The Emperor Travels Incognito

Joseph II and the Europe of Enlightenment

Original Title: Der Kaiser reist inkognito

Hardcover with jacket, 384 pages, 13.5 x 21.5 cm, 5.3 x 8.5 in.
ISBN: 978-3-328-60057-2
€ 22.00 [D] | € 22.70 [A] | CHF 30.90 * (* rec. retail price) recommended retail price

Publishing House: Penguin

Date of publication: March 12, 2021
This title is available.


Rights sold to: China (Shanghai Bookstore Publishing House), Czech Republic (MOBA)

Monika  Czernin - The Emperor Travels Incognito


An Emperor meets his people: The extraordinary journeys of Joseph II

It is the end of the eighteenth century, and the European royal houses are beginning to falter. The young Habsburg emperor Joseph II realises that reform is inevitable, and he eagerly soaks up Enlightenment ideas. Incognito, and without the usual pomp and entourage, he travels through his vast empire. He wants to see with his own eyes how his subjects live, suffer and starve.

Along with princes and kings he meets ordinary people, and visits hospitals and factories on the search for new insights that will help him build a modern state. When he visits his sister in Versailles, he can see the French revolution looming on the horizon. By the end of his journey, he has spent a quarter of his twenty-five-year reign on the road.

Based on countless sources, Monika Czernin's The Emperor Travels Incognito tells the story of an extraordinary man in an age of great upheaval, who was far ahead of his time.

With maps illustrating the emperor's journeys through Europe

"Czernin's descriptions of [his] journeys, long stretches of which read almost like adventure stories, allow the reader to travel far and wide throughout the empire. A panorama of Europe during the Age of Enlightenment."

Die Zeit


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