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Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman

Catherine II (born Sophie d’Anhalt-Zerbst; 2 May 1729 – 17 November 1796), better known as Catherine the Great, was Empress of Russia from 1762 to 1796, the country’s last reigning monarch and the oldest in power. She rose to power after overthrowing her husband and first cousin, Pedro III. During her long reign, inspired by the ideas of the Enlightenment, Russia experienced a renaissance of culture and science, many new cities, universities and theaters. established, a large number of European immigrants settled in Russia, and Russia is recognized as one of the great nations. European powers.

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Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman Summary

Pulitzer Prize-winning Massie tells the story of a princess who came to Russia at the age of 14 and became one of the most powerful women in history. Born to a German aristocrat, she became an Empress out of sheer determination. Possessing a bright and inquisitive mind, she devoured the writings of the philosophers of the Enlightenment and later ascended the throne, attempting to use their principles to dominate a vast backward empire. She knew or corresponded with famous figures of her time: Voltaire, Diderot, Frédéric le Grand, Marie-Thérèse of Austria, Marie-Antoinette & Jean Paul Jones. Wanting to be the “benevolent autocrat” of Montesquieu’s ideals, she confronted the profound realities of Russian life, including serfdom. She persevered, and for 34 years the government, foreign policy, cultural development and welfare of the Russian people were all in her hands. She dealt with internal rebellion, war, and a wave of political change and violence inspired by the French Revolution.

His reputation depends on the speaker’s point of view. She was praised by Voltaire as the classical philosopher. She was denounced by her enemies, mainly foreigners, as the “Messalina of the north”. His family, friends, ministers, generals, lovers and enemies are vividly represented. These include his ambitious and intriguing mother; her weak and dictatorial husband, Peter (who left her sexually immaculate for 9 years after her marriage); his unfortunate son and heir, Paolo; her beloved grandchildren of her; and her lovers, young men, seek the company and the recovery of youth, as well as sex. Here too Gregory Potemkin, her most important lover and possible husband of her, with whom she has shared love and separation letters, followed by 17 years together in the most complete way. All the qualities that Massie brought to Nicholas & Alexandra and Peter the Great are present: historical accuracy, intuition, virtuous style, mastery of details, the ability to dispel myths and a natural talent for finding and expressing human drama. (less than).


Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman

Author(s): Robert K. Massie

Publisher: Random House, Year: 2011

ISBN: 0679456724,9780679456728


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