Polands Last King and English Culture: Stanislaw August Poniatowski, 1732-1798

Hardcover | March 1, 1998

byRichard Butterwick

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The attempt by Stanislaw August Poniatowski (1764-95) 'to create anew the Polish world' was one of the most audacious enterprises of reform undertaken by any enlightened monarch in the eighteenth century. None started in less promising circumstances. Politically the King was trapped between aRussian protectorate and a nobility wedded to its anarchic liberty. The beginnings of the Polish Enlightenment had yet to make more than ripples on the stagnant waters of Polish culture. Yet by 1791, Poland-Lithuania had made a huge cultural advance, and had given herself a constitution admiredacross Europe. Tragically for Poland, her neighbours then destroyed much of these achievements and partitioned the country out of existence. Stanislaw August died in exile, cursed by most of his compatriots to this day. In Poland's Last King', Richard Butterwick reassesses the achievement of Poland's last and most controversial king. He shows how Stanislaw's radical plans for reform of Poland's constitution and culture were profoundly influenced by his love of England, and examines the successes and limitations ofthe Polish Enlightenment.

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The attempt by Stanislaw August Poniatowski (1764-95) 'to create anew the Polish world' was one of the most audacious enterprises of reform undertaken by any enlightened monarch in the eighteenth century. None started in less promising circumstances. Politically the King was trapped between aRussian protectorate and a nobility wedded t...

Richard Butterwick is a British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford.

other books by Richard Butterwick

Format:HardcoverDimensions:398 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 1.06 inPublished:March 1, 1998Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198207018

ISBN - 13:9780198207016

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`the first major work of scholarship to explore in depth, and on the basis of extensive archival research in Poland and England, the king's Anglophilia ... Butterwick tackles this task with eminent success; he writes elegantly and with a confidence born out of a thorough knowledge of hissubject ... There is much here for the comparative historian. The book enriches our understanding of eighteenth-century Anglophilia and provides a new perspective on England's place in the enlightenment. In short, it is an impressive and stimulating achievement.'W.H. Zawadzki, Abingdon School, Oxon, EHR, June 1999