“Memoirs of Catherine ‘the Great’ II of Russia” As Written in Her Own Hand – Ch. 2
Commonplace Book – Pages: 141-143
- 1739: Visits her uncle, the future King of Sweden and then Bishop of Lubeck. (He was the elder brother of Catherine’s mother, Adolf-Frederick of Holstein-Gottorp.) She also meets the Grand Duke, Peter Fedorovich. (His mother was the daughter of Peter the Great and died of consumption two months after his birth. Charles Frederick, Duke of Holstein was his father. When he died, Peter was left in the care of Catherine’s uncle.)
- Peter Fedorovich: good-looking; well-mannered; 11 yrs old at this time; courteous; pale; delicate; deceitful and hypocritical; “great inclination for drink”; hot-tempered; rebellious; disliked his tutors; Catherine doesn’t repugn the idea of marrying him
- 8 yrs old onwards: Catherine’s mother often takes her to Brunswick, to visit the Duchess of Brunswick-Luneburg. (She lived to be 80, and died in 1767 or 1768.) In Brunswick she meets “the famous grandmother of the Duke Charles.”
- Bolhagen: Vice-Governor to her father; adviser; intimate friend; Johanna-Elizabeth didn’t like him; extremely thrifty
- 1736: Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, Catherine’s second cousin, married the Prince of Wales, son of George II of England.
- Princess Hedwig-Sophie-Augusta: Her mother’s elder sister; Mother Superior of Quedinburg; loves dogs, especially ‘mops’ (a kind of pug); owned 16 dogs at least and a large number of parrots; small in stature; stout; wrote in French and German
- Aunt, father’s sister: over 50; very tall; thin; a heavily corseted waist; maintained that
- “The winter of 1740 was a very hard one; it was compared to that of 1709, the coldest in the memory of man.”
- 1740: Anne, Empress of Russia dies, and shortly after Charles VI, Emperor of the Romans
- 1742: In Stettin, her father has a stroke, “which affected all his left side.” After his recovery, they go to an observation camp near Brandenburg and to Dornburg. Her brother dies, age 12.
- Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Dessau: Commander; his wife, daughter of an apothecary; his daughters, Princess Wilhelmine and Princess Henriette
- 1745: A second daughter dies, age 3. Her father’s second cousin, Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst, Johann-August dies as well.
- 1743: Her family goes on a tour of Jever, and then onto Varel (both in the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg.) In Varel, her family stays with the mother of Countess Bentinck.
- Countess Bentinck: Rode astride; Catherine (14) becomes very attached which displeases her parents; irresistible; fascinating; “sang, laughed and pranced like a child”; “well into her 30s”; separated from her husband
- Her uncle, Prince Georg-Ludwig, a younger brother of her mother, falls in love with her. He proposes to her, but she will only marry with her parents consent (she was 14, he was 24) It would never be approved of and so the relationship ends (it was all innocent.)