a taste of ‘Catherine refracted’

The unofficial unofficial biography!

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19 salacious stories that delve deeper into the true life of Catherine the Great … and where no one has gone before!


“I know what you want. And that you’ll never get it without my help. Changing destiny lines is excruciating work. To carve the crown upon your palm I shall have to call upon the dark powers. The earth shall tremble.”

Regent – Mira Desai


The steward closed the door firmly behind her. She hurried to her chair, tossed her needlework to the floor, and sat down. “I have a plan.”

The Cossack UltimatumGay Degani


My heart fluttered inside my ribcage and my eyes blurred, a tactic I often use when confronted with impertinence or logic. Enough doubted my legitimacy to the Russian crown already.

A Little SquirmingMatt Potter


So then why is it Descartes who had way more cool than you ever will jumped on the first carriage outta town to see that gender-bending, cross dressing freak, Christina, in Stockholm?

Bastard!Juliet Beckman Hubbell


Let’s be friends. You can call me Catherine. I come from the dullest place, I bet you’ve never even heard of it.

The Girl Who Loved Horses – Claudia Bierschenk, and translated from the Russian by Desmond Fox


History isn’t fair. Neither is life. My real death was even more undignified, a form of passing that I share with another kind of later monarch, the king of rock-n-roll.

The Kings and IKim Conklin


If I had a painter’s hand, could I sweep my fine sable brush with the caressing touch of a lover’s hand? Would my canvas receive the strokes of erotic excitement … the blush of colour?

FavouritesAnne Scott


We would plug the bottles with twigs and mud, or wax, then throw them in the stream and watch the sunlight sparkle on the glass as they bobbed down to the reed beds. Any that passed safely through would come true.

Crowning AchievementGill Hoffs


For a heartbeat, I let myself see him as he himself had described, sprawled upon the stones beneath my window, blood leaking from his broken skull.

Catherine’s FirstStephen V. Ramey


Katerina swept a hand toward the piano. “An idea I’m toying with. Make me hear nymphs in a wood.”

First of a Fine SpectacleRobert Mangeot


Hundreds of years ago, on the verge of my death, an angel of the Lord came to me. He informed me of God’s personal invitation to his eternal paradise. And what did my sorry ass do? Deny Him.

In which Catherine the Great’s Ghost googles herselfChristine Tolley


So there they were, the young marrieds, allotted a number of servants and a chamber of sorts – miserably heated, set up anew anywhere Empress Elizabeth decided to take up residence. Let us imagine nonetheless that they were given a largish bed, given their status as planned future royals.

Cannon-Firing NoisesDusty-Anne Rhodes


I skimmed through the book and learned some interesting facts: Catherine wrote an autobiography, an opera, essays on womanly virtues, and a cookbook. She invented an irrigation system – viaducts, tunnels, and pumps – to supply water to farms all across Russia.

A Horse’s TaleTodd McKie


She understood, too, that this was a rare opportunity, perhaps her only such: to wring the mind of one of the great French philosophes, to wring him dry, and all for the price of a library.

BaobabsL. S. Johnson


“My name is Dmitry. I stay in the chamber at the end of the hallway. You are the third new one to arrive in a week.”

PromotionJoyce Juzwik


“You know I’d marry you myself but that old sourpuss Frederick in Berlin is right. If I marry you, we’ll be faced with the wrath of every European ruler.”

The Making of a KingAndrew Stancek


Whispering lips repeating second-hand stories of her shameful behaviour, on the terraces with a lowly Sergeant. The voices fell silent again, as a handsome man approached Catherine.

Transvestite Balls – Sarah Collie