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The Royal Physician's Visit Enquist, Per Olov ( Author ) Nov-19-2002 Paperback [Anglais] [Broché]

Per Olov Enquist

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ON ARPIL 5, 1768, Johann Friedrich Struensee was appointed Royal Physician to King Christian VII of Denmark, and four years later he was executed. Lire la première page
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.0 étoiles sur 5  32 commentaires
28 internautes sur 30 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Literary masterpiece 1 décembre 2001
Par Linda Oskam - Publié sur
This book is based on an historical event. In 1766 Christian VII becomes king of Denmark. Christian is an anxious boy, made mad by the members of his court. Two years later Johann Friedrich Struensee becomes his personal physician. Very soon he gains the trust of the young king with his quiet behaviour. The king starts to give more and more power to Struensee, who, more or less against his own will, becomes the center of power. In a period of only a few years Struensee issues more than 600 decrees that improve the life of the ordinary Danes and make Denmark a frontrunner of the Enlightenment movement. However, Struensee does not realize how much resistance his actions cause in the surroundings of the king. In 1772 he is arrested and tried on the basis of his relationship with the queen.
We follow the events through the eyes of a number of people: Christians private teacher Reverdil, the young queen Caroline Mathilde, Struensees rival and successor Guldberg and Struensee himself.
Per Olov Enquist has succeeded in writing a monumental literary novel: the actors are real, full of doubt, passion and deceit. The description of the way in which the mind of the young Christian is broken is most impressive. A king has absolute power, but is not supposed to actually exercise it, so the whole court conspires to break his mind. What remains in the end of an intelligent, normal boy is a mental wreck who lives in a fantasy world.
15 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Caught in a web of idealogy 22 septembre 2002
Par Luan Gaines - Publié sur
In the cold and dank corridors of power in the North, King Christian VII cannot escape his petite size or his madness, and his court is in chaos. But it is the Age of Enlightenment. In a futile search for his own enlightenment, Christian comes to the attention of a philosopher/physician, Dr. Struensee. Attracted to the pitiful King in a way he cannot fathom, Struensee steps into history, unsure of his part, save to comfort and aid the suffering mad King. During Strunsee's short attendance on the King, a mere four years, great reforms are begun: unrestricted freedom of the press, religious freedom, tariffs to the state instead of the royal household, a ban on torture during interrogations. Later the French Revolution would adapt some of the same reform measures enacted in Denmark during this period of social upheaval.
Strunsee's great failure is that he is drawn into a love affair with Christian's young Queen, Catherine Mathilde, sister of England's Charles III. She actually gives birth to Struensee's child, a girl, later claimed by the King as his own. As well, the physician lacks the ability to protect himself from his many foes at court. When Christian's mental illness, actually madness, creates a vacuum in the center of power, Strunsee fills the void, to the good of the kingdom. But when his enemies inevitably prevail, others are prepared to strike him down and assume the mantle, demanding Strunsee's execution.
The beauty of this novel is in the writing: people and events are presented in such a way as to give a glimpse into the insanity of Christian's reign, the vacuum in leadership and the strange aura of madness that permeates the court. There is a real sense of the unreality that infects everyone at the top, the secrecey and intrigue, illustrating with frightening clarity the true peril in having a puppet for a leader.
14 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 The Madness of Christian VII 4 mars 2003
Par John Van Wagner - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Insanity was a singular problem for the crowned heads of Europe during the 18th century. While the travails of the Hanoverian King George III are well-documented, there were other psychiatrically afflicted monarchs who, whether due to some unfortunate gene or to the infectious subversion of enlightenment philosophy, injected the politics of their courts with the logic of madness. One such monarch was Christian VII of Denmark.
Per Olav Enguist's historical novel documents a turbulent period in Danish history, a time when medeival institutions bumped up against modern free-thinking with transformative, and sometimes explosive, results. It's a well-crafted work, laying out the history with insight and clarity, all the while painting complex and realistic characters in shades of grey. The book chronicles the rise of the royal physician Struensee, a disciple of the enlightenment who finds himself, through almost random selection, at the center of Denmark's political maelstrom. Though his ultimate demise is revealed at the outset, Struensee's journey through the looking glass at the Danish court, and the price he pays for his part in bringing the world to enlightenment, make for an engrossing read.
Central to Struensee's tenure as the main adviser to Christian VII was his affair with Christian's queen, Caroline Mathilde of England. This unfortunate consort could never seem to escape from the madness of either her times or her family. She was the sister of George the III, and her marriage to Christian, which involved one conjugal experience and one baby, never rose above the infantile level at which the Danish king could operate.
At times sensual and desperate, at others filled with the weight of impossible expectations and hopeless risks, the story of Struensee and his increasingly forceful paramour spills off the pages of the book with resigned determination. Struensee uses his time in power to rewrite Denmark's social code, infuriating the powers of court, and makes himself, through his passion for justice and for Queen Caroline, an easier and easier target for destruction.
Enquist's style is somber and instructive, his language plain but filled with complexity. He makes people and events come alive with spare sentences that speak volumes about the inevitability of freedom and the costs in imposes. As for the nature of logic, insanity, and the sanctity of free throught, he leaves the reader to draw his own conclusion.
14 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Wow! A Modern Classic 3 juillet 2002
Par Oddsfish - Publié sur
It is really pretty rare that I read new books. I work at a library, and something about this one kind of interested me. I opened it up and read the first paragraph:
"On April 5, 1768, Johann Friedrich Struensee was appointed Royal Physician to King Christian VII of Denmark, and four years later he was executed."
That one sentence had me hooked. I took it home, and this beautiful novel has quickly become one of the favorite reads I've had. The plot of the novel follows real events that happened in Denmark during the Enlightenment. They primarily follow four main characters: Struensee, King Christian VII, Caroline Mathilde, and Guldberg. Struensee was the royal physician appointed to take care of the king. The position allows him have power over the country to put in place many principals of the Enlightenment. It also places him near the queen with whom he falls in love. Christian is the insane king who is troubled, but remains human. Caroline Mathilde is the Queen whose passions drive the story to its end. Guldberg is the force fighting against Struensee and Caroline.
It may seem like the first sentence of the novel gives away everything, but it doesn't. Primarily, the beauty of this book lies in the brilliant characterizations, and the intense feelings that the characters develop. The novel is intensely romantic, but it is also extremely literary. The novel, besides being a powerful story, also serves to disect the thought that drove this period in history. The novel also contains intriguing insights into Christianity and existentialism. Really, this novel is a masterpiece from any angle it is looked at. It serves to entertain any reader and it can enlighten him or her. What more can be asked of from a novel? Please, read this novel if you can get your hands on it. You won't regret it.
12 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 SOMETHING IS ROTTEN IN THE STATE OF DENMARK... 9 décembre 2003
Par Lawyeraau - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Having read "Lost Queen" by Norah Lofts, which book was a work of historical fiction that covered much of the same story told by this author, there could not be two books more different, though both are riveting. The major difference is in the writing style. The book by Ms. Lofts is superlative and tells an interesting, intriguing, though somewhat superficial story about the love triangle consisting of the mad king of Denmark, Christian VII, his wife, Queen Caroline Mathilde, and the royal physician, Johann Struensee. This author, on the other hand, rips the reader's guts out with its angst filled, staccato telling of the same story. It is a more literary book than that of Ms. Lofts and compelling in its own way, a beautifully written work of historical fiction that will keep the reader riveted to its pages until the very end.
It, too, tells the story of Princess Caroline Mathilde of England, sister to King George III. At the age of fifteen she was wed to young King Christian VII, who eventually became known as the mad king of Denmark. Temperamental, high strung, and given to strange outbursts, his predilection for odd behavior was known early on, but despite this the two kingdoms would still see these two wed, as the unification of England and Denmark was more important than individual happiness.
King Christian VII was a truly pitiable figure who had survived a childhood fueled by rank cruelty and was easy prey for the sycophants of the Danish court. He developed a peculiar aversion to his wife and, consequently, had conjugal relations with her only once, which propitiously resulted in the birth of a son nine months later. Alone in a foreign country, whose language she was only beginning to learn, and estranged from a King surrounded by sycophants, the young queen gravitated to the one person who treated her as a person in her own right, the King's physician, Johann Struensee.
An advocate of the philosophy of Enlightenment that was overtaking Europe, the idealistic Struensee had many ideas that were introduced as reforms in Denmark, through his influence with the King, who by now was easily led, since his madness left a void in leadership that Struensee was all to happy to fill. These reforms were to make many enemies for him, as they upset the established feudal system that still existed in eighteenth century Denmark. As he gained power through his influence, resentment against him grew within those circles that had formerly been close to the King. Unaware of the growing animosity against him and lacking political canniness, Struensee and the Queen became close intimates, bound by shared ideas and interests.
Struensee's relationship with the Queen, who was lonely and starved for affection, eventually transgressed the bounds set by propriety. Now lovers in fact, their relationship became grist for the rumor mill. She even gave birth to a daughter who the King acknowledged as his own but who was actually Stuensee's. As gossip and innuendo about their relationship swirled across royal circles in Europe, it ultimately became the focal point for a political coup that saw them both arrested and charged with treason. It was a relationship that was to have great personal and political ramifications for the protagonists, as well as for Denmark. What ultimately happened to each of them was tragic, governed as it was by the initial reluctance of the Danes to give up their feudal system. Even those whom Struensee championed through his reforms, the peasant class, turned against him in the end.
This is a richly atmospheric work of historical fiction, filled with political intrigue, historical personages and events, shadowed by darkness and a palpable sorrow apparent in each and every one of its pages. It is as if the individual psyche of each of the protagonists were driving the book, giving it texture, shadings, and glimpses into the psyche of those involved in this high drama. It is an angst filled, almost surreal, rendering of lives that were to come together and leave a mark on the world, making for a story that to this day has the power to captivate the reader. Bravo!
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