Catherine the Great (1729–96), born Sophia Augusta of Anhalt-Zerbst, daughter of a minor German princely family, rose to become the greatest ruler of the vast Russian empire in the 18th century. Married to the erratic Emperor Peter III, she seized power for herself, and her husband was murdered shortly afterwards. This ‘foreign’ princess then ruled her growing domain with a vigour and devotion that was the equal of that of any Russian.
This authoritative biography examines both the public and private life of the Empress, revealing a truly remarkable woman who combined intelligence, passion and the responsibilities of state with the love of important men. The scandalous rumours that circulated in her lifetime and in the following centuries are dealt with, presenting the even more fascinating true story of the ruler who was deservedly titled ‘the Great’.
Michael Streeter is a writer and journalist who worked for many years in Fleet Street, including spells as news editor of the Independent onSunday and as editor of the Scottish Daily Express. He has written books on a variety of subjects ranging from the history of witchcraft to internet crime.
‘It was Catherine the Great’s formidable persona, plus an enquiring intellect . . . that helped to drag Russia into the 18th century. Michael Streeter scotches some of the grosser rumours that surrounded her and retells, with assurance, the tale of that extraordinary woman.’ - Seven, Sunday Telegraph