Frederick the Great, Prussian Monarch from 1740 to 1786, known for his tactical genius on the battlefield, is considered by historians to be primarily homosexual in orientation. Following a demoralizing defeat, he wrote “Fortune has it in for me; she is a woman, and I am not that way inclined.”

Frederick the Great

Most modern biographers agree that Frederick was primarily homosexual, and that his sexual orientation was central to his life. After a dispiriting defeat on the battlefield, Frederick wrote: “Fortune has it in for me; she is a woman, and I am not that way inclined.”

At age 16, Frederick seems to have embarked upon a youthful affair with Peter Karl Christoph von Keith, a 17-year-old page of his father. Rumors of the liaison spread in the court and the “intimacy” between the two boys provoked the condemnation of even his elder and favorite sister, Wilhelmine, who wrote, “Though I had noticed that he was on more familiar terms with this page than was proper in his position, I did not know how intimate the friendship was.” Rumors fina… Continue Reading (13 minute read)

7 thoughts on “Frederick the Great, Prussian Monarch from 1740 to 1786, known for his tactical genius on the battlefield, is considered by historians to be primarily homosexual in orientation. Following a demoralizing defeat, he wrote “Fortune has it in for me; she is a woman, and I am not that way inclined.””

  1. TheForceofHistory

    His dad did execute Frederick’s boyfriend and make him watch.

  2. anthonyvardiz

    *flute playing intensifies*

  3. marasydnyjade

    In 1763, when Frederick saw his wife for the first time in six years, he only commented: “Madame has grown quite fat.”

    Sounds like a dick.

  4. Sinisterniik

    I’ve gotta hijack this thread:

    Frederick the Great had one of the most talented orchestras in Europe. Carl Philip Emanuel Bach was the keyboardist and also a composer. Johann Joachim Quantz was the court’s composer, flutist, and private flute instructor to Frederick the Great.

    It was here where Bach wrote his Sonata in A minor for Flute, one of the landmark pieces for flute. Quantz composed hundreds of works for flute during his time here.

    The flute was not the most popular woodwind instrument at the time. The recorder was much more common, and not every orchestra had flutes. Having Quantz be such an important figure in Frederick’s court and his collaboration with C.P.E. Bach was a crucial step in making the flute a part of the traditional symphony orchestra.

    Furthermore, Quantz designed and built flutes. He innovated and experimented. The modern flute that you see today did not exist yet, and Quantz was a stepping stone along the way.

    I encourage everyone to check out the music of Quantz and C.P.E. Bach. You can literally listen to Frederick the Great’s playlist.

    https://youtu.be/RpRJhhHI0E8

    Above is C.P.E. Bach’s Sonata in A minor I referenced earlier. Another tangent is that his father J.S. wrote one of the first major works for flute, his partita also in A minor. It was surely no mistake that C.P.E. would choose the same key as he emulated his father throughout most of his career.

    C.P.E. was also named after Georg Philipp Telemann, friend of J.S. and prolific composer in his own right. Telemann composed many works for flute, including his famous duets.

    The connections to the flute across generations is amazing!

  5. CharLimitsAreBullshi

    Does someone have a link to the original letter? When googling, the German comes up with “I’m not a lover” (“Ich bin kein Liebhaber”), which sounds somewhat different from “I am not the way inclined”. But I suspect he wrote the original letter in French, but I can’t find it online, Wikipedia only gives secondary literature as a source.

  6. VLenin2291

    Also, when Napoleon visited his grave with a couple of his generals, he said, “Hats off, gentlemen. If he were alive, we wouldn’t be here today,” simultaneously complimenting him and roasting his generals.

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