The Prince of Princes: The Life of Potemkin
By Simon Sebag Montefiore
Why this book?
I read Prince of Princes when I was researching Empress of the Night--the sequel to The Winter Palace--and needed to get to know the man who had been the greatest love of Catherine’s life. Simon Sebag Montefiore’s expansive, multifaceted biography of Catherine’s favourite viceroy, and secret husband, was the best introduction I could hope for. Grigory Potemkin was an extraordinary man of grand passions, learning, and political brilliance. He was Russian to the core, embodying both the enlightenment ideals and the mysticism of his country and times. Laying to rest many myths, including that of ‘Potemkin Villages,’ Montefiore offers one of the best accounts of life at the Russian Imperial court in the 18th century.
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