The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie on June 28, 1914, is widely seen as the central, precipitating event of the First World War: the spark that lit the conflagration. Here, historian and bestselling author Margaret MacMillan, whose masterful The War That Ended Peace is now in paperback, considers a single photograph of Franz Ferdinand and Sophie made just hours before their violent deaths—and discerns in the sunny scene the seeds of chaos and unfathomable destruction.
Margaret MacMillan is the Warden of St Antony’s College and a Professor of International History at the University of Oxford. Her books include Women of the Raj (1988, 2007); Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World (2001), for which she was the first woman to win the Samuel Johnson Prize; and her most recent, The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914, among others. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Senior Fellow of Massey College, University of Toronto, Honorary Fellow of Trinity College, University of Toronto and of St Hilda’s College, University of Oxford. She has honorary degrees from the University of King’s College, the Royal Military College, The University of Western Ontario, Ryerson University, Toronto and Huron University College of the University of Western Ontario.