Catherine the Great Further Reading - Essay

Joan Haslip

Further Reading

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))


Grey, Ian. Catherine the Great: Autocrat and Empress of All Russia. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1962, 254 p.

Focuses on the effect of Catherine's reign on the course of Russian history, and suggests that her greatest talent was for self-promotion.

Schmucker, Samuel M. Memoirs of the Court and Reign of Catherine the Second, Empress of Russia. Philadelphia: Porter and Coates, 1855, 338 p.

Presents a moralistic account of Catherine's life, while admiring her as a woman of extraordinary genius.


Dukes, Paul. “Montesquieu and Constitutional Order.” In World Order in History: Russia and the West, pp. 14-43. London: Routledge, 1996.

Considers Catherine's Nakaz in the context of Montesquieu's Spirit of the Laws and other works influenced by the French philosopher, including the American Constitution.

Gleason, Walter J. Moral Idealists, Bureaucracy, and Catherine the Great. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1981, 252 p.

Examines three of the leading authors during Catherine's reign—Nikolai Ivanovich Novikov, the editor of journals competing with Catherine's; the poet Ippolit Fedorovich Bogdanovich; and the playwright Denis Ivanovich Fonvizin—and their confrontation with Catherine over Enlightenment ideals.

Goriaĭnov, M. Serge. Introduction to Correspondence of Catherine the Great when Grand-Duchess, with Sir Charles Hanbury-Williams and Letters from Count Poniatowski, pp. 11-25, edited by the Earl of Ilchester and Mrs. Langford-Brooke. London: Thornton Butterworth, 1928.

Written in 1909, this introduction focuses on the political issues addressed in the letters, and is supplemented and corrected by the editors.

Ransel, David L. The Politics of Catherinian Russia: The Panin Party. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1975, 327 p.

Examines the influence and importance of Nikita Panin and his efforts to thwart Catherine's monarchy.

Segal, Harold B. “Polemics Between Catherine and Novikov.” In The Literature of Eighteenth-Century Russia, Vol. 1, pp. 255-60. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1967.

A brief introduction to the war of words between Catherine's moralizing journal Vsiakaia vsiachina and those of Nikolai Ivanovich Novikov, noting Catherine's increasing suppression of her rivals.

Additional coverage of Catherine's life and career is contained in the following source published by the Gale Group: Dictionary of Literary Biography, Vol. 150.