INTRODUCTION TO THE COMPLETE WORK

This manuscript, in three Books, covers a period in history where the Crowns of England and what was to become known as Prussia, which as a kingdom did not exist until 1701, became inextricably linked. During the second half of the seventeenth century the House of Brunswick-Luneburg—with its domains in and around the north-west German cites of Hanover, Brunswick and Celle—grasped its opportunities, and by marriage, began to take a firm grip on the English and Prussian Royal Dynasties. By the middle of the eighteenth century their direct descendants sat firmly on the thrones of Great Britain and Prussia.

The first of the German-born Kings of Great Britain was George the First (1660-1727), who is a direct forebear of the current, much admired Queen Elizabeth the Second. George was the great grandson of James the First of England. His family’s history (1650-1730) is covered in Book I.

Frederick the Great (1712-86) was a grandson of George the First. Frederick, the greatest King in the history of Prussia, is one of the most famous men in German history. Both his mother and three of his four grandparents came from George’s family, the House of Brunswick-Lüneburg. In effect, that means seventy-five percent of Frederick’s genes came from that single German Royal House. The German Kaisers descended from Frederick’s family. His family’s history (1620-1787) is covered in Book II.

Frederick the Great’s parents, Frederick William the First of Prussia and Sophie Dorothea of Hanover, were first cousins. His mother’s parents, George the First of Great Britain and Sophie Dorothea of Brunswick-Luneburg-Celle, were also first cousins. It is no wonder that insanity struck down one of Frederick’s sisters and, at the very least, temporarily affected his father Frederick William.

Though the marriage contracts within these Royal Dynasties were so arranged as to ensure the further aggrandizement of their own families, the private emotional life of almost every family member was quite devastatingly tragic. This is one of the two overwhelming themes which came through in my research. And through all the horrific private pain yet another theme seemed to completely dominate everything else—increasing power and ruthlessness—as the family made its way along the road to glory and unbelievable wealth.

This manuscript covers in great detail two tragic love affairs, though many others are also mentioned. The first took place between George the First's wife Sophie Dorothea of Celle, the uncrowned Queen of England, and Count Philip Königsmark. Sadly Sophie Dorothea’s affair with Königsmark ended tragically. George the First's family had Königsmark murdered, and imprisoned the Princess till her death some thirty-two years later. The second tragic love affair was between Princess Amalie of Prussia, Frederick the Great’s youngest sister, and Baron Frederick von der Trenck.

*****

When I first began what turned out to be five years of research for this manuscript I was primarily focused on proving whether a love affair had taken place between Princess Amalie of Prussia and Frederick von der Trenck. That is why they make up more than half of my manuscript. Trenck claimed it happened. Most German historians claim it didn’t. In Book III I believe I have proved it took place. That their affair occurred, and that Trenck made Princess Amalie pregnant, I have no doubt.

A detailed and intimate biography of Princess Amalie—the first German woman to compose at a professional level—is presented. Also the remarkable life of Trenck—who as a result of his affair with Princess Amalie sat in Frederick the Great’s gaols for nigh on eleven years without his spirit being broken—has also been thoroughly researched.

My research has exposed a Royal Family full of private emotional tragedies which inextricably linked one generation to the next. That is why it is impossible to understand the love affair of Princess Amalie of Prussia and Baron Frederick von der Trenck without knowing what happened between Amalie’s grandmother, Sophie Dorothea of Celle and Count Philip Königsmark, or visa versa.

And though the Royal Houses of Brunswick-Luneburg and Prussia became wealthy and famous beyond belief, their private lives were as equally tragic, almost beyond belief. Though this is also story of the triumphs of their Dynasty, it is more a story of their almost unimaginable private tragedies and broken hearts.

In 1776 Frederick the Great of Prussia wrote of the personal tragedy within his family: 'Our family seems to me like a forest in which a gale has knocked over the most beautiful trees, where one from time to time catches sight of a leaning spruce appearing only to be hanging on by its roots in order to watch the fall of its companions, and the damage and devastation made by the storm.

The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in Germany were difficult times. The Thirty Years’ War (1618-48) and the Seven Years’ War (1756-63) decimated the population. The terrifying bubonic plague devastated Prussia in 1709-10, and smallpox struck down the young in Berlin in 1766. Not infrequently scarlet fever and syphilis epidemics cut a swathe of death through the populace. When people got sick then, they suffered terribly; and the doctors, well they bled the sick just to make sure they died.
 
Soon after I began my research in early 1993 my interest in unraveling the mystery surrounding Princess Amalie and Baron Trenck developed into a magnificent obsession. In November, as my plane took off from Melbourne Airport bound for London, a friend who accompanied me on the flight asked: Douglas do you realize what today is?’ I had no idea because my twelve hour workdays had caused me to lose track of time. ‘It is the 09 November, Princess Amalie’s birthday!’ Incredibly, our plane had taken off a few minutes past midnight, on the ninth! I became overwhelmed with emotion, tears filled my eyes and from that moment on I knew my research work would be fruitful, because Amalie was with me.

Historical research is difficult because historians have trouble remaining objective. Frederick the Great succinctly explained the dilemma, describing most  historians as compilers of falsehoods, interspersed occasionally with truth whose prejudices and ill placed zeal for their own nation, combined with their hatred of its enemies, inspire  (illogical) passions which influence their opinions.

Contents | Free PDF | Back Cover | Introduction  | Forward | Trenck & Princess Amalie | Prussia
Illustrations | Acknowledgements | Bibliography | Links | Inside Duskjacket

home