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Histoire de Catherine II Imperatrice de Russie. Paris: 4 v. Paris, 1800. V. 1. Х, 465 p.; 1 p. portrait.; V. 2. [2], 401 p.; V. 3. [2], 363 p., 1 p. portrait; V. 4. [4], 2 p. portrait; 18х11 cm. In French. In four elegant full- leather bindings of the time. Gold-leaf embossed spines and ornamental frames on the lids. Speckled book edge. Flyleaves of ‘marbled’ paper. Silk book marks. Bookselling stamp on the title pages. Jean Henri Castera (1749-1838), a famous French writer, was the court historiographer of Catherine II, soon after the death of the Empress he published her detailed biography. His book was one of the first Catherine II’s biographies and was of great popularity both in Europe and in Russia itself, although here it remained banned for free distribution. The author gives reference information about the Russian Empire: the administrative system, the organization of the Russian army, information of the huge personal wealths of the companions and favorites of Catherine II got by them in time of her reign. For the Russian reader, Castera’s book has remained for a long time a rare source of information on the history of Russia in the second half of the XVIII century. Provenance: from the library of Elizabeth Demidova-Obolenskaya.