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Lotharingia: A Personal History of Europe's Lost Country

Lotharingia: A Personal History of Europe's Lost Country

Simon Winder


Lotharingia, the part of Europe lying between what are now the agreed cores of France and Germany, the part of the continent that doesn't readily fit into the national character of either country. This is a very small-scale history, full of anecdotes and insights as to the connections between the various actors and events that have criss-crossed this area. I read it shortly after reading The Shortest History of Germany, to which I think it makes a very agreeable companion and contrast while picking out a lot of the same themes, especially the difference between the eastern-oriented, Prussian and Hohenzollern Germany and the western-oriented Rhineland.

It's personal history, though, which means that the author's life breaks into the narrative quite intrusively. I've only given the book four stars because of this writing style, which detracted (for me) from the otherwise excellent research and observations.

4/5. Finished 26 July 2019.

(Originally published on Goodreads.)

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