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CATHERINE THE GREAT: Portrait of a Woman
Bibliophile price: £6.50
This absorbing account of Catherine the Great's reign incorporates the 20 years research findings of Isabel de Madariaga. She has written an account of Catherine's life which disentangles myth from the verifiable reality and focusses on her 34-year reign. Born into a minor noble family, Catherine transformed herself into Empress of Russia by sheer determination, for her long reign government, foreign policy, cultural development and welfare were in her hands. She dealt with domestic rebellion and foreign wars and the tidal wave of political change and violence churned up by the French Revolution. Her friends, family, ministers, generals, lovers and enemies are all here in an irresistible biography. She places the changes and reforms of Catherine's reign in the context of the prevailing trends and political climate of Europe and examines Russia's military activity to demonstrate Catherine's part in building Russia into a formidable European power. The book also points to the problems Catherine faced, the resources upon which she could draw, and the intellectual climate. 639 pages, apologies for sticker and remainder mark.

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