Being a study of the monarchs and royal families just before and during World War I, with some clean-up afterward.
Opens with biographies of the kings -- German, Belgian, British, Russian, Balkan, and all -- and with account of their relations. Then with what they did in the days leading up to the war, and the war itself, and their efforts to make peace, and the deposition of so many -- plus the killing of the Tsar and his family, and the shockwaves that produced. And afterward. Two royals on opposite sides of the war met at a wedding once, after, and were inseperable there. Someone asks one what they found to talk of, and she said, why, old times. They came from an era when royal solidarity had trumped national.
Fascinating book. All the more interesting (and useful for a writer 0:) because it keeps to the personal level and the personal details. Of which my favorite is probably the Kaiser's comment on the British family's changing its name from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to Windsor: that Shakespeare's play should henceforth be known as "The Merry Wives of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha."