Five star 'Frederick the Great'

Praise for new biography by Professor Tim Blanning

Fellow in History Professor Tim Blanning’s new book Frederick the Great has been included as one of The Sunday Times's 'History Books of the Year'.  

Frederick II of Prussia reigned between 1740 and 1786, transforming his Kingdom into a European power and, in the process, turning himself into a household name.  Professor Blanning’s new biography explores that creation of the ‘Great’ Frederick.  It has been has been garnering critical praise since its publication, guiding the reader with ‘great skill and dry-eyed objectivity’, says Sir Noel Malcom in his five-star appraisal in The Daily Telegraph

To say Frederick II was that most proverbial of complex characters seems barely to scratch the surface.  Blanning explores the impact of a brutal upbringing, and weighs the Prussian monarch’s battles against sexuality and religion, as well as his opponents in the theatres of civic and military conflict.

Writing in The Spectator, Philip Mansel concludes that this new biography looks set to become the ‘standard English-language account for many years.  It instructs; it entertains; and it surprises… [a] wonderful book’.  

Other reviewers concluded: ‘In Tim Blanning, Frederick has found the ideal biographer… Blanning evokes Old Fritz in all his cold-blooded brilliance, ranging from the king’s operatic tastes to his gastronomic and erotic predilections’ (Daniel Johnson, The Sunday Times); ‘A rich, dense but accessible work of high scholarship’ (Michael Prodger, The Times); ‘Highly readable and deeply researched’ (Andrew Roberts, Daily Mail); ‘Superlative… a supremely nuanced account, abounding in novel assessments and insights’ (John Adamson, The Literary Review); ‘In the Cambridge historian Tim Blanning, Frederick finds a superbly wise and accomplished biographer’ (Dominic Sandbrook, The Sunday Times ‘History Books of the Year’).

Frederick the Great. King of Prussia by Professor Tim Blanning is published by Allen Lane.  It is being translated into German (for the leading German publishing house C.H. Beck of Munich) and Chinese.

This is an archived news story first posted in November, 2015