The Return of Catherine the Great
Tony Lentin gives an upgraded assessment of Russia's empress 200 years after her death.
After seventy years of neglect and dismissal in the Soviet period as foreign adventuress, hypocrite and poseur, indifferent to the needs of 'the people' and marginal to the pre-occupation of Marxists with 'class struggle' and revolution, Catherine the Great (1762-96) is suddenly sweeping into favour in Russia as a focus of unprecedented interest both at the popular and the scholarly level. New lines of enquiry or the re-investigation of older ones have been set in motion. Revisionism, rehabilitation and research proliferate.