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Catherine the Great

Empress of the vast Russian Empire by the age of 33, Catherine's private and public life generated tremendous controversy, and she has been portrayed variously as a political genius, a despotic foreign adventuress, a tyrant, and a nymphomaniac. John Alexander's detailed research draws on little-known sources, including Catherine's love notes, to produce a balanced appraisal of this remarkable woman throughout the whole of her long reign.
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About the Author

Professor of History at the University of Kansas


'an excellent analysis of the historical context in which she cut such a flamboyant figure' Saturday Magazine 'one of the most comprehensive studies of this woman written in modern times ... Well worth buying.' Irish Independent 'A very well researched book that's also very readable' Scottish Home and Country 'Alexander's biography is the best there is and likely to remain so ... based on wide-ranging use of printed and archival sources and free from dogmatic posturing. It is factually reliable, informative, lively and frequently provocative.' A.G. Cross, The Times Literary Supplement 'this is a serious and highly readable work, which draws on a wealth of published sources, notably Catherine's own voluminous writings' Lindsey Hughes, University of London, THES `a serious and highly readable work' Times Higher Education Supplement `Alexander's biography is the best there is and likely to remain so' Times Literary Supplement 'a balanced, comprehensive portrait of the woman whom custom calls "the Great", whom gossip painted as scarlet, but whom Diderot described probably accurately as "the soul of Brutus in the body of "Cleaopatra"' Sunday Times

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