Catherine the Great + 12 Historical Biographies about Royalty

Pulitzer Prize–winning author Robert K. Massie has done it again. His latest historical biography, Catherine the Great, officially releases tommorow –  Tuesday, November 8. Thanks to our friends at Random House, we were able to dive in to an advanced copy so we can tell you all about it. Such intrigue!

In Massie’s characteristic style, this book offers an imagery-laden narrative read that’s so rich in drama you might just forget it’s historical fact and not fiction. Highly recommended reading selection for history buffs or for any reader who enjoys a good, sordid tale. And it runs the gamut – from numerous affairs and illegitamate children, to near-assassination plots and political coups. Catherine the Great‘s biography tells the fascinating turn of events from childhood through adolescence which led her into the Russian court, and into adulthood when she became Empress of Russia at the age of 33. You follow along as Russian Empress Elizabeth takes her under her wing and nurtures her, and then watch how quickly so many turn against her.

Massie studied American history at Yale and European history at Oxford. He brings his fine education and decades of research to the page in this new book. His previously-published, enthralling biographies include Peter the Great (1980), Nicholas and Alexandra (1989), and The Romanovs (1996).


If you enjoy this biography, you should check out these other historical biographies about monarchs throughout history (pictured above). Many of their life stories have been written about countless times, some made into award-winning motion pictures. There’s enough published about royalty and nobility to keep you busy reading for quite a while.

And remember, November is National Lifewriting Month, an opportunity to celebrate and share our personal and family stories. So read a biography or grab a pen and start scribing your own memior.

— Meredith

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