Ebook É Catherine the Great Portrait of a Woman ì 625 pages

Epub Catherine the Great Portrait of a Woman

Ebook É Catherine the Great Portrait of a Woman ì 625 pages ☆ ✼ [EPUB] ✴ Catherine the Great Portrait of a Woman By Robert K. Massie ❆ – Eyltransferservices.co.uk Pulitzer Prize winner Massie offers the tale of a princess who went to Russia at 14 and became one of the most powerful Ng husband Peter who left her sexually untouched for nine years after their marriage her unhappy son heir Paul her beloved grandchildren and her favorites the young men from whom she sought companionship the Great Portrait of a eBook #193 and the recapture of youth as well as sex Here too is Gregory Potemkin her most significant lover possible husband with whom she shared a correspondence of love separation followed by years of unparalleled mutual achievement All the ualities that Massie brought to Nicholas Alexandra and Peter the Great are present historical accuracy deep understanding felicity of style mastery of detail ability to shatter myth a genius for finding and expressing a human dram She sat on the throne of Peter the Great and ruled an empire the largest on earth Her signature inscribed on a decree was law and if she chose could mean life or death for any one of her twenty million subjects She was intelligent well read and a shrewd judge of character During the coup she had shown determination and courage; once on the throne she displayed an open mind willingness to forgive and a political morality founded on rationality and practical efficiency She softened imperial presence with a sense of humor and a uick tongue; indeed with Catherine than any other monarch of her day there was always a wide latitude for humor There was also a line not to be crossed even by close friendsI knew almost nothing about Catherine the Great before reading this book Now that I've finished it all I say is damn this lady was impressive It would have been easy for this book to be a never ending litany of reasons Catherine's life sucked but even as Massie details all the tragic aspects of Catherine's life we never get the sense that we should feel too sad because her personal strength and character shine through clearly no matter what hell she happens to be going through at the time And she went through a lot of shit in her lifetime Catherine was fourteen when she was brought to Russia to marry the nephew of the Empress Elizabeth who was unmarried and despite numerous affairs throughout her reign didn't have a child of her own to be her heir So she brought Peter of Holstein to Russia at the age of fourteen to make him her heir instead and Catherine was shipped over that's the most accurate way to describe it in a hurry so they could get married and Elizabeth could officially make Peter her successor Due mostly to the fact that he'd been uprooted from his home and controlled by sadistic tutors for most of his life Peter was an unpleasant little shit and he and Catherine disliked each other It didn't help either that they didn't have sex for nine years after their marriage shades of Marie Antoinette or that Elizabeth was intensely protective of Peter and had Catherine spied on every waking minute even going so far as to dismiss any servants that Catherine got too friendly with When Catherine finally had her first child the father was almost certainly not her husband Elizabeth had the child taken to her own rooms the second it was born Catherine didn't see her newborn son for an entire week after giving birth to him and after that she was barely allowed to see himSo it's understandable that as soon as Elizabeth died and Peter got the throne Catherine put up with that for about five minutes and then it was coup d'etat o'clock or accurately her friends in the military were like Hey Catherine if you feel like overthrowing your lame husband we'll totally back you up and she was like Might as well Fetch my Usurping GownOnce Catherine becomes empress everything gets awesome Massie's book may portray her in an overly glowing light but as far as I can tell Catherine was an ideal ruler She worked from six am to ten pm often went days without sleeping or eating and genuinely wanted the best for her people She spent months organizing and revising a codex of laws expanded the empire improved hospitals and medical practices in the country and tried to abolish serfdom all while maintaining affairs with a succession of handsome and charming men all of whom were in their mid twenties even when Catherine was in her fifties Get it girl She made permanent improvements to Russia and its people and it's easy to forget that she technically stole her throne and wasn't even born Russian She was a complex utterly competent woman who managed to take a terrible situation and make it awesome and then become one of the greatest women in history Comparisons to Elizabeth I are inevitable and thankfully Massie avoids them almost entirely This book could have easily dissolved into here's why Catherine was similar to Elizabeth and other famous female rulers and here's why they were different etc and I was very glad that Massie didn't take the book in that direction Other historical figures come and go here such as Louis XVI Voltaire and even the founder of the US Navy John Paul Jones but minus one over long detour into the French Revolution Catherine always remains the center of the book's focus As she should be She's certainly earned it

Book ☆ Catherine the Great Portrait of a Woman Í Robert K. Massie

Espot” Montesuieu idealized she contended with the deeply ingrained realities of Russian life including serfdom She persevered and for years the government foreign policy cultural development and welfare of the Russian people were in her hands She dealt with domestic rebellion wars the tides of political change and violence inspired by the French Revolution Her reputation depended on the perspective of the speaker She was praised by Voltaire as like the classical philosophers She was condemned by enemies mostly foreign as “the Messalina of the north” Her family friends ministers generals lovers and enemies are vividly described These included her ambitious scheming mother her weak bullyi Catherine the Great Portrait of a Woman by Robert K Massie is the extraordinary story of an obscure young German princess who travelled to Russia at the tender age of fourteen and rose to become one of the most powerful and captivating women in historyI had previously read Massie's Nicholas and Alexandra which was wonderful and I was really interested in reading about Catherine the GreatMassie did extensive research on this book It is Catherine’s detailed and excellent memoirs and letters from which Massie uotes liberally which make it possible for him to write such a wonderful detailed portrait of this Woman and her time in history Mr Massie writes elegantly and knows how to get the readers attention and I found myself totally invested in this story and its characters I loved reading this book and really learned so much I spent a lot of time googing places and palaces in Russia that I was totally side tracked for much of the novel I did finish the book feeling some compassion for Catherine and her life at court but I was stunned at the opulence and behaviour of those within the Russian courtLovers of history will not be disappointed with this extensively researched and easy to read story that flows from beginning to end

Robert K. Massie Í Catherine the Great Portrait of a Woman Book

Catherine the Great Portrait of a WomanPulitzer Prize winner Massie offers the Great Portrait ePUB #10003 tale of a princess who went to Russia at and Catherine the Epubbecame one of the most powerful women in history Born into minor German nobility she transformed herself into the Great Portrait PDFEPUB #235 an empress by sheer determination Possessing a brilliant curious mind she devoured the works of Enlightenment philosophers and the Great Portrait of a eBook #193 reaching the throne tried using their principles to rule the vast backward empire She knew or corresponded with notable figures of her time Voltaire Diderot Frederick the Great Maria Theresa of Austria Marie Antoinette John Paul Jones Wanting to be the “benevolent d Firstly to answer your most pressing uestion regarding Catherine the Great the Empress of Russia from 1762 to 1796 No she did not die having sex with a horseMoreover if you have an abiding interest in the origins of this rumor Robert K Massie’s Catherine the Great Portrait of a Woman will not satiate your deviant interest it certainly didn't satisfy mine Massie refuses to engage the slander – born during her own lifetime – at any levelThus there is not one sentence of horse sex in nearly 600 pages of text Of other sexual encounters though there are many The story of Catherine the Great is filled with sex There are enough romantic entanglements sordid liaisons and passionate affairs to fuel several television seasons on premium cable There are also dozens of the betrayals murders coups plots and palace secrets that underlie so much of Russia’s imperial history Massie gives life to them all in a book that balances the literal hugeness of Russia – a stage 18 the size of Earth – with an intimate warts and all portrayal of her leaders Born Sophia Augusta Fredericka a minor German princess Catherine eventually traveled to Russia to be the wife of Peter III the future tsar Her early years in Russia were extremely difficult She had a volatile relationship with the reigning Russian monarch Empress Elizabeth a relationship that actually looks much better in relation to her husband Peter III an immature boy of few gifts who treated Catherine horribly Massie supports the theory that Peter’s mood as well as Catherine’s and Peter’s inability to consummate the marriage stemmed from Peter’s phimosis a condition marked by a painful tightening of the foreskin In 1762 Empress Elizabeth died and Peter ascended the throne where he performed as poorly as expected Just six months into his rein an alienated Imperial Guard revolted and proclaimed Catherine the Empress Seizing the moment Catherine had her husband arrested; Peter III was killed by Alexei Orlov just eight days later while imprisoned Massie finds no evidence that Catherine was involved in ordering Peter’s death Catherine reigned until 1796 in a manner best described as the personification of Montesuieu’s “benevolent despot” She liked to compare herself to Peter the Great and she worked to further modernizeEuropeanize Russia She was a patron of the arts and literature; she believed in the value of education; she paid service to enlightenment values and even carried on a lengthy correspondence with Voltaire During her 34 year reign she dealt with wars rebellions and the fallout of the French Revolution Despite her dalliances with liberalism though she was deeply pragmatic She made some changes to Russia’s serf laws but left serfdom – a pretty way of saying slavery – firmly in place Massie tells this sweeping story from the ground through the eyes of those who lived it This is first and foremost a story about people The narrative belies the Tolstoyan view of history as an impersonal force Instead it focuses on how history is shaped and shifted by ordinary folks with recognizably human abilities and failings ambitions and desiresI am a huge fan of Massie’s books and I have always appreciated this about him For this same reason he his disliked by academics and “serious” students of Russia After all Massie is a writer not a researcher He relies on secondary sources and translations in crafting his books He does not write scholarly works For the most part I think the criticism is generated by Massie’s success He has amassed an enviable career without ever having to worry about tenure which certainly must aggravate his critics But that is not to say that Massie is beyond reproach Certainly his lack of facility with primary sources he uses 4 different translations of Catherine’s Memoirs gives me pauseMore importantly I uestion Massie’s objectivity in dealing with his subjects He tends to be less a biographer than a booster This is a failing in all of his books In Peter the Great Massie delights in telling of Peter capering about Europe incognito but glosses over the Tsar’s order to torture his own son Similarly in Nicholas and Alexandra Massie provides an overly sympathetic portrait of Nicholas as an inherently decent man in over his depth rather than the anti Semitic blunderer he actually was Here too Catherine is given the benefit of every doubt If Massie is reuired to make a historical judgment call you can be certain that it will inure to Catherine’s advantage These concerns however are a bit esoteric and are overwhelmed by the sheer joy of being in the hands of an absurdly good storyteller uite simply Massie is on a very short list of authors who have that rare gift of giving life to history You finish this book with a sense not only of what these famous people have done but what these famous people were like Massie’s writing style is engaging and graceful if not elegant Like Robert Caro he does not simply focus on his subject but gives ample time to all the people in his subject’s life As such Catherine the Great treats the reader to fascinating mini biographies of Johanna Catherine’s scheming petty small minded mother; Empress Elizabeth the mother in law from hell; and Gregory Potemkin the greatest of all Catherine’s lovers who for many years was the most powerful man in Russia The result of Massie’s focus on intertwining personalities is a sense of history unfolding as it happens rather than a discrete event that happened long ago The larger perspective tends to get lost but that’s okay If I have to choose between a formal and rigid survey of Catherine’s reign or a detailed recounting of the soap operatic machinations of Catherine’s court I’m choosing the latter As I said before this is a book of sex and violence but no horse sex or horse violence It provides all the prurient joys of the trashiest novel yet comes cloaked in the respectability of a weighty tome by a respected author I don’t know about you but this is a win win for me I’m always on the lookout for a way to satisfy both my lowbrow instincts and my highbrow pretensions Robert K Massie’s Catherine the Great does both