The Last King of Poland

By Adam Zamoyski

One evening in December 1755, Stanisław Antoni Poniatowski, the twenty-three-year-old secretary to the British Ambassador in St Petersburg, used to be brought into the bed room of the Grand Duchess Catherine Alekseyevna. This marked the start of a torrid and clandestine affair which resulted in Stanisław being topped King of Poland in 1764.

The younger king was once a speeding determine within the most interesting eighteenth-century culture. He was once an ideal representation of the contradictions of Europe's ideological and non secular viewpoints: he worshipped cause yet used to be led through the guts; professed Catholicism yet believed in windfall; toyed with the occult and practised freemasonry.

A nice believer in artwork and schooling, he spent fortunes on cultural initiatives, and discovering that he was once blocked politically via Catherine, he placed his energies right into a social and creative regeneration of his country. He remodeled the temper and outlook of his kingdom and taken it to a brand new part of reform and independence, culminating within the passing of the structure in 1791, hailed in Britain, France and the us as one of many maximum occasions of the century.

Poland's neighbours, notwithstanding, seen this beacon of liberty of their midst with alarm, and as they invaded and partitioned it, Stanislaw was once pressured to observe the destruction of his life's paintings, and eventually pressured to abdicate, a damaged guy, deceived and dissatisfied.

‘The final King of Poland’ is the wealthy and enchanting tale of a private dream with the entire parts of grand tragedy, whereas while an enormous chronicle of the beginning and loss of life of liberalism in Poland and the institution of Russian strength in Europe.

‘Intelligent, impressively reasearched, fantastically written.’ – Neal Ascherson, The self sustaining on Sunday.

‘Writing japanese ecu background is sort of actually a nightmare: a floor of operetta, underneath which lurk unending, it appears unnecessary, problems, all finishing in catastrophe. Adam Zamoyski has risen with nice triumph above this, and has contributed a piece of genuine scholarship that also is remarkably effortless to read.’ – Norman Stone, The Sunday occasions.

‘A pleasant instance of the biographer's paintings, with a textual content as delicate to the subject's character because it is specialist within the affairs of the subject's times.’ – Norman Davies, the days Literary complement.

‘A story filled with pathos, and Zamoyski tells it well.’ – Niall Ferguson, The Sunday Telegraph.

Count Adam Stefan Zamoyski is a historian and a member of the traditional Zamoyski relations of Polish the Aristocracy. His books contain ‘The Forgotten Few’, ‘Holy insanity: Romantics, Patriots and Revolutionaries’, and ‘Paderewski’.

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805] Lojek, Geneza i Obalenie, p. a hundred sixty five. [806] Piattoli to Mazzei 7 V ninety one, Ancona, Scipione Piattoli, p. seventy one. [807] Rostworowski, Legendy i Fakty, p. 372. [808] Stanisław to Deboli 20 VII ninety one, Stanisław, Rok Nadziei, p. sixty six. [809] Stanisław, Rok Nadziei, p. ninety six; additionally BP, 37, p. 553; additionally Lojek, Geneza Obalenie, pp. 188-9. [810] terrible Complot des Prestres. [811] Stanisław to Józef Poniatowski sixteen VIII ninety one, Stanisław, Stanisław August i Ksiaze Józef Poniatowski, p. 34. [812] Stanisław to Deboli 24 VIII ninety one, Stanisław, Rok Nadziei, p.

25] Mémoires, Vol. I, p. eight. [26] Ibid. , p. eleven. [27] Zabawy Szkolne, AXC, 911. [28] Mémoires, Vol. I, p. 14. [29] Nieć, Mlodość Ostatniego Elekta, p. 23. [30] Frederick to Hoffmann 28 VI forty four, Zielińska, Walka Familii, p. seventy seven. [31] Kazimierz Poniatowski to Ludwika Zamoyska I V forty nine, AXC, 3972 f. 463. [32] Mémoires, Vol. I, pp. 59-60. [33] Ilchester, lifetime of Sir Charles Hanbury Williams, p. 429. [34] Williams to Henry Fox 30 X 50, ibid. , p. 215. [35] magazine started at Berlin in July 1750, Newport, qM 411 012. [36] Williams to Henry Fox 22 VIII 50, Ilchester, op.

Hube additionally produced the physics textbook, zoology was once coated by means of Jean Baptiste Dubois and Kluk, mineralogy by means of Johann Philip Carosi, vitamin via general practitioner Curti, and varnish variations of works by means of medical professional Tissot and James Mackenzie handled health and wellbeing and hygiene. there has been a brand new Latin-Polish grammar, a background of the area and a background of Greece, through the brothers Gaetan and Wincenty Skrzetuski respectively, a conception of legislation by way of Hieronim Stroynowski, and a instruction manual of Polish political legislation by way of Wincenty Skrzetuski. Stanisław was once very prepared that the younger should still learn and contemplate books facing the topic of statehood.

He wore the lace produced there, and acquired a few hats, even supposing he complained that they fell off whilst he went using. [536] inside a 12 months of taking up the administration of the Lithuanian Crown lands, Tyzenhauz had doubled their profit, and via 1771 trebled it. yet via the tip of the 1770s he was once getting overdue with funds. Franciszck Rzewuski, Stanisław’s courtroom Marshal and privy purse-keeper, started to voice suspicions that every one was once no longer good. This made Tyzenhauz extra secretive, and Stanisław started to have doubts.

616] Stanisław went to paintings at the propositions he may lay earlier than Catherine. He would provide her an lively alliance for the predicted conflict with Turkey. Participation within the warfare might deflate the patriotic bombast of the competition, and allow him to reinforce and equip the Polish military, which might achieve helpful struggling with event. chiefly, it will let him to take a less attackable grip on executive at domestic. He didn't intend to offer Russia obedient aid. ‘One must be particularly sure’, he wrote in a suite of initial Reflections, ‘that within the occasion of her concluding an offensive and protecting alliance with Russia, Poland might obtain in trade an intensive development in her executive.

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