They Were Found Wanting
In the sequel to They Were Counted Balint Abady is forced to part from the beautiful and unhappily married Adrienne Uzdy. 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. Set in picturesque Transylvania, Banffy paints a rich and fascinating portrait of the aristocratic world oblivious to its impending demise.
‘A genuine case of a rediscovered classic. The force of Bánffy’s enthusiasm produces an effect rather like that of the best Trollope novels - but coming from a past world that now seems excitingly exotic’ TLS
‘My great find of the year is a reprint of the magnificent trilogy, set in pre-war Transylvania by Miklós Bánffy … which stands comparison with the great Russian and French masters. Bánffy vies with Tolstoy for sweep, Pasternak for romance and Turgenev for evocation of nature; his fiction is packed with irresistible social detail and crammed with superb characters: it is gloriously, addictively, compulsively readable’ Caroline Moor, Books of the Year, Seven
‘A very romantic book set in Transylvania during the days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire before the First World war. It’s full of balls and hunting parties, snow and politics. It’s totally absorbing and I’m looking forward to reading the next two books in the trilogy’ Martha Kearney, My Six Best Books, Daily Express
‘A masterpiece. This very readable translation makes a wonderful book accessible to many more people’ New Statesman
‘This epic Hungarian novel, absorbing both for its exploration of human nature and its study of the decline of the Austro-Hungarian Empire … weaves social and political themes into Bánffy’s powerful tale’ Daily Telegraph