Despite all the charms of Downton Abbey, real-life aristocrats played a much darker role in the 1930s. With the British empire under threat and Bolshevism on the rise, many decided to support authoritarian and fascist regimes. Aristocratic women in particular were attracted to Mussolini and Horthy. Some fell in with Hitler and tried to negotiate peace well into 1940. Their long-hidden stories will be at the center of this Friends Talk by Karina Urbach, Visitor in the School of Historical Studies and author of Go-Betweens for Hitler (Oxford University Press, 2015).
Karina Urbach was a Kurt Hahn Scholar at the University of Cambridge, where she took her M.Phil. and Ph.D. For her German Habilitation she was awarded the Bavarian Ministry of Culture prize. She has published on nineteenth- and twentieth-century European history and co-edited a book on intelligence with Stanford University Press (2013). The TLS praised her "carefully researched and gracefully written" monograph on Bismarck's policy towards Britain, and Christopher Clark called her biography of Queen Victoria "a gripping read." She is currently at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London, and has worked as historical advisor on many BBC and German TV documentaries.
For more information about the Friends of the Institute for Advanced Study, visit www.ias.edu/people/friends/about.