Frederick the Great

Author: Tim Blanning
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 0812988736
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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The definitive biography of the legendary autocrat whose enlightened rule transformed the map of Europe and changed the course of history Few figures loom as large in European history as Frederick the Great. When he inherited the Prussian crown in 1740, he ruled over a kingdom of scattered territories, a minor Germanic backwater. By the end of his reign, the much larger and consolidated Prussia ranked among the continent’s great powers. In this magisterial biography, award-winning historian Tim Blanning gives us an intimate, in-depth portrait of a king who dominated the political, military, and cultural life of Europe half a century before Napoleon. A brilliant, ambitious, sometimes ruthless monarch, Frederick was a man of immense contradictions. This consummate conqueror was also an ardent patron of the arts who attracted painters, architects, musicians, playwrights, and intellectuals to his court. Like his fellow autocrat Catherine the Great of Russia, Frederick was captivated by the ideals of the Enlightenment—for many years he kept up lively correspondence with Voltaire and other leading thinkers of the age. Yet, like Catherine, Frederick drew the line when it came to implementing Enlightenment principles that might curtail his royal authority. Frederick’s terrifying father instilled in him a stern military discipline that would make the future king one of the most fearsome battlefield commanders of his day, while deriding as effeminate his son’s passion for modern ideas and fine art. Frederick, driven to surpass his father’s legacy, challenged the dominant German-speaking powers, including Saxony, Bavaria, and the Habsburg Monarchy. It was an audacious foreign policy gambit, one at which Frederick, against the expectations of his rivals, succeeded. In examining Frederick’s private life, Blanning also carefully considers the long-debated question of Frederick’s sexuality, finding evidence that Frederick lavished gifts on his male friends and maintained homosexual relationships throughout his life, while limiting contact with his estranged, unloved queen to visits that were few and far between. The story of one man’s life and the complete political and cultural transformation of a nation, Tim Blanning’s sweeping biography takes readers inside the mind of the monarch, giving us a fresh understanding of Frederick the Great’s remarkable reign. Praise for Frederick the Great “Writing Frederick’s biography . . . requires a diverse set of skills: expertise in eighteenth-century diplomatic and military history, including the intricacies of the Holy Roman Empire; a familiarity with the music, architecture and intellectual traditions of Northern Europe; and, not least, a profound sense of human psychology, the better to grasp the makeup of this complex and tormented man. Fortunately, Tim Blanning . . . has all of these skills in abundance.”—The Wall Street Journal “At once scholarly and highly readable . . . [Blanning] has given us a superb portrait of an enlightened despot, equally at home on the battlefield and in the opera house, both utterly ruthless and culturally refined.”—Commentary “Blanning, in clear thinking and prose, investigates all aspects of Frederick’s personality and reign. . . . The last word on this significant king, for years to come.”—Booklist (starred review) “Masterly . . . Blanning brilliantly brings to life one of the most complex characters of modern European history.”—The Telegraph (five stars) “A supremely nuanced account . . . This biography finds [Blanning] at the height of his powers.”—Literary Review From the Hardcover edition.

Frederick the Great

Author: David Fraser
Publisher:
ISBN:
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Chronicles the life of the legendary ruler, artistic patron, man of letters, lawgiver, and military commander, examining his use of strategy and psychology within the context of eighteenth-century European diplomacy.

Instructions for His Generals

Author: Frederick the Great
Publisher: Courier Corporation
ISBN: 0486163164
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The king of Prussia from 1740 to 1786, Frederick the Great ranks among eighteenth-century Europe's most enlightened rulers. In addition to abolishing serfdom in his domains and promoting religious tolerance, he was an ardent patron of the arts and an accomplished musician. "Diplomacy without arms," he observed, "is like music without instruments." Frederick's expertise at military matters is reflected in his successful defense of his territory during the Seven Years' War, in which he fought all the great powers of Europe. His brilliant theories on strategy, tactics, and discipline are all explained in this vital text. "War is not an affair of chance," Frederick asserted, adding that "a great deal of knowledge, study, and meditation is necessary to conduct it well." In this book, he presents the fundamentals of warfare, discussing such timeless considerations as leadership qualities, the value of surprise, and ways to conquer an enemy who possesses superior forces. The soundness of his advice was endorsed by Napoleon himself, who once advised, "Read and re-read the campaigns of Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar . . . and Frederick. This is the only way to become a great captain and to master the secrets of the art of war."

Frederick the Great

Author: Giles MacDonogh
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 1466849576
Format: PDF, Docs
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Piet and soldier, misanthrope and philospher, Frederick the Great was a contradictory, almost unfathomable man. His conquests made him one of the most formindable and feared leaders of his era. But as a patron of artists and intellectuals, Frederick re-created Berlin as one of the continent's great cities, matching his state's reputation for military ferocity with one for cultural achievement. Though history remembers Frederick as a "Potsdam Fuhrer," his father more rightly deserved the title. When, as a youth, Frederick attempted to flee the elder man's brutality, the punishment was to watch the execution of his friend and co-conspirator, Katte. Though a subsequent compromise allowed Frederick to take the throne in 1740, he would remain true unto himself. His tastes for music, poetry, and architecture would match the significance of his military triumphs in the Seven Years' War. Drawing on the most recent scholarship, Giles MacDonogh's fresh, authoritative biograhy gives us the most fully rounded portrait yet of an often misunderstood king.

Frederick the Great

Author: Theodor Schieder
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317901525
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Since its publication in 1983, Theodor Schieder's study has been recognised as the most distinguished modern study of Prussia's most famous King and a leading figure of the eighteenth century. This abbreviated translation provides the first comprehensive scholarly treatment in English published since 1975.

Iron Kingdom

Author: Christopher Clark
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 014190402X
Format: PDF, ePub
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'Of the "Great Powers" that dominated Europe from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries, Prussia is the only one to have vanished ... Iron Kingdom is not just good: it is everything a history book ought to be ... The nemesis of Prussia has cast such a long shadow that German historians have tiptoed around the subject. Thus it was left to an Englishman to write what is surely the best history of Prussia in any language' Sunday Telegraph

Evening in the Palace of Reason

Author: James R. Gaines
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0007156588
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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The story of the history-making meeting between scorned master composer Johann Sebastian Bach and Prussia's Frederick the Great discusses Frederick's abuse-marked upbringing, his challenge to Bach to improvise an intricate fugue, and their clashes about faith as they reflected the Reformation and Enlightenment periods. 30,000 first printing.

Frederick the Great

Author: Nancy Mitford
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590176421
Format: PDF, ePub
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The Prussian king Frederick II is today best remembered for successfully defending his tiny country against the three great European powers of France, Austria, and Russia during the Seven Years’ War. But in his youth, tormented by a spectacularly cruel and dyspeptic father, the future military genius was drawn to the flute and French poetry, and throughout his long life counted nothing more important than the company of good friends and great wits. This was especially evident in his longstanding, loving, and vexing relationship with Voltaire. An absolute ruler who was allergic to pomp, a non-hunter who wore no spurs, a reformer of great zeal who maintained complete freedom of the press and religion and cleaned up his country’s courts, a fiscal conservative and patron of the arts, the builder of the rococo palace Sans Souci and improver of the farmers’ lot, maddening to his rivals but beloved by nearly everyone he met, Frederick was—notwithstanding a penchant for merciless teasing—arguably the most humane of enlightened despots. In Frederick the Great, a richly entertaining biography of one of the eighteenth century’s most fascinating figures, the trademark wit of the author of Love in a Cold Climate finds its ideal subject.