. Friend and foe alike have to admit that Van Loo is a born storyteller, with a unique ability to combine enthusiasm, humour and expertise. The Burgundians, his most recent book, takes the reader on a fascinating journey through a thousand years of European history.

A masterful history of the great dynasty of the Netherlands' Middle Ages – told with authority, erudition, and occasional humour.

Has sold more than 200,000 copies to date in the Netherlands, as well as more than 15,000 each in Germany and France since publication in those countries this autumn.

MARKET: Dan Jones; Richard Vaughan; Neil Price; Judith Herrin; Barbara Tuchman.


'Bart van Loo is in top form. The Burgundians reads like a train and hits you like a sledgehammer. A masterpiece ... He does not try to be a wise man or a moralist. What he does make clear is that that the history of early Dutch unification is one that came about both through excessive bloodshed and praiseworthy magnanimity. Mission accomplished' De Morgen

'Full of cliff hangers and moving passages. Irresistible' Herman Pleij

'Bart van Loo is back and emerges once again as a true storyteller. Van Loo is the perfect guide through the past. It is as if we are there' De Standaard

'The political and the personal, economics and culture, belief and violence, success and failure, major developments and spicy details – it's all there. The Burgundians expertly draws on the latest scientific insights, but is also told with lightness and elegance. A taste of great mastery' Frits van Oostrom

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