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William Doyle, 19 May 1988

Joseph II. Vol. I: In the Shadow of Maria Theresa 1741-1780 
by Derek Beales.
Cambridge, 520 pp., £35, December 1986, 0 521 24240 1
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Finance and Government under Maria Theresia 1740-1780 
by P.G.M. Dickson.
Oxford, 491 pp., £45, August 1987, 0 19 822570 9
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... enough to prefer Maria Theresa if left a free hand, for he is no less bold a scholar than Dr Dickson. Both authors came new to Habsburg history, that most labyrinthine of subjects, with reputations already made in other fields. Both have spent many years mastering secondary literature in a wide range of languages, and in sampling archives all over Europe ...

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