Sunday, 25 October 2020

The Story Of Prague by Count Francis Lutzow + #FreeBook

The Story Of Prague by Count Francis Lutzow
Published in the UK by J M Dent & Co in 1902.

How I got this book:
Downloaded an ebook copy Free from Project Gutenberg

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Prague at the Earliest Period
From the Reign of Charles IV. to the Executions at Prague in 1621
Prague in Modern Times
Churches and Monasteries
The Bohemian Museum
Walks in Prague
Walks and Excursions near Prague

The Story Of Prague would have been a handy little book to have discovered prior to my citybreak there three years ago. Its first sections do focus almost entirely on the hundreds of years of religious wars between various Christian factions that made Prague seem to be a very violent place from the late 900s up until the early 1700s. Periodic fights for the Bohemian crown added to the chaos and it's amazing that anything of historic Prague survives at all! Lutzow enlivens the dry facts with witty personal commentary so I wasn't as bored as I could have been, but it would have been nice to have learned more about the city than simply a long recounting of all the men who fought each other - just the noble men, obviously!

I was more interested in what Lutzow had to say about Prague as it would have appeared to his idea of the modern traveller - bearing in mind that this book was first published nearly one hundred and twenty years ago. He, of course, has no inkling of either World War although, with the benefit of hindsight, his repeated comments about Germanic desires to overrun the Bohemian people seem strangely prophetic. Lutzow himself seems obsessed with war and religion so even the chapter describing the Bohemian Museum dismisses in a few words all the prehistoric finds displayed there, before exhorting visitors to examine the armoury room in detail! My favourite chapter was that describing three proposed walks around various parts of the city. We did indeed follow part of Lutzow's route to the famed hilltop castle, but it would be fascinating to return to Prague now, antique guidebook in hand, and see how much of Lutzow's city remains intact.

Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by Count Francis Lutzow / History books / Books from the Czech Republic

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