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- “The Great” tells a very dramatized story about Catherine the Great, the famous Russian Empress.
- We spoke to a historian about the accuracy of the series and the best books to find out more about Catherine.
- This contains spoilers for season two of “The Great”.
With the cheeky slogan “A Sometimes True Story”, Hulu’s hit show “The Great” about Russian Empress Catherine the Great (1729-1796) practically begs fans to investigate elements of the weird show that are real.
Theater historian Professor Lurana O’Malley of the University of Hawaii – who researched and translated the writings of Catherine the Great – notes that while many details of the show are either exaggerated or downright false (like Peter killing Catherine’s mother during a sexual encounter), she still enjoys the show and even believes that Catherine herself would have enjoyed it.
Satirical plays written by Catherine herself – as well as other books and videos produced on the Queen – can help us better understand this period. For fans of the series looking to dive a little deeper into the story, we chatted with O’Malley to find the best books and resources to learn more about Catherine the Great.