The Prince of Princes: The Life of Potemkin
Prince Grigory Potemkin was Catherine the Great's lover, secret husband, and partner in ruling the Russian Empire. Their affair was so tumultuous, they negotiated an arrangement that allowed them to share power while he was free to love his beautiful nieces, and Catherine, her favorites. But they never stopped loving each other. Their endearing and passionate relationship remains one of history's most remarkable love affairs.
Potemkin shone as an outstandingly gifted statesman, winning the Crimea, founding the Black Sea Fleet, reforming the Cossacks, planning new cities like Sebastopol and Odessa, and making Russia a Near Eastern power - achievements in war and peace that emulated his hero Peter the Great.
He embodied the strengths and weaknesses of Russia itself - volatile, ebullient, handsome, sensual, and always astonishing. His bizarre magnificence enchanted and scandalized Europe. Yet he disdained his own success.
He was surrounded by a cosmopolitan court that included brilliant Americans, such as Admiral John Paul Jones, and Lewis Littlepage, a friend of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Both served under Potemkin against the Turks.
An obsessive Anglophile, he commissioned Joshua Reynolds and created an English garden wherever he stopped for the night. In 1787, this master showman presided over Catherine's Crimean river-tour, so sumptuous it was compared to Cleopatra's progress. Potemkin's enemies claimed he displayed fake houses - "Potemkin villages" - a smear this biography lays to rest.
After five years' new research in archives from Petersburg to Odessa, Sebag Montefiore shoes how Potemkin and Catherine, with their younger lovers, created their own "family." He brings blazingly to life Potemkin's loving partnership with Catherine and restores him to his place as a colossus of the eighteenth century. When he died, Catherine was heartbroken. She said there could never be another Potemkin.
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - robeik - LibraryThing
This is a fantastically long book about a couple of people in the 18th century that I had not heard of, other than that I had heard of someone called Catherine the Great. I'm embarrassed that when I ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - Hiensch - LibraryThing
Although very interesting and offering a new perspective on Potemkin I found the book slightly disappointing. The story of Catherine and Potemkin could have been told in 300 pages instead the five ... Read full review
Death on the Steppes I
POTEMKIN AND CATHERINE 17391762
The Provincial Boy
The Empresss Reckless Suitor
The War Hero
British Blackamoors and Chechen Warriors
The Benthams in Russia and the Emperor of Gardens
The White Negro
A Day in the Life of Grigory Alexandrovich
THE APOGEE 17871790
The Magical Theatre
The Happiest Man Alive
Heartbreak and Understanding
THE PASSIONATE PARTNERSHIP 17761777
Duchesses Diplomats and Charlatans
THE COLOSSUS 17771783
The Holy Roman Emperor
Three Marriages and a Crown
THE COTSAR 17841786
Emperor of the South
The Storming of Ochakov
My Successes Are Yours
THE LAST DANCE 1791
The Beautiful Greek
Carnival and Crisis
The Last Ride
Life After Death
List of Characters