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Book Cover: The Memoirs of Catherine the Great

First manuscript page of Catherine’s final memoir, in her own hand (by permission of RGADA, Moscow)

Hilde Hoogenboom, Associate Professor (PhD Columbia University, 1996), was the Jesse Ball DuPont Fellow at the National Humanities Center and Postdoctoral Fellow in the Eurasia Program of the Social Sciences Research Council for her book, Noble Sentiments and the Rise of Russian Novels (University of Toronto Press, 2018), a study of transnational sentimental novels and the role of sentimentalism and noble culture in the development of Russian novels by men and women writers. She will be a Research Associate 2017-18 at the National Humanities Center for her new project Noble Rot: Corruption, Civil Society, and Literary Elites in Russia. Co-editor of two collections of essays on Russian women writers, she has numerous articles on women, including on sentimental novels, Pushkin and Sophie Cottin; Nadezhda Khvoshchinskaia; George Sand in Russia; bio-bibliographic compilations of women in Europe; and on Vera Figner and Russian populist revolutionary autobiographies. Her research interests include nineteenth-century literature, sentimentalism and realism, women writers, Catherine the Great, life writing, noble culture, gender, quantitative literary studies and digital humanities. Besides nineteenth- and twentieth-century Russian literature in English and in Russian, she teaches Russian intellectual history, theater, film, and opera, and a general comparative survey course in literary and cultural theory.

This new translation of Catherine the Great's Memoirs from French with a substantial introduction and commentary (Modern Library at Random House, 2005) is the first for which the translators consulted the original manuscripts in her own hand. Catherine's final memoir (1794) is not only a fascinating political and court memoir, but also an important, unique historical and Enlightenment document. Meant for general and specialist readers alike, this book is supported by a grant from the National Humanties Center for research and teaching in the undergraduate classroom.