Her demeanour was marked by such nobility and grace, that I would have admired her even if she hadn’t been to me what she is.
Princess Johanna of Holstein-Gottorp on her daughter,
the future Catherine II
The woman who became Catherine II, the Great, Empress of All the Russias, was born Sophie Frederica Auguste of Anhalt-Zerbst on 21 April Old Style, 2 May New Style, 1729, in the Baltic port of Stettin in Pomerania (now Szczecin in northwest Poland). She was the first child of her 39-year-old
“An engrossing bio . . . Is it possible Sofia Coppola picked the wrong historical heroine?” ---Entertainment Weekly (Grade: A)
“The book is so readable because it brings Catherine alive, and not least in her relations with the men she drew to her side.” ---Foreign Affairs
“An attractive account of the reign of a most remarkable woman . . . Strongly recommended.” ---Library Journal
“A great thumping triumph of a book.” ---London Telegraph (UK)