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Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman
Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman | Robert K. Massie
[A] tale of power, perseverance and passion . . . a great story in the hands of a master storyteller.The Wall Street Journal The Pulitzer Prizewinning author of Peter the Great, Nicholas and Alexandra, and The Romanovs returns with another masterpiece of narrative biography, the extraordinary story of an obscure German princess who became one of the most remarkable, powerful, and captivating women in history. 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. Catherines family, friends, ministers, generals, lovers, and enemiesall 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. [A] compelling portrait not just of a Russian titan, but also of a flesh-and-blood woman.Newsweek An absorbing, satisfying biography.Los Angeles Times Juicy and suspenseful.The New York Times Book Review A great life, indeed, and irresistibly told.Salon 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 Newsweek/The Daily Beast Salon Vogue St. Louis Post-Dispatch The Providence Journal Washington Examiner South Florida Sun-Sentinel BookPage Bookreporter Publishers Weekly BONUS: This edition contains a Catherine the Great reader's guide.
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kricheal
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Pickpick

Excellent thorough biography of the Russian Empress. She was reigned during the American Revolution and then the French. #47 #2019

readordierachel I really enjoyed this one too. So fascinating! 2mo
64 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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kricheal
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Starting this next on #overdrive #currentlylistening

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the_next_chapter101
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Pickpick

One tragedy after another and this amazing woman still found the courage and strength to rule her country. Such an inspiring story!

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the_next_chapter101
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My progress so far and I'm already intrigued with her story.

Ericalambbrown Just finished this one recently! I learned a so much! 4mo
the_next_chapter101 I'm almost 40% through and I agree. Plenty of information. 73 chapters I think. 4mo
5 likes2 comments
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Ericalambbrown
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Pickpick

I picked this up at the library sale. I knew very little apart from the bare basics of Russian history so I thought it was a good opportunity to learn more. As well as being very educational and well-annotated, I found this book very entertaining. No disrespect intended, I am amazed that her story hasn‘t been picked up for a soapy little mini-series. Her many loves and intrigues, as told through surviving letters and such, are extraordinary.

LeeRHarry I have seen this author recommended before but haven‘t gotten round to reading any of his books yet - this one sounds like a good place to start! 😊 4mo
Ericalambbrown @LeeRHarry I certainly enjoyed it! 😊 4mo
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Bianca
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My pops came over with chocolate and is cooking. I'm trying to enjoy my last day off.

Am here if anyone needs a virtual hug or chat. #joinin

melissajayne Right now I need quiet. Feel like I have been doing Christmas stuff since the 10th and I just want some bloody quiet #joinin 11mo
Bianca @melissajayne I hope you can escape to a space where you can be alone or at least in a quiet place for a long break. 11mo
melissajayne @Bianca I am; surprisingly feeling a bit better. 11mo
Bianca @melissajayne Glad to hear it. I hope you get plenty of rest and a good night's sleep tonight. ❤ 11mo
80 likes4 comments
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Ostaff1
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Reading for a F2F book club. Not sure I want to finish. The child abuse is sickening. “Brümmer would appear in the dining room and threaten to punish his pupil ... The frightened boy ... would leave the table, vomiting. Thereupon, his master would order that he be given no food ... the hungry child would ... stand [at meals] with a picture of a donkey hung around his neck... routinely beat ... with a whip and made him kneel...on hard, dried peas”

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Librarybelle
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Russian Empress and #IcePrincess Catherine the Great could be ruthless, but she also did so many good things. She‘s one of the stand out female rulers, and Massie writes a long biography on her climb to power. It was not easy, and was heartbreaking at times, but she overcame obstacles in the end. I enjoyed this biography - yes, it‘s long and can be plodding at times, but stick with it if you want to learn more about Catherine. #NoFemmeber

Crazeedi This was a great read 13mo
Librarybelle @Crazeedi I learned so much about Catherine. It was a good read! 13mo
Billypar Definitely a historical figure I'd like to learn more about: *Great* pick! 👏👏 13mo
Cinfhen Fantastic choice 13mo
Librarybelle Thank you, @Billypar and @Cinfhen ! 13mo
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readordierachel
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Thanks for the tag @TricksyTails 😄💞

1. I recently bailed on The Rook. Great concept but I got really annoyed with the way the male author wrote the female protagonist. Life's too short.

2. Some sort of delicious beverage ☕🍺🍷🥃🍵

3. Robert K. Massie's biography of Catherine the Great is fantastic. It's a long one but worth it.

4. You're it!

#tuesdaytidbits @JenlovesJT47

PickwickPlockPlock I finished The Rook, but I know what you mean! That book annoyed me! 1y
readordierachel @PickwickPlockPlock That scene where she's looking at her own body and critiquing it was the kiss of death for me. Plus you can tell the author thinks he's reallllly funny. I was bummed b/c I had such high hopes from all the glowing reviews! 1y
PickwickPlockPlock @ReadOrDieRachel Yes, that's the scene I thought of. There was also a really strange shift of tone in the book, first serious and dangerous and later whimsical as if the author had given up all pretext. 1y
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TricksyTails The Rook has been on my TBR forever and now I think there it shall remain. 😆 I‘m intrigued by Catherine the Great so I‘m excited to read your rec! 😊 Stacked! 1y
readordierachel @TricksyTails A lot of people really love it, so if you can get past the annoying parts it might be worth it? Everybody's different 🙃 Im glad to hear you're interested in Catherine! It's really, really good. Long but good, lol. You'll have to let me know what you think if you read it! 😊 1y
TricksyTails I definitely will! Thanks for the rec! 😘 1y
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Readaholics
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Pickpick

Catherine - wow- she was one smart cookie. She maneuvered her way to Empress of Russia - despite having a jealous Aunt, selfish husband and plenty of general court intrigue. Such a good book....

readordierachel Yes! Fascinating book 2y
LeahBergen I recently bought this one. 👍🏻 2y
Librarybelle I enjoyed this one too! A remarkable and smart woman. 2y
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LibraryCin
Mehso-so

I listened to the audio and there were parts that were ok and parts that I liked. I enjoyed the parts about her personal life more than about her reign. In fact, I probably enjoyed the first half better for that reason – the second half was after she became empress. I think I‘ve read one other book about her, but had forgotten about her very childlike husband, Peter III (the grandson of Peter the Great). I thought it was a decent biography.

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OrangeMooseReads
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@MinDea saw your post from earlier. Not sure if you wanted just Romanov or Russian history or both, but here are several books both fiction and nonfiction.
Also the tagged book is excellent as well. I can‘t say I have read all of these, but most of them.

rubyslippersreads You have a great collection! One of my favorite subjects! 😊 (edited) 2y
OrangeMooseReads @rubyslippersreads thank you. It is one of my favorites as well 2y
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SaraBeagle
Pickpick

What a fascinating life! The first part, focused on her life before taking the throne, reads like a soap opera. And she was a quite impressive ruler- advocated for the abolishment of slavery/serfdom, capital punishment and torture. She started the first medical college and ordered doctors placed in every county and was inoculated for smallpox when most were too scared to do so, leading to many to follow her action.

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SaraBeagle
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I've been listening to this on my commute for over a week now and it's fantastic! Such fascinating lives and stories. Except Peter III; I've started trash talking him and referring to him as Peter the Turd. 😆

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Nitpickyabouttrains
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Pickpick

I like long historical non fiction books, so this was right up my alley. But if you are not into 19 hours of Russian court intrigue, this might not be the book for you. Super informative and interesting.

Reviewsbylola I've been scared that this one may be too much for me. 2y
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Emily92Bibliophile
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OHMYGOSH guys, The Strand was my literary heaven!! Thanks @MrBook and everyone else for recommending the Strand to visit! First day down in NYC and it was awesome!!❤️📚🙌🏻

MrBook 😁👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 2y
Jess I hope you have a wonderful time in NYC! Book Culture is another great store to check out if you have the time. 2y
mrozzz Definitely Book Culture too! And McNally Jackson!! But really the Strand is pretty amazing. 2y
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Jess_Read_This
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😧Catherine meets Karl Peter Ulrich, her future husband, when he is 11 years old and already known to be an alcoholic. What?! I had to rewind that bit on the audio to verify I heard correctly!

📸AP News. 🎨Georg Christoph Grooth

#ShockingHistory #DifferentStrokesForDifferentFolks #History #LifeWasDifferent #Biography

Sydsavvy Love that kind of stuff 2y
LeahBergen Wow! 2y
AmandaL That is not something I'd expect to hear! 2y
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AlaMich Yeah, THAT'S the guy you wanna marry. Though I'm guessing she probably had little choice in the matter. 2y
Jess_Read_This @Sydsavvy Me too! This guy was nuts. The stuff he did... 2y
Jess_Read_This @AlaMich She was pretty determined to marry better than her mom, escape her mom, and get along. But he was a character. I think he'd be classified in some DSM sociopath type diagnosis. He'd behead rats military style for infractions and make Catherine watch. 2y
Leftcoastzen Wow ! 2y
Sydsavvy That's it, I must read this book! 2y
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Jess_Read_This
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"Books were her refuge. Having set herself to learn the Russian language, she read every Russian book she could find. But French was the language she preferred, and she read French books indiscriminately, picking up whatever her ladies-in-waiting happened to be reading. She always kept a book in her room and carried another in her pocket."

?My refuge too..

#CurrentRead #Audiobook #Biography #StrongWomen #Russia

Cathythoughts Books are a great refuge ❤️ 2y
OrangeMooseReads Excellent book 2y
Jess_Read_This @Cathythoughts @OrangeMooseReads I'm really enjoying this book. I am still in a shock that her future husband was an alcoholic at the age of 11!!! 2y
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Mammaletterario
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Ugh. So I just moved into an apartment (temporarily) and found that water had came in from outside when we got a ton of rain the last two days. This one got the worst of it, and my box spring for my bed. I used my blow dryer to dry it out quickly because I didn't know how long it had been wet and I didn't want mold and mildew to set in. I think I made it worse 😪😪😪😪.

rather_be_reading oh no! 😨😨 14mo
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Auntynanny
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Pickpick

This was such a fascinating read. I loved learning about this German princess who became a great Russian empress. What an interesting woman!

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mswriterlygirl
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Pickpick

I loved this book. I love that she was an avid reader. I love that she knew what she wanted and took it. Catherine was a fascinating woman. Well written and engaging. Plus I feel like I learned a lot of things.

tracyrowanreads I don't know nearly enough about her. I need to fix that. 2y
mswriterlygirl I didn't know a thing and she was this really amazing figure. I'm planning to read about Peter the Great next. This one was very readable. 2y
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mswriterlygirl
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I know so little about world history. I don't believe I had a world history class (even in college). I'm on a Russia spree.

bitterbear This was a good one... 2y
mswriterlygirl I'll definitely check that out @bitterbear 2y
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readordierachel
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At over 600 pages, this book is a bit of a beast, but it was so fascinating. And allow me to put your curiosity to rest: Catherine the Great did NOT bone down with a horse. Rumors are weird sometimes.

#royals #readjanuary
@RealLifeReading

Foxyfictionista Thank you for clearing that up for us! 😂 3y
GypsyKat This has been on my TBR list for ages! I'm a bit intimidated by it, but it still intrigues me. 3y
readordierachel @GypsyKat It's definitely a commitment, but it was worth it. 3y
GypsyKat 👍🏼 3y
58 likes1 stack add5 comments
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GinEyre22
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"The love of power and the power to attract love were not easy to reconcile" - Robert Massie

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RebeccaSpeas
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Sassy historians are my favorite historians

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Literatigeek
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The accomplishment of hitting the picture pages in a historical biography.

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Literatigeek
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Get him, girl!

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Literatigeek
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Wonder if I can finish this over the weekend...She just became empress...

shainareads What's life without a few goals? I bet you can do it! 3y
2 likes1 comment
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Books4Ever
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Historical fiction find 😊 Hopefully the rumours are true and this book is awesome. I've always been intrigued by Catherine the Great and I'm eager to know more about her 😊

Jellybeanbon I'm also intrigued by Russian history. Will definitely have to put this on the TBR pile. 3y
Books4Ever Yeah Russian history is so interesting 😊 3y
mswriterlygirl I'm reading it now and finding it very well written and easy to digest. I was pleasantly surprised. 3y
Books4Ever @mswriterlygirl It's very well written indeed 😊 I'm glad you're enjoying it 😊 3y
5 likes3 stack adds4 comments
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NowVoyagingLiz
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