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Catherine the Great (1729 - 1796)

Lifespan: 1720s - 1790s

Contemporaries: Russia - politics - the erotic furniture of Catherine the Great - women

Catherine the Great was one of the great strong women in history. Starting out as a young German countess married to the heir to the Russian throne, she accused her weak and unpopular husband of treason, overthrew him and was made empress. Once on the throne, she consolidated power, expanded Russian territory, instituted modern government reforms and lavished money on the arts. [Aug 2006]

Catherine the Great of Russia (before 1773) Alexi Petrovich Antropovore (1716-1795)
image sourced here.


Catherine II (April 21, 1729 - November 6, 1796), born Sophie Augusta Fredericka, known as Catherine the Great, reigned as empress of Russia from June 28, 1762, to her death on November 6, 1796. A cousin to Gustav III of Sweden and Charles XIII of Sweden, Catherine exemplified an "enlightened monarch." --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catherine_II_of_Russia [Jan 2005]

Catherine was known for her sexual appetite and her many lovers. She had a secret room constructed, filled with paintings and sculptures depicting the most raunchy sexual acts imaginable. Even the individual items of furniture were constructed out of elements depicting giant sexual organs and decorated in tune with the theme. Ironically the craftsmen employed for this purpose were the very same who decorated Russia's churches. Many of the images depicted rape, pedophilia and zoophilia in realistic and graphic anatomical detail. However, the often-told story that she had sex with a horse and died as a result is baseless. In fact, Catherine supposedly suffered a stroke while sitting on a commode on November 5, 1796, and subsequently died in bed without having regained consciousness. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catherine_II_of_Russia#Personal_life [Oct 2004]

Catherine and Voltaire

Catherine and Voltaire
Catherine the Great of Russia read Voltaire's writing for seventeen years before she began a correspondence with him. In her first letter to Voltaire written in 1763, she stated:

"... by chance your works fell into my hands; and since then I have never stopped reading them, have not wished to have anything to do with books which were not written as well and from which the same profit could not be derived. "

When Voltaire died in 1778 his niece, Mme Denis, inherited his estate. Catherine offered to purchase Voltaire's library and manuscripts and Mme Denis agreed to sell them. Catherine paid 135,398 livres for the library of 6,210 books. The library was sent to St. Petersburg. http://www.visitvoltaire.com/v_catherine_the_great.htm [Apr 2005]

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