"This is an impressionistic history of the Jesuits in towns located in parts of what are now Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Croatia, and Serbia, all ruled by the Habsburg dynasty in Vienna, from 1640 to 1773. The book has two themes: narratives of adversity, in which Jesuits overcome difficulties, and fragile splendor, meaning that despite the wonderful Baroque churches erected by or for Jesuits, they faced much opposition. Plagues, ethnic diversities, and anti-Habsburg sentiment offered additional obstacles. The author has done a good deal of reading in archives and printed literature, and the bibliography is large. There are many interesting anecdotes and tales. Recommended"