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    Catherine the Great and Potemkin: The Imperial Love Affair (Paperback) By (author) Simon Sebag Montefiore

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    DescriptionHistory's greatest love story, Catherine the Great and Potemkin is a sweeping epic of sex, love, power, conquest and extravagance on a magnificent Russian scale. Not only was only was their romance wildly passionate but they were also probably the most successful political partnership of all, outstripping Antony and Cleopatra or Napoleon and Josephine. Their secret letters, which discuss other lovers, sex, wars, politics, arts and health, are surely the most intimate and extraordinary ever written by an empress or politician. Both characters in this joint biography, based on new archives, are fascinating: she a German princess married lovelessly at 14 to the Russian heir combined charm, passion and political genius. She ruthlessly seized power and ruled triumphantly for thirty years; he - a brilliant flamboyant politician, strategist and conqueror of wild eccentricity and debauchery. Outrageously sexual and political, he was the love of her life. They shocked Europe by taking younger lovers yet they secretly married and ruled together as best friends, and lifelong lovers.

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  • Full bibliographic data for Catherine the Great and Potemkin

    Catherine the Great and Potemkin
    The Imperial Love Affair
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Simon Sebag Montefiore
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 640
    Width: 126 mm
    Height: 198 mm
    Thickness: 42 mm
    Weight: 522 g
    ISBN 13: 9780753818343
    ISBN 10: 0753818345

    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 15500
    BIC E4L: BIO
    BIC subject category V2: HBLL, BGH
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T4.2
    BIC geographical qualifier V2: 1DVUA
    BIC subject category V2: HBJD
    LC subject heading:
    BIC subject category V2: 1DVUA
    DC22: 947.063092
    LC classification: DK169.P8
    Thema V1.0: DNBH, NHD
    Thema time period qualifier V1.0: 3M
    Thema geographical qualifier V1.0: 1DTA
    Illustrations note
    Orion Publishing Co
    Imprint name
    Phoenix (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
    Publication date
    03 June 2004
    Publication City/Country
    Author Information
    Simon Sebag Montefiore read history at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where he received his Doctorate of Philosophy. His books are published in over forty languages. CATHERINE THE GREAT AND POTEMKIN was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize. STALIN: THE COURT OF THE RED TSAR won the History Book of the Year Prize, British Book Awards. YOUNG STALIN won the Costa Biography Award (UK), the LA Times Book Prize for Biography (USA), Le Grand Prix de la Biographie Politique (France) and the Kreisky Prize for Political Literature (Austria). JERUSALEM: THE BIOGRAPHY won the Jewish Book of the Year Prize (USA). He is also the author of two acclaimed novels, SASHENKA and ONE NIGHT IN WINTER. Dr Montefiore's next major history book will be THE ROMANOVS: RISE AND FALL, 1613-1917. He has presented BBC television series on the Holy Cities of Jerusalem, Rome and Istanbul. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Visiting Professor at Buckingham University, he lives in London with his wife, the novelist Santa Montefiore, and their two children. Visit his website for more information www.simonsebagmontefiore.com, join on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Simon-Sebag-Montefiore and follow him on Twitter https://twitter.com/simonmontefiore.
    Review quote
    "A rattling good read...told with with great verve and a stunning command of his sources" -- Brian Maye Irish Times
    Review text
    Simon Sebag Montefiore's book combines readability with erudition, human detail with the grand sweep. Popular knowledge tells us that Potemkin was the lover of Catherine the Great, who ruled Russia from 1762 until 1796, and the 'builder' of the Potemkin Villages, said to have been built as a series of fronts, like a wild west film studio set, along the road to the Black Sea, to fool Catherine into believing the country was more prosperous than it actually was. Jettison all that half-knowledge. Montefiore constructs a detailed picture of Russia: its foreign policy, its long history of serfs and nobles, its ambitions and its culture. Catherine was a German princess, fashionable culture was Francophone, the artistic world still looked into Italy. Potemkin was Russian with a tincture of Polish, born in Smolensk into a reasonably prosperous family. As was to be expected in his society, he went into the Guards. What was not to be expected was his promotion by Catherine to her bed. Even then, his story might have followed the usual progress of royal favourites, when the bedroom door closes leaving them outside. But virility and beauty were not his only assets. He had an unerring grasp of Russian politics. He was all the time aware of 'the art of the possible' in that court of shifting loyalties and dangerous enmities. The profound attachment between Catherine and her lover - some said, husband - is a leit-motif of the book. At first, Potemkin filled every need in her life. But after some years Catherine opted for a succession of young men, but political acumen was not part of their contracts of employment. Her relationship with Potemkin changed. It is difficult, even with the guidance of Simon Sebag Montefiore, to comprehend how the pair negotiated this change, but negotiate it they did. Their letters to each other - hers, outpourings of affection and concern and pleas for his wise political guidance, his necessarily shorter because he was usually in the middle of a war - breathe the serenity of long-established love. Review by: LIZA PICARD (Kirkus UK)