We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
Great Catherine Audiobook

Great Catherine: The Life of Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia

Prize-winning historian and biographer, Carolly Erickson has created an eminently readable biography that recognizes the humanity of Great Catherine—Empress of Russia—with her majesty and immense capability. Dispelling some of the myths surrounding her voracious sexual appetite, the biographer portrays Catherine as a lonely woman far ahead of her time—achieving greatness in an era when women were executed on a husband’s whim.
    • 1 audiobook per month
    • 180,000+ titles to choose from
    • $14.95 per month after free trial

Publisher's Summary

Prize-winning historian and biographer, Carolly Erickson has created an eminently readable biography that recognizes the humanity of Great Catherine—Empress of Russia—with her majesty and immense capability. Dispelling some of the myths surrounding her voracious sexual appetite, the biographer portrays Catherine as a lonely woman far ahead of her time—achieving greatness in an era when women were executed on a husband’s whim.

©1994 Carolly Erickson (P)1995 Recorded Books, LLC

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (199 )
5 star
 (76)
4 star
 (83)
3 star
 (34)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (1)
Overall
4.2 (183 )
5 star
 (74)
4 star
 (73)
3 star
 (31)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (1)
Story
4.4 (181 )
5 star
 (91)
4 star
 (69)
3 star
 (17)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Cheryl Port Douglas, Australia 04-01-13
    Cheryl Port Douglas, Australia 04-01-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What a woman. Sad to reach the end. Well read."
    Where does Great Catherine rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Among the best.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book and was disappointed when it ended.That this book was taken from Catherines' actual memoirs was particularly intriguing. The book highlighted her frailties, remarkable strengths and basic needs as a woman needing to be loved by men, her children and her subjects. A grand life in Russian proportions.


    What about Davina Porter’s performance did you like?

    I thoroughly enjoyed her sympathetic narration.


    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    celia 11-18-12
    celia 11-18-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating subject, fascinating presentation"

    Catherine the Great, was an impressive woman. She was brilliant, studied seriously, and made a significant impact on Russia and it's people. She was also somewhat scandalous. This book covers her life and Russian history from her birth (in Prussia) in 1729 to her death in 1796. It's a great read, engaging and fast paced and full of fascinating details about life at court, the living conditions in Moscow and St Petersburg and her relationship with other thinkers and leaders of the time. I enjoyed it and learned from it.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Morrow, GA, United States 02-25-13
    Linda Morrow, GA, United States 02-25-13 Member Since 2012

    Mother of three, grandmother of two, work full time as a labor and delivery nurse and love to listen to books while I am doing other things.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    24
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "beautifully done"

    I enjoy reading historical works and I had heard some of the sorted legends about Catherine the Great so I was excited to read this biography. She was a very strong willed woman and I really enjoyed hearing her story come to life. I found the reader extremely enjoyable and the story kept my interest and even though it was a long book....I got through it in only a few days as I looked for time to listen.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathi 04-27-14
    Kathi 04-27-14 Member Since 2010

    Love books! Classics and lighter fiction, mysteries (not too violent please :-). And selective non-fiction--whatever takes my fancy.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1701
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    611
    273
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    349
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An amazingly woman's life story"

    I don't usually read biographies, but noticed this and thought I'd listen--especially since the wonderful Davina Porter was reading it. Was not disappointed by either the story or the narration--both were simply magnetic! I listened almost non-stop (despite it's length).

    Learning more about Catherine the Great really gave me a new sense of admiration for her. She was brought to the court to marry Peter at a very young age. She dealt with terrible conditions--was frequently treated badly by even Johanna, her own mother. Her relationship with her future mother-in-law (Empress Elizabeth) was quite interesting--a woman who would unpredictably treat her as though she was the most important woman in the world, shower her with gifts and attention, then inexplicably turn against her. Notably--when her son Paul was born, Elizabeth took him away from Catherine so she could shower all her love and attention on him, leaving Catherine a grieving post-partum mother without her child.

    Her relationship with her husband Peter was equally interesting--as she largely found him unbearable. This led to her having affairs (which could possibly have resulted in her pregnancies). They were married, but Peter often treated her cruelly. He was killed after a coup and Catherine became Empress in her own right. She ruled during a magnificent time--"the Golden Age" of Russia, and accomplished great things during her reign.

    Much of the book comes from Catherine's own memoirs. She was a woman of education and culture, and spoke about changes she brought about in the Russian court through her connections with people like Voltaire. She also seems to have described many instances of being ill--close to death, and one wonders at her stamina and resilience that she lived through so many crises.

    This book reads like a novel--it feels pretty seamless (not a put together biography that reads in a choppy fashion). If you never knew it was a biography you might just think you were reading an excellent work of fiction--except it is not. I found this book fascinating--and truly recommend it!

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bookmarque 04-08-14
    Bookmarque 04-08-14 Member Since 2007

    ksx2

    HELPFUL VOTES
    58
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    492
    41
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great she was"

    Wow. That sums up my reaction to the person Catherine was. Knowing she eventually became Empress and ruled for decades, all through the story of her horrible childhood and worse situation as Peter III’s wife, I longed for her to take revenge. Of course being the judicious, self-possessed and level-headed person she was, she did no such thing. Not directly anyway. Her wit, success and lasting legacy are revenge enough. Just where are her haughty great-aunt-in-law or vicious husband now in the collective consciousness? Nowhere and nobodies. Catherine was Great and she is remembered.

    Not perfect though, and I think Erickson did her best to reveal Catherine’s flaws as well as her strengths, though I think the overall goal was to show a woman who succeeded against a state and a system designed to keep her down and relegate her to failure. Davina Porter did a great job with all the personal and place names, too. No mean feat.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gem Geek 03-28-14
    Gem Geek 03-28-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    188
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Davina Porter brings Catherine the Great to life."
    What made the experience of listening to Great Catherine the most enjoyable?

    Davina Porter could make anything interesting - even a laundry list! That said, the author has done a wonderful job with the subject matter and it's an enjoyable read.


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BONNIE 01-02-12
    BONNIE 01-02-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    62
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "history for readers of romance novels"

    In this book we learn a great deal about Catherine's romances, anguish, unhappy moments, as well as her elegant wardrobe, but rather little about the political, diplomatic and social issues she faced and how she handled them.

    18 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    burkanuck 05-13-14
    burkanuck 05-13-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Absolutely Outstanding!!!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Great Catherine to be better than the print version?

    I didn't read the print version.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Great Catherine?

    The moment she rushed to the capital to present herself as the new Sovereign.


    What about Davina Porter’s performance did you like?

    She allowed the story to just flow out in a manner that kept it compelling and she seemed to have an amazing ability to accentuate things in just the way they should be at the time they should be.


    Any additional comments?

    An amazing story told expertly with much of it being based on Catherine's own diaries. One of the most amazing leaders in the history of Europe.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Huntington, WV USA 02-04-16
    Amazon Customer Huntington, WV USA 02-04-16 Member Since 2015

    Brent

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The story was enough to make me a fan of Catherine"

    I enjoyed listening this story. The narrator was clear and easy to listen to. the text was well written easy to follow and written to hold a reader's interest.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gotta Tellya Santa Rosa, CA 12-09-15
    Gotta Tellya Santa Rosa, CA 12-09-15 Member Since 2013

    KEC

    HELPFUL VOTES
    82
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    88
    71
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great telling of a great life story."

    I think the author, Carolly Erickson, wrote an excellent bio of Catherine the Great. The empress had many admirable qualities and her share of royal quirks, but compared to most of those with whom she associated during her long life, she was a paragon of logic and common sense. I appreciated learning about her life in detail. The narrator of this audio book, Davina Porter, was outstanding. Her performance added tremendously to my listening experience. My only disappointment with the book as written was that I would have liked a brief summary of the eventual fate of Catherine's son and heir, as well as the outcomes for many who were significant to Catherine towards the end of her long life. The book ends immediately after Catherine's burial. But that is a small thing and not enough to prevent me from giving the story a 5 star review.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.