Catherine the Great
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|Author||: Catherine the Great|
|Editor||: Modern Library|
Empress Catherine II brought Europe to Russia, and Russia to Europe, during her long and eventful reign (1762—96). She fostered the culture of the Enlightenment and greatly expanded the immense empire created by Czar Ivan the Terrible, shifting the balance of power in Europe eastward. Famous for her will to power and for her dozen lovers, Catherine was also a prolific and gifted writer. Fluent in French, Russian, and German, Catherine published political theory, journalism, comedies, operas, and history, while writing thousands of letters as she corresponded with Voltaire and other public figures. The Memoirs of Catherine the Great provides an unparalleled window into eighteenth-century Russia and the mind of an absolute ruler. With insight, humor, and candor, Catherine presents her eyewitness account of history, from her whirlwind entry into the Russian court in 1744 at age fourteen as the intended bride of Empress Elizabeth I’s nephew, the eccentric drunkard and future Peter III, to her unhappy marriage; from her two children, several miscarriages, and her and Peter’s numerous affairs to the political maneuvering that enabled Catherine to seize the throne from him in 1762. Catherine’s eye for telling details makes for compelling reading as she describes the dramatic fall and rise of her political fortunes. This definitive new translation from the French is scrupulously faithful to her words and is the first for which translators have consulted original manuscripts written in Catherine’s own hand. It is an indispensable work for anyone interested in Catherine the Great, Russian history, or the eighteenth century.
|Author||: Isabel de Madariaga|
|Editor||: Yale University Press|
There is no shortage of biographies of Catherine the Great, of varying quality and degrees of sensationalism. But there exists no brief account of her reign that incorporates the extensive research findings of the last twenty years and presents them accessibly, accurately, and concisely to the student and the general reader. Following her magisterial Russia in the Age of Catherine the Great, Isabel de Madariaga has written the most informative, balanced and up-to-date short study of this spectacular period in Russian history. De Madariaga establishes an authoritative account of the events of Catherine's life, disentangling the myth from the verifiable reality. But her principal aim is to provide an account of the achievements of the thirty-four-year reign. Well-read and intelligent, Catherine presided over a fundamental reorganization of central and local government, of financial administration, of law, and of literary and cultural life. De Madariaga tracks the changes and explains the reforms, placing them in the context of eighteenth-century Europe and the ideas of the Enlightenment and of the French Revolution. Chapters on the wars against the Turkish empire, the annexation of the Crimea in 1783, and the partition of Poland demonstrate Catherine's part in building Russia into a formidable European power. The text is distinguished throughout by the attention paid to historical controversies over the interpretation of Catherine's policies and to teh historiography on the period in general. Praised by French writers of her day and attacked by later historians for her neglect of the welfare of the serfs, Catherine's achievements are now measured against the difficulties she met. The book points to the problems Catherine faced, the human and material resources on which she could draw, and the intellectual climate in which she operated. De Madariaga considers past and present assessments of Catherine and consolidates balanced judgments, profound understanding, and exhaustive reserach into a highly assimilable form.
|Author||: John T. Alexander|
|Editor||: Oxford University Press|
One of the most colorful characters in modern history, Catherine II of Russia began her life as a minor German princess, until the childless Empress Elizabeth and Catherine's own scheming mother married her off to the Grand Duke Peter of Russia at age sixteen. By thirty-three, she had overthrown her husband in a bloodless coup and established herself as Empress of the multinational Russian Empire, the largest territorial political unit in modern history. Portrayed both as a political genius who restored to Russia the glory it had known in the days of Peter the Great and as a despotic foreign adventuress who usurped the Russian throne, murdered her rivals, and tyrannized her subjects, she was, by all accounts, an extraordinary woman. Catherine the Great, the first popular biography of the empress based on contemporary scholarship, provides a vivid portrait of Catherine as a mother, a lover, and, above all, an extremely savvy ruler. Concentrating on her long reign (1762-96), John Alexander examines all aspects of Catherine's life and career: the brilliant political strategies by which she won the acceptance of a nationalistic elite; her expansive foreign policy; the domestic reforms with which she revamped the Russian military, political structure, and economy; and, of course, her infamous love life. Beginning with an account of the dramatic palace revolt by which Catherine unseated her husband and a background chapter describing the circumstances of her early childhood and marriage, Alexander then proceeds chronologically through the thirty-four years of her reign. Presenting Catherine in more human terms than previous biographers have, Alexander includes numerous quotations from her reminiscences and notes. We learn, for instance, not only the names and number of her lovers, but her understanding of what many considered a shocking licentiousness. "The trouble is," she wrote, "that my heart would not willingly remain one hour without love." The result of twenty years' research by one of America's leading narrative historians of modern Russia, this truly impressive work offers a much-needed, balanced reappraisal of one of history's most scandal-ridden figures.
|Author||: Hourly History|
|Editor||: Hourly History|
Catherine the Great is one of the most influential rulers in Russian history. Though born in Prussia, she endeavored to gain the throne of Russia and went on to be the longest-ruling empress in Russian history. She ruled as an enlightened despot, promoting the principles of the European Enlightenment as she sought to modernize her beloved country. She reformed the educational system of Russia, creating a national system that utilized modern educational theory in a co-educational setting. She attracted some of the most brilliant thinkers to her court and engaged their assistance in modernizing the arts and sciences as well as the Russian economic system. Because of her efforts, she ruled over what is considered the Golden Age of Russian Enlightenment. Inside you will read about... ✓ The Early Life of an Empress ✓ The Dawn of a New Era ✓ A Patron of the Arts ✓ Catherine the Warrior ✓ Catherine’s Personal Life and Death And much more! Catherine the Great counted among her successes many glorious military victories which succeeded in expanding Russia’s realm to over 200,000 square miles. She was, by all accounts, an efficacious leader and reformer in Russian history. Despite her professional successes, her personal life was far from ideal. Catherine never loved her husband and was alleged to have been complicit in his assassination. She never remarried, instead taking a string of lovers only for as long as they held her interest. She had three children, none of whom she claimed were fathered by her husband, Peter III. Despite her promiscuity, she was a generous lover, and many of her former lovers remained devoted to her throughout her life. She lived her life passionately, and can even be described as an early feminist, doing what she wanted. This book tells the story of this unconventional woman in a concise, entertaining, and informative manner.
|Author||: Robert K. Massie|
|Editor||: Random House Trade Paperbacks|
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • An “absorbing” (Los Angeles Times) biography of one of the most remarkable, powerful, and captivating women in Russian history—from the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Peter the Great, Nicholas and Alexandra, and The Romanovs “[A] compelling portrait not just of a Russian titan, but also of a flesh-and-blood woman.”—Newsweek NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times • The Washington Post • USA Today • The Boston Globe • San Francisco Chronicle • Chicago Tribune • Salon • Vogue • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • The Providence Journal Robert K. Massie returns with another masterpiece of narrative biography, the extraordinary story of an obscure German princess who became Catherine the Great. Born into a minor noble family, Catherine transformed herself into empress of Russia by sheer determination. For thirty-four years, the government, foreign policy, cultural development, and welfare of the Russian people were in her hands. She dealt with domestic rebellion, foreign wars, and the tidal wave of political change and violence churned up by the French Revolution. Catherine’s family, friends, ministers, generals, lovers, and enemies—all are here, vividly brought to life. History offers few stories richer than that of Catherine the Great. In this book, an eternally fascinating woman is returned to life.
|Author||: Virginia Rounding|
|Editor||: St. Martin's Press|
Dutiful daughter, frustrated wife, passionate lover, domineering mother, doting grandmother, devoted friend, tireless legislator, generous patron of artists and philosophers—the Empress Catherine II, the Great, was all these things, and more. Her reign, the longest in Russian Imperial history, lasted from 1762 until her death in 1796; during those years she built on the work begun by her most famous predecessor, Peter the Great, to establish Russia as a major European power and to transform its new capital, St Petersburg, into a city to rival Paris and London in the beauty of its architecture, the glittering splendor of its Court and the magnificence of its art collections. Yet the great Catherine was not even Russian by birth and had no legitimate claim to the Russian throne; she seized it and held on to it, through wars, rebellions and plagues, by the force of her personality, by her charm and determination, and by an unshakable belief in her own destiny. This is the story of Catherine the woman, whom power alone could never satisfy, for she also wanted love, affection, friendship and humor. She found these in letter-writing, in grandchildren, in gardens, architecture and greyhounds—as well as in a succession of lovers which gave rise to salacious rumors throughout Europe. The real Catherine, however, was more interesting than any rumor. Using many of Catherine's own words from her voluminous correspondence and other documents, as well as contemporary accounts by courtiers, ambassadors and foreign visitors, Virginia Rounding penetrates the character of this most powerful, fascinating and surprisingly sympathetic of eighteenth-century women.
|Author||: Simon Dixon|
Neither a comprehensive 'life and times' nor a conventional biography, this is an engaging and accessible exploration of rulership and monarchial authority in eighteenth century Russia. Its purpose is to see how Catherine II of Russia conceived of her power and how it was represented to her subjects. Simon Dixon asks essential questions about Catherin'es life and reign, and offers new and stimulating arguments about the Englightenment, the power of the monarch in early modern Europe, and the much-debated role of the "great individual" in history.
|Author||: Simon Sebag Montefiore|
From the author of The Romanovs: a vivid account of history's most successful political partnership—as sensual and fiery as it was creative and visionary. Catherine the Great was a woman of notorious passion and imperial ambition. Prince Potemkin—wildly flamboyant and sublimely talented—was the love of her life and her co-ruler. Together they seized Ukraine and Crimea, territories that define the Russian sphere of influence to this day. Their affair was so tumultuous that they negotiated an arrangement to share power, leaving each of them free to take younger lovers. But these “twin souls” never stopped loving each other. Drawing on the pair’s intimate letters and on vast research, Simon Sebag Montefiore's widely acclaimed biography restores these imperial partners to their rightful place as titans of their age.
|Author||: Vasili O. Kliuchevsky,Marshall S. Shatz|
In this newly-translated excerpt from his five-volume "Course", Kliuchevsky (1841-1911) provides a colourful description of Russian court life in the 18th century, a dramatic narrative of the coup d'etat that brought Catherine II to power, a portrait of the empress herself, and an analysis of her foreign conquests and her major internal initiatives. While Kliuchevsky is critical of Catherine, he draws upon her memoirs and other writings and the accounts of her contemporaries to achieve a well-rounded and deeply human analysis of her character and personality. It is an extraordinary act of historical re-creation of the sort that brought Kliuchevsky such renown in his own time, and it remains so lifelike that it fairly leaps off the page. Kliuchevsky's examination of Western influence in Catherine's reign leads him to questions that were of urgent significance for Russia's development in his own day, and have remained so ever since: how to use Western ideas and practices to improve and enrich Russian life, without turning them into idle fashions or political bludgeons, and where to find the social leadership capable of performing such a delicate task.
|Author||: Lurana Donnels O'Malley|
The first in-depth study of Catherine the Great's plays and opera libretti, this book provides analysis and critical interpretation of the dramatic works by this eighteenth-century Russian Empress. These works are shown to be remarkable for their diversity, frank satire, topical subject matter, and stylistic innovations. O'Malley reveals comparisons to and influences from European traditions, including Shakespeare and Molière, and sets Catherine in the larger field of Russian literature in the period, further illuminating her relationship to the aesthetic debates of the period. The study investigates how Catherine expressed her social ideas throughout her drama and exploited the stage's power to promote political ideals and ideology. O'Malley sets close textual analysis within an historical framework, analyzing the major plays according to content, style, themes, characters, and relation to Catherine's life and political aims.
|Author||: Eva Stachniak|
|Editor||: Doubleday Canada|
The follow-up to the #1 bestseller The Winter Palace--perfect for the readers of Hilary Mantel and Alison Weir. Catherine the Great, the Romanov monarch reflects on her astonishing ascension to the throne, her leadership over the world's greatest power, and the lives sacrificed to make her the most feared woman in the world--lives including her own... Catherine the Great muses on her life, her relentless battle between love and power, the country she brought into the glorious new century, and the bodies left in her wake. By the end of her life, she had accomplished more than virtually any other woman in history. She built and grew the Romanov empire, amassed a vast fortune of art and land, and controlled an unruly and conniving court. Now, in a voice both indelible and intimate, she reflects on the decisions that gained her the world and brought her enemies to their knees. And before her last breath, shadowed by the bloody French Revolution, she sets up the end game for her last political maneuver, ensuring her successor and the greater glory of Russia.
|Author||: Karen Bush Gibson|
|Editor||: Mitchell Lane Publishers, Inc.|
Considered one of the greatest female rulers, Catherine the Great was a German princess who ruled Russia for 34 years. She introduced reforms in government that led to widespread education, advances in medical care, and improvements in the legal system. Catherine was a voracious reader, and she took many ideas from her reading. She was particularly influenced by writers of the Enlightenment who focused on natural law and science. As one of Russia's longest rulers, she introduced arts and culture to Russia. Her influence led to the development of Russia as a world power in the 19th and 20th centuries.
|Author||: Susan Jaques|
|Editor||: Simon and Schuster|
Ruthless and passionate, Catherine the Great is singularly responsible for amassing one of the most awe-inspiring collections of art in the world and turning St. Petersburg in to a world wonder. The Empress of Art brings to life the creation of this captivating woman's greatest legacy An art-oriented biography of the mighty Catherine the Great, who rose from seemingly innocuous beginnings to become one of the most powerful people in the world. A German princess who married a decadent and lazy Russian prince, Catherine mobilized support amongst the Russian nobles, playing off of her husband's increasing corruption and abuse of power. She then staged a coup that ended with him being strangled with his own scarf in the halls of the palace and herself crowned the Empress of Russia. Intelligent and determined, Catherine modeled herself off of her grandfather in-law, Peter the Great, and sought to further modernize and westernize Russia. She believed that the best way to do this was through a ravenous acquisition of art, which Catherine often used as a form of diplomacy with other powers throughout Europe. She was a self-proclaimed "glutton for art" and she would be responsible for the creation of the Hermitage, one of the largest museums in the world, second only to the Louvre. Catherine also spearheaded the further expansion of St. Petersburg, and the magnificent architectural wonder the city became is largely her doing. There are few women in history more fascinating than Catherine the Great, and for the first time, Susan Jaques brings her to life through the prism of art.
|Author||: Pam Pollack,Meg Belviso,Who HQ|
Learn how a Prussian princess grew up to be Russia's longest-ruling female leader! Born in 1729, Princess Sophie of Anhalt-Zerbs was never supposed to come to power. But at age sixteen, she married the heir to the Russian throne. By 1762, Sophie, known now as Catherine, overthrew her immature and incompetent husband, Peter III, to lead the nation. Catherine became the sole ruler of Russia. This exciting Who Was? title explores how Catherine was able to turn Russia into one of the great powers of Europe by expanding its borders, helping improve its educational system, and advocating for the arts. Her three-decade reign is considered the Golden Age of Russia, and she is called Catherine the Great.
|Author||: John T. Alexander|
|Editor||: Oxford University Press|
The reign of Russia's notorious Empress is examined in an account of her German childhood, marriage to a Grand Duke and overthrow of his government, her infamous love life, and her multinational rule lasting more than three decades.
|Author||: National Museums of Scotland|
|Editor||: National Museums of Scotland|
Here is the art collected and commissioned by Catherine the Great, one of history's incomparable art patrons. Most of the 200 pieces from a one-time only exhibition have not been seen outside the Hermitage in St. Petersburg.
|Author||: Eva Stachniak|
|Editor||: Doubleday Canada|
Behind every great ruler lies a betrayal. Eva Stachniak's novel sweeps readers into the passionate, intimate, and treacherous world of Catherine the Great, revealing Russia's greatest matriarch from her earliest days in court, where the most valuable currency was the secrets of nobility and the most dangerous weapon to wield was ambition. Two young women, caught in the landscape of shifting allegiances, navigate the treacherous waters of palace intrigue. Barbara is a servant who will become one of Russia's most cunning royal spies. Sophia is a pretty, naive German duchess who will become Catherine the Great. For readers of superb historical fiction, Eva Stachniak captures in glorious detail the opulence of royalty and the perilous loyalties of the Russian court.
|Author||: Paul Bushkovitch|
|Editor||: Cambridge University Press|
Accessible to students, tourists and general readers alike, this book provides a broad overview of Russian history since the ninth century. Paul Bushkovitch emphasizes the enormous changes in the understanding of Russian history resulting from the end of the Soviet Union in 1991. Since then, new material has come to light on the history of the Soviet era, providing new conceptions of Russia's pre-revolutionary past. The book traces not only the political history of Russia, but also developments in its literature, art and science. Bushkovitch describes well-known cultural figures, such as Chekhov, Tolstoy and Mendeleev, in their institutional and historical contexts. Though the 1917 revolution, the resulting Soviet system and the Cold War were a crucial part of Russian and world history, Bushkovitch presents earlier developments as more than just a prelude to Bolshevik power.
|Author||: Catherine II (Empress of Russia)|
|Editor||: Psychology Press|
Catherine the Great (1729-1796) wrote over two dozen plays and operettas, but not until this edition has a complete translation of any of them been available to an English- speaking readership. Oh, These Times (1772) is a satirical attack on many vices Catherine wished to root out from her society: religious hypocrisy, superstition and slander. The main character, Mrs. Pious, is a superficially religious old woman who resembles Moliere's Tartuffe. Catherine again sets her sights on superstition in The Siberian Shaman (1786), this time by satirizing shamanism as a deceitful profession which preys on the gullible. This play was part of a group of three plays usually known as Catherine's "anti-masonic" trilogy, written as a warning against the growing influence of the freemasons. In a comprehensive introduction, Lurana Donnels O'Malley relates the plays to Catherine's status and philosophy.