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The Victorian Eighteenth CenturyAn Intellectual History$
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B.W. Young

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199256228

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199256228.001.0001

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Carlyle, Friedrich, and the ‘Bastard Heroic’

Carlyle, Friedrich, and the ‘Bastard Heroic’

(p.38) 2 Carlyle, Friedrich, and the ‘Bastard Heroic’
The Victorian Eighteenth Century

B. W. Young

Oxford University Press

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

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