By Robert K. Massie
“[A] story of strength, perseverance and keenness . . . a good tale within the arms of a grasp storyteller.”—The Wall road 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 imprecise German princess who grew to become the most notable, strong, and appealing girls in heritage. Born right into a minor noble kinfolk, Catherine remodeled herself into empress of Russia by way of sheer selection. For thirty-four years, the govt, international coverage, cultural improvement, and welfare of the Russian humans have been in her fingers. She handled household uprising, international wars, and the tidal wave of political switch and violence churned up via the French Revolution. Catherine’s kinfolk, neighbors, ministers, generals, enthusiasts, and enemies—all are right here, vividly dropped at existence. heritage deals few tales richer than that of Catherine the good. during this booklet, an without end attention-grabbing girl is lower back 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 long island occasions publication Review
“A nice existence, certainly, and irresistibly told.”—Salon
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Additional resources for Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman
He may not be brazenly pleasant with Hanbury-Williams, for the reason that England was once now an best friend of Prussia. there have been different, extra common, purposes for him to fret. He was once getting old, the years had exhausted him, and, even if she used to be good, Elizabeth was once a tricky mistress. Now, the empress’s failing healthiness and the grand duke’s hostility left him with just one determine within the imperial family members to whom he may well flip for aid. His courting with Catherine had reinforced, and the technique of battle speeded their rapprochement. through the fall of 1756, either Catherine and Bestuzhev have been deeply enthusiastic about the transition of energy that will persist with Elizabeth’s loss of life. Bestuzhev started to plan. He had brought Catherine to his buddy normal Stepan Apraksin, whom he had appointed commander in leader of the Russian forces mobilizing opposed to Prussia. subsequent, he despatched Catherine a draft of a mystery ukase, an imperial decree, to be issued for the time being of Elizabeth’s demise. This rfile set forth a restructuring of the management of the Russian govt. It proposed that Peter instantly be declared emperor, whereas, even as, Catherine be officially put in as co-ruler. Bestuzhev’s purpose was once that Catherine would really administer the affairs of Russia as she had controlled these of Holstein on her husband’s behalf. obviously, Bestuzhev didn't omit himself during this new association; certainly, he meant that Catherine’s oversight of the empire will be guided by way of his suggestion, and he reserved for himself approximately all of the genuine strength within the kingdom. The posts he already held may stay his, and others will be extra. He may proceed as chancellor; he might additionally develop into president of 3 key ministries—foreign affairs, warfare, and the navy—and he will be appointed colonel of all 4 regiments of the Imperial shield. It was once a dicy, even possibly suicidal, rfile. He was once achieving out to make judgements concerning the succession, a prerogative reserved solely for the monarch. If Elizabeth have been to learn this paper, Bestuzhev may well pay together with his head. while Catherine got the draft of the proposed rfile, she reacted carefully. She didn't without delay contradict Bestuzhev or discourage his attempt, yet she did show reservations. If, later, she professed to discover its pretensions over the top and its timing inopportune, she may possibly simply were flattered on the important function provided her. She thanked Bestuzhev verbally for his solid intentions yet instructed him that she looked his plan as untimely. Bestuzhev persevered writing and revising, making additions and changes. Catherine understood that this company was once unsafe. On one hand, Bestuzhev was once delivering her a direction that may bring about rule of the empire. at the different, she understood that discovery of this incriminating record may possibly lead to mortal possibility for herself in addition to for the chancellor. Elizabeth’s fury, if she learn this rfile, will be a dreadful factor. 34 Catherine demanding situations Brockdorff; She offers a celebration within the SPRING OF 1757, Catherine watched Brockdorff’s effect over her husband expanding.