Potemkin (Paperback)

Catherine the Great's Imperial Partner

By Simon Sebag Montefiore, Simon Sebag Montefiore

Vintage, 9781400077175, 690pp.

Publication Date: January 4, 2005

List Price: 21.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


As a young guardsman, Grigory Potemkin caught the eye of Catherine the Great with a theatrical act of gallantry during the coup that placed her on the throne. Over the next thirty years he would become her lover, co-ruler, and husband in a secret marriage that left room for both to satisfy their sexual appetites. Potemkin proved to be one of the most brilliant statesmen of the eighteenth century, helping Catherine expand the Russian empire and deftly manipulating allies and adversaries from Constantinople to London.
This acclaimed biography vividly re-creates Potemkin's outsized character and accomplishments and restores him to his rightful place as a colossus of the eighteenth century. It chronicles the tempestuous relationship between Potemkin and Catherine, a remarkable love affair between two strong personalities that helped shape the course of history. As he brings these characters to life, Montefiore also tells the story of the creation of the Russian empire. This is biography as it is meant to be: both intimate and panoramic, and bursting with life.

About the Author

Simon Sebag Montefiore is a historian of Russia. Potemkin: Catherine the Great's Imperial Partner was short-listed for the Samuel Johnson, Duff Cooper and Marsh Biography prizes in Britain. Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar was awarded the History Book of the Year Prize at the 2004 British Book Awards. Young Stalin won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography, the Costa Biography Prize (UK) and the Kreisky Prize for Political Literature (Austria). His books are world bestsellers, published now in 35 languages. He is the author of a new novel, Sashenka. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Montefiore lives in London with his wife, the novelist Santa Montefiore, and their two children. For more details, visit: www.simonsebagmontefiore.com

Praise For Potemkin: Catherine the Great's Imperial Partner

“Biography in the grand tradition. . . . The story is riveting, the main character a hero, and the author a gifted storyteller with an impressive command of his subject.” --The Washington Post Book World

“Excellent with dazzling mastery of detail and literary flair . . . One of the great love stories of history in a league with Napoleon and Josephine and Antony and Cleopatra.” –The Economist

“Montefiore conveys [Russian] 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

“Meticulously researched . . . absorbing . . . Monumental, densely detailed and . . . dizzily panoramic.” –The New York Times Book Review

“Invigorating . . . lively . . . Potemkin led a life full of drama, flair and intrigue. . . . A grand, epochal yarn of a life.” –Chicago Tribune

“Colorful figures cross the pages of this flamboyant biography. . . . A rollicking tale, balanced in treatment of its controversial characters.” –Boston Globe

“Superb. . . sumptuous. . . . Montefiore has a journalist’s instinct for getting behind the official version of events.” — Daily Telegraph (London)

“A wonderful story, and Sebag Montefiore tells it with joyful verve. . . . The material is so enjoyable, and it is related with evident pleasure and enthusiasm.” –The Times (London)

“A good, racy historical read. . . . The amazing story of Catherine the Great’s lover, then favorite, then secret husband, then chief advisor in ruling Russia, might seem the stuff of fiction; fortunately Sebag Montefiore’s researches have been so evidently extensive that this is clearly not the case.” –Antonia Fraser, author of The Wives of Henry VIII

“With great industry and huge enthusiasm [Montefiore] has combed the archives to give us a detailed account of a gigantic . . . figure.” – Sunday Express (London)

“[Montefiore’s] fascination shines through every page of this book. . . It could easily have been double the length, so enjoyable is it to read.” –Sunday Telegraph (London)

“Effortlessly readable and compelling. This is history as it should be written.” –The Sunday Herald

“A wonderful book . . . as magnificent as its subject. . . . Captures the iridescent spirit of Russia’s greatest adventurer.” –Amanda Foreman, author of Georgiana

“This splendid biography, as sprawling, magnificent and exotic as its subject, provides for the first time in English a fully researched, accurate, and immensely readable history of this extraordinary man.” –Literary Review

“A passionate, but scholarly, defense of one of the greatest creative figures in Russian history.” –Evening Standard (London)

“Exhaustive and beautifully written. . . . A magnificent biography . . . which is as industrious and exuberant as the man himself.” –The Daily Mail (London)

“Montefiore’s enthusiasm and knowledge make this much more than just an engaging biography, it is a headlong gallop of a read.”–Anthony Beevor, author of Stalingrad