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This article reads Michael van Loen's 1740 novel Der redliche Mann am Hofe in light of large-scale historical narratives about the public and the private in the eighteenth century, specifically those of Jürgen Habermas and Reinhart Koselleck. This reading suggests that Koselleck and Habermas' early works still have much to offer scholars of the eighteenth century while also illuminating some of their limitations. By embedding both utopian and critical projects in the emerging novelistic discourse of probability/plausibility, Loen's novel provides a more nuanced investigation of these debates about the public and private in the aftermath of the Thirty Years' War and at the beginning of the much-vaunted rise of the bourgeoisie. The fictional framework enables Loen to hold open multiple simultaneous possibilities for the public, private, or political—and for the interaction between them.