top of page

This is a romantic take on Catherine the Great, but the author, Annette Motley stays true to the basic facts of Catherine's life. Catherine wasn't Russian born, but a minor German princess. Her mother, Princess Joanna of Anhalt-Zerbst brings her daughter Sophie to the Russian Imperial Court with an eye to marrying her to Peter Ulrich, the Empress Elizabeth's heir. Sophie senses Russia is her destiny and takes it to heart, learning the language and converting to the Orthodox faith, and baptized as Catherine (Ekaterina). She and Peter are eventually wed, but he is a bit of an odd fellow and more interested in playing with his toy soldiers than consummating the marriage and producing the necessary heir and a spare. Of course, the wife is always the one to blame and a shunned, isolated and frustrated Catherine can't resist the temptation to take on a lover when the opportunity comes upon her - but does Sergei truly love her? or does he have other motives for seducing her? After several attempts Peter finally consummates the marriage and the required heir is produced, but he tires of his young wife and takes up with a new mistress and the two live the debauched high life of the younger court-set, leaving Catherine to find comfort where she can. She drifts at first, and you might start getting annoyed wondering where the formidable Catherine we know from the history books is, but don't worry - that butterfly does emerge from the cocoon.


This book is publisher under Orpan Works Licence OWLS000330

Men on White Horses, the story of Catherine the Great by Annette Motley

SKU: 9781739117368
Expected delivery 1st March 2023. In case of pre-order problems email
    bottom of page