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The woman who was to become Catherine the Great was born Sophie Augusta Fredericka During her teen years Sophie blossomed into a beautiful young woman and had excellent health She later went on to marry Peter III the future emperor and grandson of Peter the Great During her reign as empress Catherine encountered many conflicts which she surpassed so successfully that even now so many years after her death she is still remembered Even though she was known to have many lovers during her lifetime and had three illegitimate children two of who survived her strong spirit willingness to make Russia a better place and her political victories made her one of the greatest empress ever Throughout her reign as empress Catherines strong spirit helps her to cope with all the troubles that arise Catherine was greatly criticized by Elizabeth for not being able to bear children The empress said that it was because of her that her marriage had not yet been consummated Troyat 57 But what Elizabeth didnt know was that the fault was Peters who did not consummate the marriage or have the operation which he needed to reverse his problem Yet throughout the criticism Catherine kept a stiff upper lip and did not say anything The empress was cruel to Catherine and yet she continued to be nice and obey the empress Catherine began to have less freedom and was isolated by Elizabeth slowly everyone that she knew were sent away The empress dismissed one of Catherines maids Maria Zhukova whose only crime was that she had been completely devoted to her mistress Shortly after Catherines first chamberlain Zahar was also dismissed Troyat 56 Catherine was also forbidden to write to anyone without going through the College of Foreign Affairs Troyat 59 The empress continued to make life hard for Catherine by not even letting Catherine hold her child after birth or allow her to see him Catherine said my sprit
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