Power politics and sexual politics combine in the life of an extraordinary woman who ruled Russia from 1762 until her death in 1796.
Virginia Rounding is the author of Les Grandes Horizontales (2003), is fluent in French and Russian (vital for the source material of her new book). She lives in London (EC1).
A great thumping triumph of a book. * Daily Telegraph *
Enjoyable and perceptive study ... Rounding has read widely, and writes punctilious, professional history with a no-nonsense style and a respectful relish for the details that make the past come alive. -- Simon Sebag Montefiore * Sunday Telegraph *
Rounding writes with enviable lucidity, and gives us the most accessible and enjoyable portrait yet. * Daily Mail *
Written with vigour and intelligence enough to do justice to its prodigious subject. * Sunday Times *
Rounding shows that ... the reality is far more interesting than any of the fictions. * Scotland on Sunday *