By Robert K. Massie
“[A] story of strength, perseverance and fervour . . . a superb tale within the arms of a grasp storyteller.”—The Wall highway Journal
The Pulitzer Prize–winning writer of Peter the good, Nicholas and Alexandra, and The Romanovs returns with one other masterpiece of narrative biography, the intense tale of an vague German princess who turned essentially the most extraordinary, robust, and eye-catching girls in background. Born right into a minor noble relations, Catherine reworked herself into empress of Russia through sheer decision. For thirty-four years, the govt., international coverage, cultural improvement, and welfare of the Russian humans have been in her palms. She handled household uprising, overseas wars, and the tidal wave of political switch and violence churned up via the French Revolution. Catherine’s kinfolk, associates, ministers, generals, fans, and enemies—all are the following, vividly dropped at existence. historical past bargains few tales richer than that of Catherine the nice. during this publication, an forever attention-grabbing girl is again to life.
“[A] compelling portrait not only of a Russian titan, but additionally of a flesh-and-blood woman.”—Newsweek
“An soaking up, gratifying biography.”—Los Angeles Times
“Juicy and suspenseful.”—The manhattan occasions booklet Review
“A nice existence, certainly, and irresistibly told.”—Salon
NAMED the best BOOKS OF THE yr BY
The long island instances • The Washington submit • united states this day • The Boston Globe • San Francisco Chronicle • Chicago Tribune • Newsweek/The day-by-day Beast • Salon • Vogue • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • The windfall magazine • Washington Examiner • South Florida Sun-Sentinel • BookPage • Bookreporter • Publishers Weekly
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Additional resources for Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman
Along with, as soon as those records arrived in St. Petersburg, it'll take years of study to find and interpret no matter what nuggets, favorable or destructive, they could comprise. The order used to be overlooked. The inquiry lumbered alongside for a yr. No proof used to be produced, however the former chancellor used to be exiled to 1 of his personal estates the place he remained until eventually, 3 years later, Catherine grew to become empress. With Stambke’s departure for Holstein, Catherine’s dealing with of the affairs of Peter’s duchy ended. The empress instructed her nephew that she disapproved of his wife’s involvement within the ruling of his hereditary duchy. Peter, who had enthusiastically inspired Catherine’s participation in that paintings, now declared that he agreed along with his aunt. The empress then officially requested the king of Poland to keep in mind count number Poniatowski. while she heard of Stambke’s dismissal and that Poniatowski was once to be despatched domestic, Catherine reacted speedy. She ordered Vasily Shkurin, her valet, to collect all of her papers and account books and produce them to her. as soon as every little thing was once in her room, she despatched him away, after which threw everything—every record, and each paper and letter she had ever received—into the fireplace; this used to be how the manuscript of her “Portrait of a Fifteen-Year-Old Philosopher,” written in 1744 for count number Gyllenborg, disappeared. while those fabrics have been decreased to ashes, she known as Shkurin again: “You are a witness to the truth that all my papers and money owed are burned. while you are ever requested the place they're, it is possible for you to to swear that you just observed me burn them. ” Shkurin used to be thankful that she had spared him involvement. 38 a raffle at the DAY prior to Lent, the final day of Carnival, 1758, Catherine determined that she had had sufficient of discretion and timidity. within the weeks that had her confinement, she had now not seemed in public. Now, she made up our minds to wait a Russian play scheduled for functionality on the court docket theater. Catherine knew that Peter didn't just like the Russian theater and that even speak of it disillusioned him. This time, Peter might have one other, extra own explanation for now not wishing her to head: he wouldn't are looking to be disadvantaged of the corporate of Elizabeth Vorontsova. If Catherine went to the theater, her maids of honor, together with Elizabeth Vorontsova, will be obliged to accompany her. conscious of this, Catherine despatched be aware to count number Alexander Shuvalov to reserve a carriage. Shuvalov briskly seemed to inform her that the grand duke adverse her plan to visit the theater. Catherine responded that, as she used to be excluded from her husband’s society, it will probably no longer subject to him no matter if she was once by myself in her room or sitting in her field on the theater. Shuvalov bowed and departed. Moments later, Peter burst into Catherine’s room “in a apprehensive ardour, screaming, accusing me of taking excitement in enraging him, and asserting that I had selected to visit the theater simply because I knew he didn't like this sort of play. ” He shouted that he might forbid her having a carriage. She advised him that if he did this, she could stroll. Peter stamped out.