Description: Against the monumental canvas of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe and Russia, unfolds the magnificent story of Peter the Great, crowned at the age of 10. A barbarous, volatile feudal tsar with a taste for torture; a progressive and enlightened reformer of government and science; a statesman of vision and colossal significance: Peter the Great embodied the greatest strengths and weaknesses of Russia while being at the very forefront of her development.
Robert K. Massie delves deep into the life of this captivating historical figure, chronicling the pivotal events that shaped a boy into a legend – including his ‘incognito’ travels in Europe, his unquenchable curiosity about Western ways, his obsession with the sea and establishment of the stupendous Russian navy, his creation of an unbeatable army, and his relationships with those he loved most: Catherine, his loving mistress, wife, and successor; and Menshikov, the charming, unscrupulous prince who rose to power through Peter’s friendship. Impetuous and stubborn, generous and cruel, a man of enormous energy and complexity, Peter the Great is brought fully to life
Read this eons ago; this was the bio that turned me on and tuned me in to Massie in particular and Russian history in general. I loved it so much I went to Petersburg to stand in the wooden hut by the Neva just to see how the man lived as an ordinary family man with his beloved Catherine.
Poltava – It is widely believed to have been the beginning of Sweden’s decline as a Great Power, as the tsardom of Russia took its place as the leading nation of north-eastern Europe. The battle also bears major importance in Ukrainian national history: as hetman Ivan Mazepa sided with the Swedes, seeking to create an uprising in Ukraine against the tsardom.(wiki sourced)
5* Peter the Great
5* Catherine the Great
5* Nicholas and Alexandra