The Memoirs of Catherine the Great: Background information when reading Catherine the Great

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Catherine the Great

Portrait of a Woman

by Robert K. Massie

Catherine the Great by Robert K. Massie X
Catherine the Great by Robert K. Massie
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Nov 2011, 656 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2012, 672 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Elizabeth Whitmore Funk
Buy This Book

About this Book

The Memoirs of Catherine the Great

This article relates to Catherine the Great

Print Review

The Memoirs of Catherine the Great

Robert K. Massie constructed his biography of Catherine the Great relying heavily on material from her memoirs (now published by Random House under the title The Memoirs of Catherine the Great), which provided him with rare, honest views of an eighteenth century royal's life.

The Memoir of Catherine the Great These memoirs make for rewarding reading in their own right and are vastly supplemented by the dramas, letters, journalism, and political theory that she published in her lifetime. Though they were originally written in French, her preferred language, they have since been translated into numerous languages and published throughout the world.

Catherine began writing her memoirs in her early teens and revised her work throughout her life, continually polishing the written accounts of her days - from her youth in Prussia, to the assassination of her husband Peter III, to her "long and eventful reign" over Russia from 1762-1796.

portrait of Catherine the Great Similar to Massie's portrayal in his biography, Catherine's writing shows a person who is both a ruler and a woman. As translators Mark Cruse and Hilde Hoogenboom note, Catherine uses the memoirs to argue that she was a fair, kind sovereign whose absolute rule over Russia was just.

To get a glimpse of Catherine the Great's writing, click here for an excerpt from her memoirs.

This "beyond the book article" relates to Catherine the Great. It originally ran in February 2012 and has been updated for the September 2012 paperback edition.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year
  • More about membership!

Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: Becoming
    Becoming
    by Michelle Obama
    Voted 2019 Best Nonfiction Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers

    BookBrowse hosted a Book Club ...
  • Book Jacket: Butterfly Yellow
    Butterfly Yellow
    by Thanhha Lai, Daniel Suarez
    Voted 2019 Best Young Adult Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers

    As readers, many of us hope ...
  • Book Jacket: Olive, Again
    Olive, Again
    by Elizabeth Strout
    Voted 2019 Best Fiction Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers

    It's been a big year for literary ...
  • Book Jacket: Solitary
    Solitary
    by Albert Woodfox
    Voted 2019 Best Debut Author Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers

    According to statistics from ...

Book Club
Book Jacket
Evening in Paradise
by Lucia Berlin

"Berlin's new book is a marvel, filled with deeply touching stories about lives on the fringes."—NPR

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Seine
    by Elaine Sciolino

    "A soulful, transformative voyage along the body of water that defines the City of Light."
    —Lauren Collins
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Butterfly Yellow

BUTTERFLY YELLOW

Winner of the BookBrowse Award for Best Young Adult Novel, and the overall highest rated book of the year!

Enter

Wordplay

The Big Holiday Wordplay

Enter Now

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.