the winter palace a novel of catherine the great

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The Winter Palace

Author : Eva Stachniak
ISBN : 9780553908046
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 60. 21 MB
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From award-winning author Eva Stachniak comes this passionate novel that tells the epic story of Catherine the Great’s improbable rise to power—as seen through the ever-watchful eyes of an all-but-invisible servant close to the throne. Her name is Barbara—in Russian, Varvara. Nimble-witted and attentive, she’s allowed into the employ of the Empress Elizabeth, amid the glitter and cruelty of the world’s most eminent court. Under the tutelage of Count Bestuzhev, Chancellor and spymaster, Varvara will be educated in skills from lock picking to lovemaking, learning above all else to listen—and to wait for opportunity. That opportunity arrives in a slender young princess from Zerbst named Sophie, a playful teenager destined to become the indomitable Catherine the Great. Sophie’s destiny at court is to marry the Empress’s nephew, but she has loftier, more dangerous ambitions. What Sophie needs is an insider at court, a loyal pair of eyes and ears who knows the traps, the conspiracies, and the treacheries that surround her. Varvara will become Sophie’s confidante—and together the two young women will rise to the pinnacle of absolute power. “A majestic and splendidly written tale of pride, passion, intrigue, and deceit that is brought alive from the first page to the last.”—Rosalind Laker “At the same time baroque and intimate, worldly and domestic, wildly strange and soulfully familiar, The Winter Palace offers a flickering glimpse of history through the gauze of deft entertainment.”—The Washington Post “A thrilling point of view . . . Readers are treated to a firsthand account of the young princess’s slow ascent to the throne, a path deliciously strewn with discarded lovers and sanguine court intrigues.”—Minneapolis Star-Tribune “[A] brilliant, bold historical novel . . . This superb biographical epic proves the Tudors don’t have a monopoly on marital scandal, royal intrigue, or feminine triumph.”—Booklist (starred review)

Empress Of The Night

Author : Eva Stachniak
ISBN : 9780553908053
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 22. 1 MB
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Perfect for readers of Hilary Mantel, Alison Weir, and Philippa Gregory, Empress of the Night is Eva Stachniak’s engrossing new novel, told in the voice of Catherine the Great as the Romanov monarch reflects on her ascension to the throne, her rule over the world’s greatest power, and the sacrifices that made her the most feared and commanding woman of her time. A critically acclaimed historical drama and instant #1 international bestseller, The Winter Palace brilliantly reimagined the rise of Catherine the Great through the watchful eyes of her clever servant Varvara. Now, in Eva Stachniak’s enthralling new novel, Catherine takes center stage as she relives her astonishing ascension to the throne, her rule over an empire, and the sacrifices that made her the most feared and commanding woman of her time. As the book opens, the charismatic monarch is in her final hours. From the fevered depths of her mind, Catherine recalls the fateful trajectory of her turbulent life: her precarious apprenticeship as Russia’s Grand Duchess, the usurpers who seek to deprive her of a crown, the friends who beg more of her than she was willing to give, and her struggle to know whom to trust and whom to deceive to ensure her survival. “We quarrel about power, not about love,” Catherine would write to the great love of her life, Grigory Potemkin, but her days were balanced on the razor’s edge of choosing her head over her heart. Power, she learns, is about resolve, strategy, and direction; love must sometimes be secondary as she marshals all her strengths to steer her volatile country into a new century and beyond—to grow the Romanov empire, to amass a vast fortune, and to control a scheming court in order to become one of history’s greatest rulers. Gorgeously written with vivid detail and lyrical prose, Empress of the Night is an intensely intimate novel of a woman in charge of her fortunes, who must navigate the sorrows, triumphs, and hopes of both her soul and a nation. Praise for Empress of the Night “[Eva] Stachniak’s absorbing novel opens readers’ hearts to an extraordinary and misunderstood woman. . . . Wonderfully, lyrically written, Stachniak’s story vibrates with passion, drama and intrigue. This is a feast for fans.”—RT Book Reviews “Stachniak’s insight into the opulent lives of Russia’s rulers continues in this reflective second novel. . . . Historical fiction fans will appreciate this personal account of a formidable and, indeed, infamous ruler.”—Library Journal “The book takes on a dreamlike quality. . . . Ambitious . . . moving . . . structurally complex and psychologically intense . . . vivid descriptions.”—Quill & Quire “Stachniak brings to life one of the most fascinating—and controversial—female rulers of all time.”—DuJour “Empress of the Night casts light on Catherine’s life with unflinching honesty and intimacy. This fun novel of lovers, intrigue, and malicious and manipulative nobility keeps readers enthralled with every page.”—Virtuoso Life From the Hardcover edition.

Catherine The Great

Author : Robert K. Massie
ISBN : 9781908800947
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 33. 46 MB
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The story of one of the truly great female rulers in history by an award winning historian. The daughter of an impoverished aristocrat, Catherine was married aged 16 to Grand Duke Peter, heir to the throne of all the Russias, a feckless teenager with a weakness for drink. Catherine was only able to give him an heir by passing off her lover's son as his own. In 1762, Catherine rode out of St Petersburg at the head of an army to arrest her husband. Three months later she became sole empress of the largest empire on earth. She was 33 years old. She ruled Russia as a benevolent autocrat for 34 years,fighting the Turks abroad and rebellion at home, and shepherding her people through the upheavals of the French Revolution. She took on many lovers but gave her heart to General Potemkin, the foremost statesman of her time. She died in 1796 aged 67, revered by her people as 'our mother', praised by Voltaire as a philosopher, reviled by her enemies as the Messalina of the North and remembered in history as Catherine the Great. From this extraordinary life of great events, fabulous splendour and barbaric cruelty, Robert K. Massie has woven a thrilling narrative based on impeccable scholarship and a cinematic eye for detail.

Potemkin

Author : Simon Sebag Montefiore
ISBN : 9781400077175
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 42. 84 MB
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A racy page-turning history of one of Russia's greatest leaders explores the life and incredible career of Potemkin, lover of Catherine the Great and architect of Russian imperial power. Originally published as Prince of Princes. Reprint. 15,000 first printing.

The Chosen Maiden

Author : Eva Stachniak
ISBN : 9780385678551
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 55. 75 MB
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The lush, sweeping story of a remarkable dancer who charts her own course through the tumultuous years of early twentieth-century Europe. Beautifully blending fiction with fact, The Chosen Maiden plunges readers into an artistic world upended by modernity, immersing them in the experiences of the era's giants, from Anna Pavlova and Serge Diaghilev to Coco Chanel and Pablo Picasso. From their earliest days, the Nijinsky siblings appear destined for the stage. Bronia is a gifted young ballerina, but she is quickly eclipsed by her brother Vaslav. Deemed a prodigy, Vaslav Nijinsky will grow into the greatest, and most provocative, dancer of his time. To prove herself her brother's equal in the rigid world of ballet, Bronia will need to be more than extraordinary, defying society's expectations of what a female dancer can and should be. The real-life muse behind one of the most spectacular roles in dance, The Rite of Spring's Chosen Maiden, Bronia rises to the heights of modern ballet through grit, resilience and fervor. But when the First World War erupts and rebellion sparks in Russia, Bronia—caught between old and new, traditional and ground-breaking, safe and passionate—must begin her own search for what it means to be modern. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Dancing With Kings

Author : Eva Stachniak
ISBN : 9780007387731
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 25. 59 MB
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An alluring, exotic novel set in the late eighteenth century, based on the life of the famous and much-painted courtesan, La Belle Phanariote.

The Memoirs Of Catherine The Great

Author : Catherine the Great
ISBN : 9780307432438
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 43. 59 MB
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Empress Catherine II brought Europe to Russia, and Russia to Europe, during her long and eventful reign (1762—96). She fostered the culture of the Enlightenment and greatly expanded the immense empire created by Czar Ivan the Terrible, shifting the balance of power in Europe eastward. Famous for her will to power and for her dozen lovers, Catherine was also a prolific and gifted writer. Fluent in French, Russian, and German, Catherine published political theory, journalism, comedies, operas, and history, while writing thousands of letters as she corresponded with Voltaire and other public figures. The Memoirs of Catherine the Great provides an unparalleled window into eighteenth-century Russia and the mind of an absolute ruler. With insight, humor, and candor, Catherine presents her eyewitness account of history, from her whirlwind entry into the Russian court in 1744 at age fourteen as the intended bride of Empress Elizabeth I’s nephew, the eccentric drunkard and future Peter III, to her unhappy marriage; from her two children, several miscarriages, and her and Peter’s numerous affairs to the political maneuvering that enabled Catherine to seize the throne from him in 1762. Catherine’s eye for telling details makes for compelling reading as she describes the dramatic fall and rise of her political fortunes. This definitive new translation from the French is scrupulously faithful to her words and is the first for which translators have consulted original manuscripts written in Catherine’s own hand. It is an indispensable work for anyone interested in Catherine the Great, Russian history, or the eighteenth century. From the Hardcover edition.

Sashenka

Author : Simon Sebag Montefiore
ISBN : 9781446486054
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 65. 62 MB
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Winter, 1916. In St Petersburg, snow is falling in a country on the brink of revolution. Beautiful and headstrong, Sashenka Zeitlin is just sixteen. As her mother parties with Rasputin and her dissolute friends, Sashenka slips into the frozen night to play her role in a dangerous game of conspiracy and seduction. Twenty years on, Sashenka has a powerful husband and two children. Around her people are disappearing but her own family is safe.But she's about to embark on a forbidden love affair which will have devastating consequences. Sashenka's story lies hidden for half a century, until a young historian goes deep into Stalin's private archives and uncovers a heart-breaking story of passion and betrayal, savage cruelty and unexpected heroism - and one woman forced to make an unbearable choice ...

Catherine The Great

Author : Virginia Rounding
ISBN : 1429967986
Genre : History
File Size : 20. 2 MB
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Dutiful daughter, frustrated wife, passionate lover, domineering mother, doting grandmother, devoted friend, tireless legislator, generous patron of artists and philosophers—the Empress Catherine II, the Great, was all these things, and more. Her reign, the longest in Russian Imperial history, lasted from 1762 until her death in 1796; during those years she built on the work begun by her most famous predecessor, Peter the Great, to establish Russia as a major European power and to transform its new capital, St Petersburg, into a city to rival Paris and London in the beauty of its architecture, the glittering splendor of its Court and the magnificence of its art collections. Yet the great Catherine was not even Russian by birth and had no legitimate claim to the Russian throne; she seized it and held on to it, through wars, rebellions and plagues, by the force of her personality, by her charm and determination, and by an unshakable belief in her own destiny. This is the story of Catherine the woman, whom power alone could never satisfy, for she also wanted love, affection, friendship and humor. She found these in letter-writing, in grandchildren, in gardens, architecture and greyhounds—as well as in a succession of lovers which gave rise to salacious rumors throughout Europe. The real Catherine, however, was more interesting than any rumor. Using many of Catherine's own words from her voluminous correspondence and other documents, as well as contemporary accounts by courtiers, ambassadors and foreign visitors, Virginia Rounding penetrates the character of this most powerful, fascinating and surprisingly sympathetic of eighteenth-century women.

One Night In Winter

Author : Simon Sebag Montefiore
ISBN : 9780062291905
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 40. 56 MB
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Inspired by a true story, prize-winning historian and acclaimed novelist Simon Sebag Montefiore explores the consequences of forbidden love in this heartbreaking epic of marriage, childhood, danger, and betrayal that unfolds in Stalin's Moscow during the bleak days after World War II. As Moscow celebrates the motherland's glorious victory over the Nazis, shots ring out on the crowded streets. On a nearby bridge, a teenage boy and girl—dressed in traditional nineteenth-century costumes—lie dead. But this is no ordinary tragedy, because these are no ordinary teenagers. As the son and daughter of high-ranking Soviet officials, they attend the most elite school in Moscow. Was it an accident, or murder? Is it a conspiracy against Stalin, or one of his own terrifying intrigues? On Stalin's instructions, a ruthless investigation begins into what becomes known as the Children's Case. Youth across the city are arrested and forced to testify against their friends and their parents. As families are ripped apart, all kinds of secrets come spilling out. Trapped at the center of this witch-hunt are two pairs of illicit lovers, who learn that matters of the heart exact a terrible price. By turns a darkly sophisticated political thriller, a rich historical saga, and a deeply human love story, Montefiore's masterful novel powerfully portrays the terror and drama of Stalin's Russia.

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