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|1634: The Bavarian Crisis|
|Publication date||October 1, 2007|
|Preceded by||1634: The Baltic War|
|Followed by||1635: The Cannon Law|
The novel begins by detailing the machinations the Habsburg heiress Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria to gather information, with the aid of her dowager aunt and her younger sister, behind the backs of her father Emperor Ferdinand II and his Jesuit watchdogs. Duke Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria becomes a widower in need of a suitable Catholic bride, while the Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand, whose armies have reconquered 80–85% of the Low Countries by the summer of 1634, is contemplating a dynastic move of his own which his brother King Philip IV of Spain will find a bit disconcerting. Veronica Dreeson and Mary Simpson meanwhile plan a trip to tend to personal matters to the Upper Palatinate border region conquered by Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden and administered for him from Amberg by ally Duke Ernst of Saxe-Weimar, one of the four Wettin dukes that were supplanted by the formation of the New United States in 1631 and 1632. Events in the other 1634 novels (1634: The Galileo Affair, 1634: The Ram Rebellion, 1634: The Baltic War) are integrated into the action and political events behind the scenes, and this book ties a host of little oddities into a coherent canvas capturing a snapshot of the state of Europe in early summer of 1634.
Concurrent with their pet projects, Dreeson and Simpson are accompanied by a trade delegation with the strategic goal of restoring the iron production of the Upper Palatinate to feed the war needs of the USE.