A Prince's life was not always a happy one, and this is especially true of that of the future Frederick II of Prussia. Almost crushed as a child under the rigorous schedule prescribed by his father, the demanding Frederick William, Frederick in his youth became a pawn in the volatile intrigues in the many courts of the Holy Roman Empire. He was the object of his father's rage and contempt because he was intellectual rather than soldierly. With a wealth of royal gossip and illuminating details which show a tremendously thorough job of research, Miss Simon has produced a picture of a sensitive young man who went through considerable torment and degradation to emerge a brilliant king and conqueror. This is the first volume of a two-part history of Frederick's life and times, and it is an extremely valuable book for those interested in the psychology of king-making, as well as for historians and history buffs in general.