“Perfect late night reading” JAN MORRIS
“Banffy is a born storyteller” PATRICK LEIGH FERMOR
“Totally absorbing” MARTHA KEARNEY
“So evocative” SIMON JENKINS
The second volume of Miklos Banffy’s panoramic trilogy of the dying years of the Habsburg empire.
The tale of two Transylvanian cousins, their loves, their ambitions and their fortunes continues in They Were Found Wanting. Balint Abady is forced to part from the beautiful and unhappily married Adrienne Uzdy. Laszlo Gyeroffy is rapidly heading for self-destruction through drink and his own fecklessness. The politicians, quarrelling among themselves and stubbornly ignoring their countrymen’s real needs, are still pursuing their vendetta with the Habsburg rule from Vienna. Meanwhile they fail to notice how the Great Powers – through such events as Austria’s annexation of Bosnia-Herzagovina in 1908 – are moving ever closer to the conflagration of 1914-1918 that will destroy their world for ever.
Banffy’s portrait contrasts a life of privilege and corruption with the lives and problems of an expatriate Romanian peasant minority whom Balint tries to help. It is an unrivalled evocation of a rich and fascinating aristocratic world oblivious of its impending demise.#
Part two of the trilogy that began with They Were Counted, and ends with They Were Divided.
Translated from the Hungarian by Patrick Thursfield and Katalin Banffy-Jelen
With a Foreword by Patrick Leigh-Fermor
WINNER OF THE WEIDENFELD TRANSLATION PRIZE