Catherine the Great & Potemkin

‘One of the great love stories of history in a league with Napoleon and Josephine and Antony and Cleopatra…Excellent with dazzling mastery of detail and literary flair’ – The Economist

It is history’s greatest romance. Catherine the Great was a woman of notorious passion, political brilliance and fascinating charm. Prince Potemkin – wildly flamboyant and sublimely talented – was the love of her life, secret husband and political partner. Their sexual and political affair was so tumultuous, they negotiated an arrangement to share power, leaving Potemkin to love his beautiful nieces, and Catherine, her favourites. But these ‘twin souls’ never stopped loving each other.

Using their intimate letters, Montefiore brings to life this partnership of love, sex and power, restoring Catherine and Potemkin to their rightful place as titans of their age – and timeless lovers.

CATHERINE THE GREAT AND POTEMKIN was published on 21st September 2000 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson.


“A rather wonderful book”
– Mick Jagger, Sunday Times

“This is a wonderful book”
– Amanda Foreman, author of Georgiana

“ Excellent with dazzling mastery of detail and literary flair”
The Economist

“This well researched and highly ambitious biography has succeeded triumphantly in re-creating the life of an extraordinary man of mixed moods”
– Antony Beevor, The Sunday Times

“A single word describes the production and illustration of this volume, especially the colour prints: sumptuous.”
– Andrew Roberts, Daily Telegraph

“Exhaustive and beautifully-written… Montefiore vividly brings to life his supporting cast of envious conspirators, aristocratic mistresses, dandies, diplomats and adventurers”
– Christopher Hudson, Daily Mail

– Petronella Wyatt, Independent

“This splendid biography, as sprawling, magnificent and exotic as its subject, provides for the first time in English a fully researched, accurate and immensely readable history of this extraordinary man”
– Nikolai Tolstoy, Literary Review