Stoye, John 1917-
Stoye, John 1917-
Professor and historian. Formerly a fellow and tutor at Magdalen College, Oxford University.
The Siege of Vienna, Holt, Rinehart & Winston (New York, NY), 1965, new edition, Birlinn (Edinburgh, Scotland), 2000, new edition published as The Siege of Vienna: The Last Great Trial between Cross and Crescent, Pegasus (New York, NY), 2006.
Europe Unfolding, 1648-1688, Collins (London, England), 1969, 2nd edition, Blackwell (Malden, MA), 2000.
Also author of Emperor Charles VI: The Early Years of the Reign.
John Stoye is a British scholar and historian who specializes in Renaissance Europe. His seminal work, The Siege of Vienna: The Last Great Trial between Cross and Crescent, was originally published in 1965 as The Siege of Vienna, garnered new critical attention in 2000 with an updated and revised edition, and another in 2006.
The Siege of Vienna chronicles the 1683 attack on the Austrian city by the Ottoman Turks. This event, and the subsequent defeat of the Turks by a combined European force, has been widely interpreted as a turning point in the development of Western civilization, marking the end of the Ottoman Empire's expansion into Europe. Besides the progress of the siege itself, Stoye investigates the complicated political situation of the day, in which the King of France, Louis XIV, was seen as a greater threat to Vienna's ruling Hapsburg dynasty than the approaching Turks. The French, who saw the Hapsburgs as an impediment to their growing power, lobbied the Ottomans to attack Vienna, and attempted to prevent other countries, such as Poland and Hungary, from reinforcing the besieged city. In the end, the siege was broken by King John III Sobieski of Poland, who raised an army of forty thousand men.
Stoye's work has provoked a wide variety of reactions from critics, many of whom saw parallels between the siege and modern-day conflicts. In the Occidental Quarterly, Wayne Lutton, reviewing the 2000 edition of the book, directly compared the siege to the modern War on Terror, indicating that its narrative of Western resistance to Turkish aggression "serves as a reminder of how earlier generations of Europeans reacted when outsiders attempted to force ‘diversity’ and ‘multiculturalism’ on their societies." Other reviewers were more circumspect in their analysis. Eric Ormsby, reviewing the 2006 edition of the book in the Wall Street Journal, noted that "the Ottoman campaign, for all the religious rhetoric on both sides, was no ‘jihad,’" but was rather a result of internal court pressures, imperial ambitions, and international politics. Whatever their interpretation, critics were unanimous in their assessment of Stoye's work: Lutton praised him as "a skilled writer and a master of this subject"; Ormsby commented that Stoye "writes with great economy, never allowing his narrative to flag." A contributor to the Internet Bookwatch called the 2006 edition "superbly presented and accurately detailed."
In Marsigli's Europe, 1680-1730: The Life and Times of Luigi Ferdinando Marsigli, Soldier and Virtuoso, Stoye returns to the same time period discussed in The Siege of Vienna, investigating the conflict through the eyes of Count Luigi Ferdinando Marsigli. After joining the Hapsburg armies to defeat the Turks, Marsigli rose through the ranks as a military engineer and occasional diplomat. His travels throughout Europe in service to the Hapsburgs allow Stoye to illustrate the political and intellectual context of the times. "Anyone interested in any aspect of seventeenth-and eighteenth-century history, or indeed history in general, will find much to admire and enjoy," wrote John Childs in History Today. M.S. Anderson, writing in the English Historical Review, commended Stoye for including "a wide range of often esoteric printed materials [that] produce an original and very welcome study."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
English Historical Review, June, 1996, M.S. Anderson, review of Marsigli's Europe, 1680-1730: The Life and Times of Luigi Ferdinando Marsigli, Soldier and Virtuoso, p. 728.
History Today, August, 1995, John Childs, review of Marsigli's Europe, 1680-1730, p. 59.
Internet Bookwatch, January, 2007, review of The Siege of Vienna: The Last Great Trial between Cross and Crescent.
Kirkus Reviews, September 16, 2006, review of The Siege of Vienna, p. 943.
Wall Street Journal, December 6, 2006, Eric Ormsby, "When Empires Collide," review of The Siege of Vienna.
Occidental Quarterly, Volume 2, number 2, Wayne Lutton, review of The Siege of Vienna.
Troynovant,http://www.troynovant.com/ (April 27, 2006), Robert Wilfred Franson Collins, review of The Siege of Vienna.