Catherine the Great Analytic Book Review

1650 Words7 Pages
Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman, written by Robert K. Massie in his late 80’s, was my choice for my analytic book review, and a good one at that. Catherine, who was born Sophia, lived through a rough childhood which made her, arguably, a better person. Massie takes readers through Catherine’s childhood up to her death when she was later recognized as “Catherine the Great.” This book made me think more about what life was like during that time, for royalty and peasants. Normally regarded as the boring, historical past, I now think differently thanks to Catherine and Massie. One thing that could be argued, as I have already touched on, is Catherine’s childhood. Massie constantly refers back to Catherine’s life before royalty with her mother. Catherine’s mother, Johanna, never felt any maternal feelings towards Catherine. She had wanted a son, and when a daughter was born, she was not satisfied. She would give her child to servants to hold and never cared for her. When Johanna’s first son was born, she was delighted. Unfortunately for Johanna, her first son died at a young age. Catherine felt resentment towards her brother and did not care for his death. Johanna then pushed insults on Catherine constantly. Her mother always told her she was ugly, and Catherine heard it so often, she believed it. She did not think much of herself but always drowned in work; she loved to learn. Her intellectuality became something that was much admired. She possesed wit, and reading was of her favorites. Beauty and outward appearance was not something she strived for because she possessed the thought that she was unattractive. Most would think, how does this make her any better of a person? Well, looking at the things she encountered, she learned a lot. Always studying and doing work made her very smart, a trait that most praised. The people that mattered, people who had
Open Document