Book review : Johanna Elisabeth – princess, spy and lover (German)


Johanna Elisabeth – princess, spy and lover (German)

By Michael Pantenius
280 pages
Publisher :: Mitteldeutscher Verlag 1 (16. Januar y2018)

Growing up as a princess, married at the age of fifteen … In spite of everything: Johanna Elisabeth of Anhalt-Zerbst (1712-1760) was educated, witty and considered one of the most beautiful women of her century. She has mixed with passion into the politics of the great European powers. The king of Prussia became her most powerful enemy. In exile in Paris, she reflects on her life and goes to court. Without being able to shake off her opponents, she dies a mysterious death. Following the historical facts, the novel develops into the psychogram of this once influential princess. Michael Pantenius manages to convey to the reader in impressive language the trials and tribulations of bygone times. And he sets his protagonist a small literary monument.

Johanna Elisabeth lived during this time and had influence on politics, and only through her substantial share in the coming together of her daughter’s connection with the Russian court.
Johanna Elisabeth, who, at the end of her life lonely and destitute in Paris, awaits news from her lover – a marquis – arrested as a spy of France in Prussia, the only person whom she has ever loved, was an educated, witty, magnificant woman, who liked to interfere in the politics of the great European powers, but privately did not love the husband and her children.
Johanna Elisabeth also used her time at the Russian court, which she spent as a result of the bridal procession of her daughter, for intrigues and power games. For example, she drew up a dossier on the various machinations at the Petersburg court.
For her own daughter, later Catherine the Second, she showed as always an ambivalent, loveless behavior. This also shaped the future of Catherine the Second.
A book worth reading.


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