History & Politics

Russia in the Age of Catherine the Great
by Isabel de Madariaga

The reign of Catherine the Great shaped history as much as it was bound by it, building a bridge between ages across which the Russian empire became transformed into a modern power. Isabel de Madariaga is considered to be one of the foremost scholars of Russia during this period, publishing Russia in the Age of Catherine the Great as a definitive history about this illustrious figure. While Catherine the Great is frequently portrayed as a romantic heroine by many writers, Isabel de Madariaga provides an accurate and authoritative panorama of Russia during the 18th century, paying close attention to historical detail and the political influences that came to bear. The age of enlightenment provides a rich backdrop for this illustrious period, with Voltaire, Piderot, and other luminaries figuring prominently.

An accomplished writer and scholar in her own right, Catherine the Great is shown as a working empress with an exceptional talent for diplomacy, legislative acumen, and intellectual enlightenment. Her legendary sexual proclivities are well balanced by a determined program to forge a new Russia that was to become more attuned to the aspirations of a wide cross-section of her empire.

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About the Author

Isabel de Madariaga is Professor Emeritus of Slavonic Studies at the University of London. She is a highly respected scholar who has received great acclaim for all of her scholarly literature about Catherine the Great of Russia, one of the most colorful monarchs of all time. Her latest book, Ivan the Terrible, is the definitive biography of this Russian Tsar, portraying the infamous cruelty of his reign within the context of 16th century Russia. She includes a fresh account of the active role that religion, magic and astrology played in Ivan's life and court and provides new insights into his foreign policy.

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