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More than a conventional biography, this is a full history of her rule and use of power. It shows how Catherine conceived of her power and how she represented it to her subjects, as well as how she wielded this power. Catherine's life and reign are a prism through which the culture and politics of her age are viewed. To what extent was her rule consensual and how far did it depend on force? As Simon Dixon answers these questions he sheds new light on the Enlightenment, the power of the monarch and the role of the great individual in history.
Simon Dixon is Professor of History, University of Leeds. He is a leading expert on Russian history and the author of many books, including The Modernisation of Russia, 1676-1825 (1999).
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