These ten excellent 8-3/4 x 11-3/4 inch hardcover books in half leather are in amazing condition, considering that this set is a little over 100 years old! They were published in 1913 and 1914 by Reimar Hobbing Verlag in Berlin, which was one of the bigger publishers later in the Third Reich. The books deal about Frederick the Great, the legendary King of Prussia who lived from 1712 to 1786. He was the third Hohenzollern king and reigned over Prussia from 1740 until his death in 1786. Frederick is best known for his military victories, his reorganization of Prussian armies, his patronage of the Arts and the Enlightenment in Prussia, and his final success against great odds in the ‘Seven Years War’. He became known as Frederick the Great (Friedrich der Große) and was nicknamed Der Alte Fritz (‘Old Fritz’) by the Prussian people. This book set is about his life, his achievements, the general political situation in Prussia at the time as well as in Europe. Each volume contains many great illustrations and each volume is in near mint condition, the bindings are tight and there is no damage to any of the pages. A valuable addition for every collection of historical books and a one of a kind reference for anyone interested in Frederick the Great.
Frederick was a proponent of enlightened absolutism. He modernized the Prussian bureaucracy and civil service and pursued religious policies throughout his realm that ranged from tolerance to oppression. He reformed the judicial system and made it possible for men not of noble stock to become judges and senior bureaucrats. Some critics however point out his oppressive measures against conquered Polish subjects. Frederick supported arts and philosophers he favored, but at the same enacted several laws censoring the press. Frederick is buried at his favorite residence, Sans Souci in Potsdam. Because he died childless, Frederick was succeeded by his nephew, Frederick William II, son of his brother, Augustus William.
Nearly all 19th century German historians made Frederick into a romantic model of a glorified warrior, praising his leadership, administrative efficiency, devotion to duty and success in building up Prussia to a leading role in Europe. Historian Leopold von Ranke was unstinting in his praise of Frederick’s “Heroic life, inspired by great ideas, filled with feats of arms…immortalized by the raising of the Prussian state to the rank of a power.” Johann Gustav Droysen was even more extolling. Frederick remained an admired historical figure through the German Empire’s crushing defeat in First World War, and the Nazis glorified him as a great German leader pre-figuring Hitler, but his reputation became far less favorable in 1945 in both East and West Germany after the fall of the Nazi regime.
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