Press Release

Press Release | Berlin/Luxembourg, 09/13/2023

Bestselling Author and Historian Christopher Clark on The Blue Sofa in Luxembourg

  • The bestselling author speaks at the Institut Pierre Werner about his new book “Revolutionary Spring. Fighting for a New World 1848/49”
  • Event on the occasion of the 175th anniversary of the Luxembourg Chamber of Deputies, the 20th anniversary of the Institut Pierre Werner, and the exhibition “1848 Revolutioun zu Lëtzebuerg”

Berlin/Luxembourg, September 13, 2023 – Bertelsmann’s Blue Sofa is bringing one of the foremost historians of our time to Luxembourg: On September 29, bestselling author and Professor of Modern European History Christopher Clark will come to the Institut Pierre Werner to talk about his latest book as part of the by-now internationally renowned literary format. DVA, a division of Penguin Random House Verlagsgruppe, is publishing “Frühling der Revolution. Europa 1848/49 und der Kampf für eine neue Welt,” the German edition of “Revolutionary Spring. Fighting for a New World 1848/49” on September 27.

The event ties in to the 175th anniversary of the revolutionary year 1848, in the wake of which the Luxembourg Chamber of Deputies was founded. The anniversary is being honored throughout Europe, with events including the Luxembourg National Archives’ current exhibition “1848 Revolutioun zu Lëtzebuerg,” being dedicated to this historical context. The venue of Professor Clark’s talk, the Franco-German-Luxembourg Institut Pierre Werner (IPW), is also celebrating an anniversary: It was founded 20 years ago. Luxembourg author and literary critic Samuel Hamen will moderate the event on the Blue Sofa at the IPW. The event will be livestreamed by the Parliamentary Television of Luxembourg on  .

This is the second time that Bertelsmann is bringing its Blue Sofa literary format, which has been well-known for many years in the German-speaking countries, to the Grand Duchy. The first Blue Sofa Luxembourg took place in June 2022 with four award-winning authors at the Bibliothèque nationale du Luxembourg. Luxembourg is also home to RTL Group, the international media, services, and education group’s strongest division in terms of revenues.

Bertelsmann Chairman & CEO Thomas Rabe says: “Christopher Clark is one of the most distinguished historians of our time and at the same time one of our the most successful nonfiction authors at Penguin Random House Verlagsgruppe. His new book and his appearance on the Blue Sofa are dedicated to the year 1848, which had a formative significance for Luxembourg and the whole of Europe. We look forward to an insightful cultural evening with him at the Institut Pierre Werner.”

The publisher, writing about „Revolutionary Spring”, Christopher Clark’s new epochal work:

There can be few more exciting or frightening moments in European history than the spring of 1848. Almost as if by magic, in city after city, from Palermo to Paris to Venice, huge crowds gathered, sometimes peaceful and sometimes violent, and the political order that had held sway since the defeat of Napoleon simply collapsed.

Christopher Clark’s spectacular new book recreates with verve, wit and insight this extraordinary period. Everywhere new political ideas, beliefs, and expectations surged forward. The role of women in society, the end of slavery, the right to work, national independence and the final emancipation of the Jews all became issues central to the people’s lives– and they were willing to fight hard for them.

The ideas of 1848 spread around the world and – for better and sometimes much worse – a new and very different Europe emerged from the wreckage.

About the author

Christopher Clark, born in 1960, is Professor in Modern European History at St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge. His research focuses on the history of Prussia. He is the author of a biography of Wilhelm II, the last German emperor. For his book “Prussia,” he received the Wolfson History Prize in 2007 and in 2010 became the first non-German-speaking historian to receive the Preis des Historischen Kollegs, Germany’s foremost prize for historians. His groundbreaking work on the First World War, “The Sleepwalkers” (2013), topped the German nonfiction bestseller list for weeks and was an international success. In 2018, he published the acclaimed bestseller “Time and Power,” followed in 2020 by the critically acclaimed “Prisoners of Time.” Christopher Clark became known to a wider TV audience as the host of the multi-part ZDF documentary series “Deutschland-Saga,” “Europa-Saga,” and “Welten-Saga.” In 2022, he was awarded the Honorary Prize of the Bavarian Minister President.

The Event at a Glance:

The Blue Sofa with Christopher Clark | Lecture and Talk
Friday, September 29, 2023 | 6:00 pm
Institut Pierre Werner
28 rue Münster, 2160 Luxembourg

Moderator: Samuel Hamen
Language: German with simultaneous translation into French

Following the lecture and discussion, the audience is warmly invited to ask questions and exchange ideas with the author.

Interested parties can register for the event by emailing .

We would also be pleased to welcome you to the event as media representatives. Please apply for accreditation by email: .

About Bertelsmann
Bertelsmann is a media, services and education company that operates in about 50 countries around the world. It includes the entertainment group RTL Group, the trade book publisher Penguin Random House, the music company BMG, the service provider Arvato, the Bertelsmann Printing Group, the Bertelsmann Education Group, and Bertelsmann Investments, an international network of funds. The company has 165,000 employees around the world and generated revenues of €20.2 billion in the 2022 financial year. Bertelsmann stands for creativity and entrepreneurship. This combination promotes first-class media content and innovative service solutions that inspire customers around the world. Bertelsmann aspires to achieve climate neutrality by 2030.

About Das Blaue Sofa (The Blue Sofa)
Das Blaue Sofa is one of the longest-running and most successful literary formats in the German-speaking world. Since its debut in 2000, more than 3,100 authors have taken a seat on the famous piece of furniture to present their new books at and beyond the big book fairs. In the past, the format has been jointly organized by Bertelsmann, ZDF, Deutschlandfunk Kultur, and 3sat, since 2023, Bertelsmann has continued to steer Das Blaue Sofa with a new concept under its sole responsibility. The Blue Sofa’s most prominent guests to date have included Nobel laureates Svetlana Alexievich, Mikhail Gorbachev, Günter Grass, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Herta Müller, Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard, Orhan Pamuk, Joseph Stiglitz, Olga Tokarczuk, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Mo Yan.