Carlyle, Friedrich, and the ‘Bastard Heroic’

B. W. Young

in The Victorian Eighteenth Century

Published in print October 2007 | ISBN: 9780199256228
Published online January 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780191719660 | DOI:
 Carlyle,  Friedrich, and the ‘Bastard Heroic’

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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This chapter explores Thomas Carlyle's portrayal of Frederick the Great. It is argued that Carlyle's heroic portrait of Frederick the Great allowed him to construct and indulge a nostalgic politics from afar. Whereas The French Revolution acquired a mass of readers and devotees, the work on Frederick was never to achieve anything like the same popularity; readers had grown tired of Carlyle's explorations of the 18th century.

Keywords: Thomas Carlyle; Frederick the Great; The French Revolution; 18th century

Chapter.  13948 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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