The Official History Chicks Podcast Book Club discussion

Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman
This topic is about Catherine the Great
26 views
August Book Choice > Final Discussion

Comments Showing 1-7 of 7 (7 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

Amber (MommyTucker) | 157 comments Mod
Catherine the Great by Robert K. Massie was a well-written and laid out biography. Robert Massie provided us with details about Catherine's life before and during her journey as Empress. While reading this book, I found it easy to follow but found that once Catherine became Empress, Robert Massie focused a lot of the chapters on those figures around her.

Catherine was an excellent Empress for Russia and even though she was not Russian, she fully submerged herself in learning everything needed to know about Russian history, language, court life, etc. This dedication gave her power and respect from her people. She had a difficult childhood/early adulthood but became an independent and fearless leader.


Mary | 22 comments Yes! And she also allowed herself to enjoy passionate love affairs with men who supported her. From her childhood to become this woman was truly a remarkable feat. Well written, and although I doubt I will read Robert K. Massie's biography on Peter, I am interested in his findings about the man.


Amber (MommyTucker) | 157 comments Mod
Yes, she did, which makes me happy for her. I'm glad she was able to find individuals to spend time with that were able to provide her humor, friendship and love.


Janet | 9 comments I really enjoyed this one. Here isa link to my review

Read my 5-star review of Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


Maryann Hopping | 6 comments I enjoyed the book overall & learned a lot. I found Catherine deserving of the title “Great” and wish she got much more recognition as a powerful female ruler equal to Elizabeth I. I was particularly impressed by her efforts to transform the medical system in Russia.

I did think the book could have used another pass by an editor. A couple spots were choppy. A couple tangents that should have been edited out. (I found the full chapter on the French Revolution with only a couple mentions of our actual subject very frustrating. A discussion on the morality of the guillotine was completely misplaced). And despite the length & tangents I still have some questions. Like what happened to her 3 child? I get that she basically gave him up for adoption but I still would have liked a sentence on how his life turned out. He’s a good writer but needed to keep better focus on what his subject was.

I think it’s really sad that part of her legacy is her son ensuring their would be no further female empresses. Sad that despite his personal frustrations with her he couldn’t see that she was a capable ruler and that his granddaughters could potentially inherit the throne equal to his grandsons.


Mary | 22 comments Maryann wrote: "I enjoyed the book overall & learned a lot. I found Catherine deserving of the title “Great” and wish she got much more recognition as a powerful female ruler equal to Elizabeth I. I was particular..."

Well said Maryann!!


Amber (MommyTucker) | 157 comments Mod
Maryann wrote: "I enjoyed the book overall & learned a lot. I found Catherine deserving of the title “Great” and wish she got much more recognition as a powerful female ruler equal to Elizabeth I. I was particular..."

Thank you for your thoughts. I agree! She was deserving of the title, "great" and find it very sad that her son made sure that the future rulers of Russia would not be female. It did their country a great disservice.


back to top