Frederick the Great: King of Prussia

Frederick the Great King of Prussia Frederick the Great King of Prussia dominated the th century in the same way that Napoleon dominated the start of the th a force of nature a caustic ruthless brilliant military commander a m

  • Title: Frederick the Great: King of Prussia
  • Author: Timothy C.W. Blanning
  • ISBN: 9781846141829
  • Page: 193
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 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 legeFrederick 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 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.

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      Published :2019-09-23T03:04:21+00:00

    About "Timothy C.W. Blanning"

    1. Timothy C.W. Blanning

      Timothy Charles William Blanning Blanning, FBA is a retired Professor of Modern European History at the University of Cambridge His work focuses on the history of Europe from the 17th century to the beginning of the First World War.

    943 thoughts on “Frederick the Great: King of Prussia”

    1. My people and I have come to an agreement which satisfied us both. They are to say what they please, and I am to do what I please.Frederick II, King of Prussia, was one of the most intriguing and decisive figures to occupy a European throne. He was renowned for his military ambitious which formed Prussia and indirectly contributed to modern Germany; he was also a patron of the arts and a flutist. He was an absolutist monarch and debated satire and anti-clericalism with Voltaire. This new biograp [...]


    2. The format is loosely chronological. It starts conventionally, with Frederick’s childhood, young adult years, his marriage and ascendance to the throne. Next are Frederick’s military campaigns, which is essentially his foreign policy. This is followed by chapters with topical descriptions of his domestic reign and his personal life and family relations.I’d be interested in an FBI or CIA profiler’s take on this man. Bullied, punished and horribly humiliated by his hyper-militaristic, reli [...]


    3. Frederick the Great: King of Prussia, by Timothy C.W. Blanning, is a biography of one of the most celebrated enlightenment despots of the 18th century. Frederick is a legendary figure for many reasons. He reinvigorated the Prussian state, taking it to new heights of power and guaranteeing it as a major power in European politics. He styled himself "King of Prussia" and broke many of the symbolic ties Prussia had with the Holy Roman Empire (and thus, his enemies, Austria) while also binding many [...]


    4. This is a fine biography of an important historical figure. Frederick the Great. . . . This work does a solid job of locating him in a particular context--cultural and familial. His father was a martinet and treated Frederick pretty harshly as he was growing up. Frederick was not the idealized warrior and was somewhat skeptical of religion. His father was not pleased with either.When his father dies, Frederick ascended the throne. His world view was firmly rooted in the Enlightenment. Voltaire w [...]


    5. Royal lineages seldom produce a true leader- so when one is exceptional, as Prussia's Frederick II was- he earns the appellation "the Great." And he was gay. So concludes this historian in an excellent account of Frederick's life and times. An amazing story of a boy who was mentally and physically abused by his father, and also almost executed by him when, as a young man, he tried to flee to England (his companion in flight was executed, with Frederick forced to watch). After his father's death [...]


    6. Comprehensive, thorough and unafraid. Provides a good overview of the life of frederick while neither succumbing to the adulatory nor the derogatory approach.


    7. Frederick the Great is one of those important historical figures who receives about a paragraph or two in most high school European History textbooks. I vaguely recall learning that he was an important Enlightenment king - arguably THE model of enlightened despotism - who befriended Voltaire and helped push Prussia into the first tier of European powers.Tim Blanning's new biography of Frederick Blanning doesn't actively try to deconstruct the notion of Frederick as an enlightened despot, but he [...]


    8. Tim Blanning aims here at an exhaustive biography, but with mixed results. First, the author is not a particularly strong narrator. There is a large section on the cultural passions of Frederick, but I don't care about how many buildings Frederick plagiarized architectural designs from, nor how many Watteaus he owned. Frederick is primarily known to history for his military prowess, and I was hoping for more of a focus on his battles. Unfortunately, although Blanning does cover these, he is more [...]


    9. This is a good, solid, well-researched and authoritative biography – and it’s also a bit dull unless you are very interested indeed in Frederick the Great. And in particular in his military exploits. There are a lot of battles and campaigns here, all covered in great detail. So my lukewarm response is more to the subject matter than the worth of the book, which I appreciate is obviously a very impressive piece of historical scholarship. And I did enjoy quite a lot of it - the domestic detail [...]


    10. I have rarely consumed a 500+ page nonfiction book as quickly as this one. Blanning obviously has superb writing that is clear, concise, and flowing. Often overlooked in American history books, Frederick is relegated to a shadowy status of military conqueror with little more. Prussia was not as fascinating as Western Europe, and not as significant as the western powers. Blanning offers a rather scathing review of Frederick. Yes, he was a conqueror; but more than that, he wasude.Blanning's treatm [...]


    11. In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention two things. The first is that I purchased this biography in the gift shop immediately outside the Neues Palais in Potsdam after a full day of being visually gobsmacked by Frederick II's architectural legacy. The second is that I purchased this specific biography because, while touring Charlottenburg the day before, several of the details of Frederick's life mentioned on the audio guide had me surreptitiously googling "Was Frederick II gay?", a [...]


    12. I am a general reader who came to this with almost no knowledge about Frederick or Prussian history and is as such a reader that I say that this is what I read biography for. In the first place, despite what some of the raters who admitted they never finished the book, I loved Blanning's writing. I found it lively and still informative. Frederick's character came alive through the author's prose. Secondly, Frederick is was a fascinating subject, full of contradictions. He was one the one hand, o [...]


    13. What Blanning lacks in writing style in comparison to great history writers like Massie and Montefiore, he makes up with meticulous research and insightful commentary. Frederick does the rest; he's a very interesting figure. He waged war for glory early in his reign and was on defensive from the events his war to take Silesia triggered for the rest of his life. He was ultra confident in himself and he was a bit of a prodigy, as he was very well educated and a leading figure in the Enlightenment. [...]


    14. Blanning manages to, paradoxically, both dispel and magnify the mythos surrounding Frederick the Great. The juxtaposition of seemingly contradictory events, such as Frederick's numerous military failures during the Seven Years' War and his eventual victory against a French-Austrian-Russian-Saxon-Swedish alliance, reveals his shortcomings yet exemplifies his talents. Additionally, the structure of the third and last part - organized by theme (e.g. usage of propaganda and civil justice), in contra [...]


    15. I really had great hopes for this book. Frederick the Great is a fascinating figure, but unfortunately Tim Banning isn't a fascinating writer. Rather the contrary. This book was extrememly tedious to read, especially the parts on the Seven Years War and other wars fought. There is no background to these wars. I had no idea, really, what was going on. There is no life to this book. The book drags and never seems to pick up. Unfortunate, really, since there are so few books out their on Prussian a [...]


    16. It's a very decent read, engaging, quite thorough account of the life of Frederick the great. A bit underwhelming with the military part, perhaps, although it is there. I feel a bit compelled to read one of the pure military history accounts, to supply this one. That said, it is never boring, often interesting, and you do get a vivid picture of how this very enlightened, at times despotic, other times cruel, but always interesting character was. Sometimes years ahead of his time, enlightened, an [...]


    17. Predominantly a military history. Yaaaaaaawwwwn names, dates, more names upon names, Duke So-And-So at the Battle of Whatsit near the village you never heard of in a region not marked on, or beyond the scope of the included maps. But does NOT do much for delineating WHY those names & dates should matter; what's the social-political-historic significance? I found none of the answers I was looking for in this book about why the reign was so important to to European history. Boring.


    18. A very interesting biography, but I have to say the last third devolved into random facts about Frederick's reign and wasn't nearly as compelling. I gave up with about 70 pages left of 500 because it was too scattered and there was no narrative left to follow. Not badly written and obviously well researched, but the last third could stand to just be integrated into the narrative of the first half or so.


    19. Very readable biography. There were some negative personal remarks by the author which I thought were unnecessary. On the other hand, these also made the book readable, because summing up dry facts makes not for an enjoyable read (like Peter Wilson's work, which is nevertheless very impressive - but dry).All in all, an interesting and enjoyable read.




    20. I really enjoyed this book. I knew very little about Frederick the great and the book gave me enough information without going into too much detail. The pace was steady and the details adequate. The military campaigns are discussed with excellent maps when needed without too much detail about what was going on. Sometimes these sorts of books about lesser known monarchs can be extremely detailed and boring. This was not the case at all with this one. Recommend.


    21. I wanted to read this book because I had heard of Frederick the Great but did not know much about him. This book has certainly changed that. I did know that Prussia became a great state under him but this extensive biography does a good job of giving me an idea of the time he lived and reigned and why he was called 'the Great' and how he earned that title. This is quite a long book with many endnotes (many referring to sources in German of course but enough in English to keep me checking them ou [...]


    22. Tim Blanning has given a complete tour de force of Frederick and his Prussia. After reading it we get an idea of this highly complicated personality. What ultimately emerges is that Frederick deserved the sobriquet of 'Great' as he brought up his country from one of the germanic states of the Holy Roman Empire to the foremost country of the region. Frederick had a difficult upbringing as his father was extremely tyrannical towards him to the extent that there was a real possibility that Frederic [...]


    23. I was hoping that this book would be balanced more to the man and not the king. Unfortunately there were more details about his wartime leadership skills than there were about what makes him tick. From a military history viewpoint, this is your book.


    24. Make no mistake: Tim Blanning's new biography of Frederick II of Prussia is a fantastic book. It is thoroughly well written and researched, and paints a warts-and-all picture of the king. But I simply couldn't give it four stars because the subject himself was so distasteful. There is much to admire about Frederick: (1) his personal bravery as both (a) a relatively unabashed homosexual in militarist Prussia, and (b) an adherent of the Enlightenment whose rejection of revealed religion was well-k [...]


    25. I just have a lot of emotions right now.To start off this was a wonderful birthday present from my friend, Yelena. Maybe it's because of my fondness for Frederick, but this was definitely one of the most well researched, emotional, and engrossing biographies I've ever read. It also helps that it spends a lot of time on social history, but even the section about military battles and skirmishes was vastly interesting to me.Blanning treats Frederick II with fondness, but is not blind to his less su [...]


    26. I like Part III of the book. Part I was OK(it was about his childhood) and Part II about the wars was boring.Part of the problem is that it is not until Part III that we find what makes Frederick the Great interesting. Many biographers will tell you the beginning what makes their subject a worthy subject of a biography. Without this information Part I seemed about gossipy.Part II goes on and on about the wars under Frederick the Great. I might now have made to Part II if I was not reviewing this [...]


    27. I thought this was a fine book, but honestly I found it a little cumbersome. It was well organized it terms of dividing the topic up into three central parts, however within those parts it was a bit rambling at times. Some of the contextual information regarding Prussian society was handled clumsily as well. Still, the topic itself is imminently interesting and Blanning did an excellent job bringing to life such a complicated figure with so many facets to his personality. I'd recommend it to som [...]


    28. This is an excellent biography of Peter the Great that delves into all aspects of his life -- from the terror and abuse he suffered at the hands of his father, to his alleged homosexuality and and his brutal treatment of his wife, to his deeply inspired efforts as a patron of the arts. Blanning artfully integrates these elements with Peter's work as a military and political leader, providing a full picture of the man.I wasn't entirely enthusiastic about Blanning's sometimes snarky asides, but th [...]


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