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Exporting the Royals

Robert Tombs, 7 October 1993

Maximilian and Juárez 
by Jasper Ridley.
Constable, 353 pp., £16.95, March 1993, 0 09 472070 3
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Maximilian’s Lieutenant: A Personal History of the Mexican Campaign, 1864-7 
by Ernst Pitner, translated and edited by Gordon Etherington-Smith.
Tauris, 256 pp., £35, October 1993, 9781850435600
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... not a victory but a massacre. On 16 January 1865, a plump and resilient Austrian lieutenant, Ernst Pitner, a member of a typical Viennese family of bureaucrats and officers, arrived hopefully at Veracruz, where he too noticed the vultures: ‘one can almost regard them as the pigeons of St Mark’s.’ Far from rich and way down the list for ...

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