Alexander Palace Forum

Books and Films about the Romanovs and Imperial Russia => Books about the Romanovs and Imperial Russia => Topic started by: Ilana on March 21, 2004, 05:23:45 PM

Title: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Ilana on March 21, 2004, 05:23:45 PM
Has anyone read this book?  

It's a novel about the two Hessian sisters and their Russian marriages, and it's extremely anti-Hessian.  Lambton definitely had an axe to grind -- can't quite figure out if it was because he was related to a Naval figure in England who hated Prince Louis Battenberg, or because his Aunt was supposedly blinded for all the reading she did as lady-in-waiting to Princess Beatrice, but whatever it is, this book is absolutely grotesque.

What do you think??
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Antonio_P.Caballer on March 21, 2004, 08:36:30 PM
Hello Ilana,
I have this book, but must confess that i´ve not read it...until the end. I dislike the historic novel and bought the book thinking it was something akin a biography...I stopped reading when Grand Duchess Ella was cooking in the forest for Sergey...(no comments).
I´m not saying that mr lambton did not do a good job recreating the epoch but i thought i was wasting my time, and i have plenty of books to read...
So i completely agree with you.
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Janet Whitcomb on March 21, 2004, 09:11:08 PM
Some time ago I browsed this novel. I felt that the author had an extensive knowledge of his subject, but that it was overlong.  Much of what he said I later found in nonfiction books--biographies and the like--so I think he was well-read re: the people involved. However, pacing is an important aspect of any book--especially a novel--and it just didn't hook me in!
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: tea_rose on March 22, 2004, 05:56:24 PM
  I really detested this book-the ending was just awful in my opinion-tho' I suppose it fits in with the modern trend for "alternate' endings and "standing history on its head."  I quickly gave it away to the library-I think I like my non-fiction books best. I think some care was taken by the author-but some of the conclusions he came to and the details he provided to support them were very uncongenial to me.  

That said-all tastes are subjective and some people may have found it "intriguing."  I won't reveal any spoilers for their sake.
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Louise on March 23, 2004, 07:26:43 AM
I picked this book up at the library and promptly returned it after reading a few chapters. I found this book as negative towards the Romanov's, and Hessian's as his book on the Battenbergs.

Louise
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Robert_Hall on March 23, 2004, 11:42:55 AM
Again, I do not think the author was going for a Pulitzer. It is an imaginitive novel.  In my opinion, not a very good one, but still a bit of fun.
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Ilana on March 23, 2004, 09:29:26 PM
His book on the Battenbergs was just awful, esp. the things he said about Victoria and Louis Battenberg.  From everything I have read, they had an extremely compatible marriage.  His assessment was different.  

I have asked people who might know what Lambton's problem with the Hessians and the Battenbergs, especially, but no one seems to know.
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Alicky1872 on October 07, 2004, 08:56:39 AM
I have not read this book and can't find it at my library, but from what people have said I guess I'm not missing anything!

So why exactly is it so bad? How is it anti-Hessian? What is this about Ella cooking for Serge in the forest? You've all got me curious!!!!!
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: ashanti01 on October 21, 2004, 01:47:32 AM
I bought this book, hated it and sold it on ebay...
It was so ...no "good" words come to mind, not a recommeded item to read
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Belochka on October 21, 2004, 01:56:26 AM
I purchased this book soon after its release in 1985. The only useful feature about this book was the mauve bookmark which came with the book.  ::)
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Sunny on October 21, 2004, 06:05:37 AM
The only thing that recommends the paperback edition,
is the cover photograph, which includes Orchie.

Sunny
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Elizabeth on December 30, 2004, 10:28:33 AM
I would stay away from this book like the plague (saw it at a used bookstore the other day and almost bought it -- even though I already have it -- so someone else wouldn't have to suffer through it).

Despised the ending and had nightmares about it.   :-/  The whole thing was awful.  
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Janet_W. on December 30, 2004, 11:02:37 AM
Okay, you've hooked my curiosity (unlike the overlong book itself, which I eventually returned to the library without finishing) and I have to ask . . . what is so awful about the ending?  ???

Since it is a novel about two sisters who die brutal deaths, obviously the ending is not going to be all roses and moonlight. What I'm getting at, then, is in what manner/tone did the author resolve his book causing so many readers to be upset/offended/etc.?

As for Ella cooking for Serge out in the forrest . . . well, if I recall both the novel and factual sources, one of the things they did together was to have picnics, during which Ella would fix their meal on site. Perhaps there's something more to it that I've forgotten?
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: felix on December 30, 2004, 11:35:16 AM
 It's a worthless book . I lost my money.  F.
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Marlene on December 30, 2004, 12:14:40 PM
Quote
It's a worthless book . I lost my money.  F.


Lambton is very anti-Mountbatten - and this book reflects that anger.  


This book is one giant hairball.
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Bitoelk on December 30, 2004, 01:27:32 PM
Thanks for the heads up everyone. I saw this the other day and was pondering buying it. From the sour reviews I think I will avoid it. Thanks for the warnings.

~Misha~
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Ilana on December 30, 2004, 01:30:33 PM
LOL, good description, Marlene.

The ending has both sisters alive (as well as the Grand Duchesses, Olga, I think died of a heart attack and the others had married peasants in the valley), though both extremely demented and living in some obscure valley in some part of Russia, can't remember which.  I think Alix is leading Ella around by a string tied around Ella's neck.  It's very, very odd.  One wonders at the imagination of a person to even think of such things.
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Elizabeth on December 30, 2004, 01:35:34 PM
Yes, Ilana, that's the ending I remember as well (you can tell I haven't read it in awhile).  To add to that, someone is reporting about their "findings" of the missing Empress & GD to Stalin (of all people), and when he finds out, Stalin laughs and laughs (who would have thought Stalin had a sense of humor).

Another thing I sort of remember is that the author really "harps" on the Sergei/Elizabeth marriage a lot, to the point of describing their marital life and Sergei's "problems."  Enough said, but when I read it, it came off as the author having more ISSUES than GD Serge!
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Alicky1872 on December 30, 2004, 05:19:58 PM
Quote
LOL, good description, Marlene.

The ending has both sisters alive (as well as the Grand Duchesses, Olga, I think died of a heart attack and the others had married peasants in the valley), though both extremely demented and living in some obscure valley in some part of Russia, can't remember which.  I think Alix is leading Ella around by a string tied around Ella's neck.  It's very, very odd.  One wonders at the imagination of a person to even think of such things.


Now I want to read it just to see how bad it really is!
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: tea_rose on December 30, 2004, 08:05:01 PM
Oh, Ilana (covering my eyes)---you have revived that nightmare ending by recounting it! I just HATED that ending--after I had plodded through the rest of that very unsatisfactory book!  

  I must go read one of my good books to bury that image again!  (just kidding-but I could not get rid of this book fast enough!)
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Helen_Azar on December 30, 2004, 08:13:46 PM
Yes, it is one of the oddest books on the subject (fiction or non) that I have ever read, although if I remember correctly it has a couple of good moments.  ::)
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Helen_Azar on December 30, 2004, 08:15:32 PM
Quote
... Stalin laughs and laughs...
This was one of the good moments I was referring to  ;D
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: bluetoria on January 04, 2005, 12:01:49 PM
I wrote this on another thread but I feel so strongly about it I hope its ok to say it again here. I thought this book was so appalling I literally tore it to shreds. If he  wanted to write a novel he should have used fictional characters but to degrade Ella in the way this books does is disgraceful. Not only was it badly written (using expressions such as 'she was nice' and describing in unrealistic detail a ridiculous argument between Ella and Victoria about a red crayon!!!!) but it exploits Serge's ALLEGED sexual sadism to the extent that it reads like a very poor gothic novel written by a teenage schoolboy. Serge is presented merely a stereo-typical 'baddie' while Ella drifts around on the point of a breakdown constantly bored by everyone and judging everyone superficially...even her own sister, Irene. Ella could in reality hardly be described as superficial...even in her younger days.
If it were written about someone who is alive today I would have thought they'd have every right to sue for libel and defamation of character.
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Penny_Wilson on January 04, 2005, 12:44:21 PM
Quote
...Ella could in reality hardly be described as superficial...even in her younger days...


To give another opinion of Ella, here's what Kaiser Wilhelm had to say about Ella's conversion to Orthodoxy:

"an inordinate pursuit of popularity, a desire to improve her position at court, a great lack of intelligence, and also a want of true religiousness..."

This comes from the marginalia that the Kaiser liked to write on official reports, as quoted in John Rohl's EXCELLENT (and just published) "Wilhelm II: the Kaiser's personal monarchy, 1888-1900."   Save your pennies, though, because this 1350 page tome will set you back $150 on Amazon...    :o
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: bluetoria on January 04, 2005, 01:26:09 PM
No, no no, I can't accept that! :) How could the Kaiser possibly express an opinion on Ella's 'want of piety' or whatever! He was still angry about his sister Sophie's recent conversion and SHE had condemned him saying he could not express an opinion because he 'had no religion at all.' Moreover, he was still smarting from the sting of her rebuttal and would see her conversation as a stronger link between her and Serge.
Ella's letters show how she agonized for three years before coming to what was for her a very painful decision and...more to the point her life 'bore the fruits' of her sincerity....could any princess for whom religion was merely a means of courting popularity willingly give away all she possessed and tend the most abhect of patients...Sorry, I'm a real champion of Ella :)
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Penny_Wilson on January 04, 2005, 01:50:25 PM
I have to say that my reaction to reading many of Wilhelm's marginalia is "Hold on there, Lee Harvey!..."  

In this case, of course, Wilhelm rather unreasonably expected that the German princesses who married out of the Federation would always remain first and foremost loyal to himself and his plans for German ascendancy.  But on the other hand, he also knew Ella first-hand -- so perhaps there is something in his idea that she converted for popularity.  I remember another historian -- whose name escapes me at the moment -- suggested that Ella's conversion came at a time when it was expedient for her to curry favor with Minnie and Sasha -- who were rather displeased with her for dangling Alix in front of Nicky as she did.

Serge and Ella interest me.  So I am greatly looking forward to Christopher Warwick's upcoming biography, which I have heard is truly in-depth and rather fabulous.
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: bluetoria on January 04, 2005, 02:01:08 PM
Sorry, still can't accept that her motives were so superficial. She knew it would break her father's heart and 'dreaded' telling him...she wrote to Nicky that she was very afraid of Miechen's reaction and wrote later that she had longed to become Orthodox but for '18 months put it off because again came doubts and worries'...and later said it was only out of fear of offending her old friends that she postponed her decision.
I wrote a book about Ella for which I received a contract from an English publisher last year. After a year they said the market had changed and were withdrawing the contract and sent me a royalties cheque and advance so Iwouldn't sue them!!! It's very hurtful to me!!!!

Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: BobAtchison on January 04, 2005, 02:18:45 PM
Greg/Penny:

Do you think there was there a difference in the religious training of the older girls and Alexandra? All of them were trained by Dr. Sell according to Buxhoeveden:

In the spring of 1888 came a great turning-point in Princess Alix's life, her confirmation. She was prepared for this by Dr. Sell, a Hessian divine, chosen by the Grand Duchess Alice to give religious instruction to her children. He was a clever man, who soon gained a strong influence over Princess Alix, whose sensitive soul had always had serious leanings. His early teaching laid the foundations of that searching for "truth" which was the keynote of her spiritual life. He dwelt strongly on the force of the Lutheran doctrine, and impressed its tenets on her. This later on caused Princess Alix to have so great a moral struggle, when, loving the Tsarevich, and knowing that she was loved by him, she also knew that to marry him she had to embrace the Orthodox faith.

Dr. Sell's words fell deep. Princess Alix's nature was always introspective, and now she began to analyse every action and its right and wrong motive, finding fault with herself, and seeking to attain a lofty and abstract ideal. This made her take her whole life very seriously. She was always mentally fighting things out, always striving to solve deeper questions in connection with small ones, while jealously keeping all this inner life from prying eyes.

Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Alicky1872 on January 04, 2005, 02:23:25 PM
I'm so sorry to hear that, Bluetoria. Do you mind me asking what type of book it was? A historical novel or a bio?
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: bluetoria on January 04, 2005, 02:31:24 PM
Thank you for asking. It is a biography. It was shortlisted for an award for pre-published books and it seemed that after years of struggling to be a writer Ella had worked a miracle for me. However! An agent is now trying to place it but though publishers like it they say historical bios are not selling well now. One publisher even wrote 'it has insufficient scandal for us to publish it'.....and that from a reputable publisher. Sorry for going on!!!
At least, I think, it's not as bad as starving down a mine shaft or seeing your husband blown to pieces which putseverything into perspective.
Sorry if I've bored you.... :o
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 04, 2005, 03:17:26 PM
Quote
Thank you for asking. It is a biography. It was shortlisted for an award for pre-published books and it seemed that after years of struggling to be a writer Ella had worked a miracle for me. However! An agent is now trying to place it but though publishers like it they say historical bios are not selling well now. One publisher even wrote 'it has insufficient scandal for us to publish it'.....and that from a reputable publisher. Sorry for going on!!!
At least, I think, it's not as bad as starving down a mine shaft or seeing your husband blown to pieces which putseverything into perspective.
Sorry if I've bored you.... :o


Bluetoria, is it possible to get an "inofficial" copy of your book somewhere? I have no idea how that works as far as copyrights, or whatever, but I would love to read your work on Ella.  There is such shortage of good Ella biographies out there. I can't believe that historical bio's are not selling well now, what's wrong with everyone out there, this is my favorite genre!  ;)
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: bluetoria on January 04, 2005, 04:14:57 PM
I am very honoured that you should ask, Helen, but unfortunately the agent has the book and a publisher is supposed to be considering it so there is little I can do at the moment. Should nothing come of it I'd be happy to end it to you...will let you know eventually! Thanks for asking!!! It makes my day:)
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Marlene on January 04, 2005, 08:19:38 PM

"I wrote a book about Ella for which I received a contract from an English publisher last year. After a year they said the market had changed and were withdrawing the contract and sent me a royalties cheque and advance so Iwouldn't sue them!!! It's very hurtful to me!!!!"

This is a real shame to hear but it is true about the market -- good scholarly books are rare - and publishers don't want to take them on.  However,  Christopher Warwick is at work on a bio on Ella.
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Alicky1872 on January 05, 2005, 06:17:49 AM
Bluetoria, I would LOVE to read your book too! It's such a shame to hear about your experience, but I pray it will work out for you. I admire you so much, I desperately want to write, but I don't think I have the "stick to it-ness" and now there's no time, because I have a little one around the house! :)
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: bluetoria on January 05, 2005, 06:51:43 AM
Thank you so much, Alicky, I would be EXTREMELY grateful for your prayers.
Above all, I should really like more peoplein England to have heard about Ella as I think she is so little known here.
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 05, 2005, 08:09:07 AM
Quote
I am very honoured that you should ask, Helen, but unfortunately the agent has the book and a publisher is supposed to be considering it so there is little I can do at the moment. Should nothing come of it I'd be happy to end it to you...will let you know eventually! Thanks for asking!!! It makes my day:)
 

Well, please let us know what happens, because there are plenty of takers for your book on this site!  :D
Bluetoria, I sometimes correspond with Christopher Warwick, who is now writing the new Ella biography (which I can't wait for too!). He read your comments about your book on this thread, he is not a member but he asked me to post this:

"Would you be good enough to say that I sympathize entirely with everything Bluetoria says and add that I'm personally sorry to know ... she had such a disappointing publishing experience."    

So you see, we're all rooting for you  :D
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 05, 2005, 08:16:51 AM
Quote
...good scholarly books are rare - and publishers don't want to take them on.  


It's such a shame that trash such as the Lambton book (sorry, don't mean to offend anyone who liked it),  and a few others I can think of right off the bat, somehow get published, but genuinely good efforts are not accepted! Why is this the case?
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: bluetoria on January 05, 2005, 08:42:01 AM
 :)Helen-Azar, what a pleasure to be on this site with such lovely people! Thank you - you restore my faith in humanity!!!! :) :)
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: grandduchessella on January 05, 2005, 10:03:41 AM
I have to 2nd this--it's a shame that the publishing world will publish book after book on Diana (which basically say the same thing but they can keep putting in all the scandalous details) but a work on such a remarkable figure as Ella will be allowed to go by the wayside. I'm glad that Christopher Warwick is writing one but there's room for more. If it ever gets untangled you'd certainly find some buyers here! You could always sell it as an e-book on the internet. I'm already busy with prayers on behalf to victims of the tsunami to certain patron saints--I can add St Francis de Sales (patron saint of authors) to the list!  :)
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 05, 2005, 10:13:56 AM
Quote
You could always sell it as an e-book on the internet.


That's a good idea, GDElla. Maybe some time soon we can have a little "preview" of bluetoria's book?  ;)
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: bluetoria on January 05, 2005, 11:34:30 AM
Thank you, grandduchessella, I am very grateful for your prayers though I am well aware that the people involved in the terrible Asian disaster are in far greater need...I pray for them too...
I'm afraid I have got in the way of the original point about 'Elizabeth & Alexandra' ...Do you not think it is disgraceful that someone could so twist so beautiful and courageous a character and turn her life into a sort of Barbara Cartland style (sorry B.C. fans!) novel merely for entertainment.
The fact that Ella...and all of the Romanovs...endured what they did and struggled from the highest motives, should, I believe, inspire some sort of respect when writing of them, whether or not one agrees with all they said and did.  
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 05, 2005, 02:11:32 PM
Quote
I'm afraid I have got in the way of the original point about 'Elizabeth & Alexandra' ...  
I think the topic of your book is a lot more interesting than the Lambton book ever would be  :D
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: bluetoria on January 05, 2005, 03:21:19 PM
I have toyed with the idea of self-publishing and I may do that if nothing develops in 2005...but for now I've decided to stick with praying for a miracle...."Hope springs eternal...." etc.
With regard to books in general and grandduchessella's mention of the surfeit of Diana books, I often wonder why the shelves are so full of biographies of people who have never really DONE anything...minor celebrities and people who are famous for being famous. Sooner or later there must be a swing back to something more uplifting. For the most part I thinkthese bios are  - to use Ella's word! - 'unedifying' and then people wonder why young people and children have no really good role models to follow. Perhaps it was ever thus...
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 05, 2005, 03:28:47 PM
Quote

... I often wonder why the shelves are so full of biographies of people who have never really DONE anything...minor celebrities and people who are famous for being famous.
 Lately I am starting to become convinced that the general public has very bad taste!  :P  :-/
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: bluetoria on January 05, 2005, 03:32:07 PM
...or perhaps publishers aren't giving us what we want because they think they'll make more money catering for a quick sale....
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Alicky1872 on January 05, 2005, 06:24:06 PM
If I see another new bio of Diana, Mary Queen of Scots, or Elizabeth I, I'm going to scream! Seems like everytime I go to Borders, there's another one! It's so frustrating! The same stuff rehashed again and again! The publishers keep churning out the same stuff because they know it'll sell, and you're right Bluetoria, it's all about a quick sale.  :P

MAybe we all should get together and start our own publishing company!  :D
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: tea_rose on January 05, 2005, 07:18:22 PM
And don't forget the Kennedys. I have been guilty of reading some of them-but the vast bulk are tired and often sordid re-hash at this point.  I know Carolyn Kennedy avoids whole sections if she ever enters a library or bookstore.
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Ilana on January 06, 2005, 12:20:16 AM
Not to chime in, but when I presented the synopsis of my book on Victoria Milford Haven to one publisher, it was their opinion that she had not done anything but go to parties with royals.  

THe truth is, royal women who haven't had a tremendously scandalous life aren't of interest to publishers, who are, sadly, only interested in publishing books that sell, not good ones.  

Bluetoria, if your agent doesn't come through, you might email Eurohistory.com about your book.  They are getting into royal publishing.
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: bluetoria on January 06, 2005, 05:40:39 AM
Ilana, thanks for your suggestion...might try that if the present plan doesn't work out.
As for your book about VMH - how foolish can a publisher be!!! I'll bet it's fascinating - far more so than the majority of available biographies - she was a truly remarkable and courageous woman and I would certainly have bought your book!
We'll all just have to keep trying...even Emily Bronte was rejected numerous times, Van Gogh only sold a couple of paintings and that was to his his brother, many of the major Victorian poets were reduced to publushing their own work...someone once wrote 'Now Barabbas was a publisher...."
I wish you the best of luck with Victoria...please don't give up,
Bluetoria  :)
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Sunny on January 06, 2005, 06:37:09 AM
Bluetoria and Ilana, add me to the list of those wanting to read your books. Just read a Voltaire quote at a news site, that sums up much of what sees the light in the world of publishing: "The multitude of books is making us ignorant."

Sunny
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Ilana on January 06, 2005, 04:31:53 PM
Thanks Bluetoria... the book will be available, and you will all, of course, be informed when it is!!
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Ming on February 26, 2005, 10:04:56 PM
Oh, Bluetoria, my heart hurts for you.  It seems you have done a tremendous work and service that so many of us would greatly appreciate and would love to add to our personal libraries.  One thing to remember, though, is that publishers are really just people, and they have opinions and agendas and jobs to do, etc., so often their choice to publish or not is so subjective...even "political" at times.  The rejections are most likely not meant to be personal, so please don't take them that way.  Sometimes it takes time to find just the right publisher...or to find your own way of publishing and marketing and distributing, etc.  I know this for a fact because I am a book editor, and I think people would be amazed at the true reasons why a book gets published or not.

There are many people on this board that would be glad to purchase your book.  Perhaps you might like to make copies of some the comments written here and show them to your (future) publisher.  You already have a market right here!

Also...just an idea...have you considered condensing a chapter or two of your book and offering it as a magazine article for "Royalty" or other similar magazines?  Sometimes publishing excerpts is a good way to whet people's appetites to read "the rest of the story". Just a thought.

Please keep us updated as to the progress of your quest! I'm sure I speak for many when I say I can't wait to read your book!

God bless.
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Speedycat on January 05, 2006, 10:45:19 AM
Wow, so thrilled to find this topic after nearly a year has passed since ayone has written in it.  I saw the title of "Elizabeth and Alexandra" and just knew I had to read this book.  Luckily a friend of mine got it for me on an inter-library loan as I was totally unaware it was a NOVEL!  How stupid am I !?!?!
To make a long story/book short , I never did get to the end.  I got as far as the beginning of WWI.  So glad I found this thread to reassure myself that I was not the only one that was more then a bit "disturbed" by the book.  Some of the stories related by the auther were chilling, to say the least.  I had to immediately go back to my selection of biographies to comfort myself. :-[
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Marlene on January 05, 2006, 11:08:10 AM
Quote
Wow, so thrilled to find this topic after nearly a year has passed since ayone has written in it.  I saw the title of "Elizabeth and Alexandra" and just knew I had to read this book.  Luckily a friend of mine got it for me on an inter-library loan as I was totally unaware it was a NOVEL!  How stupid am I !?!?!
To make a long story/book short , I never did get to the end.  I got as far as the beginning of WWI.  So glad I found this thread to reassure myself that I was not the only one that was more then a bit "disturbed" by the book.  Some of the stories related by the auther were chilling, to say the least.  I had to immediately go back to my selection of biographies to comfort myself. :-[




It was an awful book - Lord Lambton had an axe to grind with Mountbatten.
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Speedycat on January 05, 2006, 05:48:26 PM
Marlene, just a quick note to let you know your writings have always been so informative, factual and yes indeed, comforting in a world filled with rumor and scandal.  Thank you so much  :-*
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Marlene on January 05, 2006, 09:41:54 PM
Quote
Marlene, just a quick note to let you know your writings have always been so informative, factual and yes indeed, comforting in a world filled with rumor and scandal.  Thank you so much  :-*



Dear Speedycat,

thank you.  Your kind words made my day.  But I loooooove writing about scandal  :)

By the way, your little kittie picture reminds of my Buddy when he was just a little baby ... he's all grown up now.
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Speedycat on January 06, 2006, 12:17:55 PM
That's Mel, my brother's cat, and he's full grown now.  I need to put up a picture of the original Speedy, a brown tabby.
Title: Elizabeth & Alexandra by Antony Lambton
Post by: Alixz on March 02, 2008, 10:06:18 PM
This book reads like a novel and the author has very little in the way of source notes.

However, in the back of the book, he lists some sources for his interpretation of Grand Duke Serge.  Then he has also included copies of letters from Alix to Nicholas during the Great War at the time of his take over of supreme command of the army.

But here is one that he does not source, but that I found interesting in light of other threads that have touched on this topic.

"In February [1916] she [Ella] received another strange letter from Alix:

  E [meaning Ernie] is coming from Hesse without, of course, W [the German Emperor] knowing, to see Nicky.  E made overtures for peace before and Nicky refused to send anyone to see a man he had sent to Stockholm last April but now our Friend has said he should come himself.  My Friend says Nicky cannot agree to peace but to see Ernie would be leaving open door.  I ache and long for Nicky so if anything comes of plan E will be here two weeks.  His visit of course secret.  No one to know.  Would love to see you.  Will fall on his neck and kiss him.  Ah, if I had the patience of my beloved husband!
Your old,
Alix "

Lambton does not say where he got this letter from or who owns the original if there is one.

There is only one source for any of the letters that he quotes and that is (Empress Alexandra, The Letters to the Tsar.  1914-1916 Duckworth, London 1923)  No mention of who complied or edited the letters to be put into book form.

However, since there are other more recent books which are publications of the correspondence of Alix and Nicky during the war, if the above letter were any where to be found, I believe that it would have been republished with verification a long time ago.

Lambton presumes to get inside of Ella's head and to write about her most private thoughts and trials.  This includes stating that the reason that Ella and Serge did not have any marital relations was because Serge was a Sadist and needed to beat and abuse Ella before he could do anything (I am trying to be circumspect here).  And that they had no children because Ella could not stand to be so abused.  Lambton equally states that Ella was encouraged by Serge through Maria Pavlovna (the elder) to have child, but the how of this is not clear.

I have looked back in this thread about two years worth of postings but did not find any reference to this book.

Has anyone else any comments?
Title: Re: Elizabeth & Alexandra by Antony Lambton
Post by: anna11 on March 03, 2008, 04:20:32 AM
I also think that if such a letter really existed, it would have been brought to light a while ago. Didn't Anna Anderson claim that Ernie visited Russia in 1916? If this letter did exist, surely Anderson's supporters would have made it very public.
Title: Re: Elizabeth & Alexandra by Antony Lambton
Post by: halen on March 03, 2008, 06:24:15 AM
While I'm not sure how much truth there is to the rumour that Ernie visited Russia, I know there are folks out there who know whether this is fact or fiction. As for Lambton's book--ITS HORRIBLE. It reads  like a terrible historical fiction. He does the same in a book he penned on the Mountbattens/Battenbergs and I consider him  the male version of Kitty Kelley.  :)

That said, I was thinking of the book last week and was tempted to take it out of the library again just to have a good laugh. The moment passed, whew.  :-[
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Alixz on March 03, 2008, 10:22:51 PM
Thanks to whomever merged my thread with the old one.  I couldn't find it.

What I don't like about this book is that there are so many good bios out there that no one needs to write historical fiction and then add a little true history, while filling in the blanks with what he thinks was in the minds of those he is writing about.

My head was spinning when I finished it.  Thankfully, I only spent about $1 USD on it.
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Helen_Azar on March 04, 2008, 12:06:57 PM
I'm not sure if it's even worth $1.
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: grandduchessella on March 04, 2008, 09:52:12 PM
Thanks to whomever merged my thread with the old one.  I couldn't find it.


That would be me.  :)

This was truly a wretched book. I remember being in college and really excited when I heard of it. I requested it through Interlibrary Loan (thank God I didn't pay a dime for it) and was soooo disappointed. I've tried to block much of it out, but I seem to recall some really tawdry scenes the writer concocted (there's really no other word for it) between Ella & Serge in their bedroom.
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Ilana on March 05, 2008, 01:11:00 PM
It's been years since I started this thread...and even today I have to say how tawdry and utterly distasteful this book was.... in an intelligent word... YUCK!
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Alixz on March 08, 2008, 11:51:30 PM
I just finally finished it.  Much of what Lambton says was covered in The File on the Tsar by Summers and Mangold.

This diary of Ella's that he purports to have quoted can not possibly exist or someone would have heard of it (besides Lambton).

What a long reach and stretch of the imagination!  Imagine a "fat" Alix leading a "bony" Ella around on a rope and both of them being senile.

Good grief!
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Ilana on March 09, 2008, 12:19:46 PM
It was frightful.  You feel you've just been put on an alien planet.

It is amazing where jealousy and anger towards a family can lead.  It was a novel, or they should have sued. But perhaps, it was completely beneath them to acknowledge this awful tripe (the Mountbattens, I mean).
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Alixz on March 09, 2008, 10:18:33 PM
Actually, on the back inside jacket flap, it is noted   "In a subtle blend of fact and fiction, Antony Lambton gives us an intimate portrait of a woman caught between an evil man's desires and a country moving inexorably toward revolution."

So, that might not be on the paperback version, but it is noted on the hard cover dust jacket.

Lambton goes to great lengths in the 8 appendices to try to give sources for his interpretation of the facts.  He quotes from Sandro and the Sokolov Report and others.

But fiction is fiction and fact is fact.

Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Eddie_uk on June 20, 2008, 03:11:29 PM
I brought this book this afternoon and it wasn't till I was flicking through it that I realised it's a blend of fact and fiction. What's annoying is when you are reading it you wonder if certain parts or fact OR fiction! Very annoying! Not worth the £2 I spent on it!!
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: StevenL on June 20, 2008, 05:07:16 PM
I brought this book this afternoon and it wasn't till I was flicking through it that I realised it's a blend of fact and fiction. What's annoying is when you are reading it you wonder if certain parts or fact OR fiction! Very annoying! Not worth the £2 I spent on it!!

Don't despair Eddieboy-- Actually, the appendices at the back -do- make it worth it, but the book itself is rubbish. I found page 406 and what follows particularly interesting...
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Lalee on June 20, 2008, 07:27:21 PM
I don't know why some authors like to write stuff like this ... it's just plain disrespectful and WEIRD!! I mean, Romanov fiction is fun to read, but not like this!
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Eddie_uk on June 21, 2008, 03:57:18 AM
Thank you Steven, I will take a closer look!!
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: blessOTMA on August 03, 2011, 01:31:32 AM
I got this book  with out knowing about it ...was enjoying it as a novel and then got at the end...WHOA!! it's so awful, I mean the man ruined his book and I can't say why...in my amazon review I called the end ,"  gratuitous tasteless bizarreness " ! lol! To me the end read like Sci Fi!...just horrifying...it's we, the reader , who wound up  being lead by a rope.
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Eddie_uk on August 05, 2011, 01:23:57 PM
The only good thing about this book is the original book mark, providing it still has it! It lists all the family members plus their year of birth & passing!
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: bestfriendsgirl on August 05, 2011, 02:11:00 PM
Sounds almost as bad as The Tsarina's Daughter by Carolly Ericcson ... if you want to read a good fictionalized account of Ella's life, try Most Beautiful Princess by Christina Croft. I just started it and I'm really enjoying it.
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: blessOTMA on August 05, 2011, 08:41:34 PM
good to know! Thanks
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Helen_Azar on August 06, 2011, 12:44:04 PM
Sounds almost as bad as The Tsarina's Daughter by Carolly Ericcson ... if you want to read a good fictionalized account of Ella's life, try Most Beautiful Princess by Christina Croft. I just started it and I'm really enjoying it.

I am tempted to say that as bad as this book is, The Tsarina's Daughter is even much worse! And yes, I would highly recommend "Most Beautiful Princess" by Christina Croft too! We do have one copy at FLP (happy to say I ordered it for us  ;)) but it is in storage until early next year :(
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Inok Nikolai on January 23, 2012, 09:14:26 PM

A. Lambton's book was so exceedingly ridiculous, that I just could not get worked up over it — other than to shake my head, and maybe chuckle at some of the more outrageous passages.

For Orthodox Christians, some of those sections of the book dealing with the Church are a real hoot.

Lambton has Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna sliding in and out of her pew in church (of which there are none in a Russian Orthodox Church).

Then she steps into the little booth to go to confession (again, no such booths in an Orthodox Church).

But my all time favorite is the time when Lambton has Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna, while still living in Moscow, go to visit Zinaida Yussupova, her good friend at that time.

(As you know, the Yussupovs did indeed have a large old house in Moscow.)

But Lambton has Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna jump into her carriage in Moscow, and, a little while later, pull up in front of the Yussupovs' Moika Palace!

Lambton had probably heard of the Yussupovs only in connection with the murder of Rasputin, which took place in the Yussupovs' Moika Palace... in St. Petersburg!

The poor man didn't realize that it's referred to as the Moika Palace, because it is located on the Moika Canal in St. Petersburg.

I guess those famous Orlov Trotters really were swift steeds — to get Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna from Moscow to St. Petersburg in a matter of minutes, eh?!
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Georgiy on January 24, 2012, 03:45:03 AM
You'd think he could have done a little bit of research... ::)
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Kalafrana on January 24, 2012, 04:29:12 AM
Lambton was an odd character, and I think an extremely arrogant man.

He inherited the earldom of Durham in the 1960s, but disclaimed it under the Peerage Act 1963 in order to continue sitting as an MP. However, instead of becoming plain Mr Lambton, he insisted on being known as Lord Lambton, on the basis that this was the courtesy title he had had before his father's death, and he hadn't disclaimed that. (Note that the 14th Earl of Home, who disclaimed in 1963, became plain Sir Alec Douglas-Home). Lambton became a hunior defence minister in Edward Heath's government in 1970, but before very long had to resign amid a major scandal involving call girls and cocaine. He decamped to Italy, and, I believe, carried on with the cocaine if not the call girls.

Maybe the book found a publisher primarily because of Lambton's notoriety. I did read it years ago, but wasn't impressed.

Ann
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Ilana on January 24, 2012, 10:57:45 AM
He also had a major hatred for the Mountbattens/Battenbergs.
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Kalafrana on January 24, 2012, 11:00:33 AM
Quote
'He also had a major hatred for the Mountbattens/Battenbergs.'

Any underlying reason for it? Lord Mountbatten was by no means universally admired in naval circles (I can quote two examples from personal knowledge).

Ann
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Ilana on January 25, 2012, 11:12:05 AM
His books on the Mountbattens were written with such an obvious axe to grind that I was actually surprised that the editors let him get away with it.  I think it was jealousy and anger.  I don't think that he felt they earned their place, starting with Louis Battenberg.  A fact that I would obviously contest.
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Kalafrana on January 25, 2012, 11:40:52 AM
I don't know about Louis Battenberg, but I don't think Lord Mountbatten really earned his place. He was one of a number of dashing and relatively young officers who caught Winston Churchill's eye and were promoted very rapidly - arguably, well beyond their capabilities. As a destroyer captain he was, in truth, a disaster - his official biographer Philip Ziegler estimates that the Kelly only spent about eight weeks out of dry dock because of Mountbatten's incompetent ship-handling.

One of my beefs about Mountbatten is that he always surrounded himself with a vastly inflated staff - as Supreme Commander South-East Asia he had a staff of 10,000 - several thousand miles away from the front! I don't know what size staff Field Marshal Slim - the commander on the ground - had, but it was certainly measured in hundreds.

Ann
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Alixz on January 25, 2012, 01:16:46 PM
I remember when I read this book.  I laughed at the end where the author has Alexandra leading Ella around by a rope around her neck!

It does sound like Anthony Lambton hates his subjects.
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Petr on January 25, 2012, 01:50:16 PM
I don't know about Louis Battenberg, but I don't think Lord Mountbatten really earned his place.

Perhaps that is why Edwina had her affair with Nehru. :-X
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: historyfan on January 25, 2012, 01:57:10 PM

A. Lambton's book was so exceedingly ridiculous, that I just could not get worked up over it — other than to shake my head, and maybe chuckle at some of the more outrageous passages.

For Orthodox Christians, some of those sections of the book dealing with the Church are a real hoot.

Lambton has Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna sliding in and out of her pew in church (of which there are none in a Russian Orthodox Church).

Then she steps into the little booth to go to confession (again, no such booths in an Orthodox Church).

But my all time favorite is the time when Lambton has Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna, while still living in Moscow, go to visit Zinaida Yussupova, her good friend at that time.

(As you know, the Yussupovs did indeed have a large old house in Moscow.)

But Lambton has Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna jump into her carriage in Moscow, and, a little while later, pull up in front of the Yussupovs' Moika Palace!

Lambton had probably heard of the Yussupovs only in connection with the murder of Rasputin, which took place in the Yussupovs' Moika Palace... in St. Petersburg!

The poor man didn't realize that it's referred to as the Moika Palace, because it is located on the Moika Canal in St. Petersburg.

I guess those famous Orlov Trotters really were swift steeds — to get Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna from Moscow to St. Petersburg in a matter of minutes, eh?!

Oh, for the love of.....! These are things *I* know, and I'm not the expert others are!
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Kalafrana on January 26, 2012, 01:16:14 AM
Best book on Mountbatten is Philip Ziegler's official biography. Even the very judicious Ziegler got frustrated with his subject, and resorted to putting a notice on his desk saying, 'Remember, he was a great man'!

Ann
Title: Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
Post by: Kalafrana on January 26, 2012, 03:35:40 AM
Quote
'But Lambton has Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna jump into her carriage in Moscow, and, a little while later, pull up in front of the Yussupovs' Moika Palace!'


I am reminded of the American writer Diana Gaboldon, who writes terribly OTT books about a time-travelling heroine who finds herself in the 18th century, and is thoroughly confused about British geography. At the end of Book 1, the hero and heroine (a pair of Jacobites) flee from Inverness on board a French ship, and by the next morning they're in the mouth of the Seine. Now I'm no expert on sailing ships, but the distance is about 800 miles, and the great 19th century clippers were doing 200 miles a day under full sail in the trade winds. Even with the most favourable winds (which were far from guaranteed), I would reckon a week from Inverness to the Seine estuary as a fast passage. On another occasion our heroine is captured by the villanous English in the vicinity of Forfar, which is roughly between Edinburgh and Aberdeen, and three days later she's not far from Tavistock, in Devon!

Ann