A bride at 15, an empress at 31, a passionate lover all her life, this is the incredible story of one of the most powerful women in history, Catherine II of Russia. The legends surrounding the Empress of Russia boggle the mind; the truths of her life are even more amazing. In this thorough consideration of her story, BIOGRAPHY® sets the record straight on the brilliant, controversial figure. From her relatively humble beginnings (a minor German princess, after all) through her ascent to the height of absolute supremacy at the end of the 18th century, Catherine II controlled her life, her subjects and her lovers with a single-minded genius and charisma that proved irresistible.
A true “enlightened absolutist,” Catherine the Great wrote memoirs, plays, essays, and comedies, she corresponded with Voltaire and Diderot, and she founded The Hermitage and many other great cultural institutions. Her vigor, determination and ambition kept her on the throne for decades, bringing stability and a Golden Age to Russia. Her many accomplishments placed her firmly in the annals of world history. Through excerpts from Catherine’s memoirs hear in her own voice her thoughts on her husband, her personality traits and the highlights of her reign. BIOGRAPHY® fleshes out the story by consulting some of the country’s leading experts and most dynamic commentators on her life. And learn the true story behind the seamy legends from interviews with author Douglas Smith (Love and Conquest: Personal Correspondence of Catherine the Great and Prince Grigory Potemkin) and June Reinisch, the Vice President of Scientific Affairs at the Museum of Sex in New York City.
This captivating installment of BIOGRAPHY® thoroughly animates the astounding life of Catherine II, Empress of Russia, “Figchen” to her friends.