V. Cronin
Catherine II, Empress of all the Russias, is one of the handfull of rulers who have been popularly called "the Great". During her more than 30-year reign she was a politician, diplomat, commander-in-chief, educator, builder, picture-collector, dramatist, lover, mother, writer of fairy stories, and an indefatigable correspondent. Yet this woman who at the age of 33, after 17 years of unhappy marriage, placed her deposed and murdered husband's crown on her own head, had begun life as a minor German princess, with nothing to indicate that she would become one of the most influential of all the 18th century rulers. This book tries to balance both her private and public life, in an attempt to show how she came to dominate so vast an empire. The author's previous work includes "The Flowering of the Renaissance", "Napoleon", and "Louis and Antoinette".


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