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Recommendations? > Catherine the Great Historical Fiction

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message 1: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Does anyone know any adult (no YA) historical fiction about Catherine the Great? I can't find *anything*.

Thanks so much in advance!


message 2: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Sarah, I am interested too. My interest in Catherine the Great was piqued when I read about her effort to get Germans to settle in Russia. They were given very advantegeous benefits, for example they did not need to serve in the army! Then when times changed and these benefits were removed, many Russian Germans emigrated to Oklahoma. This and other traditions of the Volga Russian Germans are described in The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl. Of course, this is not the central theme of the book.

I would love to read more about Catheirne the Great!


message 3: by Kristine (new)

Kristine (kristinekae) | 257 comments I've been looking for one as well, I had one a few years ago but it was not the easiest or fluent read and I gave up on it and donated it to the library. I've seen a few on goodreads but not sure which one to read.


message 4: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Kristine, could you give us the titles of the ones you know about?


message 5: by Kristine (new)

Kristine (kristinekae) | 257 comments I just did a "find books" search with Catherine the Great as the entry, several came up. I just don't know if any of them are good or not. I'll have to go back and look at the reviews.


message 6: by Kristine (new)

Kristine (kristinekae) | 257 comments Chrissie wrote: "Sarah, I am interested too. My interest in Catherine the Great was piqued when I read about her effort to get Germans to settle in Russia. They were given very advantegeous benefits, for example t..."

The Worst Hard Times is on my tbr list...did not know the history of the families, now I really need to get it!


message 7: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Kristine, The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl is not centered on Catherine the Great. I don't want any confusion about that! Here is my review of the book:
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

I have never tried that book search. I will do that. Thanks for the tip.


message 8: by Chrissie (last edited Feb 26, 2011 12:51AM) (new)

Chrissie Kristine, I must be doing something wrong! I went to "explore", then "find books". Then I wrote in "Catherine the Great" - but I got nothing. I also tried writing "Catherine the Great shelves:historical fiction". This also gave nothing...... I searched with the"all" circle chosen.

Could you explain what I am doing wrong? Could you give the links for the books you found?


message 9: by Kristine (new)

Kristine (kristinekae) | 257 comments Chrissie wrote: "Kristine, The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl is not centered on Catherine the Great. I don't want any confusion about that! Here i..."

Oh, I realized that...I just meant the immigrants that were in Oklahoma at that time....where they migrated from and their history, very fascinating and I am eager to read it.


message 10: by Kristine (new)

Kristine (kristinekae) | 257 comments Chrissie wrote: "Kristine, I must be doing something wrong! I went to "explore", then "find books". Then I wrote in "Catherine the Great" - but I got nothing. I also tried writing "Catherine the Great shelves:histo..."

hmmm let me try....
Catherine the Great
Great Catherine: The Life of Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia
Catherine the Great: Love, Sex, and Power
Catherine the Great
The Memoirs of Catherine the Great
Catherine the Great
Catherine the Great : Life and Legend This is the one I started, I believe, quite a few years ago...
Potemkin: Catherine the Great's Imperial Partner
Catherine the Great: A Biography
Catherine the Great
Catherine the Great: Empress of Russia
Catherine the Great

Let me know if you read any of these and what you think.....


message 11: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Please explain how you got these titles! I am doing something completely wrong. I do think when you searched you only get books that have "Catherine the Great in their title. But why did I get nothing?

That looks like a lot of work you put in. Here is a (((HUG))) as thanks! While I eat my lunch I will check out the books! I am very thankful, Kristine.

I wonder what has happened to Sarah who started this thread?


message 12: by Robin (last edited Feb 26, 2011 03:07AM) (new)

Robin (ukamerican) | 529 comments Those all appear to be non-fiction though. If you're looking for fiction, I would use www.historicalnovels.info - from that I found a few novels on Catherine the Great but unfortunately, most are out of print so you might have trouble tracking them down.

Imperial Highness (Romanov Trilogy 1)
Curse Not the King (Romanov Trilogy 2)
(I don't think the third one features Catherine)
Star of the North: A novel based on the life of Catherine the Great

What Goodreads needs is to use the "characters" feature more so that when you go to this page: http://www.goodreads.com/characters/3... it actually lists all the books featuring Catherine the Great - or at least more than the two that are there now.


message 13: by Chrissie (last edited Feb 26, 2011 03:25AM) (new)

Chrissie Kristine, all of the books in your list are non-fiction. I in fact already had the third title by Rounding. As you go down the list they get less and less interesting. I have chosen to keep this book b/c several of my GR friends have given it either 4 or 5 stars. It is detailed and is based on true letters that exist. I believe it was discussed at the European Royalty Group. That is where I heard about it. It could be dry. It is correct and has a favorable Kirkus review. People have said that due to its denseness it takes a while to read through.

Robin, thanks for the info on the hisotical fiction titles. I think I will have a very hard time getting them, living in Belgium. More importantly, would you take the time to explain HOW you search a given character. From where we are now, what should I click on to get to the right place? Thank you in advance.


message 14: by Robin (new)

Robin (ukamerican) | 529 comments Chrissie wrote: "More importantly, would you take the time to explain HOW you search a given character. From where we are now, what should I click on to get to the right place? Thank you in advance. "

I don't know why nothing shows up for you when you search Catherine's name - any book with her name in the title should show up when you search for it. You might want to ask in the Goodreads Feedback group: http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/1...

As for the books, you might be able to buy them on Amazon's Marketplace (not from Amazon themselves but a third party seller).


message 15: by Chrissie (last edited Feb 26, 2011 06:52AM) (new)

Chrissie Robin, I can also try ABeBooks - they have the largest supply of second hand books. I have also put the historicalnovel site on my favorites for future use. thanks very much.

I understand that if a book has the character information filled in you would get more books in the list to which you gave us a link. My question is how do you search a particular character. I didn't think this was possible!

Of the three you listed have you read any? Would you recommend any?


message 16: by Chrissie (last edited Feb 26, 2011 07:06AM) (new)

Chrissie I found this historical fiction: Men on White Horses.


message 17: by Robin (new)

Robin (ukamerican) | 529 comments I haven't read any of them but the trilogy looks interesting.


message 18: by Kristine (new)

Kristine (kristinekae) | 257 comments Ahhh, that is why they sounded so dry and didn't have great reviews...hmmmm...

And Chrissie, thanks, it really wasn't that much work :)

Oh, I just recalled a link on another one of my groups, I'm going to look for it and post it here when I can....


message 19: by Kristine (last edited Feb 26, 2011 10:12AM) (new)

Kristine (kristinekae) | 257 comments http://www.historicalnovels.info/

second try....hoping it works


message 20: by Kristine (new)

Kristine (kristinekae) | 257 comments yeah, it works....this may have something


message 21: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Kristine, Robin went to that site and listed the books above (message 12).

Also see message 16. A friend of mine has read it. She gave it four stars.


message 22: by Kristine (new)

Kristine (kristinekae) | 257 comments Well, I know now not to post until after drinking my coffee and reading with a clear head the previous posts...lol....so, I blame the lack of caffeine for my loopiness...


message 23: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Look, I am always loopy, morning, noon and night! :0)

Men on white Horses only goes up to her coronation. I want the whole life.

Furthermore, I guess I should just see what I can find to order here in Belgium!

You think we are loopy - well what happened to Sarah?!


message 24: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie I have found another book that will come out in November. It is however a biography, not historical fiction. I have heard this wuthor is excellent. I plan on reading Nicholas and Alexandra by Robert K. Massie. Then if I like the author I can continue with Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman. Some author are so good that non-fiction becomes more exciting and entralling than fiction. I am hoping Massie is one of these authors.

Still, there sure do not seem to be very many historical fiction books about Catherine the Great.


message 25: by Kate (new)

Kate Quinn | 549 comments The trouble with Catherine the Great is that once she becomes Empress, her life is relatively smooth - she has an heir, she doesn't marry again, and after that she dedicates her life to working 16-hour days and running the country. Not enough grist for lots of writers. If you can find a really good non-fiction biography of her, that might work - good non-fiction can read just like a novel. Don't do the Suzanne Massey one, though; it's terrible.


message 26: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Kate, well her sex life has certainly been exagerated! I find her colonization of the Volga area fascinating.

I will wait for Robert K. Massie's book, which is to come out in November. I guess I will have to wait even longer for a perback. annoying, even though it is not like I am running out of books.


message 27: by Kate (new)

Kate Quinn | 549 comments Really, Catherine the Great's sex life was not terribly extreme. It was very modern, really - she was a serial monogamist; i.e. one serious boyfriend after another. But that was too modern for a lot of people, hence a lot of stories about how "insatiable" she was, and how many lovers she had. I wish people would check their facts - how does a woman who routinely works 16-hour days have TIME to be insatiable? She appeared to be a perfectly normal workaholic with a busy schedule and a regular sex life.


message 28: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Kate, exactly! I do want to know about her "work", if we call it that!

Have you read any of Massie's books? I have Nicholas and Alexandra sitting here on my shelf just begging to be read. I hope I like it as much as I think I will.


message 29: by Kristine (new)

Kristine (kristinekae) | 257 comments I recall a tv movie about her years ago and how they portrayed her husband...curious to know if he was really that "insane"...also heard that they never consummated the marriage and her son/heir was that of another man...again....I'm not sure what is fact and what is fiction.


message 30: by Kate (new)

Kate Quinn | 549 comments None of her children came from her husband; that's pretty much acknowledged. Her son and heir came from a lover named Sergei Saltykov - she was more or less forced to take a lover to get pregnant because after about 8 years of marriage her husband either wouldn't or couldn't get it done, and she was on the point of being divorced and sent home. So she took a lover for the purpose of getting pregnant.


message 31: by Kate (new)

Kate Quinn | 549 comments Chrissie wrote: "Kate, exactly! I do want to know about her "work", if we call it that!

Have you read any of Massie's books? I have Nicholas and Alexandra sitting here on my shelf just begging to be read. I hop..."


Massie is terrific! I love his "Peter the Great." Talk about a wonderful romance; the love letters between him and his second wife are so incredibly touching. And what a Cinderella story - his wife went from literally Lithuanian peasant girl to Empress (in her own right) of Russia.


message 32: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Kate, OK, I can read that after "Nicholas and Alexandra", that I already have. I have had "Peter the Great" on my lists for ages. My next book will be "Nicholas and Alexandra". I must try Massie. I have heard such great stuff about him. His books are not dry and boring. Good non-fiction books are usually 10 times better than drivelly fiction. Is drivelly a word? Still I have to finsih what I have started. My head can only deal with one book at a time.

I REALLY appreciate all you information and help.


message 33: by Kate (new)

Kate Quinn | 549 comments If drivelly isn't a word, it certainly should be!


message 34: by Pam (new)

Pam Walter | 381 comments Chrissie wrote: "Sarah, I am interested too. My interest in Catherine the Great was piqued when I read about her effort to get Germans to settle in Russia. They were given very advantegeous benefits, for example t..."

Chrissie; I loved The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl. I think I will have given it 4 stars, can't remember. But perhaps much has to do with my maternal relatives are Volgadeutsche. They settled in Western Kansas with other Volga Germans, and named the town that they founded Catherine, Kansas. These people who were not welcomed back in Germany, once Catherine's son Paul inherited the crown of Russia, emigrated to various places. Even to the Middle East, but the majority crossed the Atlantic to settle in the US, Canada and South America. Actually Chicago had the largest population of Volgadeutshe. Many of my maternal relatives still live in Catherine Kansas (which was named for Catherine the Great).

I also would like to read more about her.


message 35: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Pam, so you enjoyed that part of the Dust Bowl too! I think she sounds terribly interesting. I am going to wait for Massie's biography of Catherine the Great. There is a link up above.


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