Monday, April 20, 2009

Frederick The Great

I find it pretty time consuming to research books that I'm not familiar with. These pictured are a History of Friedrich II of Prussia also called Frederick the Great. They are 21 books published in 13 volumes from 1858 - 1865. Just looking at the picture it would be hard to tell that they are 144 to 151 years old huh? The top edges are marbled. The books are dark blue but the spines have been exposed to light over the years and it has turned them a teal blue/green. They have gold gilt design on the spine so they are very pretty little books.

When researching I have to look up information on the author, the publisher and the character or subject matter itself.

Turns out the victorian author of these books, Thomas Carlyle was quite loved/unloved/controversial throughout his years. These books were published by Baron Tauchnitz, an extremely popular publisher in the day. So much so that the New York times put an endearing ad in their paper on September 1st, 1895 (just after he died) commemorating all the good he had accomplished in his lifetime.

Frederick The Great was quite a character too. Many have written books about his rise to the throne of Prussia but Thomas Carlyle's exhaustive history of him is considered by some to be one of the greatest works of all times. Frederick didn't want the throne to be passed on to him. He and a couple of friends made plans to run away but his father caught them and made Frederick watch as one of his dear friends was killed for the crime. Frederick loved the arts, music, philosophy and was friends with Voltaire. He would have rather spent his time pursuing his interests but his father and fate wouldn't allow it.

As time passed and his father died, Frederick did take the throne and turned out to be one of the greatest military leaders, administrators, and cultural patrons of all time. I might get a chance to read these volumes and then again I might not. I listed them for sale on ebay this morning. I'm already feeling a little remorse that they might get bought and I might never get to read them. Time will tell!!! Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day!


  1. For a brief while, I had a little free time on my hands and discovered the love of reading again. I devoured several books by favorite authors. Then I was left with a bag of books that were written by some authors unknown to me. These books were given to me by a friend and not something that I would normally purchase whether they were new or used. I, like everyone, sometimes judge a book by its cover. I learned a valuable lesson. I found these books to be well-written and enjoyed reading them. So from now on I'll look a little closer before passing on reading a new book.

  2. Thank you for your encouraging words at my recipe blog. I'm new to blogging and find it more rewarding that expected.

    I see you are interested in vintage books. I am also an Alaska historian. If you ever run across any pre-1925 Alaska history books (specifically books on south central Alaska, namely towns/villages of Knik, Tyonek, Sunrise, Susitna Station, Hope, Anchorage) I would love for you to send me a note. Books on these areas are few and far between, so I don't expect you to spend any energy looking for them. I just thought I would ask (just in case) one showed up in your area.