1. Boyhood and youth, 1578-98; 2. Early years in Inner Austria, 1598-1608; 3. Toward the succession, 1608-18; 4. The Bohemian Rebellion, 1618-21; 5. Consolidation and expansion, 1621-8; 6. Overreach, 1627-30; 7. Setback, 1631-2; 8. Recovery, 1632-4; 9. Settlement and death, 1635-7; Conclusion.
Robert Bireley is Professor of History Emeritus at Loyola University, Chicago. He has served as president of the American Catholic Historical Association and on the editorial boards of the Catholic Historical Review and the Renaissance Quarterly. Bireley has been a prolific author in the field of European religious history, with a special interest in the Reformation, Roman Catholicism, and Jesuit history. His books include Politics and Religion in the Age of the Counterreformation: Emperor Ferdinand II, William Lamormaini, S. J., and the Formation of Imperial Policy (1981); The Refashioning of Catholicism, 1450-1700: A Reassessment of the Counterreformation (1999); and The Jesuits and the Thirty Years War: Kings, Courts, and Confessors (Cambridge, 2003). He is the recipient of numerous prestigious fellowships, including fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the National Humanities Center in Research Triangle Park in North Carolina, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
'Robert Bireley is a leading authority on Counter-Reformation Catholicism and the author of many previous books, including a study of William Lamormaini, Ferdinand II's Jesuit confessor. Bireley's grasp of the religious politics and international diplomacy of this period in Central European history is unrivaled. His judgments on Ferdinand's actions are sensitive and generally sympathetic, but not uncritical ... Bireley's carefully documented analysis has many strengths. One of them lies in his appreciation of the differences among European Catholics in this period.' Paul Monod, America: The National Catholic Review '... a solid contribution that will orient future research. Nurtured by many years of research in a whole range of archives, Bireley's study excels when analyzing the process of imperial decision-making.' Luc Duerloo, The American Historical Review 'In this well-written biography, Robert Bireley ably retells Ferdinand's story: his efforts shoring up the family, prosecuting a war, and reviving Catholicism's flagging fortunes. Bireley's Ferdinand II, Counter-Reformation Emperor, 1578-1637 is the culmination of a long and prolific career dedicated primarily to the study of early-modern religion and politics.' Howard Louthan, The Catholic Historical Review