Frederick the Great: A Military Life by Christopher Duffy

Frederick the Great: A Military Life by Christopher Duffy soon to be presented for sale on the wonderful BookLovers of Bath web site!

Published: London, Melbourne & Henley: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1985, Hardback in dust wrapper.

Illustrated by way of: Black & White Plates; Maps; Maps to the endpapers and blanks;

From the cover: The Great Captains of history can be numbered on the fingers of one hand, but in their number Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, stands high. For tactical and strategic ingenuity, for daring and ruthless determination, and the capacity to inspire his troops, Old Fritz was without equal. In this detailed life of Frederick the Great, Christopher Duffy, who has written widely on the army of Frederick and on the armies of his adversaries, Austria and Russia, has produced a definitive account of his military genius.

Duffy describes Fredericks childhood and formative experiences under a martinet father, and the development of his unlikely talent for the arts of war. We follow Frederick through the two Silesian Wars (1740-5) when he set Prussia on the path of conquest, and painfully acquired the higher military wisdoms. In the epic Seven Years War (1756-63) Frederick survived odds of about twenty to one in a struggle against the principal military powers of Europe, and his battles and campaigns in this period form the centrepiece of the book. Duffy is not blind to Fredericks faults, nor to his failures in war, and he makes clear that the very success of Frederick arrested the military development of Prussia so that it fell an easy prey to the armies of Napoleon Bonaparte. But he also shows in graphic detail the supreme skill of Fredericks generalship. He presents Frederick as a rounded character, aesthete and correspondent of Voltaire, a prince of the Enlightenment, as well as a cynical exponent of power politics and a war leader.

This is an outstanding biography, which brings out the colour and excitement of battle, and the personal development of Prussias greatest king.

Very Good in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Dust wrapper slightly sunned at the spine otherwise a very well presented copy.

Blue boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. [X] 407 pages. Index. Bibliography. 9½” x 6¼”.

Of course, if you don’t like this one, may I beguile you with my offerings from hither or maybe further, hand picked, books in my Biography catalogue?

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