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The Prince of Princes: The Life of Potemkin
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The Prince of Princes: The Life of Potemkin

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  180 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Prince Grigory Potemkin was Catherine the Great's lover, secret husband, and partner in ruling the Russian Empire. Their affair was so tumultuous, they negotiated an arrangement that allowed them to share power while he was free to love his beautiful nieces, and Catherine, her favorites. But they never stopped loving each other. Their endearing and passionate relationship ...more
Hardcover, 672 pages
Published November 7th 2001 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published January 1st 2000)
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Meticulously researched and absorbingly written, this is a truly excellent biography of the man who was a real power behind the Russian imperial throne in the late eighteenth century—Prince Grigory Potemkin, lover of Catherine the Great and the man who commanded her armies towards military glory. Much of Sebag Monetefiore's research uses sources not previously known to scholarship in general, not just English-language scholarship. Such a wealth of information does lead to the book feeling a litt ...more
Robert Morris
This is a weird book. I suppose it is a testament to what a colossal figure Potemkin is, that a regular biography isn't enough, and he needs a whole new genre. The first sections of this book read a bit like a romance novel. Catherine the Great's rise to power is of course fascinating, but it takes back stage to the growing relationship between the empress and her consort. This is the right approach for a man of whom we can definitely say: ¨He slept his way to the top¨.

Once Potemkin has attained
Absolutely essential and highly entertaining examination of Potemkin, giving the man full due for expanding the reach of the Russians under Catherine, both geographically and diplomatically. Very colorful reading which never flags, in part due to the man himself, a libertine of surprising sentiment towards his women and at all times, faithful to his political partnership with the woman who raised him to near imperial heights. Perhaps the only thing the man didn't achieve was that last and elusiv ...more
An absolutely fascinating book!
Not knowing that much about pre-revolution Russia, this was an eye opening book. While the writing can be stilted (the book is best read on a desert island), it is informative and detailed (sometimes too detailed). It manages to humanize an individual whose name has become synonymous with phoniness. It is obvious though that the author is fighting a losing battle against this popular view of Potemkin. Nonetheless, read it, if only to learn about his exploits against the Poles, Turks and the ladi ...more
Engrossing even though this author tend to repeat himself at times. Potemkn was a collosial genisus and did for 19th century Russia what Peter the Great did in the 18th century. If only these great minds could have been treasured and survived the 1917 Revolution. One wishes that Lenin could have measured up to the stature of Potemkin. If so,"The Sleeping Bear" would today be one of the world's greatest civilizations.
This is a wonderful revision of our general impression of Potemkin and his 'Potemkin villages' criticized by his rivals as no more than sham facades. Montefiore restores the larger than life Potemkin to the pedestal on which Catherine placed him. It's a vivid, lusty, overwhelming story of excess, ambition, loyalty and vision. Highly recommended.
Johnny Leavesley
Magisterial and yet accessible. The fascinating story of one of the relatively unknown titans of history. Catherine's lover, statesman, friend and possibly husband was largely erased from history by the Communists but was one of the fathers of modern Russia. Beautifully written, I was gripped by it.
Brilliant biography of two giants of Russian history. Only too often it is seen that many leaders have intensely troubled domestic lives, but these two are the glimmering exceptions. Montefiore has taken this story out of the relative backwaters of history and made it shine again.

Find out that Potemkin's villages were for real! Even though Stalin diss'd them so!

A riveting read about a facinating man, and turbulent period of Russian history.

No accounts of Catherine the Great having sex with her horse.... as one would expect from a creditable biography.
Rebecca Huston
A fascinating look at one of history's leading men -- Prince Potemkin, an adventurer, lover and friend of Catherine the Great, and some say that he was her secret husband. Full of details, I found this one engrossing, and quite different than what I had expected.
This was a good read. With the misconceptions that we have, due to later rulers muddying the waters on what they actually achieved, this was a very informative read.

Now it's not just the horse myth that will spring to mind when I read about Catherine the Great.
A fabulous read. Brings together many historical figures in circumstances not taught in conventional UK history lessons.
I will definitely read this again to make sure I didn't miss anything.
Thoroughly recommend.
Absolutely brilliant stuff, casting a whole new light on the contribution of this man who has the power of a czar but wasn't a czar in name. Beautifully researched and vividly written.
Montefiore at its best...covering the fascinating love-political relationship between two of the shrewdest statesmen that have ever lived
Great stories, though sometimes confusing in the switches between chronological & thematic approaches.
Still in the process of reading about this brilliant crazy man who helped shape Russia.
Nov 16, 2007 Ellanor marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Bought at Hatchards on way to Russia, started buy haven't finished
Potemkin has been underrated because of evil tongues...
Jan 15, 2009 Pat is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Intense, well researched and totally involving
Frank Thun
Russian History is sooo delightful
Margaret marked it as to-read
Jan 24, 2015
Mila Gómez-Johansson
Mila Gómez-Johansson marked it as to-read
Jan 24, 2015
Gill marked it as to-read
Jan 22, 2015
Catherine Yost
Catherine Yost marked it as to-read
Jan 21, 2015
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Simon Sebag Montefiore is the author of the prize winning books Jerusalem: the Biography' and Young Stalin and the novels Sashenka and now One Night in Winter. His books are published in over 40 languages and are worldwide bestsellers. He read history at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge University, where he received his Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD).

The novel One Night in Winter is out now i
More about Simon Sebag Montefiore...
Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar Jerusalem: The Biography Young Stalin Sashenka One Night in Winter: A Novel

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