A look at five of the children of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, and their turbulent times on the thrones of Europe. Each of them in their own ways had to deal with revolution, war, and the ending of their dreams. Joseph II became Holy Roman Emperor after the death of his father, and co-ruler with his mother, but his personal life was a shambles, and he nearly brought Hapsburg rule to an end. Leopold II was first Grand Duke of Tuscany, and married happily (sixteen children there),and would succeed his brother as HRE, but had the misfortune of dying early. Of the sisters, Amalia married the Duke of Parma, and while the marriage started off badly, she did manage to get some proficency in the art of ruling. Maria Carolina married the King of Naples, bore numerous children (seventeen children there), and turned herself into a thorn in Napoleon's side in his attempts to conquer southern Italy. Then there's Marie Antoinette, the most unfortunate of the daughters, and last Queen of France.
The book does have some innaccuracies, and quite a few typos, but on the whole the research is solid. There is a bibliography, index and extensive notes. Overall, this gets four stars.