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The Cult of St. Catherine and the Dawn of Female Rule in Russia
“A delightful book. It adds an important perspective on the problem of female rule in Russia … and reveals the enduring importance of religious symbolism and discourse at Peter the Great’s court.”—Nancy Shields Kollmann, Stanford University
“Marker not only focuses new attention upon the under-studied and disregarded Catherine I, but in so doing opens wide an innovative approach to the entire issue of ‘female rule’ in eighteenth-century Russia.”—Daniel Kaiser, Grinnell College
Historian Gary Marker traces the Russian veneration of St. Catherine of Alexandria from its beginnings in Kievan times through the onset of female rulership in the 18th century. Two narratives emerge. The first focuses on St. Catherine within Christendom and, specifically, within Russia. The second shifts attention to the second wife of Peter the Great, Catherine I, who became Russia’s first crowned female ruler. Marker then explores the evolution of divine queenship and the Catherine cult through the reigns of Elizabeth and Catherine the Great.
(2007) 328 pp., 20 illus.
Gary Marker, Professor of History at SUNY at Stony Brook, has published widely on Russian cultural and intellectual history. His books include Reinterpreting Russian History and Publishing, Printing, and the Origins of Intellectual Life in Russia, 1700–1800.
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