“If you can’t be a good example, you’ll just have to be a horrible warning.” Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia July 1762-Nov. 1796
Brought Russia into the life of Europe; the best minds came to her court and corresponded with her in thousands of letters. Added over two hundred thousand miles to Russian territory, built new towns and reorganized the code of Russian law. A German princess by birth, became ruler after the death of her husband, Peter III. Considered an enlightened despot, she was a patron of the arts and literature. As a journalist and writer, she wrote her memoirs, books and papers on political theory, history, operas and comedies.