Alexander Palace Forum

Books and Films about the Romanovs and Imperial Russia => Books about the Romanovs and Imperial Russia => Topic started by: investigator on January 24, 2004, 05:43:39 AM

Title: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: investigator on January 24, 2004, 05:43:39 AM
Can anyone suggest some good books on the Romanovs?
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Forum Admin on January 24, 2004, 09:14:48 AM
There are many good books on the Imperial Family. Your question is almost too broad to answer here. Two good basic books to start with are Robert Massie's "Nicholas & Alexandra" (look for the newer revised edition) for a 'scholarly' approach and "The Romanovs" by Bruce Lincoln as an overview of the entire family.  I also personally like "Nicholas & Alexandra: The Family Albums" by Prince Michael of Greece for the wonderful photos and  intimate family items, but this book is sadly now out of print.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: investigator on January 25, 2004, 01:03:54 AM
Well, i also wanted books on the assassination of the Romanovs and on Anastasia.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Forum Admin on January 25, 2004, 10:17:49 AM
The best account of the captivity in Ekaterinburg and the murders is probably in "The Fall of the Romanovs" by Mark Steinbert and Vladimir Khurstalev.

For the real GD Anastasia, read our online books "The Real Tsaritsa" by Lily Dehn and "The Life and Tragedy of Alexandra Feodrovna" by Baroness Sophie Buxhoeveden.

For a good account of the 'fake' Anastasias and the investigations, read "The Romanovs: The Final Chapter" by Robert Massie
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: BobG on January 25, 2004, 01:23:26 PM
I really liked "Romanov Autumn" by Charlotte Zeepvat.  It really gave a lot of detail I had never seen anywhere eles
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Nikolai04 on January 31, 2004, 04:45:05 PM
I have ordered today "The Final Chapter" through Amazon so I hope its as good as Massie's classic Nicholas and Alexandra" which I really enjoyed back in 1992 when I first read it...
Actually I am more interested in the bones findings than in the Anna Anderson case...So I hope it has complete info on that though being released in 1995, it may not tell about the official burials and the Church refusal to recognise the remains, which all took place in 1998...
Anyway, Massie is a recognised Romanov specialist so I had to get it anyhow! ;)
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: anna on February 01, 2004, 09:08:29 AM
A verry good book is:"A longlife Passion" a  poignant portret of N&A, from Andrei Maylunas & Sergei Mironenko. I loved it, because you can read parts of their private letters and diaries. You learn much about their initimate relationship. I also like "The Last Tsar"by  Edvard Radzinsky. " Tsar, a Lost World"by Peter Kurth and "Nicholas and Alexandra (the last imperial family of tsarist Russia by the stage Hermitage museum.
I've got so many books about the romanovs. I fell in love with them after seeing the picture Nicholas and Alexandra. I was only 11 years old. Some people find this picture, not verry realistic, but the part of Alexandra
played by Janet Suzman was outstanding.
It was the beginning of a life correspondence, between the great actress and me. But i'm still searching for books, especially about Alexandra. I recently found a book, in a little antique store by Serge von Markov written in 1928 "How we tried to save the Tsarina."
At the moment i'm reading "the Fate of the Romanovs"by Greg King.  So there are lots of books about about the family, sometimes hard to find. :)
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Nikolai04 on February 01, 2004, 02:42:10 PM
There is also a biography of Alexandra written by Greg King...
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Mathilde on February 01, 2004, 05:33:51 PM
The Rasputin File and The Last Tsar by Edvard Radzinksy are two of the best books on the life and execution of the Romanov family.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: JamesHogland on February 03, 2004, 02:04:46 PM
I concurr that the books by Edvard Radzinsky, The Last Tsar and The Rasputin File, give an excellent insight into the imperial couple. They are based on his extensive use of heretofore unavailable Soviet archives. Also, for a very new and different interpretation of the last days of the family in Ekaterinburg is the new book, The Fate of the Romanovs, by Greg King and Penny Wilson. It gives a dramatic and bloodcurdling description of the murder of the family.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Nikolai04 on February 03, 2004, 04:16:52 PM
Why do many of you dislike Massie's books??
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Moiraine on February 03, 2004, 04:42:36 PM
I am interested in any books that tell of the children's life, their fun and everyday life - ie. did they play hide and seek in the palaces? Their perception of the palaces. I know they had animals, their routines and how they felt about it, their feelings towards their siblings (some are found in letters)  and the fact that they were royal. There comparisons to commoners and their perceptions of living around such history and luxury - ALL POLITICS ASIDE-Alex's and Nicholas' also if possible...did the children ever touch base with commoners - to realise the wealth they lived amongst? They had a very loving mother that tried to shield them from the outside but kept them grounded..
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: cfaye on February 03, 2004, 11:03:51 PM
I agree that the Radzinsky books are by far the most engaging and informative of the contemporary books on the Romanovs.  

I am particularly interested in books that were written by eyewitnesses to the Revolution and the fall of the Romanovs so would recommend Grand Duke Alexander's Once a Grand Duke and Always a Grand Duke which are out of print but can be found in decent second hand bookstores and on ebay.  Alexander was married to Nicholas' sister, Xenia and went on to write and lecture on history and spiritualism.  His books give you insights into the family dynamics and a perspective on the last days of Imperial Russia, the war, the deaths and the aftermath.  

I also recommend Grand Duchess Marie's memoirs Education of a Princess and A Princess in Exile.  Marie was the daughter of exiled Grand Duke Paul and sister of Rasputin assasin, Dimtri.  While their father was in exile for marrying a commoner she and her brother were raised by Alexandra's sister, Grand Duchess Elizabeth and Grand Duke Serge who was assasinated in 1905.  These books paint an intimate portrait of the life of a Romanov princess and lay bare the dynamics of the family before and after the revolution and the murder of the czar, his family and numerous other family members including her own father.  A Princess in Exile has a good deal of information and opinion about the surving Russian royals after the revolution including a not very flattering portrait of Prince Yousoupov and a very sad recolletion of Empress Marie's funeral.  These books can also be found in good second hand bookstores and on ebay.

Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: anna on February 04, 2004, 02:15:54 PM
If you are interested in story's about the children, maybe this book "The snow mountain" by Catherine Gavin wil do. It's a romantic novel about Olga the eldest daughter of the Tsar. It's her point of view about her family, rasputin and the war. She knows exactly  (more than here sisters) what is going on and isn't afraid to discus this openly with her parents. But she is not taken seriously, they still think she's a little girl. It's a story about a young woman growing up in a difficult time, aware of her special position but with dreams like any other young girl about love and life. ;)
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Katharina on February 05, 2004, 03:20:32 PM
“Letters from Captivity” by E. E. Alferev?
This book was obviously published in Russian language by the Holy Trinity Monastery (Jordanville, N.Y.) in 1984. Does anyone know if it was translated into English? Does it contain more letters and writings than “The fall of the Romanovs” by Mark D. Steinberg and Vladimir M. Khrustalev?
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Sarai on February 05, 2004, 03:31:48 PM
For an *excellent* online bookstore offering many interesting and even rare books on the Romanovs (and other royalty), be sure to check out the following:
http://www.angelfire.com/pa/ImperialRussian/grb/main.html

This site even has copies of the ultra-rare M. Eagar book "Six Years at the Russian Court," which I have found nowhere else. I just got my copy from them last week and it was great!
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: anna on February 05, 2004, 03:59:51 PM
Quote
Why do many of you dislike Massie's books??

Why do you think that? Massie's book "The final chapter"
is fascinating. And everybody knows "Nicholas and Alexandra". For many people it was the first book getting to know the Romanovs (and the film (1971) was based on it). You better put some questions by the books written by Edvard Radzinsky. I find him sometimes
very dramatising (as if he was personnaly involved).
For example the way he writes about Alexandra. Okay the woman was sick, but in his eyes she was completly mad! He's really convinced she had an affair with Rasputin. Anyway I hope you enjoy the final chapter. Anna. ;)

Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Silja on February 05, 2004, 04:19:48 PM
Hi, anna,

Interesting to read that you're correponding with Janet Suzman. I also think her performance in "Nicholas and Alexandra" was outstanding!
I also became interested in the Romanovs through the film, and then really fascinated through Massie's book. It's still my favourite.

Hm, I also have problems with Radzinsky's style. His book is not one I really like. It's good, no doubt, but you can tell he's also a playwright. "Dramatic" is quite an apt  discription in this respect. Not really my cup of tea.


I also really like Dominic Lieven's study on Nicholas II. The best political biography on him so far  in my opinion.

Regards,
Silja
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: anna on February 05, 2004, 05:16:36 PM
Hi, Silja,

Thanks for sharing the same opinion about Radzinsky.

I must say, I really enjoy this discussion Board, didn't know there where so many people interested in the Romanovs. Members are growing day by day. It's a pitty so few from Holland. Here you can hardly find any book about this subject. I must order al my books abroad. (Good for my english!) I'm still waiting (three month's!!)
for Greg King's book about Empress Alexandra. It has to come frome Belgium but it's not availible yet. :'(

Kind regards,

Anna
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Silja on February 05, 2004, 05:27:41 PM
Hi anna,

Well, I know there are really loads of people on the www. who are fascinated with the Romanovs, but I'm also very, very pleased with this forum. It's high time it was established. A big thank you to the webmasters for that!!!!!!

Regarding the availability of books, here in Germany it's not much different. I also ordered most of my copies from the U.S. and Britain. There's little available in German. But I prefer the original copies anyway.

Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: James Hogland on February 06, 2004, 12:23:06 PM
Reply to NAAOTMA regarding "The Kitchen Boy". I hope you were given the book as a gift and didn't spend money on it. It is a totally fictional account of the three months or so the family spent in the Ipatiev House. The main character is loosely based on the young kitchen assistant to the family's cook Kharitonov, Leonid Sednev. The 14 year old was an actual person, who also was a playmate to Alexis. The day before the execution he was told a relative was ill and he was to be sent home. He spent the night and next day in custody of the Bolsheviks, then was sent to his family. He disappears from history, which is a pity as his testimony could have been very valuable. The book takes a fictional account of his life in the house. He is a gobetween the family and groups that were arranging a rescue. I won't spoil the final plot lines, but it has something to do with a swap, a rescue of two members of the family and their fate.  It was fairly interesting when dealing with the daily life of the family, then got totatly fantastic. Not worth the money, but as a gift you can spend a few hours with the book as a way to pass time.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: anna on February 06, 2004, 01:57:25 PM
To Naaotma,

I agree with J. Hogland, this novel doesn't add anything to what we already know. The characters are very undue. Too many quote's from letters and diaries. Well, it's nice reading on a rainy day.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: royalist on February 09, 2004, 08:43:42 PM
One of the best online databases for books is
www.bookfinder.com

Bookstores from throughout the world are cataloged and their inventories are available to anyone.    And all you need is a title or a author.     Everything from mom and pop stores to Amazon is there.

One should be careful about security before sending your bank card info.  

Good books about the Russian court and high society that are a little rare include

Memories of a Shipwrecked World by Countess Kleinmichel,   her salon was the most renowned in pre war St. Petersburg.  

The Dissolution of an Empire by Meriel Buchanan  ---the daughter of the last British Ambassador.

Something more recent is
Bread of Exile by Dimitri Obolensky ---a chronicle of never before published memiors by members of a family that were close to the throne throughout the last three reigns.  

Anyway, there are many books and everyone has their favorites.     Good Hunting!

Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Almedingen on February 10, 2004, 12:00:00 PM
I enjoy reading about the Romanovs and other royals in the monthly magazine "Royalty Digest".

http://www.picrare.com/Royalty_Digest/
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Almedingen on February 10, 2004, 12:07:30 PM
What do you think of the book My Empress by Marfa Mounchanow?  Who do you think really wrote it?  Do you think it gives an accurate portrait of Alexandra?  Do you think Alexandra's maid, Madeline Zanotti, wrote it?

I have read the book and found it to be very interesting, but I find myself wondering how accurate it is and wondering who might have written it.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: BobAtchison on February 10, 2004, 03:37:40 PM
"My Empress" is a fake - there was never a woman by this name in attendance on Alexandra and it is full of huge errors regarding the real life of the Empress.  I think I remember a funny story of how Alexandra supposedly removed the lace from her nightgowns and only wore them once.  There was another one about her storing Faberge desk sets in closets.  In another place "Marfa" says she is present during the events of the abdication, yet she gets the her facts wrong.

I have wondered if the book was not based, in part, on interviews with some servant and then expanded.  However, the newspapers amd magazines of the time were full of enough stories on the Romanovs that you could construct a convincing book from them.

I think Nick Nicholson told me he he discovered who the real author was - but I have forgotten who it was.  Maybe he will come in her and tell us.

It's to bad Caroly Erickson (or her research staff) fell for this book and she references it in her book on Alexandra.

Bob
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: BobAtchison on February 10, 2004, 03:44:06 PM
I forgot to mention that I have wondered about a Zanotti connection, because she spoke English, had a big mouth at times, and she would seem to have been an easy person to approach for such a book.  "Marfa" has something of an angry and resentful tone toward the Emporess which Zanotti's testimony to the Provesional Government on Alexandra would seem to mirror.

However, I have never found anything to really support attributing any specific parts of "Marfa" to her, only many errors on everyday life in the palace that she would have known to be false and would not have made.  Of course another ghost writer could have taken an interview with her and expanded it...

I wish I knew more about what happened to her after the revolution...
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Lanie on February 10, 2004, 06:44:07 PM
Hm, do you think she was Radzvilli, or was "Marfa" too nice to Alexandra to have been Radzvilli?  When I went to Stanford to check out some stuff (I am such a lame example of a teenager; my idea of fun is to go researching, haha!) I looked at Radzvilli's book but didn't feel like going to another library to get "Marfa"'s.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Artti on February 11, 2004, 02:04:20 AM
There are many good books on Tsar Nicholas II. I own a number of them myself, so much so that I can't find any others in any of the three local barnes and nobles stores, I bought them out it seems! I definitely suggest "Nicholas and Alexandra" its marvelous. I also recommend Edvard Radzinsky's "The Last Tsar: The Life and Death of Nicholas II." There is also another book, a much older book (but they have reprinted" called "The Fall of the Russian Monarchy" by Bernard Pares. This book however is very political and due to the time it was written (1930's), it lacks many newly found information. For an excellent picturesque I recommend Peter Kurth's "Tsar: The Lost World of Nicholas and Alexandra." It has amazing, many never before published, pictures of the royal family. Another excellent book is the newly printed "The Fate of the Romanovs" by Greg King and Penny Wilson. If you're interested in the murder investigation, Massie's "The Romanovs: The Final Chapter" is a must own. Perhaps the best book on the dynasty as a whole, beginnig with Tsar Michael and ending with Tsar Nicholas II is W. Bruce Lincoln's "The Romanovs."
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: royalist on February 11, 2004, 10:11:29 AM
I have had questions about the "maid's" book.   Thanks very much for the info....
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Almedingen on February 11, 2004, 11:44:00 AM
For books by Jacques Ferrand

http://www.geocities.com/tfboettger/jferrand/english.htm
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Silja on February 11, 2004, 03:18:08 PM
Carolly Erickson's "study" on Alexandra is one of the worst biographies, not only on the Romanovs, but in general, that I've ever come across. So badly researched and written in an atrocious style. I thought I was reading a tabloid newspaper. This was my first book by Ms. Erickson, and it was definitely also the last.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Jane on February 11, 2004, 04:02:19 PM
I totally agree with Silja's assessment of Erickson's biography of Alexandra.  Spot on.

Another book I recently read again was "A Fatal Passion" about Victoria Melita (Grand Duke Kirill's wife). Has anyone else read this one?  I decided to give it another whirl a couple weeks ago after skimming it several years ago.  While the author (whose name has slipped my mind at the moment) clearly was enthusiastic about his subject, I was discomfited by what I can only decribe as a "sycophantic" tone to the book. Just not to my taste, I guess.

As parting note, I would just like to say how great it is to see so many folks with the same interests here.  I remember when this site was first launched around '97/'98--kudos to Bob A. and all the folks at Pallasweb for one of the most enjoyable and informative sites on the internet.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: anna on February 11, 2004, 04:23:26 PM
I also read the book by Carolly Erickson. It looked like she gathered all sorts of facts from other books and squeezed it in one of here own. The only nice thing was the cover, a photograph of Alexandra, looking over the rail on the Standard.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Almedingen on February 13, 2004, 11:17:15 AM
Nice review of The Memoirs of Princess Dashkova
http://www.biography-reviews.com/The_Memoirs_of_Princess_DashkovaRussia_in_the_Time_of_Catherine_the_Great_0822316218.html

Book on Arkhangelskoye
http://www.bookfinder.com/dir/i/Arkhangelskoye-A_Country_Estate_of_the_18th_and_19th_Centuries/0569088534/

Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Almedingen on February 13, 2004, 02:32:34 PM
Here are some book reviews, etc.

Review of Lost Splendor
http://www.exile.ru/183/183151802.html

Book review of the Kitchen Boy
http://www.startribune.com/stories/384/3730717.html

Book review The Secret Plot to Save the Tsar
http://www.curledup.com/savetsar.htm

Book review the Fall of the Romanovs
http://www.yale.edu/yup/books/065574.htm

Review of Nicholas & Alexandra – The last imperial family of Tsarist Russia
http://rebeccasreads.com/reviews/01artpho/01herm89.html

Reviews Flight of the Romanovs
http://www.history-asia.com/The_Flight_of_the_Romanovs_A_Family_Saga_0465024637.html

Review Royal Russia:  The Albums of the Russian Imperial Family by Lovell
http://www.history-us.com/Royal_Russia__The_Private_Albums_Of_The_Russian_Imperial_Family_0312179367.html

Reviews of the Last Grand Duchess by Grand Duchess Olga
http://www.history-europe.com/The_Last_Grand_Duchess_Her_Imperial_Highness_Grand_Duchess__Olga_Alexandrovna_1_June_188224__November_1960_1552633020.html

Reviews the Lost World by Nicholas and Alexandra by Peter Kurth
http://www.world-literature.com/Tsar_The_Lost_World_of_Nicholas_and_Alexandra_0316557889.html

Review of Romanov Autumn by Charlotte Zeepvat
http://www.bookfinder.us/review5/0750927399.html

Review Little Mother of Russia:  A Biography of Empress Maria Feodorovna
http://www.art-photo-web.com/Little_Mother_of_Russia_A_Biography_of_Empress_Marie_Fedorovna_18471928_0841914214.html

Review of Lost Splendor
http://www.psych-books.com/Lost_Splendor_The_Amazing_Memoirs_of_the_Man_Who_Killed_Rasputin_1885586582.html

Review of Once a Grand Duchess:  Xenia, Sister of Nicholas II
http://www.romancereading.com/Once_a_Grand_Duchess_Xenia_Sister_of_Nicholas_II_0750927496.html

The Last Tsar – by Edvard Radzinsky
http://www.science9.com/The_Last_Tsar__The_Life_and_Death_of_Nicholas_II_0385469624.html

Alice Princess Andrew of Greece by Hugo Vickors (she was Empress Alexandra’s niece – her sister Victoria’s daughter)
http://www.sciencebooknet.com/Alice__Princess_Andrew_of_Greece_0312288867.html

Nicholas and Alexandra by Robert K. Massie
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0345438310/ref=pd_sim_art_elt/103-0853631-2033416?v=glance

The Shadow of the Winter Palace:  Russia’s drift toward revolution by Edward Crankshaw
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0306809400/inktomi-bkasin-20/ref%3Dnosim/103-0853631-2033416

Review of Michael and Natasha
http://www.whiterose.org/pam/archives/001595.html

Review of Michael and Natasha
http://www.findarticles.com/cf_dls/m0FQP/n4356_v126/20534558/p1/article.jhtml

Review of Michael and Natasha by Rosemary Crawford
http://www.worldhistoryhub.com/Michael_and_Natasha__The_Life_And_Love_Of_Michael_Ii_The_Last_Of_The_Romanov_Tsars_0380731916.html

Review of Elizabeth:  Grand Duchess of Russia by Hugo Mayer
http://www.worldhistoryhub.com/Elizabeth_Grand_Duchess_of_Russia_0786706783.html

Reviews of Alexandra, the Last Tsarina by Carolly Erickson
http://www.worldhistoryhub.com/Alexandra_The_Last_Tsarina_031230238X.html

Book review White Crow:  The Life and Times of Grand Duke Nicholas Mikhailovich Romanov:  1859-1919
http://www.fetchbook.co.uk/search_0275977781/tab_reviews.html

Book review White Crow:  The Life and Times of Grand Duke Nicholas Mikhailovich Romanov:  1859-1919
http://www.entertainment-reviews.com/White_Crow__The_Life_and_Times_of_the_Grand_Duke_Nicholas_Mikhailovich_Romanov_18591919_0275977781.html

Nikola and Milena:  King and Queen of the Black Mountain: The Rise and Fall of Montenegro's Royal Family by Marco Houston
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0952164442/ref=pd_sxp_elt_l1/103-0853631-2033416

Recommend Reading by Royalty Magazine
http://www.royalty-magazine.com/bookclub/books.html
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Almedingen on February 13, 2004, 03:03:10 PM
The Camera and the Tsars by Charlotte Zeepvat
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0750930497/qid=1076704423//ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i4_xgl14/103-0853631-2033416?v=glance&s=books&n=507846

Queen Victoria:  A Personal History by Christopher Hibbert
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0306810859/qid=1076704509/sr=1-7/ref=sr_1_7/103-0853631-2033416?v=glance&s=books

Catherine the Great by Henri Troyat
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0452011205/qid=1076704712/sr=1-13/ref=sr_1_13/103-0853631-2033416?v=glance&s=books

Great Catherine by Carolly Erickson
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0312135033/ref=pd_sim_books_4/103-0853631-2033416?v=glance&s=books

The Lost Fortune of the Tsars By William Clarke
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0312146728/qid=1076704844/sr=1-18/ref=sr_1_18/103-0853631-2033416?v=glance&s=books

Tiara by Diana Scarisbrick
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0811827178/qid=1076704916/sr=1-22/ref=sr_1_22/103-0853631-2033416?v=glance&s=books

The Man who Killed Rasputin:  Prince Felix Yusupov by Greg King
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0806519711/qid=1076705030/sr=1-6/ref=sr_1_6/103-0853631-2033416?v=glance&s=books

The Man who Killed Rasputin:  Prince Felix Yusupov by Greg King
http://20th-century-history-books.com/1559722959.html

The Last Empress:  The Life and Times of Alexandra Feodorova, the Last Empress of Russia by Greg King
http://20th-century-history-books.com/0735101043.html

The Last Diary of Tsarina Alexandra
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0300072120/p11-20/ref%3Dnosim/103-0853631-2033416

European History Bookstore
http://www.eurohistory.com/bookstore.htm

The Romanovs 1818-1859:  Alexander II of Russia and His Family
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0750922753/qid=1076705451//ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i9_xgl14/103-0853631-2033416?v=glance&s=books&n=507846

Fatal Passion:  The Story of the Uncrowned Last Empress of Russia by Michael John Sullivan
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0679424008/ref=pd_sim_books_2/103-0853631-2033416?v=glance&s=books

Princess Victoria Melita by John Van Der Kiste
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0750934697/qid=1076705607/sr=1-2/ref=sr_1_2/103-0853631-2033416?v=glance&s=books

The Rasputin File by Edward Radzinsky
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0385489102/qid=1076705607/sr=1-7/ref=sr_1_7/103-0853631-2033416?v=glance&s=books

Rasputin by Brian Moynahan
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0306809303/ref=pd_bxgy_text_1/103-0853631-2033416?v=glance&s=books&st=*

Terrible Tsarinas:  Five Russian Women in Power
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1892941546/ref=pd_sbs_b_3/103-0853631-2033416?v=glance&s=books

Peter the Great by Robert Massie
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0345298063/ref=pd_sim_books_1/103-0853631-2033416?v=glance&s=books
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Almedingen on February 13, 2004, 03:56:47 PM
Royalty Digest New Book List
http://www.picrare.com/Royalty_Digest/RDBookForSale/RDNewbooks1.htm

Royalty Digest Used Book List
http://www.picrare.com/Royalty_Digest/RDBookForSale/RDSecondhand.html

Royalty Digest Reprints
http://www.picrare.com/Royalty_Digest/RDBookForSale/RDReprints.htm

Gilbert’s Royal Book Site (His Tours are Great !!)
http://(Read the bit about Grand Duchess Olga’s Other Memoirs)
http://www.angelfire.com/pa/ImperialRussian/new.html

Books from Maison Russe
http://www.therussianshop.com/russhop/books/imperialbks.htm

The Romanovs:  Love, Power and Tragedy
http://www.dailypast.com/cgi-bin/amazon_products_feed.cgi?item_id=095216440X&search_type=AsinSearch&locale=us

The Romanovs:  Love, Power and Tragedy
http://leppi.co.uk/shop/product_info.php?products_id=29

The Romanovs:  Love, Power and Tragedy
http://neturn.sinacity.com/item/1_095216440X_1_2_5032_index.html

Anastasia’s Album by Hugh Brewster
http://www.historyofmilitary.com/Anastasias_Album_The_Last_Tsars_Youngest_Daughter_Tells_Her_Own_Story_0786802928.html

Books, etc.
http://www.shamema.com/czar.htm

Book on Alexander III (unfortunately not in English – though it is interesting to read the description)
http://russia.vacationbookreview.com/russia_43.html

Nicholas II:  The Twilight of Power by Dominic Lieven
http://www.powells.com/cgi-bin/biblio?inkey=1-0312143796-7

A Lifelong Passion by Sergei Mironenko and Andrei Maylunas
http://www.historybookshop.com/book-template.asp?isbn=0753800446

A Lifelong Passion by Sergei Mironenko and Andrei Maylunas
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0753800446/qid=1076708530//ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i2_xgl14/103-0853631-2033416?v=glance&s=books&n=507846

St. Petersburg:  The Hidden Interiors
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0865652090/qid=1076708566/sr=1-6/ref=sr_1_6/103-0853631-2033416?v=glance&s=books

St. Petersburg:  Architecture of the Tsars
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0789202174/ref=pd_sim_books_1/103-0853631-2033416?v=glance&s=books

Spirit to Survive:  The memoirs of Princess Galitzine
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0718303946/qid=1076708566/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/103-0853631-2033416?v=glance&s=books

Imperial Splendour by George Galitzine
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0670835587/qid=1076708566/sr=1-2/ref=sr_1_2/103-0853631-2033416?v=glance&s=books

The Romanov Legacy:  The Palaces of St. Petersburg by Zoia Belyakova
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/187437127X/qid=1076708801/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/103-0853631-2033416?v=glance&s=books

Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna and Her Place in St. Petersburg by Zoia Belyakova
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1874371547/qid=1076708801/sr=1-2/ref=sr_1_2/103-0853631-2033416?v=glance&s=books

The Romanovs:  The Way It Was by Zoia Belyakova
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/5827600342/qid=1076708801/sr=1-3/ref=sr_1_3/103-0853631-2033416?v=glance&s=books

Suggested Reading List of Russia
http://www.rctours.com/books.html

Where I like to buy my books from used bookdealers ;)
http://abe.com



Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: anna on February 21, 2004, 04:59:27 PM
To Greg King,

Sometime ago I found in an old bookstore, a book "How we tried to save the Tsarina" by Sergey Wladimirowitsj Markow. It was published in 1928 (not sure). The book was translated from German into an kind of old fashioned Dutch (a bit laughable).

Sergey is telling his story to the publisher, on a train. He is working as a conductor at the International Wagon-Lits. But before the revolution he was an lieutenant in a Crimea- regiment of the Tsarina.

The translator thought this book rather exaggerated in his epiloque. So I thought it was all fake.

Whilst reading your book "the Fate of the Romanovs"I stumbled across the very same person. Also the name Markow II, is this because to seperate the two Markow's? Is it really true, he wanted to free the Romanovs out of Tsarkoje Selo with poisoned arrows ?

I haven't finished your'e book yet, but it's breathtaking.

Kind regards,

Anna

Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Greg_King on February 21, 2004, 06:06:24 PM
Quote
To Greg King,

Sometime ago I found in an old bookstore, a book "How we tried to save the Tsarina" by Sergey Wladimirowitsj Markow. It was published in 1928 (not sure). The book was translated from German into an kind of old fashioned Dutch (a bit laughable).

Sergey is telling his story to the publisher, on a train. He is working as a conductor at the International Wagon-Lits. But before the revolution he was an lieutenant in a Crimea- regiment of the Tsarina.

The translator thought this book rather exaggerated in his epiloque. So I thought it was all fake.

Whilst reading your book "the Fate of the Romanovs"I stumbled across the very same person. Also the name Markow II, is this because to seperate the two Markow's? Is it really true, he wanted to free the Romanovs out of Tsarkoje Selo with poisoned arrows ?

I haven't finished your'e book yet, but it's breathtaking.

Kind regards,

Anna



Hi Anna:

Serge Markov did indeed exist-there wasn't anything fake about is memoirs.  He was Cornet in one of Her Majesty's regiments, and tried several times to rescue them.   Markov II is a different person from Serge Markov hence the disntinction in numbering.  Serge Markov was involved first with plans surrounding a rescue in spring/summer 1917 at Tsarskoye Selo, then again later in Tobolsk, where he worked with Rasputin's son-in-law Boris Soloviev (who definitely has got the worst of it, being blamed for swindling the Imperial Family when actually he did nothing of the kind).  Markov later ended up working for Alix's brother Ernie.

Greg King
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Robert_Hall on February 24, 2004, 09:46:55 PM
Greg, it would be great to see a second volume, of the things you & Penny had to edit out. Fantastic research.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Robert_Hall on February 24, 2004, 09:58:56 PM
I have been trying to locate a book called FINAL PHOTO of the ROMANOVS [or something like that] I think privately published on the West Coast [USA] in 1998. I know it is a piece of trash, I just want it for the shelf that holds all the fiction/claimants books.
BTW, I liked KITCHEN BOY, indeed a piece of fluff, enjoyable little mystery with an interesting twist at the end. The author was not trying for a Pulitzer, for heaven's sake,  and is definitely NOT trying to pass it off as anything but what it is, fiction about the Romanovs. A lot worse has been published claiming to be "the truth"
Also, would like a reccomendation on anything relatively recent on Alexander III.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Greg_King on February 25, 2004, 07:05:23 AM
Quote
I have been trying to locate a book called FINAL PHOTO of the ROMANOVS [or something like that] I think privately published on the West Coast [USA] in 1998. I know it is a piece of trash, I just want it for the shelf that holds all the fiction/claimants books.
BTW, I liked KITCHEN BOY, indeed a piece of fluff, enjoyable little mystery with an interesting twist at the end. The author was not trying for a Pulitzer, for heaven's sake,  and is definitely NOT trying to pass it off as anything but what it is, fiction about the Romanovs. A lot worse has been published claiming to be "the truth"
Also, would like a reccomendation on anything relatively recent on Alexander III.


Hi Bobby:

The book is "The Final Photo of the Romanovs: This Same Night God Left Russia," by Carole J. Ramer, published in a larger format trade paperback by the author (the credited publisher is Aarenssen in San Diego.  It was published in 1998, and it has an ASIN number rather than ISBN of 0970059809.  I was in contact with the author for a few months after I learned of the book, and got my copy directly from her, so I might suggest doing a search on her in that area to perhaps find an email.  I won't go into particulars of the book itself-reviewed it in "Atlantis" back in 2000-other than to say that it's pretty dreadful, though it does have one saving grace-a lot of letters and photographs reproduced that came into the author's collection, that were written or at one time belonged to Grand Duchess Kira Kirillovich of Russia-lots of letters from Kirill, pictures of Ducky, etc., that haven't been published elsewhere.  So it's worth trying to find if you're interested in their lives.

Greg King


Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Greg_King on February 25, 2004, 07:12:28 AM
Quote
Greg, it would be great to see a second volume, of the things you & Penny had to edit out. Fantastic research.


We have a special issue of "Atlantis" which we devoted to some of the material cut-but this was largely that related to the Ekaterinburg period.  When we started on the book, we intended to begin with the exile to Tobolsk, and so for a couple of years worked from that perspective-and as a result we have literally hundreds of pages of material dealing with their time there that we can't do anything with-no publisher would, unfortunately, be interested in a book just on their captivity in Tobolsk.  It's a shame since we translated Alix's full diary for 1917, have unpublished letters from Prince Dolgoruky, etc.  But the interest just isn't there for that time period, I guess!

Greg King
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: tian79 on February 25, 2004, 07:28:33 AM
What does publishers want from a Romanov –book? Rasputin, sex and the murder...
So there will never be book about OTMA because their lives were boring to anyone else except Romanov addicts.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Penny_Wilson on February 25, 2004, 04:28:07 PM
I think that publishers want a book that someone with no background interest in the Romanovs could pick up and read and understand immediately, without recourse to "outside" reading.

Our published book contains maybe a third of the information we gathered on the subject.  Certainly what was either left out or cut out would be of interest to Romanov complete-ists, but I think that our editor did a really good job of keeping what was most important to the history of the times and the events themselves.

I'd love to write the story of Tobolsk and the Imperial Family --  while they were imprisoned there AND afterwards into the 30s when the Soviets were hunting for the missing jewels and Imperial valuables.

But I have to agree with Greg that a publisher probably wouldn't think such a book worthwhile from a marketing point of view..
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Nick_Nicholson on February 29, 2004, 03:41:31 PM
Dear Bob,

Many years ago, Prince Alexis Scherbatow told me not to read that book (Marchanow sp?) and that it was a fabrication (his mother was a Bariatinskaya, and a friend of the Empress, I believe.)

The other book which is a total fake is "Diary of a Princess" by one Ekaterina Meshcherskaya.  The Meshcherskys are one of Russia's greatest old families, and were patrons of Karamzin, the first great Russian historian.

This "memoir" is a sham, and includes photographs of "Princess" Meshcherskaya standing in front of "her" palace destroyed by the bolsheviks (actually it is a recognizable building belonging to an altogether different family.).

Her book is full of real and interesting stories, but because she lies about so much, none of them can really be used as research.  For example, she reports (which is true) that right after the revolution, people were asked to come to the banks, and empty their safe deposit boxes.  the only things confiscated were diamonds and precious metals -- this is true, and as a result, some went home lucky enough to have kept their emeralds, pearls, sapphires, and rubies, as well as colored diamonds -- Varvara Kelch, a patron of Faberge, made it out of Russia with her famous blue diamond in much the same way.

Best,

Nick
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: pers on March 12, 2004, 06:52:36 PM
Message to Greg King:
Greg is there no way that one can get hold of a copy of the translation you did of Alexandra's 1917 diary?  If you want to you can answer to my private e-mail address under "members".
Also what is your view on the Marfa Mouchanow book, as you quoted extensively from it in your book on Alexandra, which I thought an EXCELLENT book, written with much understanding and compassion.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Robert_Hall on March 13, 2004, 12:12:19 AM
I really do not know how relevant this is, but in today's post came an announcement from Leppi Publications-MARIA & ALEXANDRA, A Tale of Two Sisters [etc] by Natalia Vulovic.
No other details.
Leppi produced the lavish volume- The Romanovs; Love, Power & Trajedy, as well as the equally lavish- if somewhat limited interest- Nikola & Milena. [Montenegro].
They also produce Royalty [magazine].
From past experience, the wait & cost may well be worth it.
Cheers,
Robert
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Greg_King on March 13, 2004, 12:51:42 AM
Quote
Message to Greg King:
Greg is there no way that one can get hold of a copy of the translation you did of Alexandra's 1917 diary?  If you want to you can answer to my private e-mail address under "members".
Also what is your view on the Marfa Mouchanow book, as you quoted extensively from it in your book on Alexandra, which I thought an EXCELLENT book, written with much understanding and compassion.


I should say that I did not do the translation, Penny Wilson did.  I can't say even where it might be at the moment-probably with the hundreds of pages of material we cut from the book, dealing with the Imperial Family's time at the Alexander Palace after the Revolution and their exile in Tobolsk.  I suppose if there's enough interest we can try to find it and make it available.

As to Mouchanow: when I wrote my biography of Alix (way back when...) I merely suspected that the Mouchanow book was perhaps written by or based on interviews with Zanotti.  Having done a lot more research into the issue in the last twelve-fifteen years, I must say that the weight of the evidence suggets it was not.  As to whether it is a complete fabrication-that I don't know-it's been a long time since I sat down and read it critically for detail.  My (own) feeling is that perhaps portions are based on what some members of the Empress's Household may have said after the Revolution, but I honestly don't know for sure!

Greg King
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Antonio_P.Caballer on March 18, 2004, 06:42:53 AM
Quote

I should say that I did not do the translation, Penny Wilson did.  I can't say even where it might be at the moment-probably with the hundreds of pages of material we cut from the book, dealing with the Imperial Family's time at the Alexander Palace after the Revolution and their exile in Tobolsk.  I suppose if there's enough interest we can try to find it and make it available.

As to Mouchanow: when I wrote my biography of Alix (way back when...) I merely suspected that the Mouchanow book was perhaps written by or based on interviews with Zanotti.  Having done a lot more research into the issue in the last twelve-fifteen years, I must say that the weight of the evidence suggets it was not.  As to whether it is a complete fabrication-that I don't know-it's been a long time since I sat down and read it critically for detail.  My (own) feeling is that perhaps portions are based on what some members of the Empress's Household may have said after the Revolution, but I honestly don't know for sure!

Greg King


Hi Greg,
I was about to write about this too. I would be very interested on anything that you did not include in the book. As i´ve told somewher in this forum anything about the possible marriages of the grand duchesses and, of course, the edition of Alexandra´s diary for 1917 would be GREAT!!! The book was wonderful but i missed a little more information on the house arrest period in Tsarskoe...
Antonio.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Antonio_P.Caballer on March 18, 2004, 06:45:16 AM
Quote
Getting back to My Empress... a book was written under a pseudonym by the  sister of Vladimir Myatlev, nobleman, poet, cynicm womanizer, etc.  Olga Myatleva was lady in waiting to Alexandra and  published something with a title like "Memoirs of A Lady in Waiting to the Empress".   Could this be the same book?  I am not at all sure about the title and it may have been "My Empress".  However, it is possible that Myatleva was the author as the Myatlev family was close to the Court and all of Peterssburg society.

This book is scarce as hens' teeth.


Hi Elizabeta,
I found this information very interesting, does anyone know anything else about these memoirs???
Antonio.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: BobAtchison on March 18, 2004, 08:57:24 AM
These 'memoirs' are obviously false because they have so many errors in them.

"Marfa" inserts herself into scenes that were well reported in the press of the time where we now know all the participants.  It is impossible for 'her' to have been there.  

There are many practical errors about how day-to-day life in the palace worked.  The part about Alexandra and her clothes is really odd to me.  Her undergarments, nightgowns and sheets were all well-laundered and used repeatedly.  If I remember correctly the book insists she only used them once.  The part about the removal of the laces is also funny.  I haven't read the book for years but I remember those parts.

Somebody who was there would not have made these errors.

It was written very quickly after the revolution.  The writer seems to have put this all together from newspaper articles and perhaps an interview or two with some palace insiders.

Bob
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Antonio_P.Caballer on March 30, 2004, 12:53:48 PM
Hello Elizaveta!
Thanks so much for your kind answer. I´ll try to find that book with the information you´ve already given. There are always so many books difficult to find or expensive once you´ve found them...
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Nick_Nicholson on March 30, 2004, 02:45:38 PM
A wonderful book that I don't think anyone has mentioned on this site is "Never A Dull Moment" by Marguerite, Countess Cassini.

Marguerite was the daughter of Count Cassini, who was the descendant of Italians who emigrated to Russian in the eighteenth century and were later ennobled by the Romanovs.  Count Cassini was the last Russian Imperial Ambassador at the court of Peking, and later became Ambassador to the US.  

His daughter became the mother of Igor and Oleg Cassini (journalist and fashion designer respectively.)  She has wonderful stories of acting as her father's hostess in Washington during the Gilded Age, and describes the ordeal her father went through with the Russian Court to ensure that his title passed through to her.  This is out of print but a good read (not sure how much of it is dead on accurate, but great fun!).

Nick
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Antonio_P.Caballer on April 04, 2004, 10:10:38 PM
Hello everybody,

I´ve just find a copy of the hard to find ELLA´s biography by Lubov Miller in EBAY, and perhaps someone would be interested on it. Here is the link:
 
   http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=4201877965&category=29292

It´s near fine condition and full of good photographs and unpublished letters!
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Reed on April 06, 2004, 10:15:54 AM
Can anyone tell me where and how to get the Atlantis magazine.  I know I have read it somewhere in one of the discussions, but can't find it now.

Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Jane on April 06, 2004, 10:52:06 AM
Hi Reed, the address for Atlantis is:

http://www.atlantis-magazine.com

Follow the instructions to the subscription information.

Jane
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Reed on April 06, 2004, 11:45:45 AM
Thanks Jane.....got it!!!
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Angie_H on April 10, 2004, 04:07:48 PM
 I liked the book "Little Mother of Russia" the biography of  Empress Marie Fedorovna. Can anyone recommend a biography on Alexander III?

Also which book on the Romanovs has the most/best pictures in it? I like reading the story of the Romanovs but I have to admit I LOVE looking at pictures of their lives.

Thanks!!!!!  :D

Angie

           
 
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Louise on April 10, 2004, 04:58:39 PM
LIttle Mother of Russia is a terrific bio of the Dowager Empress. As for bio's on Alexander III, I think they are few and far between. (hint hint Greg and Penny).

The Lost World of Nicholas and Alexandra by Peter Kurth, and Nicholas and Alexander, The Last Imperial Family of Tsarist Russia, has alot of picutres.

Hope this helps.

Louise
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: LisaDavidson on April 11, 2004, 12:47:42 AM
There are probably dozens of Romanov picture books and asking someone like me which one is best is a bit like asking a mother which is her favorite child. I will cite a few for you:

Tsar by Kurth - shows what things look like today.
The Romanovs:Love, Power and Tragedy - very lush
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Namarolf on April 11, 2004, 02:11:35 AM
I would add "The last Tsar", by Larissa Yermilova. It has hundreds of beautiful pictures and a good deal of information about them.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Greg_King on April 13, 2004, 01:17:07 AM
There are are few that come quickly to mind:

1.  "Scenarios of Power" by Richard Wortman.  2 volumes, the first covering the Ruriks to Nicholas I, the second Alexander II to Nicholas II.  The second volume is essential reading I think on understanding Nicholas and how he was raised to view his role-I can't say enough about this book-it's the single best insight into Nicholas II I have seen.

2.  "Sunset of the Romanov Dynasty" by Iroshnikov.  The English edition is useful for unique pictures and text, and the Russian version whose title I can't recall off the top of my head, has about 70 further photos-all unique.

3.  Nicholas II, the Last Tsar" by Marvin Lyons, published in 1974.  This is one of the first and still best photo books-composed of hundreds of rare photographs-almost all of which were drawn from the private collections of various emigre families.  As such, nearly all of the 300 or so photos have never been published elsewhere-and I doubt GARF even has copies of them-some stunning photos from Nicholas's birth to Tobolsk.

Greg King
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Ilana on April 13, 2004, 12:06:02 PM
I very much liked Prince Michael's photo book on the Romanovs....NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA: THE FAMILY ALBUMS.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Louise on April 13, 2004, 12:19:29 PM
Greg, thank you again for the recommendation of Scenarios of Power. I just have to save my rubles to purchase it, and the book by Prince Michael of Greece.
I can't remember who on the board posted that these books are an investment, and I absolutley agree with them.  To think that most of us started on this path with just Nicholas and Alexandra, by Massie, and now a whole world is open for us.

Louise

Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Angie_H on April 13, 2004, 05:31:24 PM
Louise for the book by Prince Michael did you try Abe Books or Alibris? It was one of these two that I purchased mine from. VERY REASONABLE! You gotta keep you eye out but I've seen some for sale lower than $50.
Angie :)
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Louise on April 13, 2004, 06:54:40 PM
Hi and thank you. I haven't tried those yet. I am searching Amazon and Ebay for reasonable prices. So many books, so little rubles!

Louise
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Angie_H on April 14, 2004, 06:48:12 AM
Greg,
 Please excuse my ignorance. I've seen the initials GARF before but what does it stand for ???
Thanks! Angie
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Greg_King on April 14, 2004, 06:54:07 AM
Quote
Greg,
  Please excuse my ignorance. I've seen the initials GARF before but what does it stand for ???
Thanks! Angie


It's the State Archives of the Russian Federation (GARF from the initials of the Russian title).  It used to be TsGAOR (Central State Archives of the October Revolution).  Sometimes you'll see it references as SARF, which is merely the English abbreviation.  It's in Moscow.

Greg King
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Joanna Mayer on April 24, 2004, 02:58:41 PM
I should like to recommend " A People's Tragedy" by Orlando Figes. It's very well written and I think that it puts a lot of historical social and cultural issues in perspective...Its over 900 pages but really worth it!
Some very good pictures too!
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Joanna Mayer on April 24, 2004, 07:01:30 PM
Yes Rodger...Orlando Figes, Its a  brilliant work published in  1997 I believe.  Figes is a Fellow of Trinity College Cambridge and has also written "Natasha's Dance" and "Peasant Russia, Civil War"
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Janet Whitcomb on April 24, 2004, 08:14:02 PM
Oh no Orlando, Rodger's posting again--quick, grab the Thorazine!  :-*

Janet the Pink Russian

P.S. Joanna, you aren't receiving royalties are you?  ::)
Just asking!!
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Joanna Mayer on April 25, 2004, 10:48:46 AM
Janet,

Ha Ha
Sorry! No, I guess that I do mention Figes too often, I just think that these books are brilliant.

Joanna Mayer (Very Pink)
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Merrique on May 02, 2004, 07:02:56 AM
Hello everyone,
Since coming on this forum I have noticed so many different books about russian history and the imperial family that have been discussed and recommended to read.
I was wondering if anyone has something like a required reading list of books to help others learn more about russian history and the imperial family.I have been fascinated by these 2 subjects since I was little but I have only recently decided to do a more indepth study.
My little brain is crying out for more knowledge so I was hoping for some help with this.Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. :) :D ;D
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Louise on May 02, 2004, 08:31:24 AM
IMHO, you should start with what I consider the bible of Romanov history and that is Massies Nicholas and Alexandra. Considering it was written almost 40 years ago, it still stands the test of time.

I would also add to the collection, Greg Kings bio of Alexandra--the best there is on the Empress; then Greg and Penny Wilson's--The Fate of the Romanov's, Peter Kurth's--The Lost World of Nicholas and Alexandra; Charlotte Zapveet's--Romanov Autumn, ...Ok, actually read anything you can get your hands on. I know people from the board will add more to your required reading list.

Enjoy and have fun buying them. I

Louise
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Barlimann on May 02, 2004, 02:38:59 PM
I liked Moynahans "Rasputin -The Saint who Sinned" and I  REALLY didn't like  Massie's "Nicholas & Alexandra" (curiously enough... I enjoyed his later books on the Romanovs)


  Go figure!
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: CarolynnB on May 02, 2004, 07:31:25 PM
For the earlier Romanovs, I would add Robert Massie's amazing "Peter the Great" and also Isabel de Madariaga's books on Catherine the Great.  There's also a good bio of Alexander I by Troyat, although it is out of print and a bit hard to find.

Hope this helps!
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Belochka on May 03, 2004, 12:49:28 AM
Troyat is a prolific writer who also wrote a book about Peter the Great (1988) and Catherine the Great (1979)

There is another other author who also wrote about Peter 1:

1. Alexei Tolstoy (1956) translated from the Russian language,

The following authors wrote about Nicholas II:
(corrected para.)

2. Dominic Lieven (1993),
3. and the fairly recent translation from the French by Helene Carrere d'Encausse (2000).

Zoe Oldenbourg also wrote about Catherine the Great (my edition is 1965), and is also translation from the French language.

All these books are available regularily on e-bay.

I hope you will enjoy some of these suggestions! ;D  





Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Belochka on May 03, 2004, 01:13:12 AM
Sorry I forgot to add the works of W.Bruce Lincoln

He wrote a magnificent book titled Romanovs Autocrats of All the Russias (1981) and also

Nicholas I Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias (1989) which is also very well written IMHO.

;)
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Thierry on May 03, 2004, 01:26:09 AM
Quote
[There are three other authors who also wrote about Peter 1:

3. and the fairly recent translation from the French by Helene Carrere d'Encausse (2000).


Hi Belochka !

I think there is a slight confusion with her books on Catherine II or Nicholas II. To my knowledge Mrs. Carrère d'Encausse did not write any biography on Peter I. But maybe I am wrong ?
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Belochka on May 03, 2004, 02:03:44 AM
Hi Thierry ...

Thanks for the correction. In my haste I wrote Peter  of course it should be Nicholas II.

Thanks for pointing out my error!

For my own benefit I corrected my listing which I made above.

:D
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Merrique on May 03, 2004, 04:35:47 PM
Thank you very much everyone.Your suggestions are very helpful and very much appreciated.Me thinks I'm ready to do one of my favorite things...book shopping! :)
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Greg_King on May 03, 2004, 10:39:46 PM
To the previous suggestions, I'd add "Scenarios of Power" Volume 2, Alexander II to Nicholas II, by Richard Wortman, which really gives the best portrait of Nicholas and how he was raised to perceive himself, and how he carried out his role.  It's sometimes a controversial take, but very insightful and impressive conclusions about the last years of the Dynasty.

Greg King
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Merrique on May 04, 2004, 02:40:53 PM
Thank you for the suggestion Greg.I will have to add that one to my list as well.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Janet_Ashton on May 05, 2004, 04:38:17 PM
I'd add Robert Warth's "Nicholas II" to the list - the best biography in my opinion; well-researched and insightful - sets Nicholas pretty thoroughly into the context of his reign. It's also an interesting counterpoint to Lieven's work of the same title, which many recommend (I would too)

Janet
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Olga on May 08, 2004, 08:19:06 AM
For Russian history, one book that I picked up at a second hand store is 'The Russian Century in Pictures' by Yevgeny Yevtushenko. It's a real treasure, and although it only features a few pictures of the Imperial family, it is great for someone wanting to start learning about Russia in the 1900's. Highly recommended.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Glebb on May 08, 2004, 09:36:44 AM
LAND OF THE FIREBIRD and PAVLOVSK, both by Suzanne Massie.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Sarai on May 11, 2004, 03:27:59 PM
Quote
I would add "The last Tsar", by Larissa Yermilova. It has hundreds of beautiful pictures and a good deal of information about them.


I would like to know more about this book, as I had never heard of it before. It was fairly recently published (2002) and I've read that it is a major pictorial work, with the majority of the photographs having never been published before. I own a few wonderful picture books such as "Love, Power, & Tragedy," Kurth's "Tsar," and Prince Michael's "Family Albums." Will this book contain anything much different than what can be found in those books?
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Mijacogeo on June 04, 2004, 01:01:20 AM
The Romanovs- Autocrats of all the Russias by W. Bruce Lincoln.


A bit large, but it covers the entire Romanov family from Mihkail to Nicholas II. Very,very good.  
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: rskkiya on June 14, 2004, 08:46:52 AM
I cannot recommend Marc Ferro's biography of Nicholas II. He has the strangest conclusion, suggesting that Alix and the daughters somehow survived in a basement in a small village called Perm?!?Huh? Is this some strange inside joke or a serious theory? (Sorry to offend -I had never heard this notion before...seems silly to me)
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Sarai on June 14, 2004, 09:10:29 AM
I read Marc Ferro's biography years ago and I remember I didn't like it very much either. The reason that I did not like it was because it concentrated more on Nicholas' political life than his personal life, which I found rather boring. That's just me, though. Others may find the political life more interesting. But I have read other reviews on the book and they are generally bad.

With regards to Perm, it is not a joke but an actual theory that some people believe.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: LisaDavidson on June 14, 2004, 11:28:29 PM
Actually, the Perm story is not a theory. There was a report from Alexander Kirsta, one of the White officers investigating the disappearence of the Imperial Family, contained the information about Alexandra and the girls in Perm. This report was mentioned in "File on the Tsar", the authors made a big deal about Sokolov "supressing" this evidence. They failed to consider the possibility that the Perm report was not very credible. Instead, they claimed it was true and that everyone kind of faded away some time in 1918. Which does not make a great deal of sense!
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: rskkiya on June 16, 2004, 06:56:27 PM
Thanks Lisa!

Thats more or less what I had thought - but I'm certainly no expert...  Another strange point in Ferro's book - a number of comments about  Nicholas not wanting to marry Alexandra because she was so much taller than him -- Alexander supposedly forced him to do it!  ???   Huh?   ???  Now I think that's bizzare!
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Belochka on June 17, 2004, 01:31:20 AM
Marc Ferro's book Nicholas II, the Last of the Tsars is worth bypassing. There are many inaccuracies and creative interpretations which are so imaginative they become fictitious. To suggest that the there were survivors from the massacre immediately loses all credibility. He has problems in proving the correct dates for events, which may stem from his lack of understanding the difference between the Gregorian and Julian calendars. He places Nikolai in a very negative light which is not warranted.  
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: anna on July 03, 2004, 06:35:14 PM
Any recommendations for "The Jewel Album of Tsar Nicholas II" by A von Solodkoff?

Found this book in a secondhand webstore (nice price :D) But is it worthwhile?

Anna
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Dasha on July 03, 2004, 08:56:19 PM
I would suggest The last Tsar:  Life And Death Of Nikolai II by Edward Rodzinskii.  I personally like the way he writes.  Massie's Nicholas And Alexandra is not bad as well.  I do highly suggest A Lifelong Passion:  Nicholas And Alexandra Their Own Story simply because it consists of their letters and diary entries (along with letters and diary entries of their cousins and members of their suite), and it gives a glimpse into their lives from a rather personal angle.  In terms of picture books, I'd suggest The Lost World Of The Last Tsar (my apologies for not remebering the authors).  I'm waiting for my copy of Nicholas And Alexandra:  Family Albums by Prince Micheal of Greece, so I can't give my opinion just yet.  I'm looking forward to receiving it, because I have heard a lot of good comments.  I hope this helps.

Dasha
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: anna on July 04, 2004, 06:35:11 AM
JaneEyre5381,

All the books you mentioned I already have, except the one by Prince Michael of Greece.

Definitely "A lifelong Passion" is one of my favorits and it shows :) It maybe sounds silly, friends and family can lend all my other books but never a Romanov one.
I'm too scared in which state it will be returned.

btw "The Lost World"is by Peter Kurth.

Anna
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Sarai on July 04, 2004, 01:40:25 PM
Quote
Any recommendations for "The Jewel Album of Tsar Nicholas II" by A von Solodkoff? Found this book in a secondhand webstore (nice price :D) But is it worthwhile?


I think this would be a very nice book to add to your collection. It is a nice mix of rare photos that I had not seen elsewhere, as well as of course the catalog of Nicholas's jewels. These are all his hand-drawn colour sketches of the jewels he received from 1879 to 1913, plus there is an interesting article on the history of the pieces. It is especially touching to see the jewelry received from his wife and children. The photos, as I mentioned, are a real treat as well.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: anna on July 04, 2004, 03:08:31 PM
Sarai,

Thanks for your recommendation, I have just ordered my copy. Did you find your copy of "The Last Tsar"by Larissa Yermilova?

Anna
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Dasha on July 04, 2004, 03:31:14 PM
Quote
JaneEyre5381,

All the books you mentioned I already have, except the one by Prince Michael of Greece.

Definitely "A lifelong Passion" is one of my favorits and it shows :) It maybe sounds silly, friends and family can lend all my other books but never a Romanov one.
I'm too scared in which state it will be returned.



btw "The Lost World"is by Peter Kurth.

Anna


Hi Anna,

First and foremost, thank you so much for posting the author of The Lost World Of The Last Tsar.  I had no chance to look at that book, because I lent it to my history professor for her Ph.D thesis (she's writing on the Romanovs).  I don't like to lend my Romanov books out either, but I made an exception, because I highly doubt that she'll damage or ruin it.  

I have to agree with you on A Lifelong Passion.  It's a wonderfull book, and as I stated previously, it gives a personal insight into the life of the Imperial Family.  It's also a source of great quotes (I'm a sucker for quotes), and historical information.  

Thank you again for posting the name of the author.

Dasha
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Sarai on July 05, 2004, 07:39:05 AM
Quote
Sarai, Thanks for your recommendation, I have just ordered my copy. Did you find your copy of "The Last Tsar"by Larissa Yermilova?


Dear Anna,
You will enjoy that book! I have seen copies of Yermilova's book on the Internet but haven't gotten around to purchasing it yet.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: rskkiya on July 05, 2004, 10:53:18 AM
Hello All,

I would highly recommend these books, as they are all well written and thought provoking.

Nicholas II: The Interupted Transition, by Helene Carrere d'Encausse (no photos) serious & scholarly 8)
 
The Fall of The Romanovs, by M.D. Steinberg and V.M. Khrustalev (some misidentified photos) well composed  8)
Rasputin, The Saint who Sinned, by Brian Moynahan
(some photos) lots of clear information about the IF 8)

And these are splendid about Russian society in general...
Natasha's  Dance, by O. Figes (photos) great!  8)
Land of the Firebird, by Suzanne Massie (photos)  :-/ 

These are just a few, but as I had not seen most of them mentioned yet in this thread, I felt obliged to note them. The comments are purely my own.  ;D
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: rskkiya on July 13, 2004, 08:06:36 AM
AGRBear

   My previous post has a short list of some books which you might enjoy - all are available at american libraries and you could examine them.
   I espectially suggest "Natasha's Dance" as it will take you into a much deeper richer place than "Land of the FireBird."

R.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: elisa_1872 on July 20, 2004, 01:52:25 PM
Just a little question, does anyone know if there has ever been a translation of Count Witte's memoirs? I have only found copies in Russian.

Best wishes :)
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Forum Admin on July 20, 2004, 02:03:27 PM
"The Memoirs of Count Witte". Translated by Sidney Harcave, published by M.E. Sharpe, Inc., Armonk, NY and London, England. 1990. ISBN 0-87332-571-0.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Marie on August 10, 2004, 10:37:23 PM
       Today I came across a relatively new book about the Romanovs and was wondering if perhaps anyone here had heard of it or maybe read it? The book seems to have some controversial conclusions about the fate of the Romanovs and the state of the families relations near the end of their lives. I wondered if it was worth reading or buying and I figured this was the place to come and ask  :)
    "The Fate of the Romanovs" by Greg King and Penny Wilson.

     Please excuse me if this was the wrong place to post this, I am new here and looked around a little to find a proper forum and landed here.
          Thanks,
           Marie
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: LisaDavidson on August 10, 2004, 10:44:11 PM
Marie: I love this book and I can highly recommend it. Greg and Penny post here and have been very generous about answering questions for their readers and sharing additional information.

There is a topic area about books, so at the very worst, our Forum Administrator may decide to move these posts to that area - so not to worry.

And, welcome to the Forum!
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Marie on August 14, 2004, 07:45:28 PM
  Thanks so much for the info  :)    I never made it
this far in looking for info on the book. I was looking in the wrong section because I got caught up reading on some other subjects! At least I found my way here to the books section and have found the posts from the authors that you mentioned.

  I appreciate you taking the time to answer me!
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Louise on August 14, 2004, 07:54:25 PM
Very highly recommended!!

Louise
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: otma_gal3 on August 22, 2004, 10:28:02 PM
Hello everyone!
I was wondering,can any of you all recommend any good books for me?? It will be my birthday in  a couple of weeks, so I wondering what good books I can ask for. (hehe :D) Well, da svidania! ;)

I know you all will have many!
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: LisaDavidson on August 23, 2004, 12:00:46 AM
Since there are literally hundreds of books, and I don't know what you have, here are some of my favorites in no particular order:

1. A Lifelong Passion
2. The Romanovs: Love, Power & Tragedy
3. Nicholas & Alexandra (Massie)
4. The Fate of the Romanovs
5. The Last Grand Duchess
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: leanora on August 23, 2004, 01:33:48 AM
The books I have read on the Romanovs

1- "The Camera and the tsars" Charlotte Zeepvat
2- "Little mother of russia " Coryne Hall
3- The lost world of Nicholas and Alexandra
4- "Winter palace" by Alain de Gourcuff  but it's above all a book of paintings and engravings of the Winter Palace in the time of Nicholas I

Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Abby on August 23, 2004, 09:31:44 AM
My Favorites that No one else listed so far:

Anastasia's Album
Nicholas and Alexandra: The Family Albums by Pr. Michael
Romanov Family Album by Massie
Nicholas II: Last Tsar by Marvin Lyons
Royal Russia by James Blair Lovell
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: otmafan on August 23, 2004, 03:30:15 PM
The Romanovs: The Final Chapter

Six Years at the Russian Court

The Jewel Album of Tsar Nicholas II

Romanov Autumn

Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Louise on August 23, 2004, 07:28:20 PM
Here are my top five:

Nicholas and Alexandra-- Robert Massie
The Lost World of Nicholas and Alexandra-Peter Kurth
The Romanovs--W. Bruce Lincoln
Little Mother of Russia--Coryne Hall
The Last Empress--Greg King

And with good mention
A Life Long Passion

Louise


Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: katy on October 25, 2004, 05:47:22 AM
Hi- Can anyone tell me what you look for when defining accuraccy in stuff that you read/watch? where do u get your resouces? ???
Im all confused- I watch and have started reading loads of books reagrding the Romanovs but never sure if what Im reading is fact or fiction....any help would be great!!
thanks
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Denise on November 16, 2004, 04:18:51 PM
Katy, I saw that you are reading N&A, and that is a great source to start with.  All you can do is read some of the books recommended on this site for background, and use your judgment whether something is accurate or not.  There are some great books recommended here.

Here is a link to a thread I started asking for books, and people gave me some great ones.
 http://hydrogen.pallasweb.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=family;action=display;num=1099166840

Good luck.  And if you are ever unsure about something you read, just post a question.  People are great on this Forum!!

Denise
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: AGRBear on November 16, 2004, 05:48:22 PM
Since the Romanovs lost the crown,  they are subjected to the Bolshshevik and then the communist historians who didn't want their own enemy to look good from any angel.

I think all authors lean in some direction toward the facts which they find in line with their own thoughts and background.

The Massies are excellent sources.  And,  I often return to their books.  Nicholas II and Alexandra, The Firebird and  The Romanovs, The Final Chapter. There is new information on the Imperial Family which may be a little different than what the Massies wrote, but all in all,  I find them the best.

The Fate of the Romanovs by Penny Wilson and Greg King are more up to date with their information and often have added posts to this discussion board. I disagree with some of their findings about Lenin's part in the execution of the Imperial Family.  But that is my opinion.

These books will give you a good base.  As you read other books than you can start making your own opinions about certain subjects which interest you.

Good luck and enjoy.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Richard_Cullen on November 17, 2004, 04:20:46 AM
Hi,

I think you need to be careful about most books.  I think historians such as Greg are the people to rely on, they tell you the facts and not speculation.

Radzinsky uses evidence where and when he thinks fit and tends to use those bits that support his hypothesis, ignoring bits that don't.  This is certainly the case in Rasputin's murder.  I have had the same access to the GARF files as Radzinsky, he quotes selectively, I use the whole evidential accounts which in my view tell a very different story.  One might say that this is a historian viewing the evidence subjectively, in my view historians should deal with fact and be 100% objective - if that is possible.  there are always twists and turns in historical research and the discovery of new evidence can significantly change long held views and versions of events.

Richard

Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Helen_Azar on November 17, 2004, 08:53:13 AM
Quote
Radzinsky uses evidence where and when he thinks fit and tends to use those bits that support his hypothesis, ignoring bits that don't... he quotes selectively,


I agree, Radzinsky is not as much a historian as he is a dramatist (is this a real word?), in other words he is a bit of a "drama queen". His books are fun to read, but only once you've already learned the real historical facts, otherwise you may end up with a lot of misconceptions... Sometimes I wonder where he gets his info from!  :)
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: jaa on November 17, 2004, 01:59:55 PM
Quote
dramatist (is this a real word?)

"Dramatist" is a real word. It's a synonym for a playwright, or someone who writes plays.

I think there are three very general keys as to the accuracy of a book: 1) the author's background and other publications, 2) the date of the book, and 3) the number of citations.

Authors who are history professors are more likely to be aware of the current research and theories about their subject. They may also be more prone to advocacy of a particular argument, given the often intense intramural politics of academia.

Authors who have written a number of books in areas related to a subject may have a broader overview or a different perspective.

Every author reflects the perspective and the general prejudices of his/her time. For example, in times when anti-Semitism and other types of bigotry were acceptable, historians might take little note or even praise the bigotry of their subjects. In addition, more documents are uncovered as time passes, and more recent publications may reflect additional information.

Accuracy is not speculation or opinion, nor is it the recitation of rumors, gossip and fantasy. Accuracy comes from facts, and you can check the facts by the citations included in a book. Generally speaking, the more citations, the greater the possibility of accuracy.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Helen_Azar on November 17, 2004, 02:29:18 PM
Quote
"Dramatist" is a real word. It's a synonym for a playwright, or someone who writes plays.



That's what I thought, but was too lazy to make sure myself  ;)
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Belochka on November 17, 2004, 06:51:29 PM
Quote
Generally speaking, the more citations, the greater the possibility of accuracy.


I have to disagree, some authors choose to cite numerous references which only direct the reader to a particular bias of the author. The number of references provided do not demonstrate that because the literature may be voluminous in one direction, then it should be considered more accurate.

BTW the word dramatist appears in the Oxford. dictionary.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Elisabeth on November 18, 2004, 03:36:54 PM
Every author has a bias. For example, as much as I admire Robert K. Massie, in "Nicholas and Alexandra" he favors French primary sources far too much. Thus, à la the French ambassador Paléologue, he blames Alexandra's emotional dependency on Rasputin for much of the cabinet reshufflings which he posits led to the March Revolution. In other words, he credits Alexandra and Rasputin with far more political power than they actually had, not to mention the fact that his reading of the background causes of the Russian Revolution is highly simplistic. That said, "Nicholas and Alexandra" was his first book, and everyone (especially an excellent writer like Massie) is allowed to make mistakes!

To balance out Massie, definitely read Crankshaw's "In the Shadow of the Winter Palace," and Greg King and Penny Wilson's "Fate of the Romanovs." I would also recommend very strongly Orlando Figes' "A People's Tragedy: A History of the Russian Revolution," and Riasonovsky's "A History of Russia" (you only have to read the relevant chapters). The latter two books in particular are pretty much standard scholarly texts (used in freshman introduction to Russian history classes) and should definitely be read as a counterbalance to the more "royalist" works. For one thing, they put the Romanov dynasty in a larger historical context and give you some sense of perspective.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: jaa on November 18, 2004, 04:44:00 PM
Excellent advice and an excellent bibliography. Thanks.

Quote
some authors choose to cite numerous references which only direct the reader to a particular bias of the author.

I agree. That is similar to Richard Cullen's objections to Radzinsky. I was trying to imply that there are always exceptions to any generalization by using the phrase, "in general." Thanks, and sorry for that bit of inelegance.

Quote
BTW the word dramatist appears in the Oxford. dictionary.

It should, since it's a fairly common word, well within the vocabularly range of a newspaper.

In Radzinsky's case, it's not unfair, I think, to assume his background as a playwright affects his analysis. Not so much the specifics of drama, such as the three-act structure and character development -- although this may have some importance -- but the general approach of telling a story through action and dialogue. It's possible that years spent writing actions or lines for characters, each with an underlying meaning, has an influence on what quotes are selected, or what a document really means.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: TsarinasPrincess on December 28, 2004, 07:08:15 PM
Hi Everyone!

I just joined the forum, but have been visiting this wonderful site for the past few months.  I've been reading about the Romanovs and Tsarist Russia for a little over a year, and quickly became fascinated.  I've purchased and been given numerous books regarding the Romanovs, but I'm looking for more.  Similarly, I'm interested in knowing which of the books are more credible than others.  Since I'm so new to the Romanovs and Tsarist Russia, I'd like some information from the more experienced readers and experts.  Thanks for any help you can provide me:

Nicholas and Alexandra by Robert K. Massie
The Last Tsar: The Life and Death of Nicholas II by Edvard Radzinsky
The Romanovs: The Final Chapter by Robert K. Massie
The Flight of the Romanovs by John Curtis Perry, Constantine V. Pleshakov
Czars by James P. Duffy, Vincent L. Ricci
The Tragic Dynasty by John Bergamini
A Lifelong Passion Nicholas and Alexandra: Their Own Story compiled by Sergei Mironenko, Andrei Maylunas (Editor), Darya Galy (Translator)
Alexandra: The Last Tsarina by Carolly Erickson
Elizabeth: Grand Duchess of Russia by Hugo Mager
Pilgrim Princess by Maria Fairweather
Once A Grand Duchess: Xenia, Sister of Nicholas II by John Van Der Kiste and Coryne Hall

Again thanks for any help and i look forward to learning more from all of you!

Sue
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: otmafan on December 28, 2004, 07:34:33 PM
My two favorite books on the Romanovs are The Romanovs: Love, Power, Tragedy, and Tsar: The Lost World of Nicholas and Alexandra. They have a bunch of pictures plus the general story. Romanov Autumn is also good if you are looking for information on the Romanov family not just Nicholas II. The absolute best book on learning about the Romanovs is Nicholas and Alexandra by Robert Massie, which you listed.

Hope that helps. Happy Reading!  :)
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Belochka on December 28, 2004, 08:03:08 PM
Hi Sue,

The best suggestion I can make is for you to read through the book section on this forum. Most of the books you have listed have been discussed here.

Massie's books are a wonderful introduction. They are well written and I highly recommend all his titles.

The other books are all good to read, especially Perry & Pleshakov the Diary entries provided by Maylunas & Mironenko.

Bergamini is an older publication (1970) but is quite readable, but contains tired photographs.

Personally I would be cautious about Radzinsky, Mager and Erickson. These books are loaded with errors.

Pilgrim Princess might be a little remote, it is a biographic work describing the life and events surrounding Zinaida Volkonsky who lived much of her life in Rome.

Wecome and enjoy your reading! :D
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Belochka on December 29, 2004, 12:50:30 AM
Two more interesting books to add to your list are:

1. Michael & Natasha The Life and Love of the Last Tsar of Russia by Rosemary & Donald Crawford

2. The Fall of the Romanovs by M. Steinberg & V. Khrustalev

I also agree with all the other recommendations given by the other posters.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Martyn on December 29, 2004, 05:56:12 AM
Quote
Two more interesting books to add to your list are:

1. Michael & Natasha The Life and Love of the Last Tsar of Russia by Rosemary & Donald Crawford

2. The Fall of the Romanovs by M. Steinberg & V. Khrustalev

I also agree with all the other recommendations given by the other posters.


I have to agree with Belochka.  The Crawford book on Michael and Natasha is very good; curiously enough I have it open right next to me as I write!
Personally, I think that the Clarke book 'The Lost Fortune of the Tsars' is quite a specialised book - having said that I have read it twice and it is a very learned and well researched book.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Eurohistory on December 29, 2004, 11:22:57 AM
And don't forget:

A Poet Among the Romanovs: Prince Vladimir Paley

and

The Grand Duchesses

Arturo Beéche
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: felix on December 29, 2004, 03:02:10 PM
All books very good , Pilgrim Princess  I could do without. My next book will be Poet Prince.  The Grand Duchesses, should be on your list
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Belochka on December 29, 2004, 10:13:28 PM
Quote
The Grand Duchesses, should be on your list


However I do not recommend the Grand Dukes. It is badly written and lacks good citations. The price it commands does not justify the content.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: LisaDavidson on December 29, 2004, 10:44:09 PM
Quote
Hi Everyone!

I just joined the forum, but have been visiting this wonderful site for the past few months.  I've been reading about the Romanovs and Tsarist Russia for a little over a year, and quickly became fascinated.  I've purchased and been given numerous books regarding the Romanovs, but I'm looking for more.  Similarly, I'm interested in knowing which of the books are more credible than others.  Since I'm so new to the Romanovs and Tsarist Russia, I'd like some information from the more experienced readers and experts.  Thanks for any help you can provide me:

Nicholas and Alexandra by Robert K. Massie
The Last Tsar: The Life and Death of Nicholas II by Edvard Radzinsky
The Romanovs: The Final Chapter by Robert K. Massie
The Flight of the Romanovs by John Curtis Perry, Constantine V. Pleshakov
Czars by James P. Duffy, Vincent L. Ricci
The Tragic Dynasty by John Bergamini
A Lifelong Passion Nicholas and Alexandra: Their Own Story compiled by Sergei Mironenko, Andrei Maylunas (Editor), Darya Galy (Translator)
Alexandra: The Last Tsarina by Carolly Erickson
Elizabeth: Grand Duchess of Russia by Hugo Mager
Pilgrim Princess by Maria Fairweather
Once A Grand Duchess: Xenia, Sister of Nicholas II by John Van Der Kiste and Coryne Hall

Again thanks for any help and i look forward to learning more from all of you!

Sue


1. Massie's Nicholas and Alexandra tells a wonderful story so it's a good read and Massie's research is top notch. That said, it was written before the fall of the USSR so they didn't have access to the archives like we do now. I also think he overdraws his conclusion that without Alexei's illness, there may have been no revolution. I think most current scholarship indicates the reverse - that there were causes for the revolution in place before Nicholas ever met Alexandra!

2. Radzinsky tells a good story, so you won't be bored, but he's a poor historian who is writing just to sell books. And, some of his material is utter cr**. I would pass on anything he's written, because you can do better. If someone gives you his book, keep it to have it, but otherwise, no.

3. Massie's second book on the IF is very good. There are a few errors, but nothing major. This is worth having.

4. Flight is also a good book. A few errors, nothing major, and interesting reading.

5 - 6. Haven't read, can't comment.

7. Lifelong Passion is a wonderful book because it's full of primary source material. Amazingly enough, it does contain errors, too, but it's still a very worthwhile book.

8 & 9 - I don't like Erickson's book on AF or Mager's book on Ella. I don't think they are good biographies.

10. Haven't read, can't comment.

11. Coryne is a wonderful author, so I would recommend anything she's written. However, I liked Little Mother of Russia better.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Marlene on December 29, 2004, 11:40:24 PM
Quote

However I do not recommend the Grand Dukes. It is badly written and lacks good citations. The price it commands does not justify the content.


I would have to disagree here - and not because I was involved with the book - The Grand Dukes was written by Prince David Chavchavadze, who is the son of Princess Nina of Russia ... he knows a lot more about the Romanovs than the average person.   2 or 3 of my photos were in that book.  Grand Dukes, as with all of Atlantic International's books, was published in a limited edition.  A Romanov Diary is even more difficult to find. I  am down to my last 2 copies, as I was the editor of that book.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Marlene on December 29, 2004, 11:48:23 PM


Nicholas and Alexandra by Robert K. Massie

A good introductory book - but written before the archives opened to historians, et al.

The Last Tsar: The Life and Death of Nicholas II by Edvard Radzinsky
An extremely good book but too dramatic at times.  Jackie Onassis edited this book, by the way.  I believe.
Got down to the nitty gritty.  But Greg and Penny's book digs even deeper.

The Romanovs: The Final Chapter by Robert K. Massie

Mediocre book ... a real disappointment.

The Flight of the Romanovs by John Curtis Perry, Constantine V. Pleshakov   Excellent.  Well researched.

Czars by James P. Duffy, Vincent L. Ricci  -- Basic ready reference book on the Czars of Russia.

The Tragic Dynasty by John Bergamini  Written in the 60s with the then usual sources ... again, a first look book - and then move onto to the details.

A Lifelong Passion Nicholas and Alexandra: Their Own Story compiled by Sergei Mironenko, Andrei Maylunas (Editor), Darya Galy (Translator)   - Superb  .. one of the best books.


Alexandra: The Last Tsarina by Carolly Erickson
This book gave me hairballs ... awful.  Want to read a good bio of Alix - see Greg King's biography.

Elizabeth: Grand Duchess of Russia by Hugo Mager
More hairballs.  David Duff asked me to read the manuscript as Mager was a neighbor of his.  I did, I sent pages of corrections, for which I was thanked - but none of the corrections were made by the author.  Give this book a miss.   SOmething to line the birdcage with.

Pilgrim Princess by Maria Fairweather. Unfamiliar.

Once A Grand Duchess: Xenia, Sister of Nicholas II by John Van Der Kiste and Coryne Hall   - Excellent - but editors cut a lot.  Coryne, who is an old friend of mine, did all the legwork ..

Again thanks for any help and i look forward to learning more from all of you!

Sue[/quote]
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Belochka on December 30, 2004, 12:04:38 AM
Quote

I would have to disagree here - and not because I was involved with the book - The Grand Dukes was written by Prince David Chavchavadze, who is the son of Princess Nina of Russia ... he knows a lot more about the Romanovs than the average person.   2 or 3 of my photos were in that book.  Grand Dukes, as with all of Atlantic International's books, was published in a limited edition.  A Romanov Diary is even more difficult to find. I  am down to my last 2 copies, as I was the editor of that book.


This is my personal opinion only. This particular book is not something I would recommend, compared to many others available on the market today, no matter who wrote chose to write them.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Robert_Hall on December 30, 2004, 04:22:53 AM
I agree, Belochka. The Grand Dukes is rather shallow and poorly written. Amaturish perhaps. It is ok to have- at the original price!! but I would certainly not go out of my way or to any great expense to have it now.
I would have preferred more detail but of course,"can't please everybody".
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Martyn on December 30, 2004, 08:21:20 AM
Quote
I agree, Belochka. The Grand Dukes is rather shallow and poorly written. Amaturish perhaps. It is ok to have- at the original price!! but I would certainly not go out of my way or to any great expense to have it now.
I would have preferred more detail but of course,"can't please everybody".


Belochka and Robert, I am glad to hear that you don't recommend 'The Grand Dukes' .  I ordered that book from a specialist bookfinder here in England.  I had never seen the book and was obliged to pay £90 in advance for it.  The book went missing in transit from America and he is currently looking for another copy for me; I will now tell him not to bother and to look for something else.
So thank you for that opinion as you have probably saved me some literary disappointment.
I also have a search out for 'Romanov Diary' but I don't think that I will bother with that either - too hard to get hold of and inordinately expensive. Another member who has it, has said that, in addition, the content is a bit thin...
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Marlene on December 30, 2004, 09:30:59 AM
A Romanov Diary is the memoir of Princess Marie of Greece who married Grand Duke George of Russia.  It is not as thick as her brothers' memoirs, and the book was based her handwritten memoirs - only 500 copies of the book were published, so it is difficult to find.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Marlene on December 30, 2004, 09:32:28 AM

I would have preferred more detail but of course,"can't please everybody". [/quote]

this applies to everything ...
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: TsarinasPrincess on December 31, 2004, 10:28:07 AM
Thank you all for such wonderful feedback.  All of your information is very wonderful adn very helpful.  I've read all of the boosk on my list, but I wanted to get some feedback from people who know more about this and recommend some additional books.

Thanks again!
Sue
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Eurohistory on January 02, 2005, 07:16:29 PM
Quote
A Romanov Diary is the memoir of Princess Marie of Greece who married Grand Duke George of Russia.  It is not as thick as her brothers' memoirs, and the book was based her handwritten memoirs - only 500 copies of the book were published, so it is difficult to find.


Is it not true that this was ghost-written? - unlike the books authored by her brothers?

Arturo Beéche
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: RichC on January 02, 2005, 09:24:39 PM
Quote

2. The Fall of the Romanovs by M. Steinberg & V. Khrustalev



Hi Sue,

I would like to second the recommendation of The Fall of the Romanovs.  Although I'm no Romanov scholar, I really liked this book because it is peer reviewed and the introduction, an intellectual portrait of Nicholas and Alexandra, is the best discussion I've ever read about  the personalities these two individuals.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Marlene on January 03, 2005, 10:08:15 AM

(Is it not true that this was ghost-written? - unlike the books authored by her brothers?)

No - her memoirs were handwritten - so what we got was in her own handwriting.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Maria_Romanov_fan on January 29, 2005, 02:02:44 PM
Ok everybody, what would you say was the best, most accurate, Romanov book? (And least confusing!)
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: otmafan on January 29, 2005, 06:33:48 PM
Nicholas and Alexandra by Robert Massie. It has everything you need to know.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Anya on January 30, 2005, 05:03:59 PM
"Nicholas and Alexandra" by Robert Massie. The one.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Lanie on January 30, 2005, 05:28:47 PM
There isn't a "best book" since there are so many points of view.  N&A in my mind is way too sympathetic, on the "rose colored glasses side" though it is a good book.  There doesn't seem to be any book that shows both sides to this huge story...
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Maria_Romanov_fan on January 30, 2005, 08:53:50 PM
Quote
There isn't a "best book" since there are so many points of view.  N&A in my mind is way too sympathetic, on the "rose colored glasses side" though it is a good book.  There doesn't seem to be any book that shows both sides to this huge story...


You're absolutely right Lanie  :). Thanks everyone! I'll be sure to pick up Nicholas and Alexandra next time I'm at Barn's and Noble's !
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: moonlight_tsarina on February 01, 2005, 12:32:17 PM
I agree with Lanie, but another great book is “Tsar” by peter Kurth. It is an excellent album source and very informative, u not to the likes of N& A. Massie just re-released N&A, but You are better off ordering it at amazon.com, you could get it for just pennies!! :o

A good companion to N&A is The Final Chapter. It was very good too.

:D
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Jane on February 01, 2005, 02:25:22 PM
I think that it would be difficult to designate one work as the "best" Romanov book.  As Lanie pointed out, Massie's work is pretty sympathetic of N & A.  It is, I feel, an "essential" book, however, for anyone trying to collect books on the Romanovs.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Belochka on February 02, 2005, 12:43:38 AM
There is no single volume which in my opinion rates as the best in this field. There a number of authors, with very different perspectives. Some prefer to focus on the political and economic issues, while others describe the social &/or cultural aspects of the Romanov era in general.

Your choice is complicated by the fact that the Romanovs ruled for over 300 years. Much occurred in Russian history during this period, with many distinctive rulers. Which one do you choose? Peter the Great or Catherine II?

Then of course does one prefer Russian language sources, whether modern or the classic publications from the Imperial era? As an english reader then perhaps the more recent interpretations from the West would be more appealing?

The options are many and varied. Your choice will depend upon your personal concerns and perhaps your budget.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Eurohistory on February 02, 2005, 09:07:33 AM
Massie's N&A is certainly a jewel, but I would not consider it the definitive book on the Romanovs by any stretch of the imagination.

Arturo Beéche
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Marlene on February 02, 2005, 11:32:50 AM
Quote
Nicholas and Alexandra by Robert Massie. It has everything you need to know.



Far from it .  Massie's book is a good starting point, but it is hardly the most comprehensive book out there.  Looking at what has been published since then, it is now safe to assume that Massie skimmed the surface -
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: moonlight_tsarina on February 02, 2005, 12:05:18 PM
I agree with Marlene . Whn that book came out, no much was surfaced yet.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Marlene on February 02, 2005, 03:18:59 PM
Quote
W. Bruce Lincoln's "Romanovs".  A serious look at the dynasty.  May not have the glamour of Massie's tome, but a broader and deeper examination.  A shame this remarkable historian and writer died so young.


an absolutely excellent book actually.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: leanora on February 02, 2005, 04:13:29 PM
definitively "the lost world of Nicholas and Alexandra" by Robert Massie and Peter Kurth....I have learnt a lot of things I didn't know before,  particulary on the last days of the family.. and there are so much beautiful photos and illustrations..
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Belochka on February 02, 2005, 08:05:56 PM
Quote
W. Bruce Lincoln's "Romanovs".  A serious look at the dynasty.  May not have the glamour of Massie's tome, but a broader and deeper examination.  A shame this remarkable historian and writer died so young.


I have all Lincoln's books. They are certainly all well worth reading. It was indeed a real pity that Sunlight at Midnight was his final publication, which sadly this compassionate historian never saw in print.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Charles on February 03, 2005, 09:32:53 AM
I wholeheartedly agree with you Belochka.  W. Bruce Lincoln is one of the finest historians of Imperial Russia.  His books on the Great Reforms, the era between the 1905 Revolution and the Civil War, and Nicholas I are some of the best books on the late Imperial period (not to mention some of the most enlightening and fulfilling readings).  I am glad to see someone acknowledge Lincoln!!    
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: moonlight_tsarina on February 04, 2005, 10:26:14 PM
Quote
definitively "the lost world of Nicholas and Alexandra" by Robert Massie and Peter Kurth....I have learnt a lot of things I didn't know before,  particulary on the last days of the family.. and there are so much beautiful photos and illustrations..


Definitly~!!
But i don't prefer Kurth still since he always has to weasel in the Anastasia/Anna Anderson theory in everywhere. Get over it Peter, Anastasia DIDNT SURVIVE!!
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Denise on February 06, 2005, 05:26:51 PM
Quote

Definitly~!!
But i don't prefer Kurth still since he always has to weasel in the Anastasia/Anna Anderson theory in everywhere. Get over it Peter, Anastasia DIDNT SURVIVE!!


One thing I want to add though is that regardless of who AA was, it was her story that brought the Romanov name into many homes in the 20th century.  She was the springboard into Romanov history for many people on this board.  To not include her would be to leave out a big part of the Romanov myth.

And I don't find Peter's inclusion of AA into this book to diminish the accomplishment of this book.  It is a wonderful photographic testament to who the last IF were and the life they lived.

Denise
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: La_Mashka on March 31, 2005, 10:41:48 AM
Hello !!!

Im trying to build a "good" Romanov library.

I am interested in 2 kinds of books

1. Coffee table books, with lots and lots of pictures

2. Reading books with accurate information, especially on their lives.

At the moment I own the following:

* Chronicle of the Russian Tsars, by David Warnes
* Tsar, by Peter Kurth
* The Last Tsar, by Larissa Yermilova
* Nicholas and Alexandra, by Robert K. Massie
* Rasputin, Henri Troyat
* Russka, by Edward Rutherfurd

The thing is, there are so many books out there, I really dont know which ones are worth while, for reading and for browsing

Thank you!
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Elisabeth on March 31, 2005, 11:14:38 AM
Here are some of my favorite books:

A Lifelong Passion: Nicholas and Alexandra, ed. Andrei Maylunas and Sergei Mironenko. A very private look at the inner world of the IF through their letters and diaries; one of the most informative and fascinating books about the last Romanovs out there.

The Romanovs: Love, Power and Tragedy, ed. Alexander Bokhanov, Manfred Knodt, etc. I think this is the best coffeetable book if you are looking for beautiful, previously unpublished photos of the imperial family from their private albums. Page after page of gorgeous pictures, and even colored reproductions of the children’s artwork.

The Fate of the Romanovs, by Greg King and Penny Wilson. IMO, this is the best narrative history of Nicholas and Alexandra since Robert K. Massie’s book, although its focus is deliberately more narrow: the family’s life after the Revolution; the events leading up to their murder; and the recent discovery of their grave near Ekaterinburg. A lot of previously unpublished material.

Romanov Autumn, by Charlotte Zeepvat. An intimate history of the later Romanovs (Alexander II to Nicholas II) told through anecdotes.

Camera of the Tsars, also by Charlotte Zeepvat. Another beautiful coffeetable book, which includes many pictures of lesser known Romanovs, as well as the IF.

Other wonderful books about the IF are already on line at this website – in particular Sophie Buxhoeveden’s biography of Alexandra.

BTW, if you are interested in popular novels about Russia before the Revolution (I notice you listed Russka), one of my favorites is Diane Pearson’s The Summer of the Barshinskeys, about the adventures of an English brother and sister whose lives intertwine with those of two young Russians. The story begins in England before World War I, then moves to Russia before and during the Revolution. Very exciting and well written.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: La_Mashka on March 31, 2005, 11:22:57 AM
Thank you so much Elisabeth!

I have some of the books youmentioned on my amazon wishlist....  so now I know they are worth it!!!   ;D
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: moonlight_tsarina on May 03, 2005, 12:34:41 PM
Quote
Here are some of my favorite books:



Camera of the Tsars, also by Charlotte Zeepvat. Another beautiful coffeetable book, which includes many pictures of lesser known Romanovs, as well as the IF.




 


It's The Camera and the Tsars
;)

I agree with all of Elisabeth's choices, very great books. However, I don't have L,P,T yet. I am saving to get it!
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: grandduchess_sofia on May 04, 2005, 03:13:52 PM
yes, some of the books are so expensive! a good site i found was bookfinder4u it searches through all these websites and compares them, and you can type in your destination and your currency and its sorts them with that as well!!
sps
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Teddy on May 18, 2005, 12:34:34 PM
VYRUBOVA, ANNA & SWEZEY, MARILYN PFEIFER - The Romanov family album.

Is this your money worth?

How about the pictures are the good or can I better take an another book full of Romanov pictures?
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Lanie on May 18, 2005, 01:15:40 PM
You should just look at the online Yale albums.  The same thing, better quality, etc.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Sarushka on May 27, 2005, 05:01:07 PM
I got a copy for about $25, which I think is well worth it, however,  also I've seen copies for upwards of $165, which to my mind is NOT worth it at all!

I particularly appreciated the photos of the Standart's interior, and the fun shot of the Imperial family in their raincoats on deck. Also, the excerpts from Vyrubova's Memories of the Russian Court are plentiful enough that I don't feel a need to track down a copy of her book for my collection.

It all depends on what sort of person you are -- are you happy accessing the photos on the Yale online archive and reading Vyrubova's book online as well? (Incidentally, the online sources I mentioned will actually give you more info & more photos!) If you've just got to hold the book in your hands, then dish out the dough -- it's worth $40-50, on my budget anyway  ;)
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: felix on May 28, 2005, 11:15:34 AM
It has nice pictures and sells for a good price. You wont be upset when you get it.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Belochka on May 29, 2005, 02:36:22 AM
This is the one book I do not have. Much of the material I feared would be no different to what is already available in the extensive publications already in my collection.

Owning a first edition of Vyrubova's memoirs, it seems that this additional photo book might be going overboard. ;)
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Abby on May 29, 2005, 10:19:24 AM
I bought it and had it for a while and sold it on Ebay. I paid about $25 for it and I loved it. I thought it had a lot of nice pictures that I hadn't seen in other books, but I am aware now that most of these pics are in the Yale Beinecke collection (it even states it in the book's introduction). I thought I got a great deal for the money. Over $50 though is too much, I think.
One of the best albums out there.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Mashka_Fan on June 15, 2005, 05:55:24 PM
Hello! :D

I found this book at Gilbert's Royal Bookstore called 'Nicholas II: The Imperial Family by Znamenov, Mironenko & Barkovets.' It looks very good, but it is pretty expensive ($40.00). I wanted to know what you guys thought about it before I spent that kind of money on it!

This is the description that is given for it:

'This beautiful book offers more than 150 images (both colour and black and white photos) of Nicholas and Alexandra and their children. Published in 2004 it is one of the finest Romanov pictorials to date.What makes this book unique is that much of the text and photos concentrate on the children and their life at the Lower (Alexandria) Dacha at Peterhof. Many photos of this palace including old photos of exteriors and interiors as well as beautiful watercolours. Also, a rich selection of photos of many of the personal items of the Imperial family that from the storage rooms of Peterhof that are not on display. A nice collectors item for any one interested in the children of the last tsar.'

Thank-you for your opinions!  :)

 *~Mashka_Fan~*
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Ortino on June 15, 2005, 06:28:38 PM
I bought this book at Peterhof when I was there last year, but I paid much less, around $15-20. I can understand somewhat why it would be $40 being imported, but I honestly don't think it's worth that much. It's a lovely book, really, but not for that price. The description is correct, but it's not terribly thick or jammed full of content. See if you can find it cheaper, and if you can, then go ahead and buy it.

There's one for bid on Ebay at $25 or you could buy it directly for $35. Here's the link:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=1414&item=3980530799&rd=1&ssPageName=WDVW
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Mashka_Fan on June 15, 2005, 06:40:00 PM
Thanks Ortino for your reply!  :)
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Sarai on June 15, 2005, 07:51:24 PM
I definitely recommend this book! It has 120 pages and lots of pictures, although not particularly rare ones. What is unique about the book is its emphasis on the "Lower Palace" at Peterhof, one of the family's residences where Maria, Anastasia, and Alexei were born. It has some pictures of the rooms, furniture, and even wallpaper samples (the Palace is now in ruins, sadly). The book also has several pictures of lovely little drawings and letters of the Grand Duchesses. I really like this book, and I think you will enjoy it. I got mine a while ago on eBay and it was cheaper than $40.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Katia on June 16, 2005, 04:46:33 AM
I bought that book from St Petersburg in 2003 (from Peter & Paul Cathedral shop) and it was about 20 euros, it's a charming book, but I find the price you mentioned too high. i hope you can get a cheaper copy somewhere!
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Mashka_Fan on June 16, 2005, 10:35:15 AM
Thank-you everyone for your replys! :)

I did an internet search for the book and the only place that had it was Gilbert's Royal Books for $40.  :( There is a copy on ebay (which Ortino kindly gave me the link to) but it has $9.00 on shipping which makes it almost as expensive as the one from Gilbert's Royal Bookstore! If anyone has any other ideas on where I could find this book, I would greatly appreciate it! Thank-you everyone VERY much!  ;D

  *~Mashka_Fan~*
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Abby on June 16, 2005, 11:43:43 AM
I had this book and I sold it. I recommend it, it was very good and had lots of pictures that I hadn't seen. It is a very nice size and the photos are glossy. I would say don't count out Ebay. It seems like that book is listed on there a lot, and a good deal might come your way soon. I got mine on Ebay and I think I paid like $25; which was worth it.  :)
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Lanie on June 16, 2005, 12:42:40 PM
After a week mine fell apart. :(
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: otmafan on June 16, 2005, 09:10:50 PM
I just ordered my copy. I'm glad you guys liked it.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Mashka_Fan on June 17, 2005, 12:06:25 AM
otmafan,

Where did you order your copy from? Was it from Gilbert's Royal Bookstore, or did you find it somewhere else?  ???

Many Thanks,

  *~Mashka_Fan~*
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: otmafan on June 17, 2005, 08:58:02 AM
I got it from Gilbert's Royal Books. I know it is expensive, but it's a gift.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: janlawther on July 17, 2005, 07:42:21 AM
I found this forum only yesterday and have been reading all sorts of sections in it almost non-stop since then.  My husband suggests I stick to novels where  my insatiable quest for further information doesn't normally rear its head and where he can occasionally get dinner on time!

All this started when I was reading a book called "Mrs Keppel and her Daughter" and was, as usual, seduced into looking up links on the internet on various points to do with Queen Victoria's children.  This then reminded me that I had an unread copy Peter Kurth's book called "Anastasia" here in Spain in the little second hand bookshop we run.  Once again about half way through this ( and I haven't managed to get all the way through it yet - just as Mrs Keppel is now abandoned part way through!) I was distracted by the internet to check for 2nd opinions on various points and ended up on this forum.

This is obvioulsy a HUGE subject and I've only just started trying to understand all the ins and outs but wonder if someone could point me to threads where -

a)  The significance of Grossman is discussed in full as I had not heard of him previously and don't understand who he is or what he is supposed to have done other than he appears to have confessed to murdering FS

b)  The same with Gertrude - a half-sister or sister of FS?

c)   DNA testing of FS's brother and conclusions concerning those results and comparisons with AA's own DNA


I've really enjoyed reading all the input on this site and have probably already made the classic swing from "ooh yes, it really was her and the Imperial family must have been in league against her" when I started reading Peter Kurth's book to "well we all love a conspiracy theory but the hard facts seem to point emphatically in the opposite direction".  Now I need some pointers to get an even better idea.

Thanks
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: etonexile on July 17, 2005, 10:21:08 AM
First of all,janlawther...welcome to our fickle "family" of fans of the late Russian Imperial Family....most folk are ace...first rate....it's the teddy bears you have to watch out for ::)...This 'Survivors" thread is a good place to start...but the others are equally good...in different ways...Have fun exploring.... ;D
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Finelly on July 17, 2005, 12:34:35 PM
Three good books to read are:

The Fate of the Romanovs, by King and Wilson

The Quest for ANastasia, by (don't have the book handy, can't remember)

The Romanovs:  The final Chapter, by Robert Massie.

This will give you a good start!
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Robert_Hall on July 17, 2005, 01:47:01 PM
"Quest" is by Kohn Klier, but I prefer Peter Kurth's "Riddle of Anastasia" even though I do not believe she survived, it is an extremely well written work.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: janlawther on July 17, 2005, 02:03:25 PM
Thanks for all these suggestions.

As you will already know I'm very new to the whole topic but I did wonder, if the police believed Grossman murdered FS what evidence they had that this was the case.  Is there a police investigation record?  Didn't her family claim her body, assuming there was one?  And if not why did the police think she was a victim - just from the similar surname in his diary?

Can anyone point me to a previous discussion on this point on the site?
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: AGRBear on July 17, 2005, 04:19:00 PM
I wrote about Grossmann and I don't remember on what thread it was.  Let me see if I can find it through our forum "search" by using just the word Grossmann.   If not,  I'll dig around  and send you to the thead.  

If someone recomends a book,  go to the book section and see it it's listed.  You'll find comments on the book and it might help you make a decision to buy or not to buy.

Oh, almost forgot, welcome and we all hope you enjoy this site.
AGRBear

Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Marlene on July 28, 2005, 10:24:31 AM
Quote
Can anyone who has already got these books tell me what they think of them and are they worth the price because I was thinking about buying them myself

Here are the books:

1) Helena: Princess Reclaimed by S. Chomet

2) Born to Rule: Five Reigning Consorts, Granddaughters of Queen Victoria by Julia P. Gelardi

3) Developing the Picture: Queen Alexandra and the Art of Photography by Frances Dimond

4) The Grand Duchesses by Arturo Beeche

5) Royal Cabinet Portraits of the Victorian Era by David W. Cripps

6) Queen Victoria's Descendants by Marlene Eilers

7) The Golden Book of Royalty by Robert Golden



Chomet's book could have been a lot better - but it's the only single bio on Helena ... very disjointed.

Born to Rule ... a good, competent bio of several of Victoria's granddaughters who sat as consorts

Developing the Picture ... Gorgeous book ...
(Just reviewed this title and Born to Rule in the last issue of Royal Book News, the bi-monthly newsletter that I publish.

Grand Duchesses -bio sketches (each chapter on a different born grand duchesses --some chapters more detailed than others ... Art gathered a list of good and scholarly writers such as Coryne Hall.  Grant Menzies, John van der Kiste, Marlene Eilers (that's me) to write the different essays.

Cripp's book - nice photos terrible captions ..

QVD .. (and the companion edition) -- of course, terribly, terribly biased toward this book well, researched .. and described by many as the definitive book on Victoria's Descendants.  Well worth the price  :)   you can get copies from the author ...

Bobby Golden's books are all delightful

Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Marlene on July 28, 2005, 10:25:58 AM

8  The Romanovs: Love, Power & Tragedy by Manfred

9) Tsar: The Lost World of Nicholas & Alexandra by Peter Kurth

10) Anastasia's Album: The Last Tsar's Youngest Daughter tells her own story by Hugh Brewster[/quote]

8 - produced by the folks at Royalty magazine ...

9  Gorgeous

10 ... children's book, actually.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Marlene on July 28, 2005, 10:50:59 AM
Quote
Thanks Marlene! :)

Is QVD by you?



Yes!
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Eurohistory on July 28, 2005, 11:27:22 AM
There are two editions and one update.  Second edition and update can be pruchased through Eurohistory.com as well as most of the books you listed.

I would skip Helen by Severyn Chomet altogether...not a fun read, a bit of a disappointment.

As for the rest here are my commenst:

2. Born to Rule: Five Reigning Consorts, Granddaughters of Queen Victoria by Julia P. Gelardi - YES...qute a well-written book, thoroughly researched and one I consider a must have!

3. Developing the Picture: Queen Alexandra and the Art of Photography by Frances Dimond - NAH - I had hoped that Frances with her access at the Windsor Archive would produce a magnficent book about royalty, not a book with scenes, views, and such, taken by Queen Alexandra...a great disappointment, at least to me.

4. The Grand Duchesses by Arturo Beeche - YES, for obvious reasons! ;-) and I defer to Marlene's comments on it anyhow.

5. Royal Cabinet Portraits of the Victorian Era by David W. Cripps - YIKES - without a doubt the worst book done by Ted Rosvall, hands down.  "ROYAL CABINET PORTRAITS" is the title and the author used not many cabinet cards to illustrate it...then again someone recommended one purchase this book because the author is "handsome," yeah...suuuure...

6. Queen Victoria's Descendants by Marlene Eilers - YES - simply a MUST HAVE! Along with the update!

7. The Golden Book of Royalty by Robert Golden YES - simply a MUST HAVE! Along with the second volume: RELATIVELY ROYAL!

8.  The Romanovs: Love, Power & Tragedy by Manfred - So much of the same...nice photos though.

9. Tsar: The Lost World of Nicholas & Alexandra by Peter Kurth - see my comments on number 8 - rehash for profit.

10. Anastasia's Album: The Last Tsar's Youngest Daughter tells her own story by Hugh Brewster - Refer to my comments on 8 and 9.

I hope this helps you make your decisions...

Arturo Beéche
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Marlene on July 28, 2005, 11:31:20 AM
Quote
How much is it and are there two editions of the book?


contact me privately regarding purchasing my books
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Marlene on July 28, 2005, 11:56:06 AM
Quote

May I ask why the Helena book is ''a bit of a disapointment'' because I find P.ss Helena quite of an interesting person, isn't there much info on her in it?




very disjointed-- not in chronological order ...didn't really look for a paper trail ...
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Eurohistory on July 28, 2005, 12:25:27 PM
Quote

May I ask why the Helena book is ''a bit of a disapointment'' because I find P.ss Helena quite of an interesting person, isn't there much info on her in it?


I think Severyn did not do her justice...very little mention is made of her children...her vast connections to othe royals of the period, her personality, character...her husband...henc eone's disappointment.

Arturo Beéche
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Marlene on July 29, 2005, 10:43:03 PM
Princess in Amber was written by Evelyn Wilde Mayerson, and published in 1985 .... read it, gave it away.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Marlene on July 30, 2005, 10:28:07 AM
Quote
Do you know if the book has ever been published in England?


Go to Amazon.co.uk
or www.addall.com  --
you will be able to find your answer
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Finelly on July 30, 2005, 02:49:43 PM
in my opinion, Born To Rule was poorly written, poorly organized, and didn't tell us very much.  It was more a recitation of facts, not very colorful, and kept bopping about in time and location.  I wouldn't waste money on it.

The book by Kurth is excellent, as is Anastasia's album.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Margarita Markovna on August 02, 2005, 12:11:41 PM
Quote
LAND OF THE FIREBIRD and PAVLOVSK, both by Suzanne Massie.



Is Suzanne Massie related to Robert Massie? (I'm sorry I don't know anything  :-[)
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Marlene on August 02, 2005, 01:41:39 PM
Quote


Is Suzanne Massie related to Robert Massie? (I'm sorry I don't know anything  :-[)


former wife
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Agneschen on August 02, 2005, 06:21:51 PM
Quote
Troyat is a prolific writer who also wrote a book about Peter the Great (1988) and Catherine the Great (1979)



Henri Troyat also wrote bios of Emperor Pavel (Le Tsar mal aimé) and Emperor Alexander III (Le Tsar des Neiges). I do not know whether they have been translated into English.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Margarita Markovna on August 02, 2005, 06:37:24 PM
Quote

former wife


Oh really? Thanks!
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: David_Pritchard on August 02, 2005, 07:24:56 PM
Dear Merrique,

I think it is very important to remember that the Nicholas and Alexandra period only lasted 21 years and is but a small part of the History of the Romanov Family. The prominence of the family starts with Anastasia Romanova's marriage to Tsar Ivan IV in 1547 and her  nephew Theodore's rise to the office of Patriarch of Moscow and ends three hundred and sixty years later with the death of Nicholas II.

There are many books available old and new that cover the lives of the various Tsars, Emperors, Empresses and Grand Dukes and Grand Duchesses. I could recommend a dozen or more and still feel that these texts did not fully cover the period of time adequetly. If I remember correctly, you are from Columbus, Ohio. This gives you a great advantage because you have a number of Half Price Books locations around your city. You can purchase some really good Russian history books both new and used there and buy them at very low prices.

David
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Elisabeth on August 03, 2005, 12:39:39 AM
If you are looking for books that are fun and informative to read, but not necessarily written by academics, then don't forget Edward Crankshaw's In the Shadow of the Winter Palace. It's an unusually well written account of the last Romanov emperors and the development of the revolutionary movement.

His book about the Revolutions of 1905 and 1917, Black Night, White Snow, is also very accessible, and rich in the cultural atmosphere of the time. (The title is taken from the first two lines of the famous Alexander Blok poem, "The Twelve.") As I recall Crankshaw leans more to the side of the revolutionaries and is rather harsh with Nicholas and Alexandra, but don't let that spoil your reading pleasure - everyone has their own opinion about this controversial period in Russian history.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: AlexP on August 03, 2005, 10:54:53 PM
From Massie on down, these are all secondary and tertiary sources, what I call "coffee table reading".  They only report what has been reported by others.

For those on the Board who have the ability to read in French and Russian, and in some cases pre-Revolutionary Russian, and wish to read primary sources, may I suggest :

Sokolov, his investigation into the murder and subsequent execution of the Imperial Family (in French and in Russian);

The Diaries of Nicholas and Alexandra and their respective accompanying correspondence;

The speeches of Piotr Akradievitch Stolypin;

The transcriptions of the sessions of the three sitting Imperial Dumas in the preRevolutionary periods;

The writings of Baron von Witte, Minister of Finance, on how to establish sound principles of financial governance in Imperial Russia;

The "acts" of the All-Russian Church Council of 1917 under Patriarch Tikhon;

Regard the memoires of Vyrubova, Jilliard, and von Buxhoeveden and others with suspicion.  They suffer from far too much agenda.

The statement by Metropolitan Juvenaliy of the Russian Orthodox Church on the Glorification of the Imperial Family and of Elizaveta Feodorovna;

The writings of Metropolitan Anthony of the Church-in-Exile concerning the fall-into-hell of Mother Russia.

The memoires of Comtesse von Kleimichel, "Souvenirs d'Un Monde Englouti" for view of pre-Revolutionary 1917 life.

The excellent journal of Maurice Paleologue on his years at the Imperial Court;

For an exceptionally true "flavour" of old Russia, read any of Tolstoi in Russian, with the long passages in the original in French.  This quasi-bilingual atmosphere was directly lifted from the nobility of the time.  Tolstoy in unilingual English does not render this feeling, neither does it in the Tolstoy Russian unilingual editions published under the Soviet regime.

And for a flavor of the other end of the spectrum, I suggest all read the exceptionally brilliant but easily manageable "O Nashem Upovaniyii" by the late Father Dmitri Dudko.  Everyone in modern Russia should be given a copy of this book and forced to read it, even though it technically addressed the end of the Soviet period. It remains so valid. Frankly, it should really be called "O Nashem Obshem Pokayanii".

Those are my primary source suggestions for the more intellectually inquisitive of our readers.

All are available through either interlibrary loan from the Library of Congress in the United States or by prearranged consultation at the Russian Museum in Petersburg.

Hikarushka, David Prithcard, Forum Adminisrator, Belochka, Mike, Thomas, Helen, Jane, any suggestions for original sources?
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: hikaru on August 04, 2005, 01:44:02 AM
Sergey Olydenburg - Nicholas II's reigning

Lyubosh - Last Romanovs ( it is post-revolution book, bit it is very funny and intresting)

Diaries of GD Andrey Vladimirovich

Letters of Alexandr III and Marie Feodorovna

Diaries of Marie Feodorovna

Memoirs of Olyga Paley  Princesse Paley Souvenirs de Russie

Verses of K.R.

Alexandr II Details inedits sur savie intime et sa mort par Victor Laferte

Education of a Princess and A princess in Exile by Marie, Grand Duchess of Russia ( it is available in Japanese too. Firstly I tried to read it in Japanese in 1990. It was funny)

Any big album of Hermitage , Winter Palace, Petergof , Tsarskoe Selo i, Pavlovsk etc. n order to understand the atmosphere and interiors

I  am not sure about the possibility of English reading of the previous books, except albums and some memoirs .
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Elisabeth on August 04, 2005, 01:44:26 AM
Off the top of my head, I can think of several important primary sources about imperial Russia that have been translated into English:

Catherine the Great, Memoirs

Astolphe de Custine, Land of the Czar or Journey for Our Time: The Journals of the Marquis de Custine in Russia, 1839

Baron A. von Haxthausen, Studies on the Interior of Russia (also translated as The Russian Empire: Its People, Institutions and Resources).

In Russian, don't forget A. F. Tiutcheva's "Vospominaniia." As far as I know, this book has not yet been translated.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Belochka on August 04, 2005, 03:26:52 AM
My copy of the book penned by A.F. Tiucheva is titled:

Pri dvore dvyh Imperatorov, published by Mysl' Moscow in 1990.

I can also recommend:

Velikaya voina i fevral'skaya revolutsiya by A.I Spirodovich, in the Vospominaniya Memyari series, published by Harvest, Minsk in 2004

I have just completed reading and highly recommend:

Dnevniki Imperatrizi Marii Fedorovni (1914-20, 1923) published by Vagrius, Moscow in 2005

The following were recently read:

Vospominaniye O Tsarskom Semye by Tat'yana Melnik-Botkina, published by Zaharov, Moscow in 2004

and

O moem Otse P.A. Stolypin , published by Harvest, Minsk in 2004

This two volume set is waiting my attention:

Petr Stolypin: "Ya veryu v Rossiyu" Vol 1, II by B.G. Fedorov published by Limbys Press, St. Petersburg, 2002

There many more Russian language books in my possession, but recommendations are best provided if preferences were indicated.  :)
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: AlexP on August 04, 2005, 03:56:24 AM
Dear All,

So many thanks.

These suggestions are just wonderful.  I myself am going to select several of them to read over the next few months.

This is truly very, very helpful.

I would like to add several more, please :

The Works of Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow, early 19th Century.

Belochka, Hikarushka, Elizabeth, can you help with the full title?

He was one of the great Russian religious thinkers of the early 19th century and he has now been glorified as a saint.

Also, for those who can fathom it,

The Orthodox Church by Father Sergius Bulgakov.  It's a great work and I found the Russian verson preferable to the English version (St. Sergius Press, Paris).

And one more religious book from the period immediately preceding the Revolution, available in French and Russian :

My Life in Christ by Father John of Kronstadt.  It is available on the web.

Regards,

Alexander Alexandrovitch P.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Belochka on August 04, 2005, 05:01:07 AM
Quote
The Works of Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow, early 19th Century.

can you help with the full title?


You are welcome, however I am unable to help you on this title.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Lyss on August 04, 2005, 06:12:34 AM
ihas anyone read this book?
"Tsar Nicholas II" by prof. Jan Sobczak
it are actualy 2 parts, one about his youth and one on the trone. It's in Polish, but I haven't read it yet.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: hikaru on August 04, 2005, 08:12:01 AM
I am sorry, but me too.
I did not know about this book.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Belochka on August 04, 2005, 08:19:14 AM
Quote
ihas anyone read this book?
"Tsar Nicholas II" by prof. Jan Sobczak
it are actualy 2 parts, one about his youth and one on the trone. It's in Polish, but I haven't read it yet.


I am not familiar with Polish authors. Is this a recent publication?
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: AlexP on August 04, 2005, 08:52:28 AM
Quote

You are welcome, however I am unable to help you on this title.



Belochka and Hirakusha,

Thank you.  There are many links to his works on the web.

I enclose one.

Please note that he is considered the leading Russian Orthodox theologian of the last several centures (in the words of the Orthodox Church, not mine).

http://www.roca.org/OA/159-160/159d.htm

Here is an example, in English of one of his writing :

http://www.holy-trinity.org/ecclesiology/drozdov-union.htm
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Forum Admin on August 04, 2005, 12:03:34 PM
"Les Dernieres Annees de la Cour de Tzarskoe Selo, 1906-1914" Alexandre Spiridovitch, Payot Paris, is my single favorite first hand resource not yet mentioned. Published in French and Russian and sadly hugely rare to find.

"Souvenirs" de Alexis Volkov, is another good, poignant volume, sadly not nearly long enough as it might have been. Never printed in English, but I have made my personal English translation available to you on the main site.
http://www.alexanderpalace.org/volkov/volkov
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Elisabeth on August 04, 2005, 12:19:21 PM
I apologize, AlexP, I cannot help you with the correct title for the works of Metropolitan Philaret. However, your mention of Sergei Bulgakov reminded me that any list of required reading for the late imperial period should include "Vekhi" (translated into English variously as Landmarks or Signposts), a collection of essays by Russia's leading intellectuals at the turn of the twentieth century. It is a critical reexamination of the intelligentsia's own role in bringing about the political impasse with the monarchy. It demonstrates that many Russian intellectuals outgrew their Marxist, socialist and revolutionary roots in favor of a new spiritual awakening based on the teachings not only of Christianity but also of the great Russian writers Tolstoy and Dostoevsky.  As such, this book had a great and lasting influence on both Russian artists and churchmen alike, an influence that became especially strong and important after the October Revolution of 1917 and the mass emigration of Russia's educated elite to the West.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Finelly on August 04, 2005, 06:19:49 PM
If you want to read about the personalities, the lives of the Imperial family, then I would recommend that you buy every bio you can find.  Just build up a collection.

Off the top of my head:

Michael and Natasha is about the brother of N
Greg King's books on Alexandra (The Last Empress) and on Yussopov
Education of a Princess by the GD Marie (the younger)
Nicholas and Alexandra
Fatal Passion, by Sullivan, is about Ducky, aka Victoria Melita
Princess Victoria MElita by Van Der Kliste
Imperial Dancer by Coryn Hall
The Flight of the Romanovs
The Last Grand Duchess (about Olga) by Torres
Elizabeth:  Grand Duchess of Russia, by Mayer (much better than the latest book on her)
Once a Grand Duchess - by Van Der Kliste  (about Xenia)
little Mother of Russia, by Coryn Hall (about the dowager tsarina)
The Last Tsar, by Radzinsky
The Rasputin File, by Radzinsky

As you start reading, you'll probably find your interests and desire for info expanding, and then you'll get into British royalty, German royalty, etc.  It's an addiction!

Anyway, the previous suggestions are great, but I find that I need to round out the historical saga with some personality profiles.


Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: AlexP on August 04, 2005, 08:43:00 PM
Quote
If you want to read about the personalities, the lives of the Imperial family, then I would recommend that you buy every bio you can find.  Just build up a collection.

Off the top of my head:

Michael and Natasha is about the brother of N
Greg King's books on Alexandra (The Last Empress) and on Yussopov
Education of a Princess by the GD Marie (the younger)
Nicholas and Alexandra
Fatal Passion, by Sullivan, is about Ducky, aka Victoria Melita
Princess Victoria MElita by Van Der Kliste
Imperial Dancer by Coryn Hall
The Flight of the Romanovs
The Last Grand Duchess (about Olga) by Torres
Elizabeth:  Grand Duchess of Russia, by Mayer (much better than the latest book on her)
Once a Grand Duchess - by Van Der Kliste  (about Xenia)
little Mother of Russia, by Coryn Hall (about the dowager tsarina)
The Last Tsar, by Radzinsky
The Rasputin File, by Radzinsky

As you start reading, you'll probably find your interests and desire for info expanding, and then you'll get into British royalty, German royalty, etc.  It's an addiction!

Anyway, the previous suggestions are great, but I find that I need to round out the historical saga with some personality profiles.





Finelly, we were trying to move the discussion away from secondary and tertirary sources, which are just compilation, and sometimes compilations of compilations, into first source material, which would let the individual reader glean his own feeling and intellectual insight onto the matter.

Thank you for your nice list, but to my eyes, it is again a return to secondary and tertiary sources...

With kind regards,


A.A.

P.S. Forum Administrator -- some great suggestions -- I will read Volkov this morning.  Thank you for making it available.

Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: AlexP on August 04, 2005, 08:53:46 PM
Quote
I apologize, AlexP, I cannot help you with the correct title for the works of Metropolitan Philaret. However, your mention of Sergei Bulgakov reminded me that any list of required reading for the late imperial period should include "Vekhi" (translated into English variously as Landmarks or Signposts), a collection of essays by Russia's leading intellectuals at the turn of the twentieth century. It is a critical reexamination of the intelligentsia's own role in bringing about the political impasse with the monarchy. It demonstrates that many Russian intellectuals outgrew their Marxist, socialist and revolutionary roots in favor of a new spiritual awakening based on the teachings not only of Christianity but also of the great Russian writers Tolstoy and Dostoevsky.  As such, this book had a great and lasting influence on both Russian artists and churchmen alike, an influence that became especially strong and important after the October Revolution of 1917 and the mass emigration of Russia's educated elite to the West.



Elizabeth,

Thank you very, very much.

A.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Finelly on August 04, 2005, 09:24:08 PM
"WE" are not trying to do anything except post recommendations for Merrique.

It's good to be well-rounded in one's reading on any topic.   So let's not limit our responses to her request.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: AlexP on August 04, 2005, 10:12:15 PM
Quote
"WE" are not trying to do anything except post recommendations for Merrique.

It's good to be well-rounded in one's reading on any topic.   So let's not limit our responses to her request.



You have completely missed the point.

The discussion started off as a request by one poster.  It is open to all on the Board.

The initial series of books that were listed were all secondary and tertiary sources, compilations, as I have written.

Then, with the kind assistance of many posters on this site, we, and I mean "we", moved the discussion on to primary sources, which are of a far higher literary value and less subject to empirical error.  Perhaps you do not concur, and perhaps it is difficult for you to read in French and in Russian, so thus I understand that many of the primary sources may not be available to you.

But I still feel very strongly, and very politely, about the fact that if one possess's the ability to read these primary materials, one would acquire a far greater and in-depth knowledge than by just reading coffee-table type books of a far lower erudition.

I regret that you do not agree.  Nicolas and Alexandra, for example, by Massie, was nearly entirely compiled using all of the original sources, that we, and this "we" means the compendium of posters on this particular topic who have discussed primary sources, have put forth.

It is the difference between gossip and first-hand knowledge of an incident.  Gossip is reported, and thus subject to variation; first-hand knowledge is quite different.

Again, I regret that you do not concur.  And again, for those intellectually inquisitive posters, I would strongly recommend the primary sources vs. the secondary sources and the tertiary sources.

Belochka, Mike, ForumAdmin, Hirakushka, Elizabeth, your comments here please.  It's a good point and merits consideration.

Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Finelly on August 04, 2005, 11:19:06 PM
Nope, not difficult for me to read French.

But if one is passionately intererested in the topic, and wanting to learn more, biographies are excellent ways to flesh out one's knowledge.

Nothing wrong with making lots of different types of recommendations.  I notice you never asked the original poster her age, or particular interests, etc.

Now, you can argue with me all you like, but i am posting my recommendations.  You post yours, and then those people interested in building a library can have a lovely variety of options!
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: lexi4 on August 04, 2005, 11:55:51 PM
Here are a couple more suggestions to add to your very long list.
You might enjoy The Camera and The Tsars: A Romaov Family Album. The book is full of pictures or the Imperial Family collected by its author Charlotte Zeepvat. It is also a good coffee table book. Many of my visitors have picked it up and enjoyed the photographs and ended up reading more about Russian history as a result. A picture is worth 1,000 words  :)

Also, I really enjoyed Alexandra: The Last Tsarina, by Carolly Erickson. In my humble opinion, Erickon does a wonderful job of depecting Alexandra.

One more, I enjoyed is Ella: Grand Duchess Elisabeth Feodorovna of Russa by Christina Croft.
Happy reading
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: AlexP on August 05, 2005, 12:11:56 AM
Quote
Nope, not difficult for me to read French.

But if one is passionately intererested in the topic, and wanting to learn more, biographies are excellent ways to flesh out one's knowledge.

Nothing wrong with making lots of different types of recommendations.  I notice you never asked the original poster her age, or particular interests, etc.

Now, you can argue with me all you like, but i am posting my recommendations.  You post yours, and then those people interested in building a library can have a lovely variety of options!


I would recomend a biography for a juvenile, and no I did not ask the poster her age, because as I wrote, we are addressing the general issue, and not the specific issue.  We are not compiling a list for one individual, but rather we are working together, I hope, to suggest a series of books to advance one's knowledge.

So I am sorry.  If the person in question is a younger reader, or a reader who prefers a more cursory, but often questionable knowledge of the events, than you are correct, a compiled biography, albeit erroneous, might be suggested reading.

If the person in question seeks a more indepth and greater intellectual knowledge, than I am sure that those primary sources that have been suggested herein would be more appropriate.

I avoid biographies to the same degree that I avoid hagiographies.

Your points are noted, however.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Finelly on August 05, 2005, 12:18:39 AM
Thanks for all of the supportive pms, everyone!  TOOOO funny!

Well, limiting onesself is, of coures, the privilege of those who choose to set imitation boundaries upon knowledge.

As my esteemed father wrote, "det fattar jag inte, men det finns oroliga manniskor i varlden."
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: AlexP on August 05, 2005, 01:23:49 AM
Quote
Thanks for all of the supportive pms, everyone!  TOOOO funny!

Well, limiting onesself is, of coures, the privilege of those who choose to set imitation boundaries upon knowledge.

As my esteemed father wrote, "det fattar jag inte, men det finns oroliga manniskor i varlden."



I look forward to your continued erudite postings.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Finelly on August 05, 2005, 01:35:34 AM
Lost Splendor, by Yussopov, is an interesting memoir.  It displays the character of one of the assassins of Rasputin, but should be combined with Greg King's book about Yussopov.  Most of the memoirs are a bit self-serving.

Also, Baroness Von Buxhoeveden wrote a bio of Alexandra.  It is out of print, but available used.  She was part of the royal household.  Unfortunately, she ended up completely betraying the imperial family while they were in captivity, and as a result her name is mud in many circles.  Again, a self-serving memoir, but has some interesting facts.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: AlexP on August 05, 2005, 01:52:18 AM
Quote
Lost Splendor, by Yussopov, is an interesting memoir.  It displays the character of one of the assassins of Rasputin, but should be combined with Greg King's book about Yussopov.  Most of the memoirs are a bit self-serving.

Also, Baroness Von Buxhoeveden wrote a bio of Alexandra.  It is out of print, but available used.  She was part of the royal household.  Unfortunately, she ended up completely betraying the imperial family while they were in captivity, and as a result her name is mud in many circles.  Again, a self-serving memoir, but has some interesting facts.


Baroness Sophie von Buxhoeveden was a great-aunt of mine through marriage.  She was a learned, educated person given the time and the period.  Her book is AVAILABLE right here on this site.   Whether or not she betrayed the Imperial Family is a matter of opinion.  I am privileged to far more information on that subject than anyone on this Board, and I mean anyone.  All memoires are self-serving -- that is the reason why they are written.

What I will say is this :  she ended up in England, in a very favor-and-grace situation which was arranged by O.A. and X.A.  She was not despised by either of them, on the contary, she was quite well received, and she was on the very, very, very best of terms with Queen Mary, among others. She corresponded with the Dowager Empress, whose Private Secretary would always timely acknowledge the correspondence and which we conserve in our archives. Yes, indeed, there was a major falling-out and quite the row with the Empress, all of it done in a very lady-like manner, much of it never made public, but I can assure you that the hand of Anna Vryubova was in all of it, as was Rasputin, became the Baroness was a woman of uncomprising private morality, even as the Court sunk into a Rasputin-kind-of-moral-degeneracy.

Her sister Vera went to an illustrious career at Columbia University and also assisted the Office of Special Services.

The rest are memories not for this Board.


Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Finelly on August 05, 2005, 01:55:33 AM
A really good book that goes into extensive detail about the betrayal is "The Fate of the Romanovs."  It s written by Penny Wilson and Greg King, both of whom frequent this board.

I would consider them to be experts on the issue.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Finelly on August 05, 2005, 01:56:43 AM
I forgot to mention that they have been able to access hitherto unknown files in the Russian archives.  They probably have read more than anyone else on this board.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: hikaru on August 05, 2005, 02:29:35 AM
But if we will read all we suggested in the thread , it will be more and more bigger volume of reading  in comparison with the files about last days of Romanovs  in the archives (joke)

I think that a good written biography is a quite a valuable reading, because it could be a hint   to study more. ( For example, bios by Plutarkh , Troya etc)
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Belochka on August 05, 2005, 03:00:40 AM
Quote
"Souvenirs" de Alexis Volkov, is another good, poignant volume, sadly not nearly long enough as it might have been. Never printed in English, but I have made my personal English translation available to you on the main site.
http://www.alexanderpalace.org/volkov/volkov


Thanks FA for reminding me about this little book. I have a Russian language edition:

Okolo Tsarskoi Sem'i published by Ankor, Moscow in 1993; and as inscribed on the cover; on the occassion of the 75th Anniv of the death of Nikolai II and family + 125th Anniv Birth of Nikolai II.

This is indeed a very poignant memoir. My copy also contains a number of additional documentary material that includes among others, newspaper exerpts detailing the events in Ekaterinburg 20 years after the fact

The final inclusion in this publication describes Volkov's last "official duty" on behalf of the Dowager Empress Marii Fedorovna and that entailed "meeting" with the Polish pretender.  

Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Belochka on August 05, 2005, 04:18:17 AM
I believe that memoirs have their place in providing an understanding of past events. Without these sources we would only be presented with cold hard documents which are deplete of emotion and avoid the essence of Russian philosophy. Despite the fact personal impressions essentially illustrate selective physical/emotional experiences that the memoirist desires to extend to their reader - these impressions should not be ignored.

Certainly the very nature of biographies promotes an opportunity to introduce personal bias and provide a medium for self aggrandissment (e.g. Kschessinkaya), but even these factors should not preclude readers from discounting these publications.

When one cross references the numerous memoirs that abound, an interesting unintended image develops.  While we might be confronting personal interpretations which may obscure the real facts, however not all details can be summarily discounted. It may be appropriate to remember that truth may be the first victim.

Many of us rely on memoirists to permit a small appreciation of what life may have been like in Imperial Russia. If we rely upon their interpretations then so be it! :) for these precious distant memories are what we are fortunate enough to read and enjoy today. For that exposure I am grateful.

To be sure a fine balance is the most appropriate path to travel; blending primary sources with personal accounts is indeed ideal. However few of us have the oportunity or the finances to access GARF or other archival material distributed around the world to judge information for our selves. We must rely upon others to do the research for us. By reading a broadbase of scholary publications assists our own journey of knowledge.

The most difficult task is knowing whose interpretations are the most valid.

With modern Russia now having the complete freedom to examine its own archives, numerous learned scholars are now publishing magnificent books in Russia. New "facts" are constantly emerging and being critically analyzed. Personalities we are familiar with are undergoing re-assessment taking on a more Russian texture.

After decades of force-fed misinformation and political distortions Russia has now finally begun to honestly examine its own history for itself.  :D
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: AlexP on August 05, 2005, 04:32:43 AM
Quote
I believe that memoirs have their place in providing an understanding of past events. Without these sources we would only be presented with cold hard documents which are deplete of emotion and avoid the essence of Russian philosophy. Despite the fact personal impressions essentially illustrate selective physical/emotional experiences that the memoirist desires to extend to their reader - these impressions should not be ignored.

Certainly the very nature of biographies promotes an opportunity to introduce personal bias and provide a medium for self aggrandissment (e.g. Kschessinkaya), but even these factors should not preclude readers from discounting these publications.

When one cross references the numerous memoirs that abound, an interesting unintended image develops.  While we might be confronting personal interpretations which may obscure the real facts, however not all details can be summarily discounted. It may be appropriate to remember that truth may be the first victim.

Many of us rely on memoirists to permit a small appreciation of what life may have been like in Imperial Russia. If we rely upon their interpretations then so be it! :) for these precious distant memories are what we are fortunate enough to read and enjoy today. For that exposure I am grateful.

To be sure a fine balance is the most appropriate path to travel; blending primary sources with personal accounts is indeed ideal. However few of us have the oportunity or the finances to access GARF or other archival material distributed around the world to judge information for our selves. We must rely upon others to do the research for us. By reading a broadbase of scholary publications assists our own journey of knowledge.

The most difficult task is knowing whose interpretations are the most valid.

With modern Russia now having the complete freedom to examine its own archives, numerous learned scholars are now publishing magnificent books in Russia. New "facts" are constantly emerging and being critically analyzed. Personalities we are familiar with are undergoing re-assessment taking on a more Russian texture.

After decades of force-fed misinformation and political distortions Russia has now finally begun to honestly examine its own history for itself.  :D



Belochka,

Thank you for this wonderful posting.  I very much enjoyed reading it.  It gives great cause to reflect seriously.

What I write now, I write very seriously.  If you could translate this posting for me into Russian, or if you have done it in Russian, I will forward it to the editor, or perhaps you may wish to forward it to the editor, of the very respected emigre journal, La Pensee Russe (Ryckaya Meescl).  I have every confidence that they will print it.  It is a fine piece of thinking and a very good statement on Russia itself.

Thank you, once again, for elevating the level of this particular topic with such fine thoughts.

Alexandre Alexandrovitch P.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Belochka on August 05, 2005, 05:08:51 AM
Thank you for your kind words.  :D

Please PM me.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Lyss on August 05, 2005, 05:54:31 AM
"Tsar Nicholas II" was first published in 1998 by prof of history Jan Sobczak. he has already had over 100 publications mostly about the 19th and 20th century. It had taken him over 10 years to find all the information for this book in different archieves, using a lot of diaries and letters.
i just found out that this book is actualy a trilogy, but when I go it, only the first two parts were printed.

My problem is that I read too many books at the same time, so it takes me a long time to finish them.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Forum Admin on August 05, 2005, 09:06:28 AM
Quote
I believe that memoirs have their place in providing an understanding of past events. Without these sources we would only be presented with cold hard documents which are deplete of emotion and avoid the essence of Russian philosophy. Despite the fact personal impressions essentially illustrate selective physical/emotional experiences that the memoirist desires to extend to their reader - these impressions should not be ignored.

Certainly the very nature of biographies promotes an opportunity to introduce personal bias and provide a medium for self aggrandissment (e.g. Kschessinkaya), but even these factors should not preclude readers from discounting these publications.

When one cross references the numerous memoirs that abound, an interesting unintended image develops.  While we might be confronting personal interpretations which may obscure the real facts, however not all details can be summarily discounted. It may be appropriate to remember that truth may be the first victim.

Many of us rely on memoirists to permit a small appreciation of what life may have been like in Imperial Russia. If we rely upon their interpretations then so be it! :) for these precious distant memories are what we are fortunate enough to read and enjoy today. For that exposure I am grateful.

To be sure a fine balance is the most appropriate path to travel; blending primary sources with personal accounts is indeed ideal. However few of us have the oportunity or the finances to access GARF or other archival material distributed around the world to judge information for our selves. We must rely upon others to do the research for us. By reading a broadbase of scholary publications assists our own journey of knowledge.

The most difficult task is knowing whose interpretations are the most valid.

With modern Russia now having the complete freedom to examine its own archives, numerous learned scholars are now publishing magnificent books in Russia. New "facts" are constantly emerging and being critically analyzed. Personalities we are familiar with are undergoing re-assessment taking on a more Russian texture.

After decades of force-fed misinformation and political distortions Russia has now finally begun to honestly examine its own history for itself.  :D


I quote Belochka here because she summarizes my thoughts on the subject beautifully. (I simply admire how Russians can make their thought so nearly poetic).

I believe that AlexP. has a very valid point about first hand material. I myself started with the later sources as did most others. When I was finally able to read the primary materials, I wished I had read them first. I strongly recommend that anyone SERIOUSLY wishing to delve into the subject start with the first hand resources before going on to the later material. The very REASON Bob started this very website was this:
Bob always wanted to read the rare and scarce first hand sources. He spent literally decades acquiring his library. He immediately realized that there were many many people with neither the resources or opportunity to ever find or read these books, and so the Alexander Palace Time Machine was born as a resource for people to have access to these very books.

Once you have read the primary first hand books, you are far better prepared to understand and analyze the secondary sources. Perhaps you find you disagree with that author's interpretation or if you can read French or Russian, you may find translation errors.  (The english translation of Sokolov for example is hugely riddled with such errors that reflect a bias on the translators part).

Both are valuable, but if you can start with first hand sources you come out further along at the end of the game.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: hikaru on August 05, 2005, 09:24:57 AM
As for misinformation at the Soviet times, I have faced now a very intresting problem -  in All soviet books the historical datas, names were  very correct and were very good checked.  
But now - in a lot of history books , even manuals for school , have  some data and names are just not appropriate.
SO now  ( As Belochka said ) there is  a one problem - how to find out the real good , historically correct , valuable reading. ( it is  about modern book )

But , the memoirs will be always valuable thing .
We can not say that someone wrote the real things or somebody lied a lot. Just everyone had and has his own reality and true,  what is exciting ( maybe some little lie ,  is not so bad, ike a spices).

Recently in Russia , a lot of Big Photo Albums were published.  In such albums just gathered together a lot of family photos and extracts of letters of different people, who lived in the beginning of the 20th century.
Such albums gives us fleur de l'epoque , sometimes, more visual, than some books. So I recommend to enjoy such albums too.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Marlene on August 05, 2005, 09:30:51 AM
I wouldhave to disagree about the Mager (not Mayer) book on Ella.  I was sorely disappointed in it -- I read the book in manuscript form - and made a list of suggestions and corrections to the author and publisher (which is why I had been asked to read the ms. )  Few things were changed ...  

The Victoria Melita book was largely a rehash of what others had written, and the author repeated mistakes in other books. No attempt to find a paper trail for Ducky (letters, etc.)  The author had not even known that Ducky and Kirill's remains had been removed from Coburg and taken to Russia -- 2 years before the book was published. No excuse for that ... there were plenty of news articles, AP, for example, about the transfer.  Sullivan largely repeated a lot of van der Kiste's book -- sometimes too close for my comfort.

Quote
If you want to read about the personalities, the lives of the Imperial family, then I would recommend that you buy every bio you can find.  Just build up a collection.

Off the top of my head:

Michael and Natasha is about the brother of N
Greg King's books on Alexandra (The Last Empress) and on Yussopov
Education of a Princess by the GD Marie (the younger)
Nicholas and Alexandra
Fatal Passion, by Sullivan, is about Ducky, aka Victoria Melita
Princess Victoria MElita by Van Der Kliste
Imperial Dancer by Coryn Hall
The Flight of the Romanovs
The Last Grand Duchess (about Olga) by Torres
Elizabeth:  Grand Duchess of Russia, by Mayer (much better than the latest book on her)
Once a Grand Duchess - by Van Der Kliste  (about Xenia)
little Mother of Russia, by Coryn Hall (about the dowager tsarina)
The Last Tsar, by Radzinsky
The Rasputin File, by Radzinsky

As you start reading, you'll probably find your interests and desire for info expanding, and then you'll get into British royalty, German royalty, etc.  It's an addiction!

Anyway, the previous suggestions are great, but I find that I need to round out the historical saga with some personality profiles.



Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: AlexP on August 05, 2005, 09:59:07 AM
Quote

I quote Belochka here because she summarizes my thoughts on the subject beautifully. (I simply admire how Russians can make their thought so nearly poetic).

I believe that AlexP. has a very valid point about first hand material. I myself started with the later sources as did most others. When I was finally able to read the primary materials, I wished I had read them first. I strongly recommend that anyone SERIOUSLY wishing to delve into the subject start with the first hand resources before going on to the later material. The very REASON Bob started this very website was this:
Bob always wanted to read the rare and scarce first hand sources. He spent literally decades acquiring his library. He immediately realized that there were many many people with neither the resources or opportunity to ever find or read these books, and so the Alexander Palace Time Machine was born as a resource for people to have access to these very books.

Once you have read the primary first hand books, you are far better prepared to understand and analyze the secondary sources. Perhaps you find you disagree with that author's interpretation or if you can read French or Russian, you may find translation errors.  (The english translation of Sokolov for example is hugely riddled with such errors that reflect a bias on the translators part).

Both are valuable, but if you can start with first hand sources you come out further along at the end of the game.


Dear FormAdm,

Thank you very much.

I very much your work, Bob's work and all of the work that has gone with primary sources on this site.  His own endeavours to preserve Imperial heritage have surely been noticed by all of us in the emigration, by our dear friends in Russia themselves, and by the world at large.

It is a period in history that has gone full circle -- it was reviled in its own time, reviled by the Soviets and severely distorted, and finally, by the grace of God, it is now being seen in a new and dynamic light.

For all of this, as we say in old Church Slavonic "klanyiuc" to all.

A.A.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Finelly on August 05, 2005, 11:25:23 AM
Hikaru wrote:  But if we will read all we suggested in the thread , it will be more and more bigger volume of reading  in comparison with the files about last days of Romanovs  in the archives (joke)

Oh, isn't that the truth!  I have several floor to ceiling bookshelves about Russian history, including most of the French and English books recommended on this thread.  When we bought our condo, we designated one room as the library and it is all bookcases.  We now have books not only on the shelves, but stacked on the oriental carpet and are trying to figure out where to put them, as the other bookscases in the house are also full......but I won't part with a single one.  
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: hikaru on August 05, 2005, 11:46:17 AM
I have the same " overbook" problem.
I desperately need one more room!
My " second part" said  that there is no room for him!
So maybe  I need a new husband too ??? :D

( When I bought this apartment, the daughter of the previous owner wanted to throw out  about 1000 books of the library of her father. I said "NO, leave it to me , I will fix it by myself" - so I have two libraries now - my own  and previous one. The books of former owner are quite intresting - it is all books of Soviet writers (fiction) or books which got the Stalin  reward. I am waiting , maybe some University would be intested in such kind of books)
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Finelly on August 05, 2005, 11:50:33 AM
I would definately think that a University or perhaps a private collector would take the books!  

I shudder to think of what will happen when I inherit books.  I'm an only child, daughter of two academicians who have a separate APARTMENT next to their living apartment that is devoted to books.  I kid you not.  One three-bedroom apt to live in.  One 3-bedroom apartment willed with books and cozy spots to read.  Given that they co-wrote, are cited in, or wrote many of the books, I would have difficulty getting rid of anything......even though some of the topics are not of particular interest to me!!!!!!
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Forum Admin on August 05, 2005, 11:54:51 AM
You aren't alone. Fortunately Bob is lucky to actually have a genuine library in the house with floor to cieling shelves, which are full, and there are now careful stacks scattered about everywhere. Plus the more frequently cited sources I use are here in my own office...and yet more still on the way from all over the internet!
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: hikaru on August 05, 2005, 11:56:34 AM
So, I wonder to buy apartment near mine. But our
real estates prices jumped more than twice!
( And we have to pay the full price of apartment at once)
It seems that It is a time for me to write a book :P
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Finelly on August 05, 2005, 11:59:16 AM
Yes, the "genuine library" thing is wonderful to have.  That's what we did.  Floor to ceiling.  

And yet......books keep on coming in, and those shelves do NOT expand!  lol.

With our varied interests, it's all I can do to keep them organized.  The one thing I insist on is that topic areas be maintained, though yesterday I found my copy of Bruce Lincoln's book in a pile of books on Kant.......I accused the cats of doing it, since NOBODY at my house would DARE do such a thing!!!!!
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: lexi4 on August 05, 2005, 01:18:55 PM
I too am overbooked, so I understand what ya'll are saying. My husband is also overbooked. All our shelves are full, no place for other shelves and neither one of us will part with a single copy. We also collect first edtions. I have first editions of many of the books listed on this thread.
What we are hoping is that one day, our son will get his own place and we can convert his room into a library.  :D
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Finelly on August 05, 2005, 01:33:07 PM
Hikaru - Lexi and I have several book projects in mind, too.  However, based on what I hear from Penny Wilson, writing a book doesn't actually earn you enough to buy an apartment, alas!

Besides, knowing me and Lexi (and our husbands), we'd probably spend all of the royalties on new books.......<sigh>
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Marlene on August 05, 2005, 01:52:55 PM
Quote
I would definately think that a University or perhaps a private collector would take the books!  

I shudder to think of what will happen when I inherit books.  I'm an only child, daughter of two academicians who have a separate APARTMENT next to their living apartment that is devoted to books.  I kid you not.  One three-bedroom apt to live in.  One 3-bedroom apartment willed with books and cozy spots to read.  Given that they co-wrote, are cited in, or wrote many of the books, I would have difficulty getting rid of anything......even though some of the topics are not of particular interest to me!!!!!!



I've been weeding out my collection, in anticipation of selling my house next year, and selling the books on ebay.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Marlene on August 05, 2005, 01:53:51 PM
Quote
Hikaru - Lexi and I have several book projects in mind, too.  However, based on what I hear from Penny Wilson, writing a book doesn't actually earn you enough to buy an apartment, alas!

Besides, knowing me and Lexi (and our husbands), we'd probably spend all of the royalties on new books.......<sigh>



The publisher always gets the majority of the $$ on book sales -
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Finelly on August 05, 2005, 02:03:31 PM
True, Marlene.  My father's royalties pay for things like vacations and artwork only.  Not enough to live on.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Lyss on August 05, 2005, 04:30:23 PM
mom had to break down the old chimney in the living room because it stood in the way of the books.
Yes, I'm telling the truth.
Now she had painting the entire room and we were cleaning the books en giving them to her ( wouldn't dare to put them myself because it all has a system that I just can't figure out).
Well, we've found out that almost all the books that I have bought this year, she has too, just in Polish when I have them in English (pockets= cheap enough for a poor student).
It also seems that we have two "Petits Larousses" in French: one of 2004 and one of 1896.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Louis_Charles on August 05, 2005, 07:37:38 PM
Quote
I would definately think that a University or perhaps a private collector would take the books!  

I shudder to think of what will happen when I inherit books.  I'm an only child, daughter of two academicians who have a separate APARTMENT next to their living apartment that is devoted to books.  I kid you not.  One three-bedroom apt to live in.  One 3-bedroom apartment willed with books and cozy spots to read.  Given that they co-wrote, are cited in, or wrote many of the books, I would have difficulty getting rid of anything......even though some of the topics are not of particular interest to me!!!!!!


Okay, if there is a better way to live than the life your parents have constructed for themselves, I will never believe it! A separate apartment filled with books and nooks to read? How wonderful is
that?
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: AlexP on August 05, 2005, 07:44:49 PM
Quote
Hikaru wrote:  But if we will read all we suggested in the thread , it will be more and more bigger volume of reading  in comparison with the files about last days of Romanovs  in the archives (joke)

Oh, isn't that the truth!  I have several floor to ceiling bookshelves about Russian history, including most of the French and English books recommended on this thread.  When we bought our condo, we designated one room as the library and it is all bookcases.  We now have books not only on the shelves, but stacked on the oriental carpet and are trying to figure out where to put them, as the other bookscases in the house are also full......but I won't part with a single one.  



Dear Finelly,

Well written.  Indeed an astute observation.  One should never part with a book.

You do seem to have a command of many languages, you may wish to add Russian to it.  Then you would be able to read many of the works mentioned in these postings in Russian, particularly given that all of this about Russia and Russian history.

Perhaps you are in New York City.  If you are, the Russian Orthodox Church on 93rd and Park Avenue maintains a lovely old library of many of the works that we are discussing here and the others are available in the Russian Department of the New York Public Library (not the lending library, but the Research Public Library at 42nd and Fifth Avenue.).  Both of these are actually superior to the collection at Columbia.

And if you are in New York, do let me know.  I could put you in touch with Princess Galitzine.  She has monthly "vecherinkii" on great Russian literary subjects and they tend to be very interesting.

And then I am sure that your collection of books, which I truly envy, would grow considerably with a new "ruccki fund".

With all of the best from Shanghai,

A.A.


Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Finelly on August 05, 2005, 07:58:14 PM
Thank you, AlexP.

I own most of the books that have been mentioned on this thread, so it wouldn't be necessary for me to visit the places you mention.

As for the church, I am forbidden to enter one.  

As for learning Russian, my great grandparents would turn over in their graves if I did.  Given what has happened to my family as a result of both the Romanovs and Stalin, it would be a desecration of the family memory.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: AlexP on August 05, 2005, 08:24:44 PM
Quote
Thank you, AlexP.

I own most of the books that have been mentioned on this thread, so it wouldn't be necessary for me to visit the places you mention.

As for the church, I am forbidden to enter one.  

As for learning Russian, my great grandparents would turn over in their graves if I did.  Given what has happened to my family as a result of both the Romanovs and Stalin, it would be a desecration of the family memory.


Dear Finelly,

I am sorry that your past history prevents you from fully enjoying the great richness of the Russian language.

Perhaps there is a cultural difference here -- I have noticed from your postings that you write "I own this", and "I own that", and "we have this" and "we have that".  In my little world, that is considered "arriviste" and "nouveaux-riche".  One never talks about what one owns.  One displays it through knowledge and family background and history, not money.  But I write this sincerely, because I am sure there is nothing wrong with flaunting wealth in your part of the world.  But it is just observation.  If I am wrong, please correct me, sincerely.

I regret that you cannot enter a church.  We should all strive to be nonsectarian.  The world would be a much safer place.  After all, there is the commonality of mankind.  But perhaps that is an excessively Christian thought, forgive me, please if it is.  And this I write sincerely.

With all of the best from Shanghai,

A.A.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Finelly on August 05, 2005, 08:36:29 PM
Perhaps there is a cultural difference here -- I have noticed from your postings that you write "I own this", and "I own that", and "we have this" and "we have that".  In my little world, that is considered "arriviste" and "nouveaux-riche".  One never talks about what one owns.  One displays it through knowledge and family background and history, not money.  But I write this sincerely, because I am sure there is nothing wrong with flaunting wealth in your part of the world.  But it is just observation.  If I am wrong, please correct me, sincerely.

You truly crack me up, Alex!  Your sense of humor is really wonderful.  But since you purport to be a member of the same institute of sciences as Woody Allen, I am not suprised.

As you appear to be a supporter of Anna Anderson, perhaps you will understand my disinclination to learn Russian a bit better if I remind you that she, too, refused to speak it because of the way she was treated by Russians.  My great aunt was repeatedly raped by cossaks with a metal crucifix in front of her husband.  During the rape, the cossaks kept repeating "This is what you get for killing Jesus."

I'd like to reassure you about one thing, since you seem to feel threatened by what you perceive I am.  I am not a wealthy person by any stretch of the imagination, so I have no idea whether it is appropriate or not to flaunt wealth in my part of the world.  I am a special education teacher, by choice, and teacher salaries in the U.S. are not very high.  The fact that I own many books simply indicates that I like to read, I suppose!

As for my family background, I suppose it is distinguished, but we do not focus on those sorts of things where I come from.  One's own character defines one's value.  My father would say that preocupation with class and social stature and even education is a form of "mental masturbation".  Satisfies nobody but the speaker.


Enjoy yourself!
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 05, 2005, 08:47:12 PM
For years I maintained TWO libraries. One in San Francisco, the other in London.  We even added a room to the SF library but it is  fulland some reduction is necessary. I t became too much of a burden to  keep moving the London collection, even though it was smaller in the amount of books. They were mainly in foreign languages anyway so in the past 2 years I sold most of that off. I keep saying, "no more" but it does not work. Every month more do just that- arrive and I have no shelf space for them.
At one point I decided to collect stamps, thinking it a bit easier to handle [and lighter to carry from England to here but now I have  dozens of stamp albums !  I guess once one gets hooked on print, it is an addiction !
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Finelly on August 05, 2005, 08:52:49 PM
I keep saying, "no more" but it does not work. Every month more do just that- arrive and I have no shelf space for them.

LOL, isn't it true?  Not only do they arrive, but I am firmly convinced that when the light goes out, the MULTIPLY, somewhat like rabbits.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Mashka-Morgan on August 05, 2005, 10:28:46 PM
 ???
Please forgive this question as slight digression (Russian literature is only a minor area of my reading interests---I have recieved exceptional recommendations from Elisabeth to my enquiries for help!), but this group of members is the most likely, clearly, to know the answer to a question which has tormented me for many years:

Do my the books on my groaning shelves all over the house actually PRODUCE dust???

Many thanks for your replies,
M-M
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 05, 2005, 10:41:31 PM
I do not know if they actually produce the dust, but they certainly attract it like a magnet !
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: lexi4 on August 05, 2005, 11:27:15 PM
Quote
I do not know if they actually produce the dust, but they certainly attract it like a magnet !

Indeed!
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: AlexP on August 05, 2005, 11:28:34 PM
Dear Forum Admin,

This is an example of another hijacked thread.

This thread was just developing into a good example of what a good thread on this Board can be -- intellectual, yet approachable, zestful and insightful.

Mrs. Mashka Morgan, Mrs. Finelly, and others, might you be enough to unhijack this thread and allow all of the remaining posters to continue great Russian literature?

If you feel it necessary to discuss the dusty state of your bookshelves, your islands in Finland, etc., etc., perhaps you might open another thread entitled "I Am A Poor Housekeeper" or something like that.

In meantime, would be kind enough to assist in returning this thread to its stated purpose?  FormAdmin, could I have your thoughts please.

Thank you for your cooperation.  Now let's continue discussing Russian literature, I am sure that it will help others on this Board.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Finelly on August 05, 2005, 11:33:08 PM
Dear Alex,

You are too, too funny!  

I think you just called me a dog!  lolol.

I am so sorry that you misunderstand us regular people.  I do not hate the Romanovs.  I am fascinated by the entire Imperial Family.  I am not antichristian.  Far from it.  The fact that my religion does not allow me to set foot in a church is not antichristian.  It is simply a matter of law.  I do not abhor Russia.  My ancestors lived there for generations and I hope to visit and explore the archival records there.  

I am a lawyer.  I am a teacher.  I am also a fundraiser, a mother, a wife, a non-fiction writer, a researcher, an interior designer, and a poet.  Like most people of joy and spirit, I am multi-faceted.

How interesting that you suggest that I might be happier with Hadassah or another Jewish organization.  I am a member of many organizations.  Some religious, some academic.  I was not aware that I should restrict myself to only one type.  That seems rather foolish to me.

Now, as you appear to be attempting to instigate and disrupt this board, perhaps you will be kind enough to continue any communication with me via pm.   This will allow others to avoid the type of attacks you seem to feel are necessary.   I assure you that, despite my investigations of you and discovery that you are not exactly who and what you say you are, I find your writing most interesting and would be happy to indulge you if that is what you need.  
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: lexi4 on August 05, 2005, 11:53:27 PM
Finelly,
AlexP chose in his comparison of you and a Rottweiler. Being familiar with the breed, I can tell you that a Rottweiler is is calm, trainable, courageous, and devouted to family. As are you. They are reliable, serious, steady and confident. As are you. They are considered to mellow and highly intelligent. As are you.
In my religion, which is not a word we use, animals are considered as sacred as human beings. We refer to them as four-leggeds. They are our brothers.
AlexP, I am sorry that some of our postings, mine included, are too trivial for you. Some of us have gotten to know each other and interject friendly or teasing comments from time to time. I understand you live in China and are Russian and perhaps this is a cultural difference, I am not sure. I live in the United States. For me, pedigrees matter not. I grew up in a country which is based on the principle that all men are created equal and I believe that with all my heart. What is wonderful about this board is that it offers a place where all cultures can come together and learn from each other. I am sure you have a lot to offer us and we have to you. I hope that any cultural differences might be set aside for the sake of knowledge. If we can't set aside our petty differences here, I am afraid there is little hope for setting them aside in the world. And that would be tragic.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Finelly on August 06, 2005, 12:05:31 AM
Thanks, Lexi.  I always thought of myself as more of a spaniel type, but Rottweiler will do, in a pinch!
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: AlexP on August 06, 2005, 12:09:26 AM
Quote
Finelly,
AlexP chose in his comparison of you and a Rottweiler. Being familiar with the breed, I can tell you that a Rottweiler is is calm, trainable, courageous, and devouted to family. As are you. They are reliable, serious, steady and confident. As are you. They are considered to mellow and highly intelligent. As are you.
In my religion, which is not a word we use, animals are considered as sacred as human beings. We refer to them as four-leggeds. They are our brothers.
AlexP, I am sorry that some of our postings, mine included, are too trivial for you. Some of us have gotten to know each other and interject friendly or teasing comments from time to time. I understand you live in China and are Russian and perhaps this is a cultural difference, I am not sure. I live in the United States. For me, pedigrees matter not. I grew up in a country which is based on the principle that all men are created equal and I believe that with all my heart. What is wonderful about this board is that it offers a place where all cultures can come together and learn from each other. I am sure you have a lot to offer us and we have to you. I hope that any cultural differences might be set aside for the sake of knowledge. If we can't set aside our petty differences here, I am afraid there is little hope for setting them aside in the world. And that would be tragic.


Thank you for your very, very nice posting.

That being said, and with your kind cooperation, might we return to the topic, i.e., Required Reading in Russian literature.

Lexi4, why don't you suggest what you think a novice should read in terms of great Russian literature?
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: lexi4 on August 06, 2005, 12:13:32 AM
I did Alex. You must have missed it. Yes, let's do return to topic. Thank you for your suggested readings.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Finelly on August 06, 2005, 12:20:12 AM
Just a reminder - this thread is about recommending books related to Russian history and the Imperial family.  There's another thread about Russian literature.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: lexi4 on August 06, 2005, 12:23:58 AM
Here are more books.
Michael and Natasha is about the brother of N
Greg King's books on Alexandra (The Last Empress) and on Yussopov
Education of a Princess by the GD Marie (the younger)
The Flight of the Romanovs
Elizabeth:  Grand Duchess of Russia, Torres
The Rasputin File, by Radzinsky
Nicholas and Alexandra
Romanovs Autocrats of All the Russias
Fatal Passion, by Sullivan, is about Ducky, aka Victoria Melita
Princess Victoria MElita by Van Der Kliste
Imperial Dancer by Coryn Hall
little Mother of Russia, by Coryn Hall
The Diaries of Nicholas and Alexandra

Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: AlexP on August 06, 2005, 12:24:23 AM
Quote
Just a reminder - this thread is about recommending books related to Russian history and the Imperial family.  There's another thread about Russian literature.



of which great Russian literature is very intertwined.  Tolstoy wrote based on his historical observations, in many cases, and his historical obversations are present in all of his novels.

But I need not defend the presence of Russian literature in Russian history and within the Imperial family.  Many others have done that long ago.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: AlexP on August 06, 2005, 12:27:15 AM
Quote
Here are more books.
Michael and Natasha is about the brother of N
Greg King's books on Alexandra (The Last Empress) and on Yussopov
Education of a Princess by the GD Marie (the younger)
The Flight of the Romanovs
Elizabeth:  Grand Duchess of Russia, Torres
The Rasputin File, by Radzinsky
Nicholas and Alexandra
Romanovs Autocrats of All the Russias
Fatal Passion, by Sullivan, is about Ducky, aka Victoria Melita
Princess Victoria MElita by Van Der Kliste
Imperial Dancer by Coryn Hall
 little Mother of Russia, by Coryn Hall
The Diaries of Nicholas and Alexandra
 



Lexi4,

Good list.

Particularly Radzinsky.  Is he available in English?  I have only read it in Russian.

And yes, the Diaries, particularly the real "Diaries".  Please do not rely upon any editions of the "Diairies" produced during the Soviet period.  And there was one.  They were very, very contorted, many "disinformatizii".

Hikarushka, what do you think?  In  your opinion, which (Russian) edition of the Diaries would you suggest?

Lexi4, what is regarded as the "definitive" English edition of the Diairies? Is there one?
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Finelly on August 06, 2005, 12:29:55 AM
The Grand DUchess Marie the younger wrote at least one more memoir after "Education of a Princess".  It was rather good.  All of these bios and memoirs give one a really full and fleshed out picture of what the Imperial family members thought, how they lived, what their unique perspectives were on that particular part of Russian history.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Finelly on August 06, 2005, 12:32:22 AM
Alexander, Grand DUke of Russia, also wrote memoirs.  I think in two volumes, one of which was entitled "Once a Grand Duke"

If you enjoy good photos, Kurth's "Tsar" is excellent, as is Anastasia's Book, which is mostly photos she took of her family, as I recall.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: hikaru on August 06, 2005, 01:26:18 AM
As for Diary edition , I think that it was published only after the Soviet Union is ruined - in 1991.

But Maybe it was published in 1925-1928 too.
Frankly speaking , I enjoy very much such editions on Romanovs published till 1930 year including letters, interrogations, memoires,  guidebooks etc.
I think that there are a lot of ifm there.

The books of Nicholas period are super too. But we must remember that it was quite a severe tsenzura those time.

So , as I think now every book is necessary , every book is valuable. Knigi vshyakie nuzny,knigi vshakie vazhny
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: AlexP on August 06, 2005, 01:39:32 AM
Quote
As for Diary edition , I think that it was published only after the Soviet Union is ruined - in 1991.

But Maybe it was published in 1925-1928 too.
Frankly speaking , I enjoy very much such editions on Romanovs published till 1930 year including letters, interrogations, memoires,  guidebooks etc.
I think that there are a lot of ifm there.

The books of Nicholas period are super too. But we must remember that it was quite a severe tsenzura those time.

So , as I think now every book is necessary , every book is valuable. Knigi vshyakie nuzny,knigi vshakie vazhny



Cpacibo.  Mii ochen preznatilniii...

Hope to see you in Shanghai soon.

Yes, there was a very sever censorship but I also think that the Dairies published in the 1930s were "truffes", meaning full of not real entries.

I remember one edition of the Dairies printed in the Soviet Period in which there is a letter from Alexandra to the Emperor tell him how much she has come to enjoy smoking ... opium ...

That is when I knew things were wrong with that edition.  Chistaya desinformazia.

Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: hikaru on August 06, 2005, 01:51:01 AM
I would like to add that our lovely chat about " overbooked" situation was like a cry out of a heart ( krik dushi)
And it was very pleasant to read that  a lot of people suffer from the same problem.
I think that  such light chats are necessary too .
It gives a possibility just to relax and to know each other.

I also agree that such chat should not influence much
the general tone of the thread.
But a little bit dose shoud be allowed.  
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Finelly on August 06, 2005, 02:13:25 AM
Slighly off topic, but Nicholas and Alexandra did use cocaine and Nicholas did write about it in his diaries.  I don't know if Alexandra smoked opium but I do know that many remedies for her sciatica were tried.

Now, back to books.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: AlexP on August 06, 2005, 02:43:59 AM
Quote
Slighly off topic, but Nicholas and Alexandra did use cocaine and Nicholas did write about it in his diaries.  I don't know if Alexandra smoked opium but I do know that many remedies for her sciatica were tried.

Now, back to books.


Since you have raised this issue, which I consider to be quite a tarnish on Their Good Names, would either please give the exact citation from their diaries -- from a compiled version written by someone else taking information from someone else -- or would you please withdraw these comments.

I would be interested to see exactly where in the diaries it is written that Alexander and Nicholas indulged in cocaine.

And sorry, Madame, but this is ON-topic because we are referring to literature here.

I await your exact citation.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Finelly on August 06, 2005, 02:49:42 AM
This was discussed on another thread, I think about Nicholas and Alcohol consumption.  I'll go check.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: hikaru on August 06, 2005, 02:50:56 AM
I think that we always had a cocaine discussion in the Nicholas II thread.
Cocaine was the ingredient of  a lot of medicines those time .
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: lexi4 on August 06, 2005, 02:54:54 AM
Quote
I would like to add that our lovely chat about " overbooked" situation was like a cry out of a heart ( krik dushi)
And it was very pleasant to read that  a lot of people suffer from the same problem.
I think that  such light chats are necessary too .
It gives a possibility just to relax and to know each other.

I also agree that such chat should not influence much
the general tone of the thread.
But a little bit dose shoud be allowed.  


Thank you hikaru, I agree. I was glad to find I was not alone in being overbooked. Especially since my husband and I are going "booking" tomorrow. Among other things, we collect first editions. My best to you.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: lexi4 on August 06, 2005, 02:55:33 AM
Quote
I think that we always had a cocaine discussion in the Nicholas II thread.
Cocaine was the ingredient of  a lot of medicines those time .



Again you are right, we did. It was on another thread and I can't remember which one.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: AlexP on August 06, 2005, 03:00:41 AM
Quote
I think that we always had a cocaine discussion in the Nicholas II thread.
Cocaine was the ingredient of  a lot of medicines those time .


Thank you but I am awaiting the direct references from the Diaries, not from a Robert Massie compilation, etc., etc.

Otherwise it is what we call in Russian "adna Baba ckazala".  Please provide me with the direct reference, the entry number, the date, etc., and the edition you are quoting.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Finelly on August 06, 2005, 03:07:13 AM
The book in question is "A Lifelong Passion", by Andrei Maylunas and Sergei Mironenko.

It is simply excerpts from diary entries and correspondence between all of the Imperial family members, mostly relating to A and N.

I am looking for the specific cite.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Finelly on August 06, 2005, 03:22:19 AM
Well, it's late, and I have too many books cluttering up this space.  I will find the cite tomorrow.

I am quite positive that it is either a diary entry of Nicholas or a letter from him to Alix in which he states he was coming down with a cold, and got cocaine from the doctor, and feels much better.

I believe, but am not positive, that Radzinsky wrote about the drug use, as well.

There's no indication he was addicted, and of course, in those days, cocaine was given for medicinal purposes quite a bit.  I don't know what the big deal is.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: AlexP on August 06, 2005, 03:26:13 AM
Quote
Well, it's late, and I have too many books cluttering up this space.  I will find the cite tomorrow.

I am quite positive that it is either a diary entry of Nicholas or a letter from him to Alix in which he states he was coming down with a cold, and got cocaine from the doctor, and feels much better.

I believe, but am not positive, that Radzinsky wrote about the drug use, as well.

There's no indication he was addicted, and of course, in those days, cocaine was given for medicinal purposes quite a bit.  I don't know what the big deal is.



You are a lawyer, or purport to be.

You should know the difference between what someone says about someone else who heard it from someone else...

And a directly reported and cited item..the above is hearsay, even in China and is not worthy of consideration.

The second will confirm or infirm a point-in-question.  I am awaiting a primary source of this matter, not Radzinsky, not what you believe perhaps, etc.  It's an affront to Their Imperial Majesty's good name if it not true, and if it is true, well, how awful, regardless.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Finelly on August 06, 2005, 03:40:23 AM
Just before turning in, it occurred to me that Bob Atchison, the creator of this board and a font of resources, probably had the cite on this very website.  This should make it easier for you.

Go to www.alexanderpalace.org.  Go to the letters of A and N section.  Go to 1915.  Go to November.  You will find the following:

woke up with a shocking cold in the left nostril, so that I am thinking of spraying it with cocaine. Apart from that, I feel strong-heaps of energy I The time-table for the trains has been altered here. They are coming in at i:i in the morning and leaving at 6 in the evening, which is more convenient-at least for me. I greatly hope that your poor heart will get better and will not cause you so much pain. I am always sorry for you, my dear Wify, when I hear that your health is not good and when you suffer physically...

That should do it for you.  As I said before, I believe that Radzinsky also wrote about it and it will be in any book of the royal correspondence for that date!

As for your attempts to attack and instigate a conflict, I don't think it is really worthy of my attention.  
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: AlexP on August 06, 2005, 03:44:33 AM
Quote
Just before turning in, it occurred to me that Bob Atchison, the creator of this board and a font of resources, probably had the cite on this very website.  This should make it easier for you.

Go to www.alexanderpalace.org.  Go to the letters of A and N section.  Go to 1915.  Go to November.  You will find the following:

 woke up with a shocking cold in the left nostril, so that I am thinking of spraying it with cocaine. Apart from that, I feel strong-heaps of energy I The time-table for the trains has been altered here. They are coming in at i:i in the morning and leaving at 6 in the evening, which is more convenient-at least for me. I greatly hope that your poor heart will get better and will not cause you so much pain. I am always sorry for you, my dear Wify, when I hear that your health is not good and when you suffer physically...

That should do it for you.  As I said before, I believe that Radzinsky also wrote about it and it will be in any book of the royal correspondence for that date!

As for your attempts to attack and instigate a conflict, I don't think it is really worthy of my attention.  


Thank you for the primary source.  I will check it.

There was no personal attack, nor did I post PM messages in other forums -- it was just a request for a primary source, since this is a serious matter.

Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Belochka on August 06, 2005, 04:18:07 AM
Quote
So, I wonder to buy apartment near mine. But our
real estates prices jumped more than twice!
( And we have to pay the full price of apartment at once)
It seems that It is a time for me to write a book :P


Perhaps it may be time to purchase a dacha instead?

Imagine being surrounded by inbuilt wall-to-wall shelves extending to the ceiling; enveloping a comforable sofa with just the basic nessecities of life to ensure your weekend visits are peaceful and studious!  ;D  
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: hikaru on August 06, 2005, 04:25:41 AM
Thank you . We have one. But I have no week-ends , especially in summer, and I need  a lot of books just near mine ;)
A lot of books are in dacha already.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Belochka on August 06, 2005, 07:11:43 AM
Quote
Recently in Russia , a lot of Big Photo Albums were published.  In such albums just gathered together a lot of family photos and extracts of letters of different people, who lived in the beginning of the 20th century.
Such albums gives us fleur de l'epoque , sometimes, more visual, than some books. So I recommend to enjoy such albums too.


Over the last few years I have been fortunate enough to acquire a number of these pictorial compilations. Each provides a fascinating insight into the Russia which no longer exists - a nation destroyed by decades of political chaos, wars and by modernization of the State infrastructure.

A recent publication that I can recommend which is not solely focused on Romanov family members and is readily available:

Rossiiskaya Imperiya v Fotographiyah (Russian Empire in Photographs - end of XIX to beginning XX C; published by Likki Rossi, St. Petersburg, 2004. Text is helpfully bilingual in Russian/English.

Themes include:

The House of Romanov
Village Life
National minorities/remote areas
Military - army and aviation
Transport
Education/Science/culture

:)







Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: AlexP on August 06, 2005, 07:20:11 AM
Quote

Over the last few years I have been fortunate enough to acquire a number of these pictorial compilations. Each provides a fascinating insight into the Russia which no longer exists - a nation destroyed by decades of political chaos, wars and by modernization of the State infrastructure.

A recent publication that I can recommend which is not solely focused on Romanov family members and is readily available:

Rossiiskaya Imperiya v Fotographiyah (Russian Empire in Photographs - end of XIX to beginning XX C; published by Likki Rossi, St. Petersburg, 2004. Text is helpfully bilingual in Russian/English.

Themes include:

The House of Romanov
Village Life
National minorities/remote areas
Military - army and aviation
Transport
Education/Science/culture

 :)


I have this book.  It is wonderful.  But Belochka, I think that it is a reissue or  a "reprise" of an earlier book...by Mme Obolensky, Paris, that came out about 25 years ago....I need look carefully.

Hikarushka,

Any thoughts here?

Privet cem.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: hikaru on August 06, 2005, 07:24:01 AM
I do not know , I never say a book by M-me Obolensky.

I enjoyed so called " Family Albums"  published by "Bely Gorod" very much.

Also I like a catalog from photo exhibition of Hermitage called" Petersburg in Svetopisy" ( i.e. Peterburg by the photo)
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: AlexP on August 06, 2005, 07:52:48 AM
Quote
I do not know , I never say a book by M-me Obolensky.

I enjoyed so called " Family Albums"  published by "Bely Gorod" very much.

Also I like a catalog from photo exhibition of Hermitage called" Petersburg in Svetopisy" ( i.e. Peterburg by the photo)


Yes, the Bely Gorod series...

Hikarushka, have you ever seen any of these online anywhere (the Bely Gorod series)...The members of this Forum would surely enjoy it very much.

As would I.

My God, you bring back thoughts and memories.

Agronomoe cpacibo.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: hikaru on August 06, 2005, 07:58:01 AM
I have found out only e-mail address: belygorod@mail.ru
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Belochka on August 06, 2005, 08:26:24 AM
Quote
I think that it is a reissue or  a "reprise" of an earlier book...by Mme Obolensky, Paris, that came out about 25 years ago....


Nyet! Chloe Obolenskaya's compilation The Russian Empire, published in 1980 is quite different. Some of her themes are comparable, and perhaps there are repeat use of one or two photographs. However the similarity ends there.

By way of a few examples, in the "Estates" section she has placed numerous images of the Kochubey estate in Dikanka, nor does she feature military life per se. There is a larger emphasis placed on life in the outer regions of Russia. 

Obolenskaya accepted photographs from private collections for inclusion into her publication, unlike the Russian album.

In fact the Russian album specifically states in the Preface:

... "This album represents the first attempt to publish at least part of the photographic heritage of the pre-revolutionary period preserved in the Russian State Archives of Film and Photographic Documents ..."

:)

Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: AlexP on August 06, 2005, 08:31:28 AM
Quote

Nyet! Chloe Obolenskaya's compilation The Russian Empire, published in 1980 is quite different. Some of her themes are indeed similar, and perhaps there are repeat use of photographs. By way of two examples, in the "Estates" section she has placed numerous images of the Kochubey estate in Dikanka, nor does she feature military life per se.  

Obolenskaya accepted photographs from private collections for inclusion into her publication, unlike the Russian album.

In fact the Russian album specifically states in the Preface:

... "This album represents the first attempt to publish at least part of the photographic heritage of the pre-revolutionary period preserved in the Russian State Archives of Film and Photographic Documents ..."

 :)

 


Thank you for jarring my memory.  Indeed it was Choe Obolensky.  It was the similarity of the sections I guess.  Thank you.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Belochka on August 06, 2005, 08:35:12 AM
Sorry Alex, I was busy modifying my posting at the same time as you refered to it.  :-[
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: AlexP on August 06, 2005, 08:38:47 AM
Quote
I have found out only e-mail address: belygorod@mail.ru


Thank you for the e-mail addres.

Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: AlexP on August 06, 2005, 08:02:21 PM
On this topic, as we have been discussing suggested reading, I was wondering of either Hikaru or Belochka if either of them are aware of a "key", so to speak, that opened the personalities of the "roman-a-cle" in War and Peace and the other major Tolstoy novels?

There has been much speculation as to whom these personnages were, as they were all readily understood by the readers of the day, at least in Russia.  Have any of these Russian "keys" survived in which they speak of upon whom which personalities were drawn?

I am not speaking speculation, but rather an historical timepiece taken from the actual period in which Russian society itself discussed these book, not on a literary level but a level of recognition-of-the-face-in-the-mirror?

Your comments, please.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Mashka-Morgan on August 06, 2005, 11:10:41 PM



Thank you so much, Belochka---this sounds like a beautiful book. Will be going on my list!

M-M
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Finelly on August 06, 2005, 11:19:16 PM
There is no one "key", so to speak.  Some historical people are widely-acknowledged to have been the inspiration for some characters - for example, Denis Davidov was the real person behind Denisov in W&P.  

Speaking of Davidov, his memoirs are excellent.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: AlexP on August 07, 2005, 12:13:32 AM
Quote
There is no one "key", so to speak.  Some historical people are widely-acknowledged to have been the inspiration for some characters - for example, Denis Davidov was the real person behind Denisov in W&P.  

Speaking of Davidov, his memoirs are excellent.


I beg to differ with the above-posting.  St. Petersburg society easily recognized al of these personnages, and they were discussed in the "cvetskoe" magazines of the times.

So to return to my original question, Belochka, Hirakushka, Mike, have you any seen any of these prevolutionary magazines, the Russian equivalent of Ladies Home Journal?  Of course these would be only in Russian and probably not generally accessible.

It would be interesting to establish the "cle" again based on these Russian-language publications of the time.

Thank you for your hellp.

Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: lexi4 on August 07, 2005, 12:26:18 AM
Could someone please tell me the title of Davidov's memoirs and where I can find a it?
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Finelly on August 07, 2005, 12:30:06 AM
It's available at Amazon.com.

The memoirs are translated by Gregory Troubetskoy, who is an acknowledged expert on the Napoleonic war with Russia and that entire period of history.

I was privileged to be able to see a proof copy before it was published.  Davidov's descriptions are extremely colorful and lively and one feels like one was actually there.  

It's pretty obvious (and Troubetskoy acknowledges, I think) that Davidov's achievements and leadership were an inspiration behind the Denisov character in W & P

I would highly recommend this book if you are interested in the Napoleon/Alexander rivalry.  
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Belochka on August 07, 2005, 01:06:04 AM
Quote

have you any seen any of these prevolutionary magazines, the Russian equivalent of Ladies Home Journal?  


I am sorry to say that I have not read any of the pre-revolutionary journals. They are certainly readily available for purchase but I have not availed myself of this opportunity. :-/

If I am understanding you correctly about Tolstoy's "keys" - are you seeking to know who Natasha Rostova et al. really were? ???
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: lexi4 on August 07, 2005, 01:18:36 AM
Are there keys? I have read War & Peace, but not the Idiot. I am embarassed to say I know very little about tolstoy. Maybe some of you can enlighten me?
Hoping I don't sound to ignorant,
lexi4
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Elisabeth on August 07, 2005, 01:21:17 AM
Here I would recommend that everyone read A.N. Wilson's biography of Tolstoy. I know you don't approve of biographies, AlexP, but this one is excellent, unusually well written and full of the kind of insights into literary creation that only a fellow novelist could discern (Wilson is himself a celebrated author, if not of the same rank as Tolstoy). Wilson discusses the "origin" of Tolstoy's characters in some detail. If you check his lengthy bibliography, perhaps you will even find listed one of those "keys" you mention, AlexP - I simply don't know.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Finelly on August 07, 2005, 01:24:19 AM
Lexi - well, Tolstoy himself had a theory about writing historical fiction and he would not have claimed that any one character was based on any one person.  THis doesn't mean they weren't - it's just that he viewed the art of writing a different way.  For him, it was about injecting history into the art and art into the history but not necessarily the persons....

Anyway, about Tolstoy himself.  There are some fairly decent bios out there, and one absolutely fantastic must-read.

Anne Edwards wrote a bio of Sonya Tolstoy that is quite good.
Henri Troyat wrote a bio of Tolstoy but frankly, I don't think he translates well into English.
There's a book about the Tolstoy marriage that is very enlightening called "Love and Hatred:  The stormy marriage of Leo and Sonya Tolstoy" that is worth reading.

But if you are only going to get one book, please, please by A.N. Wilson's book on Tolstoy.  It is not just a biography.  It is a work that combines biographical details with historical context but more importantly, excellent literary criticism.  One comes away with a much deeper understanding of Tolstoy and his work and some penetrating ideas about what his essays, poems, and novels mean.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Elisabeth on August 07, 2005, 01:31:57 AM
Quote
Lexi - well, Tolstoy himself had a theory about writing historical fiction and he would not have claimed that any one character was based on any one person.  THis doesn't mean they weren't - it's just that he viewed the art of writing a different way.  For him, it was about injecting history into the art and art into the history but not necessarily the persons....


I agree with you, Finelly, I don't believe any of Tolstoy's characters are based "only" on a single person. As a novelist Tolstoy had great imaginative power and it is overly simplistic to say, for example, that Natasha Rostova "is" Tolstoy's sister-in-law Tatiana Behrs. True, Natasha has certain recognizable traits belonging to Tatiana, but she also sometimes resembles Tolstoy's wife Sonia and even Tolstoy himself. First and foremost, she is the memorable creation of Tolstoy's own unique genius.

And I am also a great fan of the A.N. Wilson biography! I found it far superior to the Troyat one.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: AlexP on August 07, 2005, 01:32:20 AM
Lexi, Belochka,

I, for one, would never pretend to address the issue of what Tolstoy did or did not think, or of what Tolstoy did or did not mean.  That is pure conjencture and claims a right that cannot be conferred.

And the question was "not", again I repeat, whether or not Tolstoy himself such this character or that character as the personalization of such-and-such a real-life person, but rather was,

how St. Petersburg society of the times conceived of the personnages and how it viewd them, and how it discussed them in the Russian-language journals of the time.

I am aware that the Dowager Empress, who did not disdain Tolstoy the way Alexandra did, would discuss these things among her friends and her circles.

That was my question as put forward.

Regards,

A.A.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Finelly on August 07, 2005, 01:49:03 AM

Because Tolstoy was an active correspondent, diarist, and essayist, we know a lot about what he thought.   Some of his most important works are non-fiction essays and pieces about his understanding of the meaning of society, politics, and religion.  Therefore, we can certainly discuss what he thought.  In fact, it is helpful in reading Tolstoy to read what he wrote about the act and art of writing itself.

As for trying to discuss and understand what Tolstoy meant, why that is the very essence of reading literature!  We do not read to simply repeat back a story, but to find a deeper level of meaning and understanding.  Every author has a message, something he or she wishes for us to come away thinking or knowing or doing.  Literary criticism, literary discussion, and literary thought are all a part of the reading process.  
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: hikaru on August 07, 2005, 02:06:00 AM
I never had an opportunity to see  prerevolutionary La dy Home Journals . I saw only Starye Gody and Niva.

If the Natasha Rostova is a combined personnage, but the houses in the War and Peace are real.
We have so called Natasha house in the center of Moscow.

Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Elisabeth on August 07, 2005, 02:06:41 AM
Finelly, I think AlexP is just pointing out what postmodernist critics and scholars everywhere have been pointing out for decades now: that texts can be read independently of their authors - for example, we don't have to know the details of Shakespeare's life to understand and enjoy Shakespeare. Moreover, every great work of literature contains a multiplicity of meanings, some of which may even contradict each other on some level, and this means that ultimately we do not know what the author "intended" - in this sense, the text can take on a life of its own.

Still, I agree with you that it is very important to read the whole of an author's oeuvre, to get at least the best impression of what the author might have intended in writing a particular work.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Finelly on August 07, 2005, 02:13:37 AM
Elisabeth - I don't know if that's what he meant.

But I agree completely with you.  It's not necessary to know all about an author to understand his/her work.  What I think is necessary, however, is to explore the underlying meanings rather than just take the plot and characters at face value!
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: AlexP on August 07, 2005, 02:26:06 AM
Quote
Finelly, I think AlexP is just pointing out what postmodernist critics and scholars everywhere have been pointing out for decades now: that texts can be read independently of their authors - for example, we don't have to know the details of Shakespeare's life to understand and enjoy Shakespeare. Moreover, every great work of literature contains a multiplicity of meanings, some of which may even contradict each other on some level, and this means that ultimately we do not know what the author "intended" - in this sense, the text can take on a life of its own.


Thank you very much, Elizabeth.  Yes, indeed you have restated quite accurately what I meant.

Wtih all the best,

A.A.
Still, I agree with you that it is very important to read the whole of an author's oeuvre, to get at least the best impression of what the author might have intended in writing a particular work.

Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Elisabeth on August 07, 2005, 08:56:36 AM
And thank you for your kind words, AlexP!  :)
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: rosebud on August 07, 2005, 10:29:01 PM
In my opinion biographies are as valuable sources in history as are Tolstoys literate work, or even the material in the archives, you just have to keep in mind the methods of source criticism. There is a motiv (who has done it, why, in what circumstances) behind every piece of historical material and you have to find out what it was. I think it is too elitistic to look down on some sources and prefer others. They are all marks of human actions, intentive.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: lexi4 on August 07, 2005, 10:45:22 PM
Rosebud,
Thank you for your post and welcome to the forum. I hope we hear more from you.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Finelly on August 08, 2005, 01:34:00 AM
Anyone interested in Russian literature would do well to check out a book of essays by Nabokov.  It's entitled "Lectures on Russian Literature" and in the book he discusses the best of hte 19th century writers.

A really good companion to any study of the works of the authors themselves, plus fascinating insight into Russian understanding of the most famous works.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: AlexP on August 08, 2005, 01:44:44 AM
Quote
In my opinion biographies are as valuable sources in history as are Tolstoys literate work, or even the material in the archives, you just have to keep in mind the methods of source criticism. There is a motiv (who has done it, why, in what circumstances) behind every piece of historical material and you have to find out what it was. I think it is too elitistic to look down on some sources and prefer others. They are all marks of human actions, intentive.


Exactly.  Well done -- this has been my very point...well, almost.. ;)except fo the "look down on some sources and prefer others". :)

Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Lyss on August 08, 2005, 02:20:57 PM
E.Engberts: Memories of Russia,
another book I got from a friend. It's a good view on the middle class of St. Petersburg life before the revolution, especialy for people who don't know much about its customs and so on.
It's written in Dutch, but I don't know if it has been translated to English yet.
Here is an English link about it:
http://www.querido.nl/rightsguidefall2004.pdf
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Finelly on August 08, 2005, 03:40:57 PM
I would SO love to have that book!  In English.  I checked Amazon.com and Alibris.com and it does not appear to be available yet.

Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: rosebud on August 08, 2005, 03:51:46 PM
Okay that sounded stupid have to admit. Didnt quite catch the point in my thoughts in the morning :-[ Might happen the same now as well.
What I meant was something about the use of the historical sources in general. I DO understand that first hand sources are the ones you should build your reconstruction into. I DO understand the difference between a research which uses primary sources and a research which clings into other researches.  
What gives me creeps is the still existing rank among the primary sources. The old school of historians used almost only official records, maybe correspondence and the press while making their grate results, younger generation started to use also before neglected stuff, oral tradition, movies, fiction and gave a way to a new (more democratic)way to look ancient living. But I think the conservative attitude towards the value of different kinds of source material has not gone anywhere...

Somewhere here (too many threads for a beginner)was a discussion going on about Alixs way of handle the situation were Nicholas had come back home as an ex-czar. The situation was witnessed by (at least) three members of the court, who later on wrote about it. Arent those first hand sources telling us how Alix behaved even they were later on remembered? If I understood correctly Alex, you hinted that although primary sources those could not be taken seriously because the writers were not reliable. They could have changed the truth to make the empress look something she wasnt. But isnt that obvious?
Arent most of the historical sources written by persons who did have some kind of relation to the situation/person they described? (not all the official ones though) And that relation influenced the description? If you want to know how Alix behaved that day, and if there were no other witnesses, I think you have to use those "unreliable" ones as your primary source. Autobiographical information certainly has its difficulties (mainly it is about memory, selective, nostalgic, emerging from the point of view of todays situation)as a source but so has other sourcematerial as well. In this case there is contradicting information coming from other sources but not as "first hand" as these. Those who claimed her being hysterical werent there. The other information of course reflects to the way the historian uses these primary sources, it is the context to the situation.

It is always the historian who connects two separate sources into one big explanation.  It is he who has to ask his sources what they will tell and what wont. In the end, isnt history always a mens creation, to be modificated by others? It is never stabil, it chances in the way. So basicly, as a historian you can and have to sometimes use a "less reliable" source as your primar one but a good historian is critical about his every source and while acknowledging the critic and making it clear to the others he is able to use his sources.

This site is killing me because I have to be awaken all the time to read it all and catch up. But I cant.
Im going to sleep, so mock me Alex, the field is yours
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: AlexP on August 08, 2005, 05:48:13 PM
Dear Rosebud,

Forgive me if my command of English is poor.  I was not mocking you.

I ACTUALLY think your postings are quite on the mark and I very much enjoy reading them. They display an intellectual rigor which I very much enjoy following.

Your last posting was quite good, really excellent.  That being said, when I return later today, I will continue with my minilist of suggested 18th century authors.

All of the very best to you, Rosebud, please continue with the excellent postings.


A.A.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: AlexP on August 08, 2005, 05:49:37 PM
Quote
E.Engberts: Memories of Russia,
another book I got from a friend. It's a good view on the middle class of St. Petersburg life before the revolution, especialy for people who don't know much about its customs and so on.
It's written in Dutch, but I don't know if it has been translated to English yet.
Here is an English link about it:
http://www.querido.nl/rightsguidefall2004.pdf


Dear Lyss,

Thank you very much for the information about this book.  Can you please tell us something about the author?  Just by the title, it would appear that this may have been someone who actually lived in Imperial Russia.

Regards from Shanghai,


A.A.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Finelly on August 08, 2005, 06:07:42 PM
AlexP - the link that Lyss gave on his post contains a short bio of E Engberts written by his grandson.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: AlexP on August 08, 2005, 09:05:14 PM
Quote
E.Engberts: Memories of Russia,
another book I got from a friend. It's a good view on the middle class of St. Petersburg life before the revolution, especialy for people who don't know much about its customs and so on.
It's written in Dutch, but I don't know if it has been translated to English yet.
Here is an English link about it:
http://www.querido.nl/rightsguidefall2004.pdf


Dear Lyss,

Thank you for bringing this book to our attention.  I would suggest perhaps you cross-post it in another forums.  It is very valuable, finally a first-hand source instead of all of these compilations-of-compilations-of-compilations-based-upon-what-the-coachman-told -the-butcher, etc.,

Many thanks.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Belochka on August 09, 2005, 04:07:08 AM
Quote

-what-the-coachman-told -the-butcher, etc.,


Such interactions have merit as well! ;)
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: AlexP on August 09, 2005, 04:48:25 AM
Quote

Such interactions have merit as well! ;)


Vot imena... ::)
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: lexi4 on August 09, 2005, 11:58:24 AM
Quote

Vot imena... ::)


In English please?
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: AlexP on August 10, 2005, 09:05:08 PM
Quote

In English please?


Koyechna, Madamsha moya...vac sluzhyaicious....
::)

Translation Lexi: " You are correct, my dear Lexi, I am at your disposal to help."
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Finelly on August 10, 2005, 11:19:25 PM
Chas ve chalila, lexi.  Hu ben zonah gedola.  Ima shelo kalba.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Forum Admin on August 11, 2005, 09:31:53 AM
I speak some Hebrew.
Finelly this is a public warning number one. You will apologize even if the intended does not understand what you said, that was blatently against our rules.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Finelly on August 11, 2005, 12:01:33 PM
I am sorry for posting in Hebrew when others do not understand it.

Perhaps we can avoid posting in other languages so that we do not have to constantly ask for translations.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Forum Admin on August 11, 2005, 12:48:39 PM
Finelly,
Your warning was not for posting in Hebrew. It was for saying something derogatory about another user. You called that person the equivalent of "a big SOB".  "ben zonah gedolah" means literally "a big son of a whore" in Hebrew.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Finelly on August 11, 2005, 02:34:09 PM
Not exactly.  However, I have emailed the poster and am waiting for a response to my apology.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: imperial angel on October 11, 2005, 11:40:30 AM
Why did this topic become somethine else other than the orginal topic? :( As for required reading, I think everybody should choose according to their own preferences, but you defintely should read Nicholas and Alexandra, above all. Peter Kurth's Tsar is very good reprensentative of the illustrated books, so that is good to read too. Also, The Romanovs: The Final Chapter is a very good, easy to understand look at the Romanov's last days, their remains, how they proved the were the Romanov's remains, etc. That  only goes up to 1995 though so for later information read The Fate of the Romanovs by Greg King and Penny Wilson because it covers the remains and last days well too, and has information you cannot find in anyother book about many things, although it is 500 pages or so long ;)

For learning about Anna Anderson, Peter Kurth's book is good, but don't believe in Anna Anderson!  ::)
For the poliltical situation, lots of books are good but the one that helped me understand the last years, and days of Imperial Russia most was the Edward Crankshaw book ''In the shadow of the Winter Palace'' which goes back a long time, and does not just apply to the last days of the Romanovs. It gives you a more comprehensive view than just a book about the last days of Imperial Russia alone. Just my thoughts :)
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Rachael89 on October 11, 2005, 03:53:04 PM
Sorry if I'm getting the wrong end of the stick, but surely people can choose to beleive AA if they choose to!

Rachael
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: imperial angel on October 12, 2005, 10:43:39 AM
I think it is important to rerad about Anna Anderson, so you understand about what happened after the Romanov's death, and you understand about imposters, where that went, and finally, that you understand Anna Anderson herself, because I think it is important. If people want to believe in Anna Anderson, I don't have a problem with that, I think everyone should decide for themselves. I don't believe in her, but I never intended to offend anyone who did. I was just offering my take. I am sorry :)
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Rachael89 on October 12, 2005, 11:28:57 AM
No need to be sorry! You didn't offend me, I was just making a comment on something I misunderstood (I'm good at misunderstanding things!) ,Your right it's up to everyone to read all the information on the subject they can get hold of if they so wish then make up their own minds on the matter!


Rachael
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Teddy on October 31, 2005, 11:53:03 AM
I'm looking for a good book abouth Queen Marie of Romania and about Crown Princess Cecilie of Prussia.

Who knows?
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: julia.montague on October 31, 2005, 12:19:43 PM
There is a German book about Cecilie written by Viktoria Luise it's called "Die Kronprinzessin"
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Marlene on October 31, 2005, 04:01:18 PM
Quote
I'm looking for a good book abouth Queen Marie of Romania and about Crown Princess Cecilie of Prussia.

Who knows?

\

Hannah Pakula wrote a magnificient bio on Marie --
another one is by Terence Elsberry.   Cecilie wrote her memoirs (as did Missy) - there are several bios in German on Cecilie including a new photo book that came out a few years ago.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Ortino on October 31, 2005, 05:10:59 PM
I have heard good things about this biography on Queen Marie of Romania. It is also not too expensive, which is an added bonus.  ;D

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/1857998162/qid=1130800213/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl/202-6573503-8377434
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Marlene on November 01, 2005, 09:26:06 AM
Quote
I have heard good things about this biography on Queen Marie of Romania. It is also not too expensive, which is an added bonus.  ;D

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/1857998162/qid=1130800213/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl/202-6573503-8377434



check www.addall.com (click on out of print books) and do a search there -- I am sure you will find copies at really good prices
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Teddy on November 15, 2005, 12:55:30 PM
GRABBE, PAUL & BEATRICE, ED   The Private World of the Last Tsar: In the Photographs and Notes of General Count Alexander Grabbe


Who can tell me more about this book?

Is this a book what is a must?
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Sarushka on November 15, 2005, 02:48:19 PM
It's a very nice book, but a trifle expensive, in my opinion (around $60, when I last looked). It's 189 pages long, with at least one photo on nearly every page. Most of the photos were taken on holiday on the Standart, at Livadia, or at the Russian headquarters during WWI. I particularly enjoyed the photos of OTMA on the Standard. I don't think Grabbe's photos have been published anywhere else -- some have been posted on the internet, of course, but as far as books go, this is a fairly exclusive collection. Grabbe's reminisces of the Imperial Family are also good reading. Each family member has a small section of their own.

This book has fewer photos than Nicholas & Alexandra, by Prince Michael of Greece, but I think Grabbe's photos are rarer.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Belochka on November 15, 2005, 10:58:51 PM
I believe that this book is a very worthwhile acquisition.

The photographs presented were taken by Grabbe, and the text is his personal account which concludes with Nikolai's abdication. The last photograph is Nikolai standing by the train window in Mogilev - no longer the Emperor of Imperial Russia.

In his brief Epilogue a copy of the document is provided (with accompanying English translation) that states Nikolai was shot on 17 July, 1918.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Caleb on November 16, 2005, 04:52:41 PM
Romanov & European Royals books
Nicholas & Alexandra: by Robert K. Massie
Nicholas & Alexandra: The last Imperial Family of Tsarist Russia
The Fate of the Romanovs: Greg King & Penny Wilson
The House of Windsor by Andrew Roberts (small book with lots of pictures!)
Tsar: Lost World of Nicholas & Alexandra by Peter Kurth
Non-European Royals
Dragon Lady: The Life & Legend of the Last Empress of China by Sterling & Peggy Seagrave (tells the story of the Empress Dowager of China & looks at her much maligned character)
China Through the Eyes of the West by: Gianni Guadalupi
Splendors of China's Forbidden City: The Glorious Reign of Emperor Qianlong by Chunmei Ho & Bennet Bronson
more to come!....

Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Russian_Duchess_#5 on November 17, 2005, 02:15:47 PM
Caleb, can you pretty please point out if a book is fiction or non fiction?? ;D
Thanks for your list!! ;)

Sofi 8)
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Caleb on November 17, 2005, 06:54:38 PM
all these are non-fiction
Another great one
"Ladder to the Clouds" about the mandarins of imperial China.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Russian_Duchess_#5 on November 17, 2005, 08:13:47 PM
Thought so. Thanks!!
Are they all available to the public??

Sofi ;)
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Caleb on November 17, 2005, 09:50:13 PM
Yes they are!(http://www.bowstring.net/dragoncover.jpg)  (http://www.shop.com/op/aprod-p28733034?sourceid=13)     (http://www3.nnbh.com/base/39/images/1858942039.jpg)
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Russian_Duchess_#5 on November 18, 2005, 03:44:31 PM
Thanks. You see, I love anything that has to do with ANY royalty, so this is a great list!!

Sofi :)
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: David_Pritchard on November 18, 2005, 10:54:00 PM
If you are really interested in all royalty, may I recommend the book The Princely Courts of Europe1500-1750 edited by John Adamson. The book covers the courts, including architecture, social activities, ceremonies, structure, etc. The courts of England/Great Britain, United Provinces of the Netherlands, Russian Empire, Sweden, Austria, Spain, Bavaria, Brandenburg/Prussia, Savoy, Tuscany, France and the Vatican are covered in the book. Large hardback book, 352 pages and well ilustrated in both colour and b/w.

David
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Robert_Hall on November 18, 2005, 11:18:09 PM
Kings, Courts & Monarchy by Harold  Nicolson is a pretty good addition to any royal library
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Lucien on November 19, 2005, 02:21:40 AM
Quote
Yes they are!(http://www.bowstring.net/dragoncover.jpg)  (http://www.shop.com/op/aprod-p28733034?sourceid=13)     (http://www3.nnbh.com/base/39/images/1858942039.jpg)


Wonderfull book Caleb!What got me interested in the Empress Dowager Tz'u Hsi(Cixi)was Pearl S. Buck's "Imperial Woman",decades ago :-/,if possible,try and get hold of it,great read and insight too.

Have a look into The Forbidden City: :)
http://www.dpm.org.cn/
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: amelia on November 19, 2005, 07:32:09 AM
I am not sure if this is the right place to post this. But...


I just finished reading THE YEARS, by V.V.Shulgin.  This is a very good book with a detailed inside of the dismissals and appointments of ministers during Nicholas II reign, due to Rasputin's interference.

I also read somewhere else that Shulgin came to the West but after a while returned to the Soviet Union. Does anyone know anything about this.

Thank you
Amelia
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Robert_Hall on November 19, 2005, 07:44:30 AM
Thre are dozens of books dealing with the late [Manchu/Qing] dynasty.  Dragon Empress [M.Warner, Last Empress [Laidler],Chronicle of the Chinese Emperors [A. Paludian],The Last of the Empresses [Vare], The Puppet Emperor [B. Power], The Last Mancu [Kramer], The Empty Throne [Tony Scotland * a fave of mine!], The Last Emperor [A. Brackman] and-
TWILIGHT IN THE FORBIDDEN CITY by Reginald Johnston.  The last mentioned is quite interesting, if  biased.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Caleb on November 19, 2005, 11:55:23 AM
Quote

Wonderfull book Caleb!What got me interested in the Empress Dowager Tz'u Hsi(Cixi)was Pearl S. Buck's "Imperial Woman",decades ago :-/,if possible,try and get hold of it,great read and insight too.

Have a look into The Forbidden City: :)
http://www.dpm.org.cn/

I've read "Imperial Woman" and it's a good book. Pearl Buck was in China at the time that Ci-Xi was on the throne (she was born in 1892) in the United States & went to China when she was a baby, the daughter of missionaries. I think she died in the '70s. She wrote scores of books. I've also been meaning to read "The Small Woman" by Alan Burgess. It's the true story of Gladys Alward (1902-1970) a missionary in China in the 1930's about the time that the Japanese invaded China. It was her story that was turned into the 1958 film "The Inn of the Sixth Happiness) starring Ingrid Bergman
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Caleb on November 19, 2005, 12:14:04 PM
Quote
Thre are dozens of books dealing with the late [Manchu/Qing] dynasty.  Dragon Empress [M.Warner, Last Empress [Laidler],Chronicle of the Chinese Emperors [A. Paludian],The Last of the Empresses [Vare], The Puppet Emperor [B. Power], The Last Mancu [Kramer], The Empty Throne [Tony Scotland * a fave of mine!], The Last Emperor [A. Brackman] and-
TWILIGHT IN THE FORBIDDEN CITY by Reginald Johnston.  The last mentioned is quite interesting, if  biased.

Yes, there are scores of books about people of the Qing Dynasty. One of my favorites is "Two Years in the Forbidden City" by Der Ling. She was the daughter of the Chinese minister to France. She was western educated & Christian (I think) and rose in the favor of the aging Dowager Empress & even taught Emperor Guangxu English. Also another interesting book was "With the Dowager Empress of China" by Katherine Carl, an American woman, who painted Ci-Xi's portrait for the St. Louis World's Fair (1904) This book as well as Der Ling's book gives people a glimpse into the world of Ci-Xi & Chinese operas, eunuchs, the emperor, the Summer Palace, & Forbidden City. Ironically Der Ling & Ms. Carl knew each other from Paris (in the days before they were in the Forbidden City) & became friends
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Margarita Markovna on November 23, 2005, 07:39:41 PM
Quote
Kings, Courts & Monarchy by Harold  Nicolson is a pretty good addition to any royal library


What is it about? Is it about specific royals or royal families?
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Robert_Hall on November 23, 2005, 08:12:48 PM
The volume is a history of monarchy, it's development from ancient to modern times. It covers all dynasties. Also the courts, regalia and ceremonies. etc. It may be hard to find though, it was published in 1962.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: anna11 on November 27, 2005, 11:41:30 PM
I want to buy myself a good romanov photo album. Can someone tell me what the good ones are, here are 2 few ive heard of.

love, power tragedy

the camera and the tsars

any others? which is the best one
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Margarita Markovna on November 28, 2005, 08:26:32 AM
The only one I have read is "Anastasia's Album", the children's book. It's pretty good with some picture I hadn't seen before. But here are some threads for albums.

The Family Albums (http://hydrogen.pallasweb.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=Books;action=display;num=1101339664)

Romanov Family Album (http://hydrogen.pallasweb.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=Books;action=display;num=1129652029)

The Last Courts of Europe (http://hydrogen.pallasweb.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=Books;action=display;num=1128681966)

Another Romanov Family Album (http://hydrogen.pallasweb.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=Books;action=display;num=1128847471)

Best Books with Photos (http://hydrogen.pallasweb.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=Books;action=display;num=1119038006)

The Camera and the Tsars (http://hydrogen.pallasweb.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=Books;action=display;num=1081534267)

A little OT, but Paper Dolls (http://hydrogen.pallasweb.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=Books;action=display;num=1110915942)

Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: grandduchessella on November 28, 2005, 09:35:04 AM
It depends on what you want to focus on.

Love, Power and Tragedy is almost exclusively NAOTMAA with some random photos (like Ella) of other family members

Camera and the Tsars gives a really comprehensive album of just about every Romanov (and some collateral relatives) since photography came into vogue

Last Courts of Europe has a lot of photos and deals with, as the title suggests, the various courts. The really aren't that many Romanov photos in there.

Queen Victoria's Family (also by Charlotte Zeepvatt who wrote CATT) has some really good photos of Alix, Ella and Ducky as children

The Last Tsar by Larissa Yermillova (sp?) has a lot of good photos in it
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Sarushka on November 28, 2005, 10:06:44 AM
Here's a couple more threads:
The Last Tsar, by Yermilova (http://hydrogen.pallasweb.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=Books;action=display;num=1087412806)
Romanovs: Love, Power & Tragedy (http://hydrogen.pallasweb.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=Books;action=display;num=1102436057;start=)

If money is no object, then Nicholas & Alexandra: The Family Albums, by Prince Michael of Greece is an excellent choice. It's nothing but photos from the IF's private albums. You'll have to pay over $250, though! For the best compromise between price and content, I think I'd recommend Love, Power & Tragedy. I was able to pick up a copy for about $40 this summer, and it's well worth that (and more!). There's more text than Prince Michael's book, and it includes both formal and informal photos, as well as pictures of the family's  letters, diaries, paintings, etc.

A few other comments:
~Camera and the Tsars is almost exclusively formal photos.
~The Last Tsar (Yermilova) has quite a few outdoor shots of official occasions, and consequently, the people sometimes appear rather small. It includes sections on Alexander II and Alexander III, as well as Nicholas II.
~Nicholas II, by Marvin Lyons is nice as well -- many photos from Nicholas's childhood, including his Danish and British relatives.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Teddy on December 01, 2005, 02:22:22 PM
I've got this book, today. Its full of pictures. Some I've seen before. But the most I didn't.

This book is a must to have...!!

I think I also have a signature of the author, Paul Grabbe, dating 28/04/1985. Could it be his signature?
Or was Paul Grabbe already died in 1985?
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Russian_Duchess_#5 on December 01, 2005, 04:05:18 PM
Teddy, do you have a scanner?
I would much love to see rare pictures!

Sofi ;)
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Helen_Azar on December 01, 2005, 05:00:20 PM
I have this book too and yes, it does have a lot of great rare photos. If Teddy doesn't have a scanner, or no one else can post them, I can post some of these pictures when I have the chance.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Russian_Duchess_#5 on December 01, 2005, 05:28:30 PM
Thanks, Helen.  :D

Sofi :)
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Belochka on December 01, 2005, 06:19:58 PM
Quote
I think I also have a signature of the author, Paul Grabbe, dating 28/04/1985. Could it be his signature?
Or was Paul Grabbe already died in 1985?


You have struck GOLD  The author Paul, was born in 1902 and there is no suggestion that the book was published posthumously in 1985.

Congratulations on such a magnificent purchase Teddy.    ;)
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Laura Mabee on December 01, 2005, 08:15:30 PM
That would be fantastic Helen! It really would  :)
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Teddy on December 02, 2005, 10:36:13 AM
No, Russian Grand Duchess. I don't have a scanner.

But its magnifecent!

And thank you, Belochka. Its great to have it. But a week ago I saw the same book on the internet.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: crazy_wing on December 02, 2005, 06:33:49 PM
Caleb, do those English books on the Chinese court provide accurate information?  How much access do they have to the Chinese archives?  Have you read any books about the Qing dynasty in Chinese?  
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Robert_Hall on December 02, 2005, 10:01:26 PM
Chinese archives ? They were looted and burned by the  Westren powers were they not ? [well also the Japanese].
As for new historical books on the Qing period, there is plenty, in Chinese, but it is flawed by political prejudice. Not that there is a lot to support. For great film, however, the events are well & dramatically depicted. [forget 55 Days...] : The Last Emperor [Pu Yi's later life. This is not the epic that we all know which I personally like very much, but a Chinese production], The Last Tempest, Reign Behind the Curtain, Twilight of the Forbidden City.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Helen_Azar on December 03, 2005, 10:27:55 AM
I made a webpage with many pictures from this book. You can view them here:  

http://www.geocities.com/mushkah/PrivateWorld.html
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Robert_Hall on December 03, 2005, 12:49:21 PM
I have noticed on another royalty site that an obit. for Paul Grabbe was posted. He apparently died 16 Nov. 1999.
Although the book is decent enough, I cannot see why it should command such high prices. I just looked through my own copy, which I bought when it first came out and am still shaking my head.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: crazy_wing on December 03, 2005, 07:20:45 PM
Even all the stuff in the Forbidden City was looted and burned?  I don't think so but I am not sure. The Western powers did a lot of damage to the Chinese palaces (esp the Summer Palace, which is very unfortunate) but there must be a lot of valuabel information that are still intact?  But then it is true that there are a lot of missing pieces to the Chinese history.

Quote
As for new historical books on the Qing period, there is plenty, in Chinese, but it is flawed by political prejudice.

Even books published in Taiwan are like that?  
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Robert_Hall on December 03, 2005, 08:18:57 PM
The Imperial libraries, which contained the archives were burned to the ground. These were not located in the Forbidden City. Pages were used as packing paper  for looted  "treasures". The Taiwan government has it's own looting to answer for as well. Not only the palace treasures but the Manchu Tombs as well. The Seagrave books  accounts these events.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: crazy_wing on December 03, 2005, 11:11:49 PM
That is very sad to hear!  Thanks for the information Robert!
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Caleb on December 05, 2005, 09:56:47 PM
When it comes to the Dowager Empress I think Sterling Seagrave put it best on page 102 of "Dragon Lady"..."Slandering Tzu Hsi (Ci-Xi) has been a literary game over the centuries." In China as well as Taiwan & by Chinese living abroad Ci-Xi is commonly viewed as woman who ruled China & the Forbidden City with autocracy & corruption, murder, treachery, intrigue, killing those who stood in her way (including her son Emperor Tongzhi & his wife Empress Alute (1875), her co-regent Ci-An (1881) & her nephew Emperor Guangxu (1908 ) Having seen the "The Empress Dowager" (1975), "The Last Tempest" (1976), & "Burning of Imperial Palace" & "Reign Behind a Curtain" (1989)-I own these films- it's sad to see a woman who may have just been trying to help China & was caught in a 50 year long power struggle, be so maligned. It seems to me, after reading Seagrave's book, Ci-Xi may have just been a woman at the wrong place at the wrong time & may have been similar to Queen Victoria (whom Ci-Xi greatly admired)
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Caleb on December 05, 2005, 10:03:32 PM
Quote
The Imperial libraries, which contained the archives were burned to the ground. These were not located in the Forbidden City. Pages were used as packing paper  for looted  "treasures". The Taiwan government has it's own looting to answer for as well. Not only the palace treasures but the Manchu Tombs as well. The Seagrave books  accounts these events.

Many things were looted. Chiang KaiShek stole stuff from the Forbidden City when he fled in 1949 for Taiwan & much of it is in the Palace Museum in Taipei. The Yuanmingyuan was descercated by the French & British in 1860 & burned. In the 1920's the tombs of Emperor Qianlong & the Empress Dowager Ci-Xi were broken into. The body of Qianlong which was still since 1799 was hacked to pieces & the jewels were stolen. Ci-Xi's tomb was also broken into & her jewels & clothes were stolen. Supposedly some of the jewels wound up with Mme. Chiang Kai Shek, who died in October 2003 & was born in 1898.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: anna11 on December 06, 2005, 06:51:33 PM
So if im looking for rare photos of Nicholas Alexandra & children, love power tragedy is the way to go?(for the price range)

Does Camera and the Tsars have any photos of nicholas's nieces and nephews?
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: grandduchessella on December 06, 2005, 11:37:18 PM
Camera and the Tsars has pictures of everybody!  :) There aren't a lot of Xenia's children (save perhaps Irina) or Olga's 2 boys, but there are some in there. It's basically a family album of the extended Romanov clan.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Marlene on December 07, 2005, 09:20:22 AM
Quote
Thanks for the tip. I tend to favor bookfinder.com, but I'll start paying more attention to addall as well. My frustration with addall in the past has been that a lot of their listings turn out to be out of stock or unavailable... especially the lowest prices!  :-/



addall is not a bookstore.  They are not listing the books - they seasrch the various other bookservices - bookfinder being one of those sources.
It is not addall's fault that a book may be sold.  It's up to the dealer to remove the book from its listing.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Sarushka on December 07, 2005, 11:29:54 AM
Quote
addall is not a bookstore.  They are not listing the books - they seasrch the various other bookservices - bookfinder being one of those sources.
It is not addall's fault that a book may be sold.  It's up to the dealer to remove the book from its listing.

All very true, but still frustrating.  ;)
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: julia.montague on December 09, 2005, 10:35:56 AM
Are any of these books still in print?
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Sarushka on December 09, 2005, 10:52:42 AM
Camera and the Tsars is still in print. I've had good luck finding used copies in fine condition of just about everything else. Prince Michael's book is ridiculously expensive, but the rest can be bought pretty reasonably.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Shvibzik on December 09, 2005, 11:48:22 AM
Actually, I found two "Last Courts of Europe" on Amazon (both by Massie and Firestone).  One was "Last Courts of Europe: a Family Album of Royalty at Home and Abroad, 1860-1914".  It was only fifteen dollars, while "The Last Courts of Europe: Royal Family Album, 1860-1914" was sixty.  They might be the same, however, since there was no images for either, and I couldn't compare the covers.

There was also another one:"Dream Palaces : The Last Royal Courts of Europe"  by Jerome Coignard, Marc Walter (Photographer), which is fairly new.  It was twenty-five dollars, and only got two stars. :-/  Does anyone know anything about this book?  
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Angie_H on December 09, 2005, 01:20:05 PM
Quote
Actually, I found two "Last Courts of Europe" on Amazon (both by Massie and Firestone).  One was "Last Courts of Europe: a Family Album of Royalty at Home and Abroad, 1860-1914".  It was only fifteen dollars, while "The Last Courts of Europe: Royal Family Album, 1860-1914" was sixty.  They might be the same, however, since there was no images for either, and I couldn't compare the covers.

There was also another one:"Dream Palaces : The Last Royal Courts of Europe"  by Jerome Coignard, Marc Walter (Photographer), which is fairly new.  It was twenty-five dollars, and only got two stars. :-/  Does anyone know anything about this book?  

What is the difference between "The Last Courts of Europe: Royal Family Album, 1860-1914" and "Last Courts of Europe: a Family Album of Royalty at Home and Abroad, 1860-1914"?
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Shvibzik on December 09, 2005, 03:54:10 PM
Quote
What is the difference between "The Last Courts of Europe: Royal Family Album, 1860-1914" and "Last Courts of Europe: a Family Album of Royalty at Home and Abroad, 1860-1914"?

I don't know, which is why I said that they might be the same.  There were no pictures, but they were seperate books with two majorly different prices and ratings on them.  They both, however, had the same author.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Dana10 on January 04, 2006, 02:32:47 PM
I'm looking for the book, Il est toujours des Romanovs, by Jacques Ferrand.

Were can I get it?
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Robert_Hall on January 04, 2006, 07:45:18 PM
Arturo at Eurohistory has most of Ferrand's books, I think.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Eurohistory on January 05, 2006, 02:24:18 PM
I have been a friend of Jacques Ferrand's for almost a decade now and we have sold his books since 1997 and will continue to do so until he runs out of copies!

The Ferrand books should really be in the library of every person interested in the Imperial Fmily.

Arturo Beéche
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: RomanovFan on January 14, 2006, 01:34:43 PM
Does anyone have any photos from those books that you could post here?
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: grandduchess_42 on January 14, 2006, 06:43:49 PM
i can't believe half of theese books arn't in print any more... don't you  just hate that? or when their to expensive... i'm lucky if i could buy a used one of them.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Teddy on February 27, 2007, 06:22:02 AM
Quote


What is the difference between "The Last Courts of Europe: Royal Family Album, 1860-1914 by Firestone" and "Last Courts of Europe: a Family Album of Royalty at Home and Abroad, 1860-1914, by Massie"?

Can someone tell me what the difference is?
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Linnea on February 27, 2007, 12:43:02 PM
I think Massie wrote the foreword of Finestone´s "Last courts of Europe", so many online-booksellers head him as the author of book.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Belochka on February 28, 2007, 05:28:20 AM
If you could only purchase one Romanov album, my recommendation is: Nicholas & Alexandra: The Family Albums, by Prince Michael of Greece.

Margarita    :)
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Robert_Hall on February 28, 2007, 09:51:29 AM
Teddy, they are the same book. Both Finestone  & Massie are credited. Massie the intro, Finestone picture research.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Pegschalet on June 03, 2007, 07:00:49 PM
Since I've been on the Forum, I've noticed many occasions where a person will quote a source only to have someone else state that source or book has been discredited.  It almost seems like there is a special list of reliable sources and these are the only ones you can reference.  Does anyone know which books and sources these are?  Personally I have quite a collection of books now and some are very easy to discount.  Based on new research, DNA etc, it is easy to discount, "The Rescue of the Romanovs" as being outdated.  Others are harder, for example, Edvard Radzinsky's "Rasputin".  To me it seemed very well researched and had an extensive bibliography as well as using sources I don't have access to but I've seen him discounted on the Forum.

The Forum's Bookfinder is helpful but doesn't give alot of information about accuracy etc.  It would be nice if we could all be on the same page as regards various books.  If we had an agreement(highly unlikely I know) when poster make a point an quote a reference everyone has agreed on I think we would be more likely to listen to the point rather than attack the source.  It would be nice to have a list of 10 books that we could agree on as a good source.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: TheAce1918 on June 03, 2007, 11:01:35 PM
It would be nice.
I have had situations where one person tells me that one book is good, then about three others tell me that I'm wasting my time, and that I'm believing in false evidence.
Personally, I really don't like having to abide by a certain list of books deemed appropriate by the internet.  Instead, I like to read everything I can get my hands on, and judge them once finished.  That's only a preference, you see.

After all, according to Heine: "Where they burn books, they will, in the end, burn human beings too."   ;)
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Pegschalet on June 04, 2007, 08:18:30 AM
I agree about reading every book you can get your hand on and will continue to do so.  I just wish we had a list of uncontested source material.  I also find it frustrating when someone quotes a source in French or Russian which I in no way can evaluate because of the language barrier.

I think my favorite book and one I refer to over and over is "Lifelong Passion".  I love reading about an event from the viewpoint of more than one person.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Sarushka on June 04, 2007, 09:23:43 AM
Lifelong Passion is valuable for its multiple perspectives, but keep in mind that the editors deliberately chose to print the letters and diaries that fit in with their own view of the history. That doesn't necessarily make the book a bad source -- it's just something to be aware of as you read.

I would say that the most reliable sources are those that simply reproduce documentary evidence. The Complete Wartime Correspondence (http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/books.html?sku=5), and The Last Diary of Tsaritsa Alexandra (http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/books.html?sku=11), for example. Those are especially reliable for English-speakers, since the original documents were written in English and require no translation.

There are also a growing number of Russian volumes that reproduce primary sources:
Avgusteyshei Sestryi Miloserdiya (http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/books.html?sku=64) (Royal Sisters of Mercy)
Divniy Svet (http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/books.html?sku=49)
Nikolai Vtoroi: v Sekretnoi Perepeske (http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/books.html?sku=81) (Nikolai the Second: in Secret Correspondence)
Pered Rasstrelom (http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/books.html?sku=28) (Before the Shooting)
Poslednie Dnevniki Imperatitsy Aleksandry Feodorovny Romanovny (http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/books.html?sku=29) (Last Diary of Empress Aleksandra Fyodorovna)
Tsesarevich (http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/books.html?sku=46)

Other reputable English sources (IMO) include Fall of the Romanovs (http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/books.html?sku=7) and Scenarios of Power (http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/books.html?sku=60).

The trouble with Radzinsky is that he indulges in dramatic/semi-fictional flights of fancy from time to time. His books aren't footnoted, so you have to be on the lookout whenever he starts talking about what people think or feel. He has had access to untapped Russian sources, so you don't want to dismiss him -- just take him with a grain of salt in some spots.

I'm happiest when non-fiction works are copiously footnoted, so you can easily trace any given bit of information back to its source and decide for yourself if it's a source you trust. Authors such as Joseph Fuhrmann, Greg King, Robert Massie, and Richard Wortman are very good in this regard.

As for the Book Finder, I do my best to be objective, but I do also make special note if a volume is higly accurate, notoriously inaccurate, or controversial. If I make no comment regarding a book's reliability, you can assume it falls with in the realm of acceptability to the best of my knowledge. (An aside: You'll notice there aren't a whole lot of titles in the Book Finder that deal with the notions of escape plots, the possibility of survival, the contested authenticity of the bones, or the alleged lost fortune of the tsar. That's the bias of my own collection, which makes up the bulk of the database. I have relatively little interest in or knowledge of those subjects, so I don't feel I'm a competent judge of the literature on those topics. Other users are always welcome to contribute to the Book Finder, however. Please PM me if you're interested.)

Books to be wary of IMO include Victor Alexandrov's End of the Romanovs (http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/books.html?sku=80), and the fictional memoirs of Marfa Mouchanow, called My Empress (http://www.angelfire.com/pa/ImperialRussian/grb/grbpg05.html).  Carrolly Erickson's biography of Alexandra relied rather significantly on My Empress, so it consequently includes a number of inaccuracies.

Finally, a word about memoirs: They're biased. That doesn't mean they're wrong or inherently untrustworthy -- but they're definitely colored by the authors' feelings for the Romanovs. All the courtiers' memoirs were written after the murder of the imperial family, so you can imagine how the combination of grief and former intimacy colored their memories of the IF. Consciously or unconsciously, people like Gilliard, Vyrubova, Dehn, and Buxhoeveden also cast themselves in a favorable light in their own books.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Pegschalet on June 04, 2007, 10:14:22 AM
Thank-you.  Great and helpful information.  I agree with your comments on Radzinsky as he does view off track but you can usually tell when he doing that.

You mentioned some new sources for me.  Yeah!!! 

Do you think the Russian sources are complete or did the Soviets scrub anything in the archives?

I wish I could read Russian as I love primary sources without the bias of someone else's commentary.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: imperial angel on June 04, 2007, 04:50:46 PM
Well, on some of the more controversial topics such as survivors, lost fortunes, escape plots, one wonders if there can ever be more reliable books than others, although I think even on these topics there are certainly books that are not as reliiable as others. Of course, it is best to read everything, although it helps to know in advance how it is regarded. I agree with everything said on this thread, and in my opinion two unreliable books with regards to survivors are James Blair Lovell's Anastasia: The Lost Princess, and the Summers- Mangold one because it was written before so much modern evidence came to light and it has interesting notions about survivors, and as for James BLair Lovell's book, it has problems with it that are obvious to anyone who knows anything about the Romanovs at all. Does anyone agree?

 In terms of controversial websites, like the Serves one that is debated on one of the survivor threads now, I think it might be harder to judge reliability, although that gets debated as well, quite often. It's easier to do an unreliable website than an unreliable book, it seems to me since anyone can set up a website, and not anyone can get a book published. Also, a unreliable book most likely becomes more widely known and thus proved or disproved, than an unreliable ( or not) website that not everyone has ever heard of, perhaps. I just thought it would be interesting to include websites in a list of valid or not sources, since one is debated in the survivors thread.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: mr_harrison75 on June 04, 2007, 06:12:54 PM
So, correct me if I'm wrong, but does that make The Fate of the Romanovs by King/Wilson unreliable?

On the other side, I'm glad to see which books are considered canon. By the way, do you know where I could buy Royal Sisters of Mercy?
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Arleen on June 04, 2007, 06:51:54 PM
Wouldn't life be frightfully boring if we were all alike and all liked only the same books? 

Arleen
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Helen_Azar on June 04, 2007, 06:55:13 PM
So, correct me if I'm wrong, but does that make The Fate of the Romanovs by King/Wilson unreliable?

IMO, it's quite unreliable as many of the statements in the book were shown to be incorrect or misleading after the sources/references were followed up on. There were quite a few  discussions here about that last year where all this came to the surface, but unfortunately all this information had to be removed. I am not saying that everything in the book is wrong, but I would check up on the sources and double-check the translations before I took anything for granted...

Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: mr_harrison75 on June 04, 2007, 07:10:26 PM
Oh, I see. I'm sorry to hear that, since I like the approach they were taking, and really liked (although it was horrible) the chapter about the different evidences of their last day...
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Sarushka on June 04, 2007, 07:15:24 PM
So, correct me if I'm wrong, but does that make The Fate of the Romanovs by King/Wilson unreliable?

It's certainly controversial. But it's also heavily footnoted, so you can investigate a number of the sources (some are inaccessible to the layperson) and decide for yourself whether you agree with King and Wilson's presentation and interpretation of the evidence.


Quote
By the way, do you know where I could buy Royal Sisters of Mercy?

There are links to two online sources on the Book Finder (http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/books.html?sku=64).
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Helen_Azar on June 04, 2007, 07:22:35 PM
I'm sorry to hear that, since I like the approach they were taking

I felt the same way initially. The best way to judge any book, as Sarushka suggested, is to follow up on the sources. This is how you can find out whether a book is reliable or not.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: amelia on June 04, 2007, 09:06:40 PM
Does any of you know a book The many deaths of Nicholas II?  I found it in amazon.com, and I ordered it, although I am in waiting list. From the description it seems to be a very "serious" book.

Thank you
Amelia
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: TheAce1918 on June 04, 2007, 09:42:34 PM
Does any of you know a book The many deaths of Nicholas II?  I found it in amazon.com, and I ordered it, although I am in waiting list. From the description it seems to be a very "serious" book.

Thank you
Amelia

Here is the post on it.  Its actually fairly recent.

http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php/topic,9536.0.html
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: ferrymansdaughter on June 05, 2007, 07:10:38 AM
[
IMO, it's quite unreliable as many of the statements in the book were shown to be incorrect or misleading after the sources/references were followed up on.

Can you give us a couple of brief examples of this?

Liz
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Forum Admin on June 05, 2007, 09:37:58 AM
[
IMO, it's quite unreliable as many of the statements in the book were shown to be incorrect or misleading after the sources/references were followed up on.

Can you give us a couple of brief examples of this?

Liz

One that comes to my mind, and I must paraphrase rather than quote FOTR (as we don't own a copy) is when they discuss the trip on board the Rus from Tobolsk to Ekaterinburg.  They say something to the effect that Volkov wrote that he could hear the screams of the Grand Duchesses during the night and were molested by the guards.

Volkov's exact words on the subject were actually "Rodianov shut up the Tsarevich in his cabin with the attendant Nagorny, leaving the grand duchesses in peace".

To be fair, Penny Wilson explained to me that it was bad editing that was not caught until after it went to print, and not intentional. However, that only explains how it happened and doesn't lessen the fact that the specific passage itself is not correct.  It leaves the IMPRESSION that something more happened on board the Rus, than actually did occur.

By the way, Bob and I suggest that each of the online books we have put up on the main website are ALL recommended reading, and are there for you free of charge.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Helen_Azar on June 05, 2007, 12:17:37 PM
[
IMO, it's quite unreliable as many of the statements in the book were shown to be incorrect or misleading after the sources/references were followed up on.

Can you give us a couple of brief examples of this?

Liz

Just a few examples from some of the older threads. Looks like they are still here after all...

Ermakov and the Grand Duchesses: http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php/topic,6218.0.html

Rape: http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php/topic,4360.60.html

Was Yurovsky Jewish?: http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php/topic,6739.0.html
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Raegan on June 13, 2007, 10:01:50 AM
Lifelong Passion is valuable for its multiple perspectives, but keep in mind that the editors deliberately chose to print the letters and diaries that fit in with their own view of the history. That doesn't necessarily make the book a bad source -- it's just something to be aware of as you read.

This is very true. There is a lot of material in the State Archives of the Russian Federation that was not included in A Lifelong Passion. One example that I already mentioned on another thread are the letters OTMA wrote to each other. None of these letters were in the book. Neither were early diary entries penned by Alexandra. Her diaries from the 19th century are stored in the State Archives of the Russian Federation, however they were not included in A Lifelong Passion. Like Sarushka said, this does not make the book bad, it is just something to be aware of. It is perfectly understandable why only selected diaries, letters, etc were included because it would not have been possible to include everything. So all in all, it is a good book.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Helen_Azar on June 18, 2007, 06:10:51 PM
I agree.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Helen_Azar on August 09, 2007, 12:46:31 PM
We were just discussing on a couple of other threads how unreliable "eyewitness" accounts used as sources can be, and how dangerous it is to just take them face value, even if they are in print, cited in books. If not careful, this can lead to all kinds of wrongful conclusions. There are numerous such examples in FOTR, one of which is that Sophie Buxhoveden stole the money intended for the rescue of the IF, which seems to have been based on very unreliable sources (http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php/topic,9863.0.html). Another example of this is in the thread about Derevenko the sailor: http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php/topic,4912.0.html. We have to be very careful about what we take for granted when we read history books and always check and evaluate the sources when possible. This is how we can tell if the information in these books is reliable. 
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Annie on August 10, 2007, 01:33:31 PM
We were just discussing on a couple of other threads how unreliable "eyewitness" accounts used as sources can be, and how dangerous it is to just take them face value, even if they are in print, cited in books. If not careful, this can lead to all kinds of wrongful conclusions. There are numerous such examples in FOTR, one of which is that Sophie Buxhoveden stole the money intended for the rescue of the IF, which seems to have been based on very unreliable sources (http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php/topic,9863.0.html). Another example of this is in the thread about Derevenko the sailor: http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php/topic,4912.0.html. We have to be very careful about what we take for granted when we read history books and always check and evaluate the sources when possible. This is how we can tell if the information in these books is reliable. 

Yes we were. Here is a scientific study proving just how unreliable these eyewitness accounts can be, especially years later. So if the only 'evidence' is one person's word for it, that's not much to go on, and certainly we cannot claim this as a 'fact.'

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/dna/photos/eye/text_06.html

Even if we are careful observers and take in a reasonably accurate picture of some object or experience, it does not stay intact in memory. Other forces begin to corrode the original memory. With the passage of time, with proper motivation, or with the introduction of interfering or contradictory facts, the memory traces change or become transformed, often without our conscious awareness. We can actually come to believe in memories of events that never happened....

As new bits and pieces of information are added into long-term memory, the old memories are removed, replaced, crumpled up, or shoved into corners. Little details are added, confusing or extraneous elements are deleted, and a coherent construction of the facts is gradually created that may bear little resemblance to the original event.

Memories don't just fade, as the old saying would have us believe; they also grow. What fades is the initial perception, the actual experience of the events. But every time we recall an event, we must reconstruct the memory, and with each recollection the memory may be changed--colored by succeeding events, other people's recollections or suggestions, increased understanding, or a new context.

Truth and reality, when seen through the filter of our memories, are not objective facts but subjective, interpretive realities. We interpret the past, correcting ourselves, adding bits and pieces, deleting uncomplimentary or disturbing recollections, sweeping, dusting, tidying things up. Thus our representation of the past takes on a living, shifting reality; it is not fixed and immutable, not a place way back there that is preserved in stone, but a living thing that changes shape, expands, shrinks, and expands again, an amoebalike creature with powers to make us laugh, and cry, and clench our fists. Enormous powers--powers even to make us believe in something that never happened.




Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Annie on August 10, 2007, 03:17:36 PM
So in the end, what is a 'valid source?'  A book or a list quoting this person said this, this person said that. But person A could have lied and person B may have remembered incorrectly. Just because something is written down and you can quote a page number does not prove what the person said is accurate or realiable, so maybe we really have nothing.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Forum Admin on August 10, 2007, 04:23:33 PM
A "valid source" is:
Someone who was there at the time, who is most likely reliably accurate because they are honest sources, trained reporters, officials etc.
Someone who has studied numerous sources, who is academically "honest" ie without personal agendae,bias, financial incentive, etc.
A "peer reviewed" source: one where scholars in the subject have reviewed the source, and found it to be good/reliable/accurate, etc.

Just because a book was written at the time or soon after doesn't make it a good source. Take Aron Simanovich's book on Rasputin as a good example.  He was THERE, he was Rasputin's personal secretary, you might think it makes a valid source, but NO, Simanovich was broke and decided to cash in on the Rasputin myths and wrote a work based loosely on the truth but mostly sensationalised fiction that would sell alot more copies than the truth would have...

It is critical to question authors and their backgrounds, sources, etc and not just accept what one person says in a book at face value.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Temperance on August 13, 2007, 01:21:31 PM
Thanks for those links Helen_A. So the new information in The Fate of the Romanovs isn't true it seems.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Helen_Azar on August 13, 2007, 01:51:31 PM
Thanks for those links Helen_A. So the new information in The Fate of the Romanovs isn't true it seems.

If we go by the definition of "valid sources", alas, no.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: dmitri on August 13, 2007, 05:46:31 PM
Well that's no surprise.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Temperance on August 15, 2007, 07:56:38 AM
It is really disappointing to learn that the new information in The Fate of the Romanovs is false. After reading those links it appears that sources were wrongly credited. Did the paperback correct the mistakes? If not, is there another book that explains the mistakes? People really shouldn't go around thinking Maria went off with a guard when the source didn't really say that, or that the girls and Alexei suffered on the Rus when they really didn't.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Helen_Azar on August 15, 2007, 12:26:29 PM
It is really disappointing to learn that the new information in The Fate of the Romanovs is false. After reading those links it appears that sources were wrongly credited. Did the paperback correct the mistakes? If not, is there another book that explains the mistakes? People really shouldn't go around thinking Maria went off with a guard when the source didn't really say that, or that the girls and Alexei suffered on the Rus when they really didn't.

Not to mention that Sophie Buxhoeveden was an embezzler and a thief while there is no reliable evidence that she was either, and numerous other things.

Temperance, the authors of FOTR claim that all the "mistakes" in the book were due to bad editorial job. I haven't looked at the paperback, so I'm not sure if the "errors" were corrected, but somehow I doubt it. Maybe someone who has the paperback version can let us know? Also, I believe that the authors have a discussion forum, where you can ask them questions if you become a member, but I think they will just tell you that it was bad editing and not their own mistakes.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Temperance on August 16, 2007, 07:45:56 AM
What I meant by mistakes was maybe the authors couldn't translate very well so they messed everything up. There is no way the accusations of Sophie Buxhoeveden being a thief were the result of bad editing. After all the inside flap of the book cover of The Fate of the Romanovs clearly states that new evidence suggest the Romanovs were betrayed by someone they trusted. Now it looks like that wasn't the case and Sophie Buxhoeveden has been wrongly accused of something she didn't do.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Helen_Azar on August 17, 2007, 01:13:21 PM
What I meant by mistakes was maybe the authors couldn't translate very well so they messed everything up.

Perhaps this is true. In which case they should have hired professionals to do the translations and all these errors could have been avoided.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: mr_harrison75 on August 17, 2007, 01:28:37 PM
It certainly looks like it, because how can good scholars such as these make so many mistakes? The only other explanation is that they were lying knowingly...and that wouldn't be in their (and the research) interest, isn't it?
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Annie on August 17, 2007, 10:21:50 PM
Maybe it's possible that some people write books and document so much they think it will never be checked up on or verified as true or not. Some may lie, some may be sloppy, or lazy and think no one is ever going to find out. Look at the pages and pages of notes in most books, who would be the wiser if it wasn't all what it looked to be? Most people take nonfiction as just that, and automatically accept that everything in a nonfiction book can be trusted as fact. This is not always the case. There are a lot of books sitting on nonfiction shelves that are not completely factual, either due to inaccuracies of the writer or unreliability of the source quoted.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: dmitri on August 18, 2007, 03:12:32 AM
Yes more care should have occurred during research and before publication.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Forum Admin on August 18, 2007, 09:55:02 AM
One way to be more "certain" about the accuracy of a non-fiction work is to look to see if they are written by University professors, and published by a University press.  These authors will be held to very high academeic standards for their work and have the ability to spend the necessary amount of time to research each source cited, whereas the "dilletante" authors who don't have history degrees but choose to research and slap together a book are also forced to be a bit sloppy in their work and editing in order to meet deadlines (they are also often working "day jobs" as opposed to the University professor whose JOB is to "publish or perish")

Now, not to be hypocritical, Bob Atchison is not a university professor, and his degree was not in history, so in the one sense, he falls into the latter catagory (I just want to address this before some people try to shred me or Bob for my last paragraph).  However, one reason that the book is still not out is because Bob wants to make 100% sure that everything he writes is as well researched and accurate as possible.  He refuses to be rushed to publication.

Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: dmitri on August 18, 2007, 10:45:18 AM
Of course academics with agendas have been known to fudge accuracy in the name of vested interests so it is wise to have a healthy suspicion even of their work. Don't take their word, check the sources yourself if you are serious.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Ilana on August 18, 2007, 12:07:55 PM
I would argue that there is a third category... people who do the best they do, exhaustively, but are denied access to information for various and sometimes bizarre reasons.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Forum Admin on August 18, 2007, 12:58:36 PM
Yes Ilana, of course you are correct.  And the voice of experience in that catagory!


Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Belochka on August 19, 2007, 02:55:36 AM
Of course academics with agendas have been known to fudge accuracy in the name of vested interests so it is wise to have a healthy suspicion even of their work. Don't take their word, check the sources yourself if you are serious.

Indeed, just because the person holds a professorship or some other academic post does not indicate that what they write must be beyond critical assessment by the academic and non-academic communities. The standards by which they judged are certainly higher.

I have just recently purchased a 2007 book on the Romanov Empire, which was written by Alan Wood (a visiting research fellow at Lancaster University) and was annoyed how incorrect his observations were about Rasputin (e. g. calling him a "confidence trickster"). He failed to research the recent Russian scholarship on the matter. Had he done so might have been influenced to re-assess what he wrote.

I will give him credit that at least he used the correct transliterations for Russian names and definitions, which is highly unsual to see in English language texts.

Equally, the fact that someone has managed to be awarded with a degree in history - a very broad theme, does not imply that the graduate has the ability to write with merit.

It is rather narrow for some to believe that history can only be evaluated and written by history graduates. The discipline is not their exclusive domain.

I would argue that there is a third category... people who do the best they do, exhaustively, but are denied access to information for various and sometimes bizarre reasons.

Absolutely correct Ilana,

There is yet another respectable category - those who have other qualifications and are capable of bringing a different perspective whilst offering an intelligent and innovative approach to the historic subject.

Margarita  
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Sarushka on August 19, 2007, 10:29:15 AM
I will give him credit that at least he used the correct transliterations for Russian names and definitions, which is highly unsual to see in English language texts.

It's my understanding that there is more than one system of Cyrillic-to-Latin alphabet transliteration. Which do you consider correct?
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Belochka on August 20, 2007, 01:38:40 AM
The ideal system is the one which mirrors the Russian definitions as close as practicable. 


Margarita
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Sarushka on August 20, 2007, 09:00:40 AM
The ideal system is the one which mirrors the Russian definitions as close as practicable. 


Margarita

I'm sorry, I don't understand what definitions have to do with transliteration. I was asking which of the internationally accepted transliteration systems for converting cyrillic characters to roman ones you judge to be correct. There are seven possible systems listed on Wikipedia's table of common systems for romanizing Russian (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transliteration_of_Russian_into_English):

Scholarly
ISO/R 9:1968
GOST 1971
UN
ISO 9:1995; GOST 2002
ALA-LC
BGN/PCGN
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Temperance on August 20, 2007, 05:45:13 PM
Whether or not the authors knowingly manipulated the sources or they honestly messed up on their translations, the point is the "new" information in The Fate of the Romanovs can’t be supported by the sources and are most likely false. I think this is a real shame because readers deserve better.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Helen_Azar on August 20, 2007, 07:06:32 PM
I will give him credit that at least he used the correct transliterations for Russian names and definitions, which is highly unsual to see in English language texts.

It's my understanding that there is more than one system of Cyrillic-to-Latin alphabet transliteration. Which do you consider correct?

One of things I do at the library is transliterate the titles of our Russian materials, to find things that already exist in our catalog, and let me tell you, there is definitely more than one way to transliterate cyrillic to latin... There are probably about ten different ways you can do it! I am not sure if there is a "right" way, but there are absolutely some wrong ways ;-).
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Belochka on August 20, 2007, 07:58:05 PM
...There are seven possible systems listed on Wikipedia's table of common systems for romanizing Russian (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transliteration_of_Russian_into_English):

Scholarly
ISO/R 9:1968
GOST 1971
UN
ISO 9:1995; GOST 2002
ALA-LC
BGN/PCGN

The best system listed above IMHO is BGN/PCGN.

The reason - the letters below offer the "best fit":

Ё  = yë

Ц  = ts

Ю = yu

Я = ya

Diasadvatage of the BGN/PCGN system:

The old Russian "hard sign" "Ъ" is not catered for, nor is the Theta sign "θ" and similar.

Many texts printed in Russia before the orthographic reforms and also by many Europe printing houses during the 1920's continued to incorporate the old imperial characters, e.g. the Parisian 1927 publication <<Koнeц Pacпyтинa>> ("Konets Rasputina")  by ЮсуповЪ (Yusupov).

Comments:

There is a trend to write Felix Yusupov's surname in many different styles e.g. with a "ss" : "Yussupov". The family never used "ss" so why should others who write about them do so?

Furthermore, there is a small trend for modern Russian publishers to "reprint" facsimile copies which use the imperial format. Thus it is worthwhile to maintain one's knowledge of the "old with the new".

Margarita

Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Belochka on August 20, 2007, 08:25:38 PM
I will give him credit that at least he used the correct transliterations for Russian names and definitions, which is highly unsual to see in English language texts.

It's my understanding that there is more than one system of Cyrillic-to-Latin alphabet transliteration. Which do you consider correct?

... There are probably about ten different ways you can do it! I am not sure if there is a "right" way, but there are absolutely some wrong ways ;-).

Its the "wrong ways" which offer innovate results that annoy me.

Why for example do some historians prefer "Xenia" over "Ksenia". What happens if the first name is "Ksana"? Using the same analogy does that name then become "Xana"?

This simple example illustrates that letters have "sounds" which is another important consideration when any text is being translated from the Russian into English.

Margarita  
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Louis_Charles on August 21, 2007, 11:47:55 AM
What do my credentials in linguistics or Russian History have to do with anything? It doesn’t change the fact that the sources given in The Fate of the Romanovs don’t support the new information. If you can show that the sources actually do support the claims and that the conclusions that have been drawn here are flatly false, then as Helen_A wrote put your money where your mouth is and show us that it is all flatly false. Go to each and every link Helen_A posted here, from Sophie Buxhoeveden being a thief to the alleged Rus incident, and provide the proof that the sources given in The Fate of the Romanovs do support the claims. Thank you!

Thanks for answering my question, Temperance.

Best,

Simon

Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Forum Admin on August 21, 2007, 01:48:18 PM
What do my credentials in linguistics or Russian History have to do with anything? It doesn’t change the fact that the sources given in The Fate of the Romanovs don’t support the new information. If you can show that the sources actually do support the claims and that the conclusions that have been drawn here are flatly false, then as Helen_A wrote put your money where your mouth is and show us that it is all flatly false. Go to each and every link Helen_A posted here, from Sophie Buxhoeveden being a thief to the alleged Rus incident, and provide the proof that the sources given in The Fate of the Romanovs do support the claims. Thank you!

Will any specific discussion about the specific incidents please take place over on the appropriate threads.  This thread is about recommended/valid sources and not specific issue discussion.
Thanks,

FA
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Louis_Charles on August 21, 2007, 02:48:16 PM
Thanks for answering my question, Temperance.

Best,

Simon

I see that you will not answer mine though... Well, I didn't think so. Diverting the issue to "you have not proven your credentials therefore you can't possibly question anything therefore you are wrong" just doesn't cut it, Simon...

Well, maybe you are right. You and I, Simon, being mere librarians and not "historians" and "published authors", have absolutely no credentials to question anything or come up with any conclusions, or no understanding of this stuff whatsoever. So we may as well not even bother, right?  Right.

Dear Helen,

Temperance is listed as a "newbie", and I was genuinely curious as to his/her credentials. I know yours, although you miss the boat about mine twice: I am a published author, and I am a historian by virtue of my undergraduate training. No big, just wanted to clarify.

I am sorry if you genuinely feel the way you express yourself in the second paragraph, Helen. I have certainly never said, or implied, that either of us has no riight to question anything, or come up with conclusions, or have any understanding of "this stuff" whatsoever. By all means, go ahead and bother. With my blessing, even --- not that you need it.

Best,

Simon
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Louis_Charles on August 21, 2007, 03:15:38 PM
Dear Helen,

I have never been made to feel that my "credentials" are irrelevant by anyone, sorry. And I am equally sorry if you have been. I hope you have not let it damage your self-esteem? Although my professional use of my MSLS was only for five years --- I have been teaching other areas, including history and theatre, since I stopped working in the library field --- I never, ever felt that I was a "mere" librarian. If nothing else, it gave me the skills to conduct and evaluate research. Other than that, I don't exactly know what to say.

I also don't understand the "wink" thingy next to your response to my statement that I was curious as to "Temperance"'s credentials. Does that mean you disbelieve my explanation?

Surely not. ;)

Best,

Simon



Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Helen_Azar on August 21, 2007, 03:34:02 PM
Dear Helen,

I have never been made to feel that my "credentials" are irrelevant by anyone, sorry.

Perhaps one of these days if you question the "wrong" sources in the "right" book, it will happen.  ;-)

I hope you have not let it damage your self-esteem?

My self-esteem is in absolute shambles! ;-)

I also don't understand the "wink" thingy next to your response to my statement that I was curious as to "Temperance"'s credentials. Does that mean you disbelieve my explanation?
Surely not. ;)

Surely not! ;-)

It sounds like with all your credentials as a historian and published author, you would be the perfect candidate to offer contrary evidence to what you referred as "flatly false statements" that have been presented here. I personally don't like one-sided discussions and would welcome alternative explanations - if they exist - especially since you seem so convinced that they do. You would blow the pants off any one of us, since we have no credentials as historians, so it should be a piece of cake to do this. It promises to be a very interesting and exciting discussion and I am looking forward to your arguments. Of course we will have to do it on appropriate threads.

And now we must get back to the subject of this thread: "Valid Sources and Recommended Reading"
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Louis_Charles on August 21, 2007, 09:33:15 PM
I doubt that it is useful to make generalizations. Surely each work must be considered on its' individual merits. As Rob has pointed out, Bob is preparing a book on the Alexander Palace, isn't he? Would you discount his scholarship because he doesn't have a history degree? There are certainly academic standards, but I don't think that it is necessary to have a degree in order to understand them. And as I posted to Helen, I think a librarianship degree can be an enormous help in terms of doing research. I know many scholars who pick one up in addition to their other higher degrees.

Simon
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Belochka on August 21, 2007, 10:30:59 PM
Other degrees whether they be awarded for Librarianship, Legal studies or even Medical Science provide one with worthwhile skills to research and comprehend the material. Enhanced by professional investigative experience in the field, one can be suitably qualified to approach historic issues more than competently.

We then must agree that it is rather disingenuous on the part of those individuals who profess that only a degree in history offers the appropriate training to research and write a history book.

Margarita
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Louis_Charles on August 21, 2007, 11:20:46 PM
Of course. There is no "degree" in and of itself which can confer the skills that enable one to do proper history: native intelligence, a freedom from prejudices and agendas, whether national or personal, and the ability to synthesize information and draw correct conclusions from it. But just as a trained scientist is in a better position to comprehend science, an historian who has received the professional training required by the academic degree has a certain advantage over those who do not. When I was a working librarian, I was always struck by the number of people who assumed that because they had been using libraries all of their lives, they were competent in the same way that I was. They regarded the reference librarian as a last resort, someone to approach only after they had exhausted their own skill set, instead of the helpful resource that they are --- as I am sure my fellow librarian Helen will agree. Training does offer benefits that should not be discounted. For example, you use the idea of investigative experience in the field. Surely there are trained archaeologists involved with the SEARCH expeditions in which you have participated, Margarita, and they offer valuable advice and direction in how one excavates an historical site? Look at what happened during the initial excavations of the grave by those without such training.

Best,

Simon
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Forum Admin on August 22, 2007, 09:08:48 AM
There is certainly some misunderstanding going on here, and I fear I started it by suggesting that books by University trained and employed historians were valid sources.  I did not mean to imply that ALL such works were unquestionably better.  Margarita seems to take some offense here.  I only meant, as Simon so astutely pointed out, that they are more LIKELY to be more reliable than say a barber who writes a history book on their spare time.  There are no black and white answers here.  I was merely trying to give our novice users some quidence towards those sources more probably accurate than others.

Exceptions abound, of course. Bob's book on the AP will probably be the definitive say on the subject.  I myself eagerly await Ilana's VMH biography.  That said, when in the bookstore perusing shelves, comparing several authors unknown to me, the Yale University History professor as author will strike me as more accurate than the bloke who's bio on the backflap says they studied at a community college in south dakota and tends bar evenings...

Thats all I meant, ok?


Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Helen_Azar on August 22, 2007, 04:15:50 PM
I apologize for the digression, lets get back to the topic: Valid Sources and Recommended Reading.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: LisaDavidson on August 22, 2007, 05:37:27 PM
This has become nasty and contentious. I respectfully request that all of this unpleasantness stop. It is helping no one, it is benefiting no one, and most of all, Ms. Wilson is not here to defend herself.

If anyone has any questions regarding Ms. Wilson's work, she maintains a Forum at kingandwilson.com.

This forum should not be hijacked for that purpose.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: LisaDavidson on August 24, 2007, 12:56:03 AM
What do my credentials in linguistics or Russian History have to do with anything? It doesn’t change the fact that the sources given in The Fate of the Romanovs don’t support the new information. If you can show that the sources actually do support the claims and that the conclusions that have been drawn here are flatly false, then as Helen_A wrote put your money where your mouth is and show us that it is all flatly false. Go to each and every link Helen_A posted here, from Sophie Buxhoeveden being a thief to the alleged Rus incident, and provide the proof that the sources given in The Fate of the Romanovs do support the claims. Thank you!

Will any specific discussion about the specific incidents please take place over on the appropriate threads.  This thread is about recommended/valid sources and not specific issue discussion.
Thanks,

FA


With this in mind, I have consulted with the Management of this Board. Arguments, contentious language, and "fightin' words" have been deleted from this thread.

Points of order were called numerous times by the FA and other Members, only to be drowned out by "fussin' and fightin'. This will not be tolerated, as will disrespectful comments directed at others not permitted.

In the words of our beloved GA, granduchessella, if you find your post directed specifically at one member, kindly express your thoughts to that member by PM, do not use the board.

This topic, and I repeat Rob's words again, is not intended to be issue specific.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Helen_Azar on August 28, 2007, 11:54:45 AM
Ok, so to get back to the original topic. Valid sources have little to do with the profession/degree of the author(s) presenting the information but with how these sources were obtained, what the sources are, how they are interpreted and most importantly how they check out. Hence, again, it is always a good idea to follow up on the references/sources of any "new" information which has not been presented before, or on information contradictory to anything else that has been presented in the past, such as the case with FOTR.
Luckily, the authors of FOTR did include extensive footnotes, which is how many readers were able to figure out that a lot of information in this book was not correct, or misinterpreted. The whole point of having footnotes is so that these sources can be verified. Just looking at footnotes is not enough, being able to access the sources (at least some of them) to see what the original source actually states is crucial, especially when you are trying to analyze new information and make a judgment on whether this information is valid.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Lolita on September 19, 2007, 02:15:40 PM
About two years ago,fate sent the Romanov bug after me and even though i`m not the biggest expert,i`m getting there

so all i`m just wondering is that which non-fiction books would you recommend(it can be photo albums too)
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Sarushka on September 19, 2007, 10:05:55 PM
I keep returning to Fall of the Romanovs (http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/books.html?sku=7) and Nicholas and Alexandra (http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/books.html?sku=23).

For photo albums, I prefer Romanovs: Love, Power and Tragedy (http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/books.html?sku=39) and Nicholas and Alexandra: The Family Albums (http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/books.html?sku=25).

A nice mix between the two genres is Tsar: The Lost World of Nicholas and Alexandra (http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/books.html?sku=44).
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: anna11 on September 25, 2007, 04:21:42 AM
Nicholas and Alexandra is probably the best over all portrayal, if you haven't read it yet. It was the first book I read, it it gives a nice, all round sympathetic view of Nicholas and Alexandra.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: GD Alexandra on April 03, 2008, 12:51:35 AM
Wasn't sure where to post this but since it's books related...I need someone's advise on which books are good to read as a continuation to the introduction to the last Tzar's family.
Years ago,  I started with the basic: Massie's "Nicholas and Alexandra" and "The Final Chapter" (Thanks to an angel here I got this, because in my country: CERO) but now I don't know which book should come next.(Thing that has sent me to re-read both books.) There are so many books and I only want to read the most important ones, whether they talk about the family per se or the execution.

What other basic, important books do you advice me to get?

Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Sarushka on April 03, 2008, 08:57:45 AM
I'd recommend Fall of the Romanovs (http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/books.html?sku=7) for information about the arrest, captivity, and execution of the IF.

A Lifelong Passion (http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/books.html?sku=17) will give you a good sense of the IF's personalities through their own letters and diaries.

Greg King's The Last Empress (http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/books.html?sku=12) is currently the most reliable biography on Alexandra, in spite of occasionally using information from the fabricated memoir, My Empress. Footnotes make it easy to sort out what came from that one iffy source.

Edvard Radzinsky's prose is a bit flowery and imaginative for people's some taste, but you still shouldn't miss The Last Tsar (http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/books.html?sku=15). Radzinsky was one of the first Russians granted access to the imperial archives at GARF and spent years researching Nicholas II.

If you enjoy photos, Peter Kurth's Tsar: The Lost World of Nicholas and Alexandra (http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/books.html?sku=44) is attractive, affordable, and still has plenty of text.

Last of all, the Complete Wartime Correspondence (http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/books.html?sku=5) is one of the most excellent resources, but it's out of print, difficult to find, and exceedingly expensive as a result.


Those are the basics, IMO.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: halen on April 03, 2008, 07:10:42 PM
Sarushka, great selections!

I would also recommendHessian Tapestry by David Duff.This is a wonderful, easy to read book on the Hessians. If you are lucky enough to have this book, you may get a gigantic family tree that is awesome in appearance. Dweeb that I am, I gawked at it for hours and tried to figure out the family connections. Fun time is my life!!!

Little Mother of Russia: Biography of Marie Feodorvna, by Coryne Hallis excellent. I just finished re-reading it last week.

The Romanovs by Bruce Lincoln...

I could go on and on about great Romanov books for beginners or anyone interested in the Romanovs

Louise
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Lalee on April 04, 2008, 09:40:32 PM
I hope this can help.

Just like Sarushka, I'd also recommend Tsar: The Lost World Of Nicholas and Alexandra (http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/books.html?sku=44) by Peter Kurth. It has a lot of photographs and text.

The Romanovs: Love, Power & Tragedy (http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/books.html?sku=39) is really good, too. It's similar to Peter Kurth's book, but probably more difficult to find and much more expensive. It's also like a classic on the Romanovs.

Another photographic tribute to the Imperial Family is Nicholas and Alexandra: The Family Albums (http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/books.html?sku=25) by Prince Michael of Greece. If you are interested in seeing rare photos of Nicholas, Alexandra, and their children, then this is also really helpful. It has hardly any text at all. Unfortunately, it's out of print and is generally quite expensive. I've always seen it on Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/Nicholas-Alexandra-Prince-Greece-Michael/dp/1850434948/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1207363834&sr=1-4) for hundreds of dollars, but now prices have dropped quite a bit, and it is available from $57.85. Surprisingly, I never thought that it would be available for a much cheaper price than The Romanovs: LPT.

I also think that Charlotte Zeepvat's books are great. Her books are focused on the entire Romanov family, rather than just Nicholas, Alexandra, and their children, which is what we mostly see. I also think that learning about other family members would be good too, and Charlotte Zeepvat presents them in her photographic book, The Camera And The Tsars (http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/books.html?sku=4), and also in her Romanov Autumn (http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/books.html?sku=36), which has much more text.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: GD Alexandra on April 05, 2008, 04:28:51 AM
Oh thank you so much Ferah, Sarushka and Halen. I'm taking note of each book. Got to save a lot. Lol.
 I'm going to look if there are any copies here in my country, if not, I'll go to Amazon. My adventure of trying to find them will start today in the closest bookstore.
Now that you've mentioned it twice, you've got me interested in Peter Kurth's Tsar: The Lost World Of Nicholas and Alexandra. Hope I'll be able to get it.
Thanks A LOT for taking your time in replying. : )
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: halen on April 05, 2008, 08:30:19 AM
Kurth's book is simply a must! It is beauitful detailed with wonderful pictures. It is still one of favorite books.  You could try your local book stores, used book stores, Amazon,etc. Or go to the thread Duplicate books and see if anyone there has books that you could purchase!. Yes, being passionate about the Romanovs is expensive hobby, but one well worth it. Enjoy.

Louise
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Lalee on April 05, 2008, 11:22:35 PM
Another good thing about Peter Kurth's book is that it not only has photos of the Imperial Family, but also photos of their palaces and possessions.

I'm planning on buying it from my local bookstore, and I have to save up to sixty dollars. I remember reading it at a library and I enjoyed it thoroughly. It's a less expensive version and easier to find than The Romanovs: Love, Power & Tragedy.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Charlieee on July 23, 2008, 07:22:13 AM
Hi!
I have been interested in the story of the last Romanov family for a while now, but I haven't read much about the subject before, besides documentaries about their final days and the myth surrounding Anastasia's survival.
Are there any books you can recommend for someone who is wanting to find out more about Tsar Nicholas II and his family? I'm not wanting to read something too heavy.

Thanks
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Lalee on July 23, 2008, 08:02:10 AM
Hey, Charlie! Welcome to the Forum! :)

First of all, you can look at this thread (http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php?topic=11083.0) (it is similar to this one that you have started).

Do you have any Romanov books yet? My own personal recommendation would be to read Nicholas & Alexandra by Robert K. Massie. I'd actually imagine that a lot of people started by reading this book first. It is a classic and covers all of Nicholas and Alexandra's lives.

If you are not very interested in reading something that is pure text and would like to see a lot of photographs as well, you might want to go for The Romanovs: Love, Power & Tragedy. The text is simple and you will come across many, many photographs and I am sure a lot of them would be rare for you. Unfortunately, the book is not available at a lot of places and you would have to buy it online, and a lot of the time it is quite pricey. If you don't want to do that and you are still interested in reading something similar to LPT, try Tsar: The Lost World Of Nicholas And Alexandra, which is often found for a much cheaper price.

If you would also like to read the personal memoirs of those who knew the Imperial Family (like Ania Vyrubova, Baroness Sophie Buxhoeveden and Lili Dehn - the Empress's close friends), then you can definitely check them out here at the main Alexander Palace Time Machine site.

If you would like to read some basic information of a list of all Romanov books, then look at the Book Finder (http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/book_finder.html) here at the AP. Overall, I would definitely recommend to you Nicholas & Alexandra by Massie.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: s.v.markov on July 23, 2008, 09:34:05 AM
.......and I have just (a few seconds ago!) put a spare copy of 'N & A' by Massie on the duplicate books thread!! Send me a PM if you want it.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: A_Ivonna on July 13, 2009, 08:37:56 PM
I'm relatively new to Imperial Russian history.  I came upon it quite by accident, although I've always been a history nut, and now I'm quite hooked!  So far I've read (not necessarily in this order): The Last Tsar and Rasputin file by Edvard Radzinsky; Alexandra - Carolly Erickson; Nicholas & Alexandra and the Romanovs - the Final Chapter - Robert Massie; King Kaiser Tsar - Catrine Clay; Romanov Autumn - Charlotte Zeepvat; Michael & Natasha - can't remember the author; and lastly, Jewels of the Tsars - Prince Michael of Greece.  If you had the opportunity to recommend my next 3 books, what would you recommend and why.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Teddy on July 22, 2009, 01:47:57 AM
I think Camera and the Tsars, by Charlotte Zeepvat (a nice photobook with nice side information), Nicholas and Alexandra: the family albums, by Prince Michael of Greece and Anastasia's Album (writer doesn't come to my mind on the moment).

If I may, I want to point at the thread: duplicate books (or something like that), were you can find books for free. And I have a nice website, which I can give you, and where you can find lovely books about the Romanovs.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: TroubleTwin2 on August 02, 2010, 08:52:58 PM
I would love some recommendations of books on the Romanovs fiction and non fiction are both OK. As long as they are easily found like at Barnes and Noble or some place like that.
Please and thankyou.
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: TroubleTwin2 on August 02, 2010, 08:55:12 PM
Ok, I just had a 'Lindelle moment' (blonde moment) I meant to put this in the books section, can someone please correct that problem.  :-[
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: Lindelle on August 03, 2010, 02:42:21 AM
Ok, I just had a 'Lindelle moment' (blonde moment) I meant to put this in the books section, can someone please correct that problem.  :-[


Good one ;)
Hopefully there is something on Ebay?
I'd go to the library but the trouble with that is I'd like to keep these books so I can reread them at my leisure.
Please let me know TT2 if anyone recommends any to you?
Title: Re: Recommended reading/Valid sources/Advice for beginners on Romanov books
Post by: TroubleTwin2 on August 03, 2010, 11:06:59 AM
I will.