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    Charles XII of Sweden Document Signed "Carolus" as king. One page, 8" x 12.75", n.p., August 11, 1716, with full wax seal. Carl XII (1682-1718), known as the "Alexander of the North" and the 'Madman of the North," was a king of Sweden from 1697 until his death in 1718. As a child, many people thought he would grow up to be sickly, but Charles strengthened his body for war by riding horses bareback and hunting wolves in Sweden's fir forests. When his father died, Charles assumed the crown at fifteen. His youthfulness gave other nations a pretext to invade Sweden. Saxony, Denmark-Norway, Poland, and Russia joined in a coalition to attack Sweden, beginning the Great Northern War. The young king left the country three years later to embark on a series of battles overseas. Many of these battles were fought against Peter the Great, emperor of Russia. After some stunning victories, Charles was eventually defeated by the Russians at the Battle of Poltava. Charles was wounded, one-third of his infantry was dead, and his vulnerable supply train destroyed. The battle was a disaster and the young monarch fled south to the Ottoman Empire. The Turks initially welcomed the Swedish king who managed to incite a war between them and the Russians. However, Sultan Ahmed III soon tired of Charles' endless scheming. He was put under house-arrest in Istanbul, but succeeded in escaping and fleeing across Europe on horseback to Sweden. His efforts to reestablish his lost empire failed and he was shot through the head and killed during a siege of the fortress of Fredriksten in Norway. Toned with smoothed folds. Mounting remnants on verso.

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