Wednesday Wanna-Read: Catherine the Great–Portrait of a Woman

Great women in history have always been fascinating to me. Many of them defied the expectations of their time and became great leaders of their people.

Like Elizabeth I, she was declared illegitimate, her mother was executed, women were not supposed to rule. Yet, she is considered a great queen of England.

From Goodreads page

From Goodreads page

Catherine the Great is a similar case and one of the biographies written about her, this one by Robert Massie, is my Wednesday Wanna-Read this week.

I don’t know as much about Russian history as I know about other regions of the world. I know the name Catherine the Great, but I don’t know much about her beyond that. However, this description is enough to make me realize I need to learn about her: “Born into minor German nobility, she transformed herself into an empress by sheer determination. Possessing a brilliant, curious mind, she devoured the works of Enlightenment philosophers, and reaching the throne, tried using their principles to rule the vast, backward empire. She knew or corresponded with notable figures of her time: Voltaire, Diderot, Frederick the Great, Maria Theresa of Austria, Marie Antoinette & John Paul Jones. (From Goodreads)”

Catherine ruled for 34 years. She was a force to be reckoned with on the global stage during her time.

And Massie, a Pulitizer Prize winner, is telling her story. I actually own this book (Thanks for the Christmas gift, mom and dad) and I’m excited to one day be actually caught up enough on my reading to dive into it. Maybe I can learn a thing or two from Catherine.


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