Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992. Hardcover. Black boards with gilt stamped spine lettering. Glossy red and BW-illustrated dust jacket with white lettering. VG-/VG- ex-library copy with bookplate, call number labels and barcode sticker. light wear to dust jacket edges. Item #173645
This is a biography of Paul I, son of Catherine the Great and Tsar of Russia 1796-1801. Considered by some to have been a cruel despot verging on the insane, Paul has been seen by others as a progressive if flawed ruler who was overthrown because he challenged the privileged nobility. Roderick McGrew explores the influences which shaped Paul's values and behaviour, assessing the role played by his upbringing on the fringes of his mother's court and of the French Revolution. He examines Paul's insecure, unpredictable and often violent character, and traces his gradual evolution into a committed autocrat who combined enlightened humanitarianism with a firm belief in military discipline and hierarchy. As Tsar, he aroused fear, hatred and contempt among his nobles, which resulted in a coup d'etat which ended his brief reign and his life. This study not only offers a portrait of a complex ruler and his times, but also assesses the part played by Paul in establishing the deeply conservative.
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