Comrade Baron is a highly personalized defense of aristocracy. These days, that’s the sort of thing that simply isn’t done and this singular book therefore runs the risk of being overlooked, perhaps even finding a place on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum that keeps progressives occupied. That would be a shame. Comrade Baron is thought-provoking and a pleasure to read.

A Dutch journalist, Jaap Scholten went to work in Budapest shortly after the countries of the Soviet bloc had recovered their freedom. There he was to meet and marry Ilona, a Countess who happened to have been born and brought up in exile but whose forebears came from Transylvania. On grounds of privacy, I assume, he withholds her family name and for no obvious reason also gives pseudonyms to several elderly Tran ...