Work of the Fellows: Biographies

Young Wilhelm: The Kaiser’s Early Life, 1859-1888

Röhl, John C. G. (Fellow, 1997-98)

Gaines, Jeremy; Wallach, Rebecca, trans.

Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1998

From the publisher's description:

This rich and compelling volume describes the life of Kaiser Wilhelm II from his birth in 1859 to his accession to the Prusso-German throne in 1888, a story so extraordinary that it will fascinate anyone interested in the psychology and the throng of personalities of the period. Its aim is to set the characters on the stage and let them speak for themselves, which in their letters and diaries the Victorians and Wilhelminians did with quite extraordinary clarity and persuasive power. The central theme is the bitter conflict between the handicapped Prince and his liberal parents, and in particular with his mother, the eldest child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, and the utter failure of a daring educational experiment intended to turn the young Prince into a liberal Anglophile. One of the most deeply researched and stylishly written scholarly biographies of recent times; an incomparably rich and absorbing analysis of the Kaiser's upbringing and psychology, and of the extraordinary range of personalities surrounding him; translated expertly under the author's guidance from the German edition which sold in many tens of thousands of copies.


Subjects: History;; German History; Government; Monarchy; Monarchs; Kingship;