In the process, she turned her new empire from peripheral pariah to European great power. She was branded both a usurper and an assassin when she seized power from her wretched husband in 1762. There were few greater transformations of fortunes in history. When Catherine II died in St Petersburg in 1796, the world sensed the loss of the most celebrated monarch of Europe - something no one would have predicted at the birth 67 years before of an obscure German princess, Sophie of Anhalt-Zerbst, later married off to the pathetic heir to the Russian throne. Yet she survived the initial succession crisis, and went on to occupy the Russian throne for 34 years. Sophie/Catherine had come to rule in her own right over the largest state in existence since the fall of the Roman Empire. Empress, empire-builder, intellectual, art-collector, and lover - this magnificent new biography does full justice to a truly remarkable ruler.
Catherine the Great
|Формат:|| Страниц 416|