From the December, 2005 issue of Touchstone
Courtly Culture War by Timothy A. Smith

Book Review

Courtly
Culture War

Evening In The Palace Of Reason
by James R. Gaines

HarperCollins, 2005
(336 pages, $23.95, hardcover)

reviewed by Timothy A. Smith

In a later, more liberated age, Frederick (1712–1786) might have been sympathetically known as ‘Frederick the Gay’,” wrote the New York Times reviewer of Evening in the Palace of Reason, implying that Prussia’s Philosopher King and apostle of Enlightenment was, by the standards of our own liberated and enlightened age, repressed. The truth is that Fédéric (as he preferred) was in the modern sense both liberate . . .


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