What do we want?!
Plots*, strategic marriages**, coups, betrayals, eccentric behaviour***, murders, revolutions, and a different definition of ‘favourite’****.
How do we want it?!
Probably about 100 pages less. And more about the Hermitage, the art collection, architecture, and Catherine’s early and brave use of vaccination. And less about battles.
I gave Catherine the Great by Robert K. Massie 3.5/5.
*it’s plotting from start to finish, whether it’s political, matters of the heart, or deciding how to manage the serfs.
**although Catherine married strategically, Peter was not what you’d consider a ‘catch’.
***it’s hard to ignore the fabulousness of details such as someone who travels with a servant to polish the silver or, when ill, commands the services of a composer and pianist to provide soothing sounds to comfort (that pianist being Mozart…).
****Empress Elizabeth started it…