Thirty Years' War  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Early modern Europe

The Thirty Years' War was fought between 1618 and 1648, principally on the territory of today's Germany, and involved most of the major European powers. Beginning as a religious conflict between Protestants and Catholics in the Holy Roman Empire, it gradually developed into a general war involving much of Europe, for reasons not necessarily related to religion. The war marked a continuation of the France-Habsburg rivalry for pre-eminence in Europe, which led later to direct war between France and Spain.

Fiction

  • Vida y hechos de Estebanillo González, hombre de buen humor, compuesta por él mismo (Antwerp, 1646). The last of the great Spanish Golden Age picaresque novels, set against the background of the Thirty Years' War and thought to be authored by a writer in the entourage of Ottavio Piccolomini. The main character crisscrosses Europe at war in his role as messenger, witnessing, among other events, the 1634 battle of Nordlingen.
  • Simplicius Simplicissimus (1668) by Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen, one of the most important German novels of the 17th century, is the comic fictional autobiography of a German peasant turned mercenary who serves under various powers during the war, based on the author's first-hand experience. An opera adaptation by the same name was produced in the 1930s, written by Karl Amadeus Hartmann.
  • Daniel Defoe (1720). Memoirs of a Cavalier. "A Military Journal of the Wars in Germany, and the Wars in England. From the Years 1632 to 1648".
  • George Alfred Henty (1886). Lion of the North, A Tale of Gustavus Adolphus and the Wars of Religion. From Internet Archive.
  • George Alfred Henty (1900). Won by the Sword; A Tales of the Thirty Years' War, With twelve illus. by C.M. Sheldon, and four plans. From Internet Archive.
  • Hermann Löns (1910). The Warwolf (Der Wehrwolf), an alternately heart-warming and heart-rending chronicle of a North German farming community suffering tragedies and ultimate triumph during the harrowing period of the Thirty Years' War.
  • Edmond Rostand's play Cyrano de Bergerac (act IV is set during the siege of Arras in 1640).
  • Bertolt Brecht's play Mother Courage and Her Children, an anti-war theatre piece, is set during the Thirty Years' War.
  • Queen Christina, the 1933 film starring Greta Garbo, opens with the death of Christina's father, King Gustavus Adolphus, at the Battle of Lützen in the Thirty Years' War. The subsequent plot of the film is entirely set against the backdrop of the war and her determination as Queen, as depicted a decade later, to end the war and bring about peace and resolution.
  • The Last Valley (1971). A film starring Michael Caine and Omar Sharif, who discover a temporary haven from the Thirty Years' War. Written by James Clavell, the author of Shogun.
  • The Last Valley (1959) by J. B. Pick. The book upon which the film version was based. Originally published in Great Britain as The Fat Valley.
  • Michael Moorcock's novel, The War Hound and the World's Pain (1981) has as its central character Ulrich von Bek, a mercenary who took part in the sack of Magdeburg.
  • Eric Flint's Ring of Fire series of novels deals with a temporally displaced West Virginia town from the early 21st century arriving in the early 1630s war torn Germany. The experimental novel has grown into an intensive collaborative fiction online project now in its seventh year which explores how modern knowledge and the cast of 3-3,500 townies would impact the developmental history of Europe; the theme of what would occur if the Americans set a course deliberately to undermine the power of the nobility in Europe and introduce things like a Bill of Rights, Nationalism, et al. are at the heart of the works.
  • Friedrich Schiller's Wallenstein trilogy (1799) is a fictional account of the downfall of this general.
  • Alessandro Manzoni's I Promessi Sposi (1842) is an historical novel taking place in Italy in 1629. It treats a couple whose marriage is interrupted, among other things, by the Bubonic Plague, and other complications of 30 Years' War.
  • Parts of Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle are set in lands devastated by the Thirty Years' War.
  • Das Treffen in Telgte (1979) trans. The Meeting at Telgte (1981) by Günther Grass, set in the aftermath of the war, sets out to make implicit parallels with the postwar Germany of the late 1940s.

See also





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Thirty Years' War" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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