There were two cousins Von der Trenck, who were barons descended from an ancient house in East Prussia, and were adventurous soldiers, to whom, as to the adventurous, there were adventures that lost nothing in the telling, for they were told by the authors' most admiring friends--themselves. Franz, the elder, was born in 1711, the son of an Austrian general; and Frederick, whose adventures are here told, was the son of a Prussian major-general.
Thomas Holcroft, the translator of these Memoirs of Baron Trenck, was the author of about thirty plays, among which one, The Road to Ruin, produced in 1792, has kept its place upon the stage. He was born in December, 1745, the son of a shoemaker who did also a little business in horse-dealing. After early struggles, during which he contrived to learn French, German, and Italian, Holcroft contributed to a newspaper, turned actor, and wrote plays, which appeared between the years 1791 and 1806.