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Ten intimate letters written by Catherine the Great, which will be auctioned in London in June, give an insight into the love life of the empress of Russia, Britain's Times newspaper reported Monday.

Catherine II, who lived from 1729 to 1796, was one of history's greatest women rulers and was famous for her lovers. The letters are to be offered at around $63,860 at an antiquarian book fair in London.

In a 1778 letter to Ivan Nikolayevich Rimsky-Korsakov, a captain in the palace guards, she speaks of the tedium without him and her urge to see him. "I have already pined you for more than a day," she says.

In the letter she refers to a "little scrap of snipped off underwear," which the Times says was assumed to be a souvenir of an assignation with the soldier.

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