Book Review: Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie

Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman
My rating:



Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie is another History Book Club read that I took forever to finish. This is because the book did not keep me coming back and I read many other books while I was reading this one. About 3/4 through the book I pretty much knew what I was going to write for my review. The first part of the book, the part leading up to her marriage, was interesting, and for me the best part of the book. From that point until just before the end of the book, it read like a soap opera. She went from man to man and had so many woes. Towards the end it was the story of a geriatric old woman, and her pains. Her triumphs in war, but more so her art collections, and her passing fancies. It wasn’t that this book was written poorly, thats not it at all, I just didn’t find the story of Catherine II’s life all that interesting. Maybe for people who are more interested the her social relationships there might be more, but I didn’t find my self identifying with any of the people discussed in the book. I didn’t get to really know anyone but Catherine, which is who the book was about so again no fault of the author. I was a little let down by this one and I think it will be a while before I pick up another historical biography. I need to refresh my mental palate.

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