Catherine the Great & Potemkin

By Simon Sebag Montefiore,

Book cover of Catherine the Great & Potemkin: The Imperial Love Affair

Book description

A widely acclaimed biography from thebestselling author of The Romanovs: "One of the great love stories of history” (The Economist) between Catherine the Great and the wildly flamboyant and talented Prince Potemkin. • "Captures the genius of two extraordinary Enlightenment figures—and of the age as well." —The Wall Street Journal…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Catherine the Great & Potemkin as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This historical work traces the improbable rise to power of Catherine the Great and her partnership and love affair with Prince Potemkin. Catherine, a German princess, seizes the throne from her mentally-unstable husband and begins to rule the vast empire that is Russia. She is largely responsible for the partition of Poland. Together she and her lover Potemkin conquer Ukraine and Crimea. It hardly needs stating that these territories are at the center of today’s headlines. Thus we learn a great deal about the background of the current war. Their affair was unbridled but it went far beyond sex. It…

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,’…

From Eva's list on Russia’s history and culture.

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