Gavrilo Princip – Biography
The Assassination of Franz Ferdinand
and the start of the First World War
On 28 June 1914 the Austrian heir apparent Franz Ferdinand and his wife were shot dead in Sarajevo. Their killer was the Bosnian Serb student, Gavrilo Princip. Why did he open fire?
The world will presumably never be told all that was behind the muder of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Probably there is not, and never was, any one person who knew all there was to know.
British Foreign Secretary in 1914
What was Gavrilo Princip’s connection to the Black Hand, a Serbian secret society, and what part was played in the plot by the mysterious Colonel Apis?
Who were his fellow conspirators, and what happened to them?
Why did the murder of an unpopular archduke in a recently acquired province of the Austro-Hungarian Empire lead to the First World War, the collapse of four empires, and the re-drawing of the map of Europe?
Gavrilo Princip was neither insane nor a lone assassin, but a figure for our times. This is his first English-language biography.
Written by Peter Villiers whose previous publications include booked on leadership, ethics and human rights.
Peter also published a marine biography of Joseph Conrad and now he brings you Gavrilo Princip – The Assassin who started the First World War.
A quote from the author, Peter Villiers
I am an author and publisher living in Weare Giffard, I published a biography of Gavrilo Princip last year, and commissioned Fiona Balfour to illustrate it.
Fiona took to the task very readily, and an interesting process of collaboration took place, during which I explained the background to the book and what I had in mind for the illustrations, and she, as it were, ‘read’ herself into the process and decided how to create the images that would best illustrate the book.
The result was a book which, I believe, is enhanced by its illustrations in a way that maps and photographs could not have achieved (although some were also included). In the age of the internet, there is still a place for the artist as book-illustrator; and I hope that both of us learned from the experience.
(Joseph Conrad: Master Mariner. Peter Villiers, Seafarer Press, 2006. With original illustrations by Mark Myers, FSMA.)