A scholarly, meticulously documented account of the education of the last of the Holy Roman Emperors, head of the Austrian monarchy, Francis the Good. From his highly supervised boyhood in Tuscany to 1792 when he succeeded his uncle Joseph II and his father Leopold II to the Austrian throne, the biographer traces the development of a mediocre, stubborn, sometimes egocentric -- and sometimes warm and liberal youth, into a mighty Hapsburg monarch. His first fifteen years were spent under the tutelage of the kindly Leopold and the austere Colloredo; at sixteen he was transferred to Vienna as imperial apprentice to disappointed Joseph. Francis' first marriage was ill-fated, his second was a happy union with Marie Therese, and the last part of the book portrays him as pater familias, facing the inheritance of a confused, wornout, reactionary monarchy. The closing thought is that Francis cannot be condemned for his inadequacies, but that the fault lay with the perversities of his times. A learned contribution to history in a limited field.