the critical backlash

an illustration from Karl XII och sammansvärjningen mot hans envälde och lif, 1900

In a Swedish article in Finanstidningen, 11 November 2000, reviewing Bengt Liljegren's recent biography of Charles XII, Svante Folin comments: "It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury. Signifying nothing." Some of the words and phrases Folin uses to describe the ill-fated hero, "in all his dreadfulness", are worth pondering. He was a: "psychopathic scourge of god, with elements of autism; a military dictator; a sort of Caligula; a blood-drenched Don Quixote; a fatalistic megalomaniac; his repressed libido was sublimated in frequent blood-letting; his mathematical gifts were those of an idiot-savant; and he had the table-manners of a peasant."

The Battle of Poltava 1709

variations on a theme

Berger, L.G.:   Bedrägeriet i Karl XII:s Historia; Framtidens Bokförlag; Malmö 1915
Nyström, Anton:   Karl XII och sammansvärjningen mot hans envälde och lif; Gernandts 1900
Tarle, Eugen:   Karl XII och Poltava; Arbetarkulturs Förlag; Stockholm 1951

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esaias tegner & charles xii
© Charles Harrison Wallace 2003
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