So, we’re still watching Le Chevalier D’Eon, out of which a good section takes place in 18th-Century Russia, and I tell the BF, “It’s fascinating how many empresses Russia had in the Eighteenth Century, when you compare it with the other European countries”.
A quick foray into Wikipedia revealed that out of three Empresses, two had seized power through military coups, and that the third had been designated as figurehead Empress, but soon decided the Privy Council was an inconvenience, and established an autocratic regime of terror to make sure no one would get in her way…
Uh. Women’s liberation indeed.
(I do know any woman who wanted to seize and keep power in those times would have to be twice as ruthless as men, and that Russian czars haven’t been particularly known for their gentleness, but still…)