12 January 2012

first Look, first Love

As our eyes age-returning again and again to the things we were captivated by in Youth is necessary.
Do we remain so? Or do we move on?

 Never should we feel less than by finding our loves less than.

 Catherine wearing the Preobrazhenskii regimentals, 1762.
portrait by Vigilius Eriksen

Rarely am I disappointed in the Face in a Portrait-
or a the story of a Life.

Grand Princess Catherine Alexeievna by George Christoph Grooth-1745

Now reading- this biography. I remember reading about Catherine the Great in elementary school. The biography has always been my favorite genre.
It  has never disappointed.


“I am one of the people who love the why of things”-

Catherine the Great

thank you A CRAVAN for the inspiration- here



  1. Catherine was an amazing woman. She definitely knew how to make lemonaide. Also, brilliant.

  2. I also loved (and still love) biography. One of my favorites from 'way back was the bio of scientist George Hale. Checking Wikipedia now, I find that he claimed "to have regular visits from an elf who acted as his advisor" (he lived in California though, so who knows). I'm sure that this tidbit was omitted from the story I read, which dwelled on his solid astronomical accomplishments.

    Thanks for this look back.
    --Road to Parnassus

  3. What a timely post for me! I picked up my granddaughter "Penelope" (named after me....and called....delightfully, "Poppy")(just turned 13 last week) and she asked me what was I reading? I said......"one of my favorite books I have ever read in my entire life! The biography of Steve Jobs."

    she said, "Oh, Granny, I do not like biographies.....they are so boring!" I said, "how many have you read?" "One"!

    I said; "whose?"

    She said, "Eleanor Roosevelt" and, granny , it was so boring........yuck!"

    To tell you the truth; I am 64; I admire Mrs. Roosevelt; but I do not think I could muck through a biography of her. Certainly not at 11 or 12! I also don't think there has been a good one written! And what he heck do you know at 11 that would make that biography even remotely interesting?? Yikes!

    Schools need to change this stuff!

    I am encouraging her to read "Steve Jobs" I actually think she will get it more easily than even I do!

    It is , without question, the most fascinating book I have ever read!

    Biographies are about real lives! Long may they reign!

    She read, at 12 a biography of Eleanor Roosevelt. (How dumb is that? My back teeth would have fallen asleep at 12?)

    I am encouraging her to read certain people....(.I read Elsie's de Wolfe's and decided to become a decorator at 13! that was an autobiography)

    Steve Jobs ; it is all I can do to put it down. I am almost finished. I can tell you that he let this man write it and show him as he was......warts and all.......and Steve changed our world. No one could have except him. No one. Read it.
    It is life-altering. I think I am on the last chapter....(I got the kindle edition for my iPad (I have been an apple addict since 1982)

    And it has brought even more magic into the realm. It is the best book I have ever read in my life !!

  4. I am so glad to hear that you like the book as I gave it to my niece for
    Christmas. I'm obviously going to have to buy my own copy .

  5. Can't wait to read...I have to know the "why" of things too!

  6. I finished reading this a few weeks ago, and I experienced that kind of loving sigh when I completed the last page of the book- I did not wish it to end. Massie's writing is engaging, and I will not give any spoilers away to those who have not read this yet. I will say, I came away with a much deeper understanding of the person, and the period. The book is, as some have said, a supreme accomplishment. It is also just a plain delicious read.
    Love the close-up of Catherine from the portrait you show.

  7. Notice that Catherine does NOT ride side-saddle! I am looking forward to reading this book as well. I heard the engaging interview of Robert Massie by Terri Gross on NPR, and was hooked ...

  8. Sadly, I do not know much about this "great" woman.
    Adding it to my list!

  9. Yes, I think perhaps what unites us readers here is a love of beauty and the "need to know" gene. So glad to hear you are enjoying this - it's on my (never ending) list.

  10. Biographies are my favorite genre as well - especially biographies on or by women. Have you read Loving Picasso by Fernande Olivier? Really wonderful! Thank you for the excellent tip about Catherine the Great!



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