John Adamson at Literary Review:
The House of Habsburg has a plausible claim to having been the most successful ruling dynasty in world history. For a thousand years, from the dynasty’s emergence as feudal warlords in northern Switzerland in the 10th century to their ousting as emperors of Austria in the early 20th, they reigned at one time or another in most European countries (including, briefly, England and Ireland), and over colonial possessions that reached across the globe, from Peru to the Philippines (the one nation that still bears the name of a Habsburg king).
Their legacy is tenacious. Throughout Europe, it lingers in the placement of borders, in patterns of confessional belief, in styles of architecture, even in ideas of national and supranational sovereignty, the second of which the English common law mind finds so baffling and strange.