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History Group Reads > Catherine the Great - Parts 2 and 3

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message 1: by Mandy (new)

Mandy Moody | 544 comments Please discuss part II A Painful Marriage and part III Seduction, Motherhood and Confrontation here.


message 2: by Laura (new)

Laura | 99 comments I just finished part II and felt sorry for both Catherine and Peter. They really had no say in their lives at all at this point.


message 3: by Destiny (new)

Destiny | 51 comments I felt sorry that Catherine and Peter were controlled. But I felt even worse for Catherine. She wanted to be a dutiful wife but her husband wanted no part of it. She had an affair and got "an heir" to the throne but he was taken away from her. The empress, even though I know she wanted to be close with the baby, had no reason to take Paul away from Catherine like that and make her lay waiting for food and water and adequate after birth care. Catherine seemed smarter than Peter because she was able to be involved with court and make alliances while all Peter does was play with his soldiers.


message 4: by Karen (last edited Jan 01, 2012 08:56AM) (new)

Karen Witzler (kewitzler) I'm still finishing up Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman. I was absolutely riveted by the entire sequence from Elizabeth's death to Catherine's coronation. What an amazing turn of events and I thought that Massie did an excellent job of drawing the reader into details; Dashkova's night, the army in Denmark, the Orlov letter and Paul's reading of it years later. (Do you think there was much chance that he was Peter's son?) Peter's bizarre behavior made Catherine's ascent inevitable. Loved it.


message 5: by Destiny (new)

Destiny | 51 comments Karen wrote: "I'm still finishing up Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman. I was absolutely riveted by the entire sequence from Elizabeth's death to Catherine's coronation. What an amazing tu..."
I'm on the fence about Paul being Peter's son. They say that he grew up to look a lot like Peter but Catherine was his cousin so it is possible Paul got his looks from her. I wish they could test Peter, Catherine, and Paul to see if he really was Peter's


message 6: by Karen (new)

Karen Witzler (kewitzler) Paul moved Peter's body upon his own ascension to remind people of his descent from Peter the Great and previous czars. I think he believed it psychologically , as well as politically. Massie doesn't seem to think it likely and includes the detail that Peter's mistress of many years, Elizabeth Vorontsova, never seems to have become pregnant until very soon after her marriage to another man - subsequent to Peter's death.


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