|John Hervey and Francesca Fisher|
There are aristocrats, and then there are people with titles. Marcus Scriven piles it on thickly in his collection of the less than sublime. He recounts tales of aristocrats who fell on hard times. He jumbles the unpleasant on top of the unlucky, narrates the eccentric with the plain weird, and lists the madmen with the bad apples. All of this adds up to a colourful book with an appeal to the Schadenfreude crowd. It also caters to the readers who enjoy real life story that are hard to believe but true.
Arab chroniclers converted him to Islam; and his family became related to that of Saladin. Christian history writers made him a philosopher, a consummate diplomat, and an icon of tolerance and multiculturalism. Emperor Frederick II would have been wondering about whom they were writing. He was none of that. If anything, he was the epitome of what Germans mean when talking of Realpolitik.
|Emperor Frederick II|