Friday, 20 January 2017

King Ludwig II, Realtiy and Mystery

Hans Rall, Michael Petzet, Franz Merta, 2001, Verlag Schnell & Steiner, Regensburg

This book is divided into three sections, one each done by the authors. The third being an overview, done by Merta, of Ludwigs' sojourns in residences, castles and mountain lodges. The first part is of his life and death. It starts out more of the time he becomes king and not his life up to that moment. He gets to the point he wants to make more or less talking of his family's history – in a way of replacement of the childhood part. But by talking of what he inherited helps in his point than talking of his childhood. The points he makes are quick and straightforward, there is no real elaboration. It is a small book, and they likely discussed not making it that long. Yet in the credits at the beginning it is stated it a biography, one would think the biography part would include some moments of his childhood.
Then the book moves to Ludwig's life in pictures, each one describing who and when so it is easy to know what is going on. It is interesting to see his life in different pictures and formats – photographs or painting. It is quicker to get through since it is pretty much all pictures. You get more of a visual of the people and scenes that were around him in his life. They put a face on the people that is talked about in other articles and books about Ludwig. Also one gets to see how he aged and parts of the castles he commissioned, how grand these castles are.
The third part does go into the buildings he built, spent time in or had planned to build. And it is nice to see another point on how he felt about his buildings and him growing what his father and grandfather had done before in buildings – but more for private use. Merta brings in the more personal side to the buildings. He does continue on unpublished and published sources, with showing and talking about some of those primary sources in this part of the chapter. This part can be helpful with getting some primary documents if one is looking for some. There is also a timeline starting in 1864 to 1886, of where he was. So one gets a little bit of a timeline of where he was since becoming king.
Once again, it is a short book and can be a quick look if you are skimming over it. It is useful for some information, but at times tells and shows the reader information that they might have already read.