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Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman
Catherine the Great Portrait of a Woman
Author: Robert K. Massie
?[A] tale of power, perseverance and passion . . . a great story in the hands of a master storyteller.??The Wall Street Journal —   — The Pulitzer Prize?winning author of Peter the Great, Nicholas and Alexandra, and The Romanovs returns with another masterpiece of narrative biography, the extraordinary story of an obscure German princess who becam...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780345408778
ISBN-10: 0345408772
Publication Date: 9/18/2012
Pages: 672
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.

4.3 stars, based on 13 ratings
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover
Members Wishing: 4
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman on + 337 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Beautifully written story of a most remarkable woman. Massie places us firmly and sympathetically in the life of Sophia, to become Catherine II of Russia. Despite the years covered and the in-depth attention to Russia's legal, political, and military history, the book reads easily and the reader becomes enmeshed in Catherine. I found her, and the story, quite fascinating. Highly recommended.
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reviewed Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman on + 1399 more book reviews
There is so much to be shared that one could write a pages and pages about Catherine's life, loves, politics, goals for her adopted country, art treasures, and the many books she read. She sought to bring enlightenment to Russia in so many areas including medicine, education, the church, peasant life, legal affairs, and more. Suffice it to say that one must read this delightful biography for oneself. My only complaint was that the author often pursued topics at length regardless of the time line and than would go back and pick up the story. However, perhaps this is the only way he could see to capture this talented monarch in print who was called one of the few true geniuses of her time. She entertained Diderot, Grimm and other intellectuals in brilliant dialog time after time in addition to going to war with Turkey and putting down an internal rebellion.

Since life with her husband, Grand Duke Peter, was dismal, she spent her time reading and learning. When Peter threatened her life, she realized that she needed to plan for her own future and surrounded herself with friends. She chose the monarchy when Peter was murdered by one of her supporters because she would have the power to institute the changes she wanted for her beloved country.

Yes, this is a fascinating story about a highly intelligent, politically astute, tactful and beautiful woman who has the interests of Russia foremost in her heart and mind even though she was originally from Prussia. I highly recommend this read.


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