Charles XII and the Collapse of the Swedish Empire, 1682- 1719

Charles XII and the Collapse of the Swedish Empire, 1682- 1719

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Charles XII and the Collapse of the Swedish Empire, 1682- 1719

Charles XII and the Collapse of the Swedish Empire, 1682- 1719

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Excerpt

The present work has no pretention to be anything like an exhaustive biography of Charles XII.--a perfectly adequate treatment of so large and complex a subject would demand many volumes. But it does claim to at least suggest the lines on which such a biography should be written, it professes to present the leading facts of the heroic monarch's career in the light of the latest investigations and it endeavours to dissipate the many erroneous notions concerning "The Lion of the North" for which Voltaire's brilliant and attractive work, I have almost said romance, Histoire de Charles XII. is mainly responsible.

It is a question, I thin, how far original documents should be consulted in the compilation of a short sketch of this kind, or even whether they should be consulted at all. For the use of original documents necessitates, generally speaking, the addition of notes, appendices and other literally impedimenta which are almost out of place in a popular book of so small a compass as the present one. Nevertheless, I have endevoured, somewhat reluctantly, to steer a middle . . .

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