Author Topic: Helen Rappaport- Ekaterinburg: The Last Days of the Romanovs  (Read 112478 times)

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Offline Michael HR

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Re: Helen Rappaport- Ekaterinburg: The Last Days of the Romanovs
« Reply #120 on: June 12, 2008, 03:40:40 PM »
Hi all,

Well I have now finished the book and thought I would report back with my thoughts and impressions.

I found it a very interesting book and it managed to convey the stifling feeling that must have been the Ipatiev House in those last days of July 1918, the heat, bad air and closeness of a lost family struggling to live each day as it came and with hope. The broken Tsar resigned to his fate as a good christian, the proud Tsarina to the very last but knowing that perhaps her time here on earth was limited, the daughters trying to find good in all things, even the guards, and the Tsarivich noticing everything and perhaps also knowing what was to come. Also the fear in the city of the people that lived there I had never thought about before but the book brings to mind what they also lived through.

The image of this sad and utterly lost family surrounded by such evil is something I don't think any of us can imagine and is to horrible to comtemplate. But the book brings this to life and takes you through their last days whilst wanting to scream out loud at the same time as we know what is coming.

The basement chapter is hard to read as for us we know so much about the family and that these people are not just abstract figures from history but in effect living people, to us, we all care about. At least Nicholas II dies quickly unlike most of the family. The daughters hugging themselves in terror and devotion to each other even at the end, Maria trying so hard to escape the carnage and Anastasia so terrified of what was happening coming 'round to see the dynasty wiped out where poking out her tongue in mock disapproval will not help at all. The Tsarevich sat on the chair surrounded by his family in the movement of death and departure from this world terrified so much that he could not move. Even he was not allowed to leave this world quickly, poor boy.

There are other points brought up such as the medical report into the Tsarina that she dismissed and advised all, such as Dr Botkin, of what was wrong with her. I would love to know what that report said! Her constant bickering and berating of the Tsar wearing him down over time, the Tsar's absolute inability to stand up to his wife and the cost to him and others of that failure.

The odd situation that the Tsar, Tsarina etc may not have completely trusted Maria at the end is something new to me. I always though that she may not have had jewels as she had been the one to go to Ekaterinburg 1st with her parents and did not have time to conceal and "medicines" and this is the first I had read of this.

Yes it paints a picture on one hand of a disjointed out of touch family with no idea of how to run an empire but on the other paints a picture of a family that even today we would want to be part of not because of the Palaces and riches but because of their love for each other and that to the end they stood by each other and faced such ordeals together and in the end death together.

I will re read the chapter on sources tomorrow.

So I would recommend this book to everyone and I have no regrets at all for reading it.

Michael

   


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Offline nena

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Re: Helen Rappaport- Ekaterinburg: The Last Days of the Romanovs
« Reply #121 on: June 12, 2008, 03:52:45 PM »
Thank you very much, Michael, for describing book. I enjoyed it greatly!
I don't know how, but I have to read it!
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Offline halen

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Re: Helen Rappaport- Ekaterinburg: The Last Days of the Romanovs
« Reply #122 on: June 13, 2008, 03:52:51 PM »
My book is here....Let the bells ring out and the people cheer...it is here.

Louise
There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why... I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?

When he shall die
Take him and cut him out into stars
And he shall make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night,

Offline Michael HR

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Re: Helen Rappaport- Ekaterinburg: The Last Days of the Romanovs
« Reply #123 on: June 13, 2008, 04:02:23 PM »
Enjoy
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Offline halen

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Re: Helen Rappaport- Ekaterinburg: The Last Days of the Romanovs
« Reply #124 on: June 13, 2008, 07:08:58 PM »
Enjoying it immensely. I broke away from the book long enough to have dinner. I'm reading it, almost holding my breath. That is how intense it is. 10 out of 10 so far.

Helen, congratulations. You have written a mighty powerful account of the Imperial Family.

Louise





There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why... I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?

When he shall die
Take him and cut him out into stars
And he shall make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night,

Offline helenrappaport

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Re: Helen Rappaport- Ekaterinburg: The Last Days of the Romanovs
« Reply #125 on: June 15, 2008, 04:23:32 AM »
My thanks to Michael and Louise for their wonderful positive comments.

For any of you who have access to the UK trade journal 'Publishing News' I have a full page piece in it about the inspiration behind writing Ekaterinburg (13 June issue, page 14).  Sadly I can't give an online link as you have to be a subscriber but maybe someone could scan it?

All best, Helen

Offline Kimberly

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Re: Helen Rappaport- Ekaterinburg: The Last Days of the Romanovs
« Reply #126 on: June 16, 2008, 09:18:56 AM »
Not half way through yet but enjoying it immensely. I find the character studies of each Romanov particularly interesting Helen, especially your "take" on Alexandra. Extremely refreshing, thank you.
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Offline mansotogracia

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Re: Helen Rappaport- Ekaterinburg: The Last Days of the Romanovs
« Reply #127 on: June 18, 2008, 08:00:39 AM »
Hello Everyone!!

I enjoyed this book tremendously. I think it gave us the sad atmosphere of the last days of the Imperial FAmiliy. Sometines is hard to read, because, like I read on this thread, this people r not only historical, far away beings, but part of our lives in many ways.

Although this book let me with a couple of questions that I'll ask later, I am glad to have read it. Thank Miss R!

Offline isabel

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Re: Helen Rappaport- Ekaterinburg: The Last Days of the Romanovs
« Reply #128 on: June 19, 2008, 01:34:02 AM »
Hi all,

Yesterday, after a hard journey of work i recived the best recompense .....my copy fo Helen´s book was waiting me at home.

When all was calm (after dinner.., children finally were sleeping (all of them) ....i begun to read it. Only few pages (with my english dictionary besides me), i pretend to read it this week end calmly.

I have really appreciate how Helen mentions this forum in the first pages, and i would like to know who´s the Olga Romanov she interviewed in London. Thanks in advance.

I am anxious to begin to read it¡¡¡

Sorry, onehundred times for my bad english, i would like to express my feelings much better but.........

Best regards

Offline helenrappaport

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Re: Helen Rappaport- Ekaterinburg: The Last Days of the Romanovs
« Reply #129 on: June 19, 2008, 10:28:15 AM »
Dear Isabel

Princess Olga Romanoff who lives in Kent, England is the granddaughter of Xenia and great niece of the Tsar. She is in touch with all the living Romanov clan and attended the interment in St Petersburg in 1998 of the remains of the family.  Best, Helen

Offline isabel

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Re: Helen Rappaport- Ekaterinburg: The Last Days of the Romanovs
« Reply #130 on: June 19, 2008, 11:43:11 AM »
Dear Helen,

Thank you so much for the quick answer to my question. You´re really kind¡¡¡

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Helen Rappaport- Ekaterinburg: The Last Days of the Romanovs
« Reply #131 on: June 19, 2008, 01:04:04 PM »
I really enjoyed the book as well.  Although much has already been said before, in other books, this brings the whole case into one, consice and up-t-date volume.  What I liked the most though, as another poster noted, is the objective and clear profiles.  Not hagiograhy nor rabid condemnation.  And, as also been noted, it certainly takes  the reader into the mood that must have exixtence of those imprisoned. I think I actually had feelings of despeir, depression and fatalism at times just reading it! But instead of 3 young grand duchess to try and cheer me up, I have 3 cats to  bring me back to reality...
 I highly recommend  this volume, even if you have read everything else.
 Robert
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

Offline StevenL

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Re: Helen Rappaport- Ekaterinburg: The Last Days of the Romanovs
« Reply #132 on: June 20, 2008, 08:10:45 AM »
I am 50+ pages into the book and am in -absolute awe- of Ms. Rappaport's research and writing abilities, particularly her keen descriptiveness and her uncanny ability to "see" and report on circumstances, people, a house, a city -and a mood- as vividly as if this all happened in front of her eyes yesterday, instead of almost a century ago. Though describing gloom and fear and the sense of "suffocation," as well as other subjects that I'd rather not dwell on, the book has enthralled me. I can't wait for the weekend to read more, despite my simultaneous dread of reaching the end of this particular story. Congratulations, Helen, for such remarkable "live reporting" of history. You are truly a genius.

Steven

Offline matushka

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Re: Helen Rappaport- Ekaterinburg: The Last Days of the Romanovs
« Reply #133 on: June 21, 2008, 07:28:09 AM »
Thank you Michael and Robert for your appreciations of the book, it decide me to buy it!
And, if I can allow me such a remark, I find always very annoying when a thread dedicated to an interesting subject become some place for personnal quarrels: you are waiting a long a richful discussion on 9 pages and find only "normal" pages. Such a pity. Sorry for that...

Offline Michael HR

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Re: Helen Rappaport- Ekaterinburg: The Last Days of the Romanovs
« Reply #134 on: June 21, 2008, 08:12:59 AM »
I think the answer to every one is to go and get the book, a better buy you could not make.

Remembering the Imperial Corps Des Pages - The Spirit of Imperial Russia