Tsar Paul and the Question of Madness: An Essay in History and Psychology

Tsar Paul and the Question of Madness: An Essay in History and Psychology

Tsar Paul and the Question of Madness: An Essay in History and Psychology

Tsar Paul and the Question of Madness: An Essay in History and Psychology

Synopsis

The Grand Prince: Development Personality Paul's Education and Values The Emperor, 1796-1801 The Assassination Paul as Exemplar of Enlightenment Values The Diagnosis and Treatment of Madness in Paul's Time The Twentieth-Century Psychiatric Perspective Conclusion Appendix A: Paul in the Perspective of Psychoanalysis Appendix B: Psychoanalytic Theory in Other Historical Biography Appendix C: Historical Application of Other Personality Theories

Excerpt

How big a misfit was Paul in his time?

If we analyze the content of Paul's education and statecraft and compare it with the prevailing trends and opinions of the age, we find that it was composed of the characteristic thought and practice of the Enlightenment, though not a precisely balanced selection of them, a subtle point to which we shall return later.

Our one detailed guide to the intellectual influences in Paul's life is Poroshin's diary. We know a great deal about what Paul read, what was read to him, what was discussed, and what he saw in the theater during the year and a half when Poroshin kept notes on his activities. There were three items that stand out above the others in the extent of Paul's exposure to them.

The first is Voltaire History of the Russian Empire Under Peter the Great (1759). Voltaire Peter I is a rather ironic piece of work. His scathing comments on warfare in his Philosophical Dictionary (1764) are well known, as are his tauntings of Frederick ii for loving war too much. When he turns to Peter I, a monarch of whom Kliuchevskii said that "war was the most important circumstance of his reign," Voltaire conveniently forgot his former outlook, or, rather, he suspended it. Most of the material for his history he got from the Russian court, and he . . .

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