Pulitzer Prize winner, Robert K. Massie, adds Catherine the Great to his other biographies of Russian rulers (Peter the Great, Nicholas and Alexandra, and the Romanovs). This biography of German born Sophia Augusta, who later became ruler of Russia, creatively reveals how she became the only Russian female to be accorded the title of "The Great."
Mr. Massie's research is thorough and lends an authenticity to the biography through the inclusion of excerpts from Catherine the Great's memoirs and letters. The biography is comprehensive with much attention given to Catherine's early life. It was fascinating to read how a shy and confused German duchess rose to the ranks of one of the most revered and powerful Russian rulers. Her many roles, dutiful wife, lover, intellectual, arts patron, protector of her people and regent are masterfully written. Massie interweaves Catherine, the person, with her many accomplishments while on the throne for 50 years.
The book is engrossing, reading more like a novel than a biography. It is highly compelling and recommended.
I thank Random House through Library Thing for graciously providing the review copy.
Reviewed by Holly Weiss, author of Crestmont