2nd Tuesday Book Club Discusses Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie

Escondido, CA - Escondido Public Library invites adult readers to join the 2nd Tuesday Book Club meeting on Tuesday, April 14, 2015, at 6:00 p.m. in the Turrentine Room. This month’s nonfiction selection is Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie.

Massie relates the life of a minor German princess, Sophia of Anhalt-Zerbst, who became Empress Catherine II of Russia (1729–1796). She was related through her ambitious mother to notable European royalty; her husband-to-be, the Russian grand duke Peter, was the only living grandson of Peter the Great. As Massie relates, during her disastrous marriage to Peter, Catherine bore three children by three different lovers, and she and Peter were controlled by Peter’s all-powerful aunt, Empress Elizabeth.  Six months into her husband’s incompetent reign as Peter III, Catherine, 33, who had always believed herself superior to her husband, dethroned him. Confident, cultured, and witty, Catherine avoided excesses of personal power and ruled as a benevolent despot. Magnifying the towering achievements of Peter the Great, she imported European culture into Russia, from philosophy to medicine, education, architecture, and art. Effectively utilizing Catherine’s own memoirs, Massie once again delivers a masterful, intimate, and tantalizing portrait of a majestic monarch.

The 2nd Tuesday Book Club will continue on May 12, 2015, with a discussion on the Henry James classic Washington Square.  The selection for June 9, 2015, will be Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.

April is National Library Month, and the 2nd Tuesday Book Club is just one of many programs highlighted during the month-long celebration. There will be special programs such as Be Money Smart @ Escondido Public Library—a new financial series on becoming debt free, managing your money wisely, and planning for retirement; the Second Saturday Concert Series featuring the Kensington Trio—classical music for a piano and strings; and a host of programs for teens and children.

All Library programs are free to the public. Escondido Public Library is located at 239 South Kalmia Street in downtown Escondido.  For more information about the 2nd Tuesday Book Club and National Library Month events, visit library.escondido.org or contact Neva Robinson at 760-839-4214 or nrobinson@escondido.org.