To Squeeze a Lemon Dry: How Princess Dashkova’s Memoir Reveals Common Themes Among Russia’s History Princess Ekaterina Dashkova was an intelligent, impressive woman who, at 18 years old (an age when many modern teenagers are still living at home with their parents), helped to stage a coup d’ etat for Catherine Alexeyvna, who was destined to become Catherine the Great.1 Ekaterina was actually called Catherine the Little2, because both women held the same saint namesake and both were considered intelligent and instrumental in the change of the government from Peter III to Catherine the Great. Princess Ekaterina Dashkova’s memoir addresses power struggles, gender inequality, and the disparities between different ethnicities in a
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It seems to come true later when Catherine goes from hugging and crying with Dashkova in bed to denying Dashkova’s involvement in the coup d'etat and begins to grow cold towards her loving admirer. In fact, there is a point when Dashkova finds herself on the brink of death because of illness, and she mentions that Catherine the Great did not even send any word of consolation. Princess Dashkova reveals herself to be capable of intricate manipulations of both emotions and circumstances. Her interactions with other characters reveal the same disturbing trend among court people. While the Grand Duke, who considers himself Dashkova’s godfather, as she is well aware, is pampering and trying to win her admiration, Dashkova is plotting his downfall. “I always spoke to His Majesty in the tone of a stubborn child myself and called him Papa...he once answered me with "You are a little fool...and you always argue with me."” Dashkova seems to pride herself on her capability to be sly, as she explains other circumstances where she believes herself to have implanted the idea of overthrowing Peter III in the minds of various officials.