Book Nook: Catherine the Great - Portrait of a Woman, by Robert K. Massie Part 1

Dec 29, 2011

Catherine the Great was the legendary last empress of Russia. Nobody imagined that she could rise from up from such humble origins as a princess from an obscure German principality to become the ruler of the largest country in the world of that time. Catherine's reign during the late 18th Century provides readers with a fascinating story.

Robert K. Massie had access to a wealth of material to write this biography. Catherine kept journals and was a prolific letter writer.  Massie has created a portrait of a remarkable, intelligent woman.  This story takes us from the battlefields of Europe to the hallowed precincts of the imperial bedroom.

In this, the first of a two part interview, the author describes how he first became interested in Russian history and how that interest, which has lasted for over four decades now, has led him to write biographies of Nicholas and Alexandra, Russia's last monarchs,  the Czar Peter the Great, and now Catherine the Great.