The tale of the two Transylvanian cousins, their loves, and their very different fortunes continues in this second volume of the Transylvanian trilogy.
Balint Abady is forced to part from the beautiful and unhappily married Adrienne Uzdy, while Lazlo Gyeroffy is rapidly heading for self-destruction through excessive drinking and his own fecklessness. Politicians, quarreling among themselves and stubbornly ignoring their countrymen’s real needs, are still pursuing their vendetta with the Habsburg rule of Hungary from Vienna.
Meanwhile, they fail to notice how the Great Powers–through such events as Austria’s annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1908–are moving ever closer to the conflagration of 1914-1918 that will destroy their world forever. Contrasting a life of privilege and corruption with the lives and problems of an expatriate Romanian peasant minority whom Balint tries to help, this portrait is an unrivalled evocation of a rich and fascinating aristocratic world oblivious of its impending demise.
The celebrated Transylvanian Trilogy by Count Miklos Banffy is a stunning historical epic set in the lost world of the Hungarian aristocracy just before World War I. Written in the 1930s and first discovered by the English-speaking world after the fall of communism in Hungary, Banffy’s novels were translated in the late 1990s to critical acclaim and appear here for the first time in hardcover. Set amid magnificent scenery of wild forests, snowcapped mountains, and ancient castles, the Transylvanian Trilogy combines a Proustian nostalgia for a lost world, insight into a collapsing empire reminiscent of the work of Joseph Roth, and the drama and epic sweep of Tolstoy.