Catherine the Great

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Profile Books, 2010 - Empresses - 432 pages
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When Catherine II died in St Petersburg in 1796, the world sensed the loss of the most celebrated monarch of Europe - something no one would have predicted at the birth 67 years before of an obscure German princess, Sophie of Anhalt-Zerbst, later married off to the pathetic heir to the Russian throne. There were few greater transformations of fortunes in history. Sophie/Catherine had come to rule in her own right over the largest state in existence since the fall of the Roman Empire. She was branded both a usurper and an assassin when she seized power from her wretched husband in 1762. Yet she survived the initial succession crisis, and went on to occupy the Russian throne for 34 years. In the process, she turned her new empire from peripheral pariah to European great power.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - everfresh1 - LibraryThing

The book gives a good account of life and rule of Catherine the Great, both of her personal life and in the context of overall political environment. My only gripe - and it's a very serious one - is ... Read full review

Catherine the Great

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

A minor princess from the German backwater of Anhalt-Zerbst, Catherine the Great parlayed a loveless marriage into rule after her unattractive husband, Peter III, was deposed in a bloodless coup. Six ... Read full review

About the author (2010)

Simon Dixon is Professor of Russian History at University College, London.

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