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Frederick the Great

King of Prussia

Frederick the Great by Tim Blanning
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SPECTATOR, NEW STATESMAN, SUNDAY TIMES AND TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2015

Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, dominated the 18th century in the same way that Napoleon dominated the start of the 19th - a force of nature, a caustic, ruthless, brilliant military commander, a monarch of exceptional energy and talent, and a knowledgeable patron of artists, architects and writers, most famously Voltaire. From early in his reign he was already a legendary figure - fascinating even to those who hated him.

Tim Blanning's brilliant new biography recreates a remarkable era, a world which would be swept away shortly after Frederick's death by the French Revolution. Equally at home on the battlefield or in the music room at Frederick's extraordinary miniature palace of Sanssouci, Blanning draws on a lifetime's obsession with the 18th century to create a work that is in many ways the summation of all that he has learned in his own rich and various career. Frederick's spectre has hung over Germany ever since: an inspiration, a threat, an impossible ideal - Blanning at last allows us to understand him in his own time.

Penguin Books Ltd; September 2015
600 pages; ISBN 9780241216996
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Title: Frederick the Great
Author: Tim Blanning
 
ISBNs
9780141039190
9780241216996

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