Catherine The Great: Love Sex and Power

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9780091799922: Catherine The Great: Love Sex and Power

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.

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Review:

"Enjoyable and perceptive study ... Rounding has read widely, and writes punctilious, professional history with a no-nonsense style and a respectful relish for the details that make the past come alive." (Simon Sebag Montefiore Sunday Telegraph)

"Rounding writes with enviable lucidity, and gives us the most accessible and enjoyable portrait yet." ( Daily Mail)

"A great thumping triumph of a book." ( Daily Telegraph)

"Rounding shows that ... the reality is far more interesting than any of the fictions." ( Scotland on Sunday)

"Written with vigour and intelligence enough to do justice to its prodigious subject." ( Sunday Times)

From the Publisher:

Power politics and sexual politics combine in the life of an extraordinary woman who ruled Russia from 1762 until her death in 1796.

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