Upgrade to the Flash 9 viewer for enhanced content, including the ability to browse & search through your favorite titles.
Click here to learn more!
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 they were free to take other lovers. But they never stopped loving each other, and their enduring relationship remains one of history's most remarkable love affairs.
Potemkin shone as an outstandingly gifted statesman, winning the Crimea, planning new cities like Sebastopol and Odessa, and making Russia a Near Eastern power. He embodied the strengths and weaknesses of Russia itself—volatile, ebullient, and always astonishing—and his magnificence enchanted and scandalized Europe. He was surrounded by a cosmopolitan court and obsessed over his gardens. His enemies accused him of creating fake houses for Catherine's Crimean river tour—hence the lasting term, “Potemkin Villages”—but Montefiore dispels this smear for good.
Based on years of original research, this is the definitive biography of one of Russian history's most fascinating and important characters.
“A rollicking tale, balanced in treatment of its controversial characters.” —The Boston Globe
“Montefiore conveys all this history with vivid detail and narrative momentum....He captures the genius of two extraordinary Enlightenment figures—and of the age as well.” —The Wall Street Journal
“[An] invigorating read...A lively, highly unturgid biography of someone about whom most of us know little.” —The Chicago Tribune
“Absorbing...monumental...No one can fault the author's enthusiasm, thoroughness, and rigor.” —The New York Times Book Review