The Summer Capitals of Europe, 1814-1919: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Summer Capitals of Europe, 1814-1919

1st Edition

By Marina Soroka


342 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9781138332010
pub: 2018-08-14
Hardback: 9780415792455
pub: 2017-03-29
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315211701
pub: 2017-03-27
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This book is about the European health spas of the nineteenth century: what they were, how they operated, what life was like there and how their functions evolved to the point where their original medicinal purpose was relegated to a secondary place by the unintended uses of spas as stages of social and political interactions.

These popular resorts were nicknamed ‘the summer capitals of Europe’ because of the tendency of nations’ governing classes to gather there. Every summer between 1814 and 1914 (and in a few cases during World War I) continental watering places became a microcosm of cosmopolitan aristocratic Europe, incorporating its conventions, tastes, concerns and interests. As the nineteenth century advanced, fashionable watering stations increasingly became associated with social bonding, matchmaking, pleasure, career building, conspicuous consumption and diplomatic activity that took place during the high season.


This is an original work, meticulously researched, rich in detail, and written in a clear and – here and there – refreshingly pungent style. (…) I regard it as a first-rate contribution to the diplomatic methods of the 100 years before the First World War.

- G.R. Berridge, Emeritus Professor of International Politics, University of Leicester

Table of Contents


Part I Spa Life

1. Shrines-Springs-Spas

2. Therapy vs Pleasure

3. Spa Society

4. Making Money out of Pleasure

Part II Business of Europe

5. Royalty at Spas

6. Era of Congresses

7. Looking after Europe

8. Secret Diplomacy

9. Puppets and Puppeteers: Summer of 1870 in Ems

10. Bismarck’s Cures


12. The Flight from Spas and the End of an Era: 1914-1919




About the Author

Marina Soroka completed her PhD at the University of Western Ontario in 2009, and is the author of Becoming a Romanov. Grand Duchess Elena of Russia and Her World, 1807-1873 (2015)and Britain, Russia and the First World War (2013).

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Modern European History

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Europe / Eastern
HISTORY / Europe / France
HISTORY / Europe / Germany
HISTORY / Europe / Italy
HISTORY / Europe / Russia & the Former Soviet Union
HISTORY / Modern / 19th Century
HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century
HISTORY / Europe / Austria & Hungary