Catherine the Great

Front Cover
Arrow Book, 2007 - Empresses - 566 pages
Many legends have grown up about the sexual rapacity of Catherine the Great. While it is true that she shocked the Russian court with the number and age of her lovers, there is no truth in the rumour of her death by stallion. Unhappily married to the Grand Duke Peter, a man who preferred to play with his toy soldiers in the bedroom, they failed to produce an heir, and Catherine turned her attentions to a certain Sergey Saltykov who fathered the future Tsar Paul I. Six months into the reign of Peter III, Catherine, supported by the Imperial Guard, staged a successful coup against her husband and became Empress. It was her ambition to transform a vast but semi-barbaric country with the cultural and political reforms of Enlightenment Europe. In this timely and fascinating biography, Virginia Rounding reveals an extraordinary woman in all her complexity.

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - BrynDahlquis - LibraryThing

A -very- indepth look at Catherine the Great's life. It's exceedingly detailed, and yet I didn't really get tired of reading. Admittedly, it took me quite a while to get through it all, but I did. I ... Read full review

Catherine the Great: Love, Sex, and Power

User Review  - Book Verdict

Catherine is another woman set upon using her power to change her world; in Rounding's rich biography, that world and its times come vividly to life. Born in Germany but transplanted to Russia to ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2007)

Virginia Rounding is the author of Les Grandes Horizontales(2003), is fluent in French and Russian (vital for the source material of her new book). She lives in London (EC1).

Bibliographic information