Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Castelul Bran by Diana Mandache




I wish the Romanian publisher Curtea Veche would see the wisdom of a  bilingual text for Diana Mandache's excellent books.  She is a well-known Romanian royal historian, who is known outside Romania, and,she is fluent in  English.

Curtea Veche would be able to market her books outside of Romania -- and they would sell more copies.  More money for the publisher and more royalties for Diana.

Castelul Bran (Castle Bran) is her latest book.  Diana has access to the Romanian archives and she makes brilliant use of Queen Marie's papers -- and the the majority of the photos in the book are previously unpublished.

In 1920, the citizens of Brasov, Romania, offered  Bran to Queen Marie, and she accepted the offer.  The Castle, also known as Dracula's castle, soon became Marie's favorite residence.  She often spent weeks at a time at  Bran.  It was also a favorite residence of her youngest daughter, Princess Ileana, who was married to Archduke Anton of Austria.   Ileana inherited the castle after her mother's death in 1938.   She and her family moved from Austria to Bran, where they lived until the Communists forced them into exile.

The castle was eventually returned to three of Ileana's children, Archduke Dominic, Archduchess Maria Magdalene and Archduchess Elisabeth.  The castle is now open to the public.

Most of the photographs are of Queen Marie,  The story of Bran is also about how she saw Bran as peaceful, and her guests were close friends,  Princess Ileana, and two of Marie's sisters, Victoria Melita (Ducky)  and Beatrice.    My favorite photo shows Queen Marie talking with her nephew, Grand Duke Wladimir, who is playing with a dog, and looking out of open windows are Ducky, her younger daughter, Kira, and Princess Ileana.

The photos are worth the price of the book.  216 pages.  Photos (sometimes  more than one) on nearly every page.

The price of the book is 49 Lei.  This is about $13.00 A real bargain.  Yes, you can order from the publisher.   I think I paid $25.00 including postage.  The site is in Romanian.  You can use your credit cards.  Your browser should have a built in translator.   I have never had a problem ordering from the publisher.

http://www.curteaveche.ro/castelul-bran.html

Diana's books on  Cotroceni and Balcicul remain in print.

http://royalbooknews.blogspot.com/2015/08/cotroeniul-regal-by-diana-mandache.html
http://royalbooknews.blogspot.com/2015/02/balcicul-reginei-maria-by-diana-mandache.html

http://www.bran-castle.com/

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