Author Topic: Road to Ekaterinburg by ECS Banks  (Read 23484 times)

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Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Road to Ekaterinburg by ECS Banks
« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2012, 09:46:07 AM »
I totally forgot myself that I posted it and what it said! LOL

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Re: Road to Ekaterinburg by ECS Banks
« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2012, 04:57:54 PM »
I never even looked at the s/h price. It is "sky high". Good to wait, I think.

Offline blessOTMA

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Re: Road to Ekaterinburg by ECS Banks
« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2012, 11:01:58 PM »
The postage has gone way  down...there's a surface mail  option now
for the US ( thank god lol ) and I'm waiting for  my copy. I'll post about it went it gets here

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Offline koloagirl

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Re: Road to Ekaterinburg by ECS Banks
« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2012, 01:28:16 PM »

Aloha!

Yes, I see that now the shipping charges are 13 pounds - that is lower than they were earlier last week when I checked (I think they were 20 some odd pounds) - but at over $30 US for
this book, I think I'll still wait until someone reports back here on it - I'd like to know if it is a worthwhile read or not.

Interesting that they've dropped the shipping price down.....

Janet R.
Janet R.

Offline blessOTMA

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Re: Road to Ekaterinburg by ECS Banks
« Reply #19 on: December 11, 2012, 10:15:02 AM »
From what I can gather, the publisher thought people would not want to wait for the 50 days ground postage would mean... so offered air mail  only for this 500 page book. But after complaints about the air mail  postage price $ ( mine included) , I believe they realized  offering surface postage was a must . Thankfully they have that option now.

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Offline Helen

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Re: Road to Ekaterinburg by ECS Banks
« Reply #20 on: December 11, 2012, 12:39:35 PM »
From what I can gather, the publisher thought people would not want to wait for the 50 days ground postage would mean... so offered air mail  only for this 500 page book. But after complaints about the air mail  postage price $ ( mine included) , I believe they realized  offering surface postage was a must . Thankfully they have that option now.
The option of surface postage seems available for the US, but it's not available for Western European countries, for which delivery costs are still higher than the price of the book.
For some reason they're also three times as high as the postage to send the same parcel in the opposite direction, from my country to the publisher's in the UK.
"The Correspondence of the Empress Alexandra of Russia with Ernst Ludwig and Eleonore, Grand Duke and Duchess of Hesse. 1878-1916"  -  http://www.bod.de/index.php?id=296&objk_
"Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig and Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine in Italy - 1893"

Offline blessOTMA

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Re: Road to Ekaterinburg by ECS Banks
« Reply #21 on: December 28, 2012, 01:10:12 AM »
Helen, surface postage to Europe is now available and I believe a kindle editions is upcoming so  that will make the postage question moot, thankfully!




I got my copy and I'm favorably impressed. The writing is unusual in that the author has seemingly brought together all known letters, diaries and memories  when describing an event or day.  A fuller than usual picture of a day is therefore created. These source materials are paraphrased and the so story is woven. I'm use to one source being used, what an author feels is the most important, not all. More dots get connected for the Romanov  reader .

 Physically it's large book, but feels well in the hand while reading...type is good size too! Unusual today. Blissfully there is a large,  well written who's who in the back.  I'd say it's a fine addition to one's Romanov library

"Give my love to all who remember me."

  Olga Nikolaevna

Offline Helen

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Re: Road to Ekaterinburg by ECS Banks
« Reply #22 on: December 28, 2012, 01:38:50 AM »
Thank you for the information, blessOTMA. I look forward to reading the book. :)
"The Correspondence of the Empress Alexandra of Russia with Ernst Ludwig and Eleonore, Grand Duke and Duchess of Hesse. 1878-1916"  -  http://www.bod.de/index.php?id=296&objk_
"Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig and Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine in Italy - 1893"

Offline Sarushka

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Re: Road to Ekaterinburg by ECS Banks
« Reply #23 on: December 28, 2012, 08:06:05 AM »
I've not seen the book yet myself, so I'm relying on reports from other Romanov readers. I'm puzzled by this statement from the intro:

'This is a work written as a novel but one that includes the facts. Unlike most academics, I do not intend to throw facts at the unfortunate reader and expect them to work out the story for themselves.'

Is the text clearly footnoted so we can sort out fact from whatever novel-like elements Banks has chosen to include?
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Offline helenrappaport

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Re: Road to Ekaterinburg by ECS Banks
« Reply #24 on: December 29, 2012, 05:46:10 AM »
I have a copy of ECS Banks's book and can tell you this much.

With regard to the  material and its provenance: in the opening paragraph of her Acknowledgements, the author states: 'These books are factual and not in any way fictional', then a sentence later she contradicts herself by saying 'the words are entirely mine, but it is their story told by myself'….. Then she further compounds the sense of confusion by stating: 'This is a work written as a novel but one that includes the facts.   Unlike most academics, I do not intend to throw facts at the unfortunate reader and expect them to work out the story for themselves…'.
The book has been published by a vanity imprint and  has no editorial apparatus: no list of contents, no list of illustrations - a handful of photos are included (from Yale according to the author) and are nothing new. There are also some poor quality amateur shots of Livadia.
The book has no endnotes but it does have a  lengthy, and  rather haphazard 'Appendix' cum glossary, the contents of which are highly eclectic, and which intermittently has some interesting snippets of information but with no indication of where  any of this information comes from.  I suspect well-read Romanov watchers will be able to deduce some of these sources, as I have.
As far as a bibliography is concerned,  the book has nothing approaching the normal scholarly bibliography one would wishe for. Instead it has a list of about 30 titles on p. 507 at the back, under the heading 'Sources' , giving only the name and title, i.e.  no place of publication, publisher, editor where relevant,  or date - and in many cases not even that.
One example may suffice as an indicator. The author lists  as a source: "Sisters of Mercy, Valentina Chebotareva". As we all know, this still untranslated Russian book, Avgusteishie sestry miloserdiya was edited by N K  Zvereva, and the Chebotareva diary, also not yet translated into English, appears in selected excerpts, again in a Russian language source, Skorbnyi angel edited by Sergey Fomin. There is therefore no such English title by this name or this author.
In her Acknowledgements the author mysteriously states :    'My final thanks are to my translator who wished to remain anonymous: the late 'Emma' R.'  This kind of  secrecy does not exactly help legitimize the book, or what appears to be the author's extensive and uncredited use of material - be it translated from Russian, in English, archival, private information, copyright or otherwise.  It is clear that she has drawn on  many, many more books and documents than are in her  list of sources. 
As regards the book as a whole, it is not for me to pass judgment here; the quality of the writing is self-evident.  With regard to the content, I can only suggest readers compare it with  the available sources in English and Russian of the diaries and letters of OTMA during 1913–1917, as well as the letters and diaries of N&A. There is no mention anywhere as to whether what seems to be extensive paraphrasing of these was sourced archivally – i.e. directly from GARF - or via previously published  sources.
There are many missing words, mis-transliterations and typos even in what little I have looked at so far and an enormous amount of repetition.

Offline blessOTMA

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Re: Road to Ekaterinburg by ECS Banks
« Reply #25 on: December 29, 2012, 06:30:44 AM »
I've not seen the book yet myself, so I'm relying on reports from other Romanov readers. I'm puzzled by this statement from the intro:

'This is a work written as a novel but one that includes the facts. Unlike most academics, I do not intend to throw facts at the unfortunate reader and expect them to work out the story for themselves.'

Is the text clearly footnoted so we can sort out fact from whatever novel-like elements Banks has chosen to include?

the book has only facts, nothing is made up. What  I believe the author means there it is written in
 the style of a novel ...that is,   be assessable...from the forward it's clear they wanted teenagers as well as the adult reader
 to be able to read and understand..

I've typed some here to illustrate

That day Tatiana mentioned a couple of Russian dancers she had seen in a letter
to her father. They had been at a concert at Marie and Anastasia’s hospital and two men
of small stature had danced, one dressed as a woman. The twin brothers were aged
twenty-five, she explained. She remarked that they were full of pity for the men.

The sisters were sitting at the back as they usually did, with the wounded in front. They
wanted to introduce the dancers to the Grand Duchesses but the men were unable
to reach the back of the room easily past the vast crowd of soldiers, so some of the
wounded lifted the men onto their shoulders and handed them to the back of the room.

That day Olga and Tatiana had returned to their infirmary as usual and later hammocks
had been hung outside for the men. Later, the violinist Kasyanov performed again at
the hospital and some of the men sang. (The infirmary was becoming an impromptu
music hall in the evenings.)


I actually  think it gets better as the author has less source material  to work with
 later ...but thier aim seems to be to incorporate all known sources into the text .

There are no footnotes per say. In the forward where they mention the novel like approach,
it also says the book is for the fans more than the academics....

 A " footnote" so to speak ,happens when they write something like
 this , "Tatiana mentioned a couple of Russian dancers...". The person imparting
the information is usually sited in that manner and  from what I can tell, a full list of the sources is included in the back

I actually  think it gets better as the author has less source material  to work with later ...but thier aim
seems to be to incorporate all known sources into the text.
 
Helen R I can't answer alot of your points...I'm cut from the fan cloth .
But indeed  there is a good deal of repetition in the part about thier royal lives, which reflects that life.
In a sense the reader experiences it as they did lol

"Give my love to all who remember me."

  Olga Nikolaevna

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Road to Ekaterinburg by ECS Banks
« Reply #26 on: January 03, 2013, 11:24:57 AM »
Oh ok, I didn't realize it was in a novel like format... I guess that could be interesting as long as sources are accurate. I think worth reading.

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Road to Ekaterinburg by ECS Banks
« Reply #27 on: January 03, 2013, 11:25:56 AM »
I just realized there are three Helens commenting on this thread. That could get confusing LOL

Offline blessOTMA

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Re: Road to Ekaterinburg by ECS Banks
« Reply #28 on: January 12, 2013, 12:10:54 PM »
Thankfully the Kindle Edition is up and the postage question is moot lol

http://www.amazon.com/Road-Ekaterinburg-Alexandras-Daughters-ebook/dp/B00AYIAU94/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1358013125&sr=1-2


[edit by Sarushka: Link was for paperback edition; I switched it to Kindle.]
« Last Edit: January 13, 2013, 08:57:29 AM by Sarushka »

"Give my love to all who remember me."

  Olga Nikolaevna

Offline Sarushka

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Re: Road to Ekaterinburg by ECS Banks
« Reply #29 on: January 13, 2013, 09:59:04 AM »
I'm glad Amazon made a sample available. I read about 25% of it before deciding this is not a book for me.

I find the characterizations disappointingly broad, and judging from the introduction I think the author may be making a number of assumptions about the characters without substantial basis. For example, the story of Olga Alexandrovna being "enraged" by a little girl asking if she were a princess. In Vorres's book, where the anecdote originates, Olga A. replies "firmly" to the child's question -- there's no indication of Olga showing her temper.

I'm also frustrated by the lack of firm dates. It seems clear that Banks is working from diaries and letters (which the IF always clearly dated) but aside from the chapter headings of "Spring 1913" it's almost impossible to nail down precisely when the events she details happened. The majority of time indicators are things like "One Friday" or "the next Monday."

Similarly, I'm disappointed that the imperial family's own words are virtually never quoted. In skimming the remainder of the sample, I didn't find a single instance of one of the IF being quoted directly. The IF's diaries are notoriously bland on their own, but at least there's the consolation of knowing you're reading their original words and thoughts. Here, even that aspect is missing.

It wouldn't be fair to call this a rehash, but it's not the OTMA non-fiction treatment I've been hoping for. Basically, it appears that the family's diaries and letters have been integrated into a continuous narrative depicting the day-by-day events of the girls' lives.

If you simply want to know what OTMA did on a daily basis I can just about guarantee you'll enjoy Road to Ekaterinburg. However, if you want to know what the GDss thought and felt, how they expressed themselves, and crave more insight into the subtleties of their personalities, you probably won't find this book any more satisfying than what's already available.
THE LOST CROWN: A Novel of Romanov Russia -- now in paperback!
"A dramatic, powerful narrative and a masterful grasp of life in this vanished world." ~Greg King