On the centenary of the death of Rasputin comes a definitive biography that will dramatically change our understanding of this fascinating figure A hundred years after his murder, Rasputin continues to excite the popular imagination as the personification of evil. Numerous biographies, novels, and films recount his mysterious rise to power as Nicholas and Alexandra's confidant and the guardian of the sickly heir to the Russian throne. His debauchery and sinister political influence are the stuff of legend, and the downfall of the Romanov dynasty was laid at his feet. But as the prizewinning historian Douglas Smith shows, the true story of Rasputin's life and death has remained shrouded in myth. A major new work that combines probing scholarship and powerful storytelling, Rasputin separates fact from fiction to reveal the real life of one of history's most alluring figures. Drawing on a wealth of forgotten documents from archives in seven countries, Smith presents Rasputin in all his complexity--man of God, voice of peace, loyal subject, adulterer, drunkard. Rasputin is not just a definitive biography of an extraordinary and legendary man but a fascinating portrait of the twilight of imperial Russia as it lurched toward catastrophe.
By 1916, Russia had been involved in the First World War for almost two years, and events were about to take a tumultuous turn. Tsar Nicholas II was forced to abdicate his throne, and what followed was a struggle that neither he, nor most of his nearest were destined to survive. This volume offers an accurate glimpse into the final two years of the last Imperial Family of Russia: exclusively through their own diary entries and personal correspondence, supplemented by contemporary eyewitness accounts, many of which are published here in English for the first time. The reader will get to know on a deeper level the Grand Duchesses and the Empress, as they work at Tsarskoe Selo infirmaries; witness the imperial family's grief for their murdered "Friend" Grigori Rasputin; experience their arrest after the outbreak of revolution, and follow them into captivity in Siberia - and ultimately the Red Ural - where they meet their tragic end in the cellar of "The House of Special Purpose." This already familiar unique piece of history is individually told by Nicholas, Alexandra and their five children: Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia and Alexei. Their collective personal story is a portrayal of a united family bound together by love, hardship and tragedy, taking place during the twilight of an extraordinary bygone era. Richly illustrated with hundreds of photographs, this book is a valuable companion to the G.E.T. Educational Tour: In the Steps of The Romanovs.
“In my best guess, Czar Nicholas the Second of Russia is a throwback to something around the year seventeen hundred...perhaps even earlier than that!” William Donaldson would live to see firsthand how these words from his boss were completely accurate. For a recent college graduate like William, such archaic and inflexible viewpoints added up to the Romanov family’s ultimate damnation. Time would eventually prove him right... During his travels across the European continent during the summer of 1914, William got to meet a young Winston Churchill, Bernard Law Montgomery, and Adolph Hitler. Arriving in Saint Petersburg, the capital city of Imperial Russia on the day World War I begins, William finds himself forcibly conscripted into the United States Foreign Service. In his eventual role as a civilian military observer, William Donaldson, a most reluctant Attaché to the United States Embassy in St. Petersburg, Russia, would get to witness that demise personally. For an unwilling, but dedicated, American diplomat, such unprecedented access to the Russian military would reveal the malaise and ultimate bankruptcy which was the Imperial Romanov Court at the turn of the twentieth century. Accompanied from battlefield to battlefield along the Eastern Front with his devoted White Russian interpreter and lover, Sonjya Mastrova, William meticulously documents the decline and subsequent devolution of Imperial Russia’s sovereign liege. As the military and political situation steadily progresses from bad to worse, William concludes that the final overthrow of the 300-year-old Romanov autocracy is no longer a question of if, but when. The only nagging issue William struggles to determine is simply this: “What type of government will replace the monarchy?”
The Tragedy at Mayerling and the End of the Habsburgs
Author: Greg King,Penny Wilson
Pubpsher: St. Martin's Press
On a snowy January morning in 1889, a worried servant hacked open a locked door at the remote hunting lodge deep in the Vienna Woods. Inside, he found two bodies sprawled on an ornate bed, blood oozing from their mouths. Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria-Hungary appeared to have shot his seventeen-year-old mistress Baroness Mary Vetsera as she slept, sat with the corpse for hours and, when dawn broke, turned the pistol on himself. A century has transformed this bloody scene into romantic tragedy: star-crossed lovers who preferred death together than to be parted by a cold, unfeeling Viennese Court. But Mayerling is also the story of family secrets: incestuous relationships and mental instability; blackmail, venereal disease, and political treason; and a disillusioned, morphine-addicted Crown Prince and a naïve schoolgirl caught up in a dangerous and deadly waltz inside a decaying empire. What happened in that locked room remains one of history’s most evocative mysteries: What led Rudolf and mistress to this desperate act? Was it really a suicide pact? Or did something far more disturbing take place at that remote hunting lodge and result in murder? Drawing interviews with members of the Habsburg family and archival sources in Vienna, Greg King and Penny Wilson reconstruct this historical mystery, laying out evidence and information long ignored that conclusively refutes the romantic myth and the conspiracy stories.
Anastasia, Anna Anderson, and the World's Greatest Royal Mystery
Author: Greg King,Penny Wilson
Pubpsher: John Wiley & Sons
The truth of the enduring mystery of Anastasia's fate-and the life of her most convincing impostor The passage of more than ninety years and the publication of hundreds of books in dozens of languages has not extinguished an enduring interest in the mysteries surrounding the 1918 execution of the last Russian Tsar Nicholas II and his family. The Resurrection of the Romanovs draws on a wealth of new information from previously unpublished materials and unexplored sources to probe the most enduring Romanov mystery of all: the fate of the Tsar's youngest daughter, Anastasia, whose remains were not buried with those of her family, and her identification with Anna Anderson, the woman who claimed to be the missing Grand Duchess. Penetrates the intriguing mysteries surrounding the execution of Tsar Nicholas II and the true fate of his daughter, Anastasia Reveals previously unknown details of Anderson's life as Franziska Schanzkowska Explains how Anderson acquired her knowledge, why people believed her claim, and how it transformed Anastasia into a cultural phenomenon Draws on unpublished materials including Schanzkowska family memoirs, legal papers, and exclusive access to private documents of the British and Hessian Royal Families Includes 75 photographs, dozens published here for the first time Written by the authors of The Fate of the Romanovs Refuting long-accepted evidence in the Anderson case, The Resurrection of the Romanovs finally explodes the greatest royal mystery of the twentieth-century.
Daughter of the Last Tsar, Diaries and Letters, 1913-1918
Author: Helen Azar,George Hawkins
Category: Biography & Autobiography
In Maria Romanov: Third Daughter of the Last Tsar, Diaries and Letters, 1908-1918, by translator and researcher Helen Azar with George Hawkins, Mashka's voice is heard again through her intimate writings, presented for the first time in English. The Grand Duchess was much more than a pretty princess wearing white dresses in hundreds of faded sepia photographs; Maria's surviving diaries and letters offer a fascinating insight into the private life of a loving family--from festivals and faith, to Rasputin and the coming Revolution; it is clear why this middle child ultimately became a pillar of strength and hope for them all. Maria's gentle character belied her incredible courage, which emerged in the darkest hours of her brief life. "The incarnation of modesty elevated by suffering," as Maria was described during the last weeks of her life, she was able to maintain her kindness and optimism, even in the midst of violence and degradation.
The Classic Account of the Fall of the Romanov Dynasty
Author: Robert K. Massie
Pubpsher: Random House
Category: Biography & Autobiography
The story of the love that ended an empire In this commanding book, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Robert K. Massie sweeps readers back to the extraordinary world of Imperial Russia to tell the story of the Romanovs’ lives: Nicholas’s political naïveté, Alexandra’s obsession with the corrupt mystic Rasputin, and little Alexis’s brave struggle with hemophilia. Against a lavish backdrop of luxury and intrigue, Massie unfolds a powerful drama of passion and history—the story of a doomed empire and the death-marked royals who watched it crumble. BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Robert K. Massie's Catherine the Great. Praise for Nicholas and Alexandra “A larger-than-life drama.”—Saturday Review “A moving, rich book . . . [This] revealing, densely documented account of the last Romanovs focuses not on the great events . . . but on the royal family and their evil nemesis. . . . The tale is so bizarre, no melodrama is equal to it.”—Newsweek “A wonderfully rich tapestry, the colors fresh and clear, every strand sewn in with a sure hand. Mr. Massie describes those strange and terrible years with sympathy and understanding. . . . They come vividly before our eyes.”—The New York Times “An all-too-human picture . . . Both Nicholas and Alexandra with all their failings come truly alive, as does their almost storybook romance.”—Newsday “A magnificent and intimate picture . . . Not only the main characters but a whole era become alive and comprehensible.”—Harper’s
The Brest-Litovsk Conference and the Remaking of East-Central Europe, 1917–1918
Author: Borislav Chernev
Pubpsher: University of Toronto Press
Category: Brest-Litovsk Peace Conference
Borislav Chernev, through an insightful and in-depth analysis of primary sources and archival material, argues that although its duration was short lived, the Brest-Litovsk settlement significantly affected the post-Imperial transformation of East Central Europe.