Alexander Palace Forum

Books and Films about the Romanovs and Imperial Russia => Books about the Romanovs and Imperial Russia => Topic started by: Helen_Azar on June 10, 2004, 01:29:39 PM

Title: The Last Grand Duchess, by Ian Vorres
Post by: Helen_Azar on June 10, 2004, 01:29:39 PM
I just finished reading The Last Grand Duchess, an authorized biography of Grand Duchess Olga, the last Tsar's sister. Has anyone read it? I haven't come across any postings about it, but I may have just missed it. I thought it was excellent, gave a lot of "insider" insight into the Imperial family and the events surrounding its last years...

Helen
Title: Re: The Last Grand Duchess
Post by: Suzanne on June 10, 2004, 06:42:48 PM
I have also read and enjoyed it. Grand Duchess Olga clearly trusted Ian Vorres a great deala nd confided a lot of interesting information to him. I especially liked her descriptions of Nicholas, Alexandra and their children. Her description of her family's time in the Crimea just after the revolution complements "Once a Grand Duke" by Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich.

In contrast, I found Patricia Phenix' biography "Olga Romanov" to be a disapointment. The author skims the surface of the events of Olga's life without going into depth and with the exception of quotes from a few archival letters, contributes little new material. There is also some awkward writing such as "In truth, Olga never truly forgave Mikhail" and jarring modern judgements about historical figures - she describes Xenia as "prim and party loving".

Anyhow, I definately recommend Vorres' work. The new edition also contains a number of beautiful photographs.
Title: Re: The Last Grand Duchess
Post by: Sunny on June 10, 2004, 07:04:20 PM
Suzanne, I agree...Vorres served his subject  well. On the other hand, I dislike not finishing a book...had to make an effort to finish Phenix's.

Sunny
Title: Re: The Last Grand Duchess
Post by: Belochka on June 10, 2004, 10:58:15 PM
I agree with you all, Vorres wrote the book with great sensitivity. It was very obvious that he admired Olga as a person and as a consequence of this gentle relationship we are able to read a truely compassionate work.

For me it was very sad to see the photograph of the bed in which she died. Although she lived simply in Canada without pretensions, she always carried herself with grace and dignity.

She was indeed the The Last Grand Duchess  
:)
Title: Re: The Last Grand Duchess
Post by: LisaDavidson on June 14, 2004, 11:31:13 PM
I loved "The Last Grand Duchess". I was disappointed with the new edition and all the mistakes made with the captions on the photographs. I would have been happy to proof these at no charge - as would many others who post here who are more knowledgeable!
Title: Re: The Last Grand Duchess
Post by: elisa_1872 on June 15, 2004, 07:29:30 AM
Hi Helen:-)

You might also like a catalog that was made to commemorate a showing of the Grand Duchess's paintings. It should be available at www.eurohistory.com, under the Russian section of the bookstore.

Greetings!
Title: Re: The Last Grand Duchess
Post by: Almedingen on June 21, 2004, 11:57:53 AM
If you enjoy reading about Grand Duchess Olga, you also might enjoy reading Gilbert's Royalty Digest because it contains an article about an interview with Grand Duchess Olga.

http://gilbertsroyalbooks.com/

I see in the next issue, there is going to be a story on Kaiser Wilhelm's pursuit of Grand Duchess Ella.
Title: Re: The Last Grand Duchess
Post by: Belochka on June 22, 2004, 01:04:32 AM
Thanks Almedingen! ;)

Grand Duchess Olga is one of the Romanovs I best admire.
Title: Re: The Last Grand Duchess
Post by: Antiquarian2001 on June 26, 2004, 11:28:39 PM
I am just finishing reading the book by Patricia Phenix and I find it factual as far as I can judge but I do not like the writing style. It lacks depth. Part of the problem is the vast amount of material covered by the book. It includes so many years and experiences that it is not possible to focus on any specific time or place. I ended up feeling frustrated.
Title: Re: The Last Grand Duchess
Post by: Alice on August 06, 2004, 07:55:10 AM
Not about this actual book, but about Grand Duchess Olga - does anyone recall the photograph of her towards the end of "Anastasia's Album?". I remember looking at this photo, and noticing a distinctive sadness in her eyes. (My interpretation, anyway).

One can only imagine what it would be like to lose so many of one's family, in such tragic circumstances.  :'(
Title: Re: The Last Grand Duchess
Post by: Susan Barr on August 18, 2004, 03:36:01 PM
First of all, can anyone SPELL correctly on this message board?  

Secondly, I loved Patricia Phenix's book because it wasn't a fawning a** kissing bio.  Vorres' book exploited a sick woman during the last year of her life, when her own family admits she suffered from severe memory lapses.  His book is also filled with mistakes.  Vorres says Olga was married to Kulikovsky in her nurse's uniform, but had no time for a honeymoon because she went right back to work in the army hospital.  Bull.  Photos clearly show she got married in a lovely gown, and letters Phenix quotes clearly reveal that Olga took a honeymoon with Kulikovsky.  Also, Vorres is a millionaire.  I doubt Phenix is.  Do any of you understand the price of letters from the Russian archives?  They're exorbitant!  Why didn't Vorres use more of them?  At least Phenix spent her own money to find a few of them.

For your information, you really should read Tihon Kulikovsky's condemnation of Vorres' book in Toronto's Globe and Mail that was written shortly after Vorres book came out.  I believe the letter was written in 1960, or 61, or around that time.  Tihon said Vorres had failed to capture the true spirit of his mother and that Vorres' book was filled with inaccuracies.  Vorres then replied with a long condemnation of Tihon.  It was ludicrous.

I assume they made amends in the end.

Not all is what it seems folks.

And by the way, smileys are spyware, they'll trace wherever you're going.  Don't use them, or your operating system will be fried!

Title: Re: The Last Grand Duchess
Post by: Janet_W. on August 18, 2004, 05:18:21 PM
Dear Susan,

Yes, many of us on this board can and do spell correctly. Some of us make an effort to do so; others, for whatever reason, do not. Many who respond are not native English speakers, and we're very happy to hear from them. Others are native English speakers and would use spell check if it were available. The preview and refresh preview options are, however, of immense help.

You've brought up some interesting points re: the book written by Ian Vorres. If you are able to post Tikhon Kulikovsky's commentary we would appreciate reading it.

For many of us the Vorres book, with its many quotes from Olga, has been a way of learning about Nicholas and his family from one who was really there. Whether Vorres and/or Phenix are wealthy is beside the point; to paraphrase a certain playwright, "the book's the thing."

When I first started reading about the last of the Romanovs I could find only two books about the family in our local library's card catalog.  One was the book about Anna Anderson which Bob Atchison has credited as drawing him into the Romanov story. The other was the book by Ian Vorres. Since Grand Duchess Olga was at the time elderly and in failing health, Vorres chose to write about her--rather than "ghostwrite" an autobiography--and include as many quotes as possible. Many books do have inaccuracies, and it would be interesting to learn more about the faults of this book and what Olga's sons and grandchildren have thought and said about it. But whatever the case, I am immensely glad that someone took the time to interview "the last grand duchess" and retrieve first hand information.

If I have misspelled anything in this message I apologize. I'll close by taking a giant risk and using a  ;)  .

Janet
Title: Re: The Last Grand Duchess
Post by: Sunny on August 18, 2004, 07:38:11 PM
Janet, wonderfully stated...

This: "I'll close by taking a giant risk and using a  ;).
Janet"...... was the source of a most wonderful LOL moment.

Sunny
Title: Re: The Last Grand Duchess
Post by: moonlight_tsarina on January 15, 2005, 05:55:32 PM
This was a very intuitave book. I enjoyed it very much. it made such a clear picture of her family's life before Nicholas became Tsar. I thought it was funny when she said that Nicky ate the hunny out of his baptismal necklace because he was always so hungry! ;D
Title: Re: The Last Grand Duchess
Post by: Eurohistory on January 18, 2005, 02:04:22 AM
Quote
First of all, can anyone SPELL correctly on this message board?  

Secondly, I loved Patricia Phenix's book because it wasn't a fawning a** kissing bio.  Vorres' book exploited a sick woman during the last year of her life, when her own family admits she suffered from severe memory lapses.  His book is also filled with mistakes.  Vorres says Olga was married to Kulikovsky in her nurse's uniform, but had no time for a honeymoon because she went right back to work in the army hospital.  Bull.  Photos clearly show she got married in a lovely gown, and letters Phenix quotes clearly reveal that Olga took a honeymoon with Kulikovsky.  Also, Vorres is a millionaire.  I doubt Phenix is.  Do any of you understand the price of letters from the Russian archives?  They're exorbitant!  Why didn't Vorres use more of them?  At least Phenix spent her own money to find a few of them.

For your information, you really should read Tihon Kulikovsky's condemnation of Vorres' book in Toronto's Globe and Mail that was written shortly after Vorres book came out.  I believe the letter was written in 1960, or 61, or around that time.  Tihon said Vorres had failed to capture the true spirit of his mother and that Vorres' book was filled with inaccuracies.  Vorres then replied with a long condemnation of Tihon.  It was ludicrous.

I assume they made amends in the end.

Not all is what it seems folks.

And by the way, smileys are spyware, they'll trace wherever you're going.  Don't use them, or your operating system will be fried!



The fact that the book was not a "fawning" and "Kiss A**" bio really has nothing to do in this discussion.  The fact of the matter is that the book by Ms Phenix is plagued with mistakes, errors that denote lack of concern for the subject matter at hand, errors which truly have nothing to do wiith her being a millionairess or not...for God's sake what business does Ian Vorres' financial situation have to do with this?

As for Kulikovsky suing Ian...not surprised since this is a terribly contentious bunch and honestly neither son fared too well in the book, since after all neither Tikhon nor Guri seemed to have been an asset to their long-suffering mother.

Arturo Beéche
Title: Re: The Last Grand Duchess
Post by: Ilana on January 18, 2005, 12:20:04 PM
...and to add to this, Ms Phenix didn't seem to have the faintest idea HOW to write a biography.
Title: Re: The Last Grand Duchess
Post by: Belochka on January 18, 2005, 07:42:57 PM
Quote
 Vorres' book exploited a sick woman during the last year of her life, when her own family admits she suffered from severe memory lapses.  


What an appauling statement  to make. The G.D. willingly spoke to the author. It was important for history to hear her own words.

In the Forward she herself stated that ...

Mr Ian Vorres, who, in the twilight of my life, succeeded in convincing me that it was my duty both to history and to my family to reveal the true events connected with the last Romanov reign.   .... Mr Ian Vorres enjoys my full confidence.


Title: Re: The Last Grand Duchess
Post by: grandduchessella on June 20, 2006, 01:51:37 PM
(Moved from End of the Romanovs thread per request)

Quote
But anyway, you will not beleive what I found in a charity shop today! A copy of The Last Granduchess by Ian Vorres, for wait for it, £1.25! Is this book rare? I think it is cos I have only seen one copy on Amazon (anewer copy and that was for around £125! Is this the highly regarded book about Olga? Or the other one that no one likes very much?
Thankyou once again for your help!
Rachael

Quote
Yes, it is indeed rare, and you got quite a deal! Last Grand Duchess rarely goes for less than $50 in the US; I thought my copy for $15 was a steal!

I like Last Grand Duchess very much. It's Olga Aleksandrovna's memoirs, as recorded by Vorres near the end of her life. IMO, it gives a much better flavor of Olga's personality than a standard biography.

Quote
WOW  :o!!!!!!!!! I never thought it would go for that much! Thankyou for the info Sarushka.

I'm never going to part with it though, it is absolutely wonderful, this is gonna sound really cliched but it's really like Olga takes you back there with her memories.  GD Olga A has always been a favourite, because she's just such and interesting person, and this book helps me to understand her far better!

It's really just chance I even got it, I got the wrong bus back to college after study leave, a bus that was far to early and decided to walk into town rather than face boredom. I walked into all the charity shops (there was nothing better to do!) and all I found was an over-expensive copy of The Romanov Conspiracies, that I have already. I only found it when I walked into the very last charity shop, it was in the English royalty section, and I would of never realised it was there if I hadn't seen Vorres on the dustjacket! I couldn't actually remember who who was but I picked it up and there it was, once a grand duchess!

It also has a curious inscription:

March 20th 1965

A reminder (at first I thought this bit was in Russian!) of a rainy day.

To Rhoddy with Love.

This inscription's reallly odd, because it seems like the 'Rhoddy' who this book was dedicated to must of had something to do with the book's subject matter. I know this is probably just a day dream, but I wonder with the 'V' is Ian Vorres?  Oh well, I guess I'll probably never know who this 'Rhoddy' was!
Title: Re: The Last Grand Duchess
Post by: Linnea on August 02, 2006, 10:15:42 AM
I have a question: amazon.com is selling this book for $22, which is quite a catch as used copies aren´t available under $60. My question: Does amazon really sell this book ( as e.g. they "sell" Romanov Autumn too)? Thanks. :)
Title: Re: The Last Grand Duchess
Post by: Marlene on August 02, 2006, 02:53:45 PM
I have a question: amazon.com is selling this book for $22, which is quite a catch as used copies aren´t available under $60. My question: Does amazon really sell this book ( as e.g. they "sell" Romanov Autumn too)? Thanks. :)

It says right on their website - on the entry

Availability: Usually ships within 3 to 4 weeks. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com
Title: Re: The Last Grand Duchess
Post by: Linnea on August 02, 2006, 02:58:55 PM
I have a question: amazon.com is selling this book for $22, which is quite a catch as used copies aren´t available under $60. My question: Does amazon really sell this book ( as e.g. they "sell" Romanov Autumn too)? Thanks. :)

It says right on their website - on the entry

Availability: Usually ships within 3 to 4 weeks. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com

Yes, I saw that too. But one year ago I tried to order Romanov Autumn from amazon (which they say is also "available" and they would ship within 3-4 weeks), and they weren´t able to send out this book. So I wondered if it is the same case with Vorres´ book.
Title: Re: The Last Grand Duchess
Post by: Ortino on August 02, 2006, 06:51:20 PM
Yes, I believe so. It originally said 2-3 weeks and has since changed to 3-4 weeks. I know because I reluctantly decided to give Amazon a shot and received a notice explaining that more time would be needed to receive it. I won't cancel my order, but I wouldn't bother really with Amazon. Try other places, like Abebooks or Alibris for The Last Grand Duchess
Title: Re: The Last Grand Duchess
Post by: Marlene on August 02, 2006, 10:35:16 PM
The last Grand duchess was published in a limited edition, so Amazon may have to get copies from the publisher -which is where Amazon gets its books  --- however, you might tru

Yes, I believe so. It originally said 2-3 weeks and has since changed to 3-4 weeks. I know because I reluctantly decided to give Amazon a shot and received a notice explaining that more time would be needed to receive it. I won't cancel my order, but I wouldn't bother really with Amazon. Try other places, like Abebooks or Alibris for The Last Grand Duchess

go to www.addall.com  (which searches Alibris and Abebooks, among others)   42 copies are listed (the Amazon edition is a paperback edition) ... most of the books are selling for more than $150 ... which makes me think that I should put up one of my copies  (I have three different editions) on Ebay
Title: Re: The Last Grand Duchess
Post by: Sarushka on August 03, 2006, 07:47:54 AM
 :o

There's one available from Alibris RIGHT NOW for $12.60, plus shipping from Canada. It's not in great shape, but it's by far the best price I've EVER seen -- including my own copy!

http://www.alibris.com/search/detail.cfm?BID=8849809723&pwork=3759292&siteID=5Nv03vHgBCI-OUaAErWPGtou9RIxLZb_Lg (http://www.alibris.com/search/detail.cfm?BID=8849809723&pwork=3759292&siteID=5Nv03vHgBCI-OUaAErWPGtou9RIxLZb_Lg)

Quick, somebody give it a good home!
Title: Re: The Last Grand Duchess
Post by: Marlene on August 03, 2006, 08:19:45 AM



The last Grand duchess was published in a limited edition, so Amazon may have to get copies from the publisher -which is where Amazon gets its books  Go to www.addall.com  (which searches Alibris and Abebooks, among others)   42 copies are listed (the Amazon edition is a paperback edition) ... most of the books are selling for more than $150 ... which makes me think that I should put up one of my copies  (I have three different editions) on Ebay.

The book advertised on Amazon is paperback published in 2001  Amazon probably relies on a database, similar to Books in print, which forms the core of their website.  So a computer may be showing that the book is still in print, but the publisher has not updated its own files.

In this case, the book is published in  a paperback edition from a Canadian publisher - Key Porter Books.

You might want to  contact Key Porter Books for more information ...

http://www.keyporter.com/faq.aspx#1
Title: Re: The Last Grand Duchess
Post by: Linnea on August 03, 2006, 08:25:59 AM
:o

There's one available from Alibris RIGHT NOW for $12.60, plus shipping from Canada. It's not in great shape, but it's by far the best price I've EVER seen -- including my own copy!

http://www.alibris.com/search/detail.cfm?BID=8849809723&pwork=3759292&siteID=5Nv03vHgBCI-OUaAErWPGtou9RIxLZb_Lg (http://www.alibris.com/search/detail.cfm?BID=8849809723&pwork=3759292&siteID=5Nv03vHgBCI-OUaAErWPGtou9RIxLZb_Lg)

Quick, somebody give it a good home!

Sarushka, may I kiss and hug you?? :-* I just bought this copy for that great price! Yippie!!! :D :D Thank you sooo much for the link! :-* And I promise you that I will give it a loving home! ;D
Title: Re: The Last Grand Duchess
Post by: Ortino on September 13, 2006, 12:26:16 PM
There's a copy available on Ebay for ~$19 is anyone's interested. The auction has four days to go though, so the price could rise. However, that is still a very good price considering.

http://cgi.ebay.com/The-Last-Grand-Duchess_W0QQitemZ150032214666QQihZ005QQcategoryZ29324QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

This is the second decently priced copy I've seen this month--I recently bought my own for $26.
Title: Re: The Last Grand Duchess
Post by: Linnea on September 14, 2006, 07:05:44 AM
I recently managed to grab a copy of the keyporter version of the book for only $19 through a Canadian secondhand bookshop. :D As it is in a perfectly new condition, they could have sold the book for much more. However, I haven´t read it yet... ::)
Title: Re: The Last Grand Duchess
Post by: Alixz on September 16, 2006, 08:00:44 PM
I originally read this book back in the 1960s.  I got it from our local library.

I have been trying to find a copy of the original 1964 edition, but they are completely out of reach with some going for a high as $250 US.

I haven't considered the reprints yet, but they are out there.
Title: Re: The Last Grand Duchess
Post by: Alixz on September 18, 2006, 02:30:41 PM
The copy that was available on EBay went for about $30 US.  I emailed the seller to find out if they would ship to the US, but they never answered.

I found a copy of the 1965 edition in NY state and my order was just confirmed for $50 US with Free S/H.

I am delighted.
Title: Re: The Last Grand Duchess
Post by: Helen_Azar on September 19, 2006, 01:28:49 PM
I am amazed to hear that this book has become so rare. I don't remember where I got my copy, it was a couple of years ago. I am glad I did!
Title: Re: The Last Grand Duchess
Post by: Ortino on September 21, 2006, 11:48:15 AM
ANOTHER copy is available on Ebay for $25. I'm amazed by how many inexpensive copies are being sold in the past two months.

http://cgi.ebay.com/The-Last-Grand-Duchess-by-Ian-Vorres-2001_W0QQitemZ330030393260QQihZ014QQcategoryZ378QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
Title: Re: The Last Grand Duchess
Post by: koloagirl on September 21, 2006, 09:51:24 PM
 :D

Just another person to say how great this book is!

I completely and totally recommend it -- it is a treasured item in my Romanov library!

Grab it fast.   8)


Janet R.
Title: Re: The Last Grand Duchess
Post by: bkg on November 28, 2006, 09:48:01 AM
I just received my copy - I got it through E-bay.  I had checked many times for this title on E-bay - had been out-bid several times.  I was scanning through the 'royalty' section and came across it listed under just 'Olga'.  I had been checking for it by name.  So, if you don't find a title you are looking for by name, just scan and it may show up without the correct title.  I am certainly glad I did, and I got it for much less than any other I had previously bid on.
Title: Re: The Last Grand Duchess
Post by: Ena on November 28, 2006, 01:39:12 PM
It really is a fantastic book.  My library has it, but after I read it, I felt I needed to purchase it for my collection.  I found mine off of Ebay too.
Title: Vorres "Last Grand Duchess" on Ebay now.
Post by: Arkhimago on February 10, 2010, 02:05:47 PM


Ebay has an ex-library first print (1964) edition of Ian Vorres "The Last Grand Duchess"  listed for sale today currently at (US) $220.00


Follow this link if interested:

http://cgi.ebay.com/The-Last-Grand-Duchess-by-Ian-Vorres-1st-publ.1964_W0QQitemZ120527028036QQcmdZViewItemQQimsxZ20100208?IMSfp=TL100208201005r12527
Title: Re: Vorres "Last Grand Duchess" on Ebay now.
Post by: Robert_Hall on February 10, 2010, 02:29:10 PM
YIKES! I paid $5.95 for mine in 1964! AND I was going to give it away....now I will not even loan it.
Title: Re: The Last Grand Duchess, by Ian Vorres
Post by: Ally Kumari on March 04, 2015, 06:30:47 AM
I have not found a better topic where to post this, but....

Ian Vorres has passed away


Famous Greek art collector Ian Vorres passed away on Friday, February 27. He was the founder of Vorres Museum, located in Paiania, East Attica, Greece.

Vorres Museum was founded in 1983 in order to highlight Greek Art and Greek culture. It is divided into two parts: the modern Greek art and the folklore museum. Both museums cover around 2,500 years of Greek history.

Vorres graduated from Athens College and obtained a diploma in Economics and Political Science from Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada, as well as higher education diploma in Philosophy and Psychology from the University of Toronto. For a short period of time he worked as a journalist in Canadian newspapers.

In 1967, Vorres was appointed Director of the Greek Pavilion at the Montreal International Fair and was the only Canadian citizen director of a foreign country’s pavilion at the exhibition.

From 1991 to 1998 he served as mayor in the Paiania municipality. In 2001, he received the honorary title of Doctor in Fine Arts from the American College in Greece.

- See more at: http://greece.greekreporter.com/2015/02/27/famous-greek-art-collector-ian-vorres-passes-away/#sthash.de9eVJzJ.uxifRsD0.dpuf
Title: THE LAST GRAND DUCHESS BY IAN VORRES
Post by: Romanov_Fan19 on February 02, 2016, 02:56:10 PM
Im getting this book this week  any good   
Title: Re: The Last Grand Duchess, by Ian Vorres
Post by: Sarushka on February 03, 2016, 09:01:08 AM
Im getting this book this week  any good   

I merged your question with a previous thread on the same topic. Please remember to use the search function. :)
Title: Re: The Last Grand Duchess, by Ian Vorres
Post by: Romanov_Fan19 on February 09, 2016, 12:34:35 PM
ITS GREAT  I LOVE IT
Title: Re: The Last Grand Duchess, by Ian Vorres
Post by: Romanov_Fan19 on March 22, 2016, 06:04:55 PM
She had a pet Lynx   lol     theres a pet