The Life of Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia by Carolly Erickson: Book Review

Topics: Catherine II of Russia, Simeon I of Bulgaria, Attention Pages: 2 (831 words) Published: April 19, 2010
The Life of Catherine the Great: Empress of Russia
By Carolly Erickson
The Life of Catherine the Great is a 400-page book written by Carolly Erickson that details the interesting life of Catherine. The book was published in 1994 and printed by St. Martin’s Press in New York. Readers are able to purchase/check-out this book in a hardback copy with the ISBN of 0312135033 and also a paperback copy with an ISBN of 978-0312135034. The book features a full-length photo of Catherine in her royal attire on the front cover of the book. Erickson begins the novel about Catherine, born Sophie, when she was a young four-year old girl. From the beginning of the book, she gives an account of Catherine the Great’s life chronologically. Erickson used primary sources to collect information on Catherine and even used several autobiographies that were written in French by Catherine herself from different periods in her life. From these memoirs, Erickson was able to interpret that Catherine was a full-bodied, educated, lovable, woman who was born to a German family and occupied prestigious titles early on into later stages of her life. Carolly Erickson performed rigorous research and provided some of the most intimate details about Catherine from Russia. Erickson spent much time interviewing different informants (diplomats, guards, foreign visitors) and quoting material from journalists and others’ journals. With this particular book, a reader will definitely get a well-written biography of this infamous historical figure and learn a great deal about the times of Russia as well as unknown information about Catherine. This book was intended for readers that wanted to get a better grasp of Catherine the Great, but also can be an appealing piece of work that is out of the ordinary for readers not quite familiar with Catherine. Erickson made sure to capture her audience’s attention with the intriguing facts of Catherine’s being and managed to bring Catherine’s character to life....
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