Terrible Tsarinas: Five Russian Women in Power

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Overview

Peter the Great was a tough act to follow. Who could possibly take the place of that gigantic reformer, that despotic visionary? He died in 1725, leaving Russia with one foot in the modern world and one foot in obscurity - and entirely caught up in a snarl of conspiracies and betrayals.

In the next 37 years, five women would make history, calling the shots as their nation became a player in the major-league games of Europe. Brains and brass, gluttony and glory. . . these passionate women responded to the challenges - some for better, some for worse.
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Editorial Reviews

Russian Life Magazine
For those whose interest is piqued by this issue's story on Elizabeth, there is Henri Troyat's excellent Terrible Tsarinas (Algora, 2001; $18.95), a nicely translated multi-biography of the five women who led Russia after Peter the Great's death. Wonderfully written, it pulses with court intrigues, diplomatic conspiracies and vivid descriptions of court life.
—Paul E. Richardson
Library Journal
Peter the Great (1672-1725) pulled Russia into the Western realm despite the opposition of noblemen, churchmen, and even the ordinary peasant. His untimely demise in 1725 did not allow him to appoint a successor. The next 25 years were consumed by the succession of four women-Catherine I, Anna Ivanovna, Anna Leopoldovna, and Elizabeth I (Petrovna)-who ruled Russia, making precarious alliances through arranged marriages. Catherine II (the fifth woman in succession) ruled Russia for the next 50 years. Their lives of political and sexual guile set the stage for the Seven Years' War (French and Indian War), the partitions of Poland, and the system of political alliances in 18th-century Europe. Troyat, a member of the Acad mie Fran aise and author of dozens of novels and biographies, including Catherine the Great and Tolstoy, employs a highly readable style, and his text proves that skirts didn't impede the movements of these women. This book is an excellent pre-read to S. Sebag Montefiore's recent Prince of Princes: The Life of Potemkin (LJ 10/1/01); Catherine II and Potemkin laid the foundation of modern Russia. Recommended for academic and public libraries.-Harry Willems, Southeast Kansas Lib. Syst., Iola Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781892941541
  • Publisher: Algora Publishing
  • Publication date: 6/1/2001
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Henri Troyat is a prolific and extremely popular French novelist and biographer. Born in Moscow, he fled the Revolution and started over in Paris, where his talent and perseverance eventually earned him admission to the Academia Francaise. He has won many prestigious literary prizes.
Troyat paints a dazzling tableau with all the glitter of a St. Petersburg wavering under the competing influences of Prussia and Versailles. In this intimate view of history, we eavesdrop on family quarrels, lovers' trysts and diplomatic conspiracies. Troyat is the perfect author to bring us this real-life fairytale. Born in Moscow in 1911, he experienced Russia's turbulent history himself before making his way to France. In Paris, he achieved extraordinary success as a biographer and lyrical novelist, and was rewarded for his beautiful prose with acceptance into the exclusive Académie Française and with the Prix Goncourt.
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