Author Topic: The Diary of Olga Romanov: Royal Witness to the Russian Revolution  (Read 74388 times)

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Offline Helen_Azar

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Hello everyone, this discussion was started on a different thread, and FA suggested that I start a new thread here, so here it goes.  

My book is finally completed and almost ready to go. It ended up being quite a different book than was originally planned. Olga's diary entries I translated are only part of it, as I also translated a lot of additional things, like Olga's letters to her father at Stavka from the same time period as the diaries, as well as memoir excerpts of the people who were close to Olga and her family, such as Anna Vyrubova.  You will also find in this book the "other side's" perspective, i.e. Alexander Kerensky's take on the events in 1917.

To continue Olga's story where she left off in March of 1917 - when she abruptly stopped writing in her diary, I translated many entries of Nicholas II's diary, which as many of you know, go well into the family's exile to Siberia and the Urals. And finally, I included Olga's last known letter she wrote to her friend Margarita "Ritka" Khitrovo, which is very rare and which most of you probably have not seen before.

Most of the documents in this book are things that have not been translated into English and published before, so this will not be just another regurgitation of what most of us have already read, although of course some of it may be. The book will include lots of photos, a lot of which have not been published before.

Here is the link on Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17795465-the-diary-of-olga-romanov

I will be happy to answer any question anyone may have. Thanks!



[Edited to add title to subject line]
« Last Edit: April 21, 2013, 08:44:09 PM by Sarushka »

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Book about Olga Nikolaevna
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2013, 10:56:34 AM »
BTW, you can visit the book's Facebook page by clicking on my banner below :)

Offline LadyHezter

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Re: Book about Olga Nikolaevna
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2013, 12:07:03 PM »
Helen A,that sounds very interesting !
I have already preordered the book at Amazonīs.
Looking forward reading it.

Tamara

Offline Laura Mabee

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Re: Book about Olga Nikolaevna
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2013, 01:32:47 PM »
Excellent! I am very excited to read this! Thank you Helen for all your hard work!

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Book about Olga Nikolaevna
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2013, 01:59:33 PM »
Thank you, Laura!

Offline EmmyLee

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Re: Book about Olga Nikolaevna
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2013, 03:01:14 PM »
I definitely want this! Thank you for doing it-- it sounds great. I don't know how LadyHezter preordered it on Amazon; I can't find it on there.

Offline Georgiy

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Re: Book about Olga Nikolaevna
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2013, 03:02:31 PM »
Lookin forward to a signed copy!

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Book about Olga Nikolaevna
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2013, 03:12:49 PM »
I just realized that right now you can pre-order on Amazon UK but not yet in the US. Here is the link to the UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Diary-Olga-Romanov-Helen-Azar/dp/1594161771/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1365883886&sr=8-1&keywords=diary+of+olga+romanov

I will let you know when it will be available for pre-order in the US.


Offline koloagirl

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Re: Book about Olga Nikolaevna
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2013, 03:24:05 PM »

Aloha all!

So excited for this book!  I know it is going to be a great addition to my "Romanov" library and in a place of honor!

Cannot wait!   :)

Janet R.
Janet R.

Offline Jen_94

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Re: Book about Olga Nikolaevna
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2013, 05:41:27 PM »
I'm looking forward to this! Olga's actually my favourite Romanov from OTMA and I'm excited to see a translation of her diaries!

Offline Bryndis

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Re: Book about Olga Nikolaevna
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2013, 11:23:34 PM »
If I can't get this book I will cry! I can't wait! Thank you for your hard work!

Offline blessOTMA

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Re: Book about Olga Nikolaevna
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2013, 11:32:10 PM »
Can't wait! Thanks for your all  hard work Helen! =)

"Give my love to all who remember me."

  Olga Nikolaevna

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Book about Olga Nikolaevna
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2013, 01:31:10 PM »
Oh boy, this is going to be hard to live up to! LOL.

But I don't think you guys will be disappointed, because although this is not a comprehensive book of diaries where every entry is included as it was originally going to be, I feel that the end result turned out even better than that.  I carefully chose the most interesting, insightful and representative parts of the diaries- ones that I felt would give the reader the best idea of what was happening in Olga's life, as well as her mind, at the time. The inclusion of her letters, which are a lot more descriptive than the diaries and are a significant contrast with the former, very effectively supplement the diary entries IMO. And of course interweaving observations of others who were around Olga at the time, give us yet another level of insight.

I really think that this book may be the best way to get to "know" Olga and get the feel of the climate she was living in at the time without actually being there.  
It may sound kind of silly, but after working on these diaries and letters for months on end, which eventually stretched out into years (on and off), I started to feel like I was really getting to know Olga. And even though of course the diaries don't reveal all that much at first glance, taken altogether these documents really allow you to read between the lines, if you will.

It was really quite an experience, because before this project I saw Olga more as another abstract figure from history, but somewhere along the way I really started to feel and see her as a real person. Not sure if this makes sense.  But this is my hope for this book, for the reader to start to "feel" her as a real person, a quite ordinary person even, which is what she was. It sounds like a strange thing to say but I feel that in way Olga's mere ordinariness, while she is expected to be extraordinary somehow, is what makes her special and even interesting.  

Offline edubs31

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Re: Book about Olga Nikolaevna
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2013, 03:22:17 PM »
Well you've really whetted the appetite for this book Helen. I too will be ordering it soon and very much look forward to reading!

From my previous readings and knowledge of Olga I find her to be 'extraordinarily ordinary'. Charming, sweet, sensitive, grounded, unpretentious, and (in her later years at least) devoid of petulance in a way many other royals were not. I've always been struck how 'current' OTMA seems, and perhaps Olga in particular. A sort of bridge from the post-Victorian world to the modern age and attitude of young women.

Quote
It was really quite an experience, because before this project I saw Olga more as another abstract figure from history, but somewhere along the way I really started to feel and see her as a real person. Not sure if this makes sense.  But this is my hope for this book, for the reader to start to "feel" her as a real person, a quite ordinary person even, which is what she was. It sounds like a strange thing to say but I feel that in way Olga's mere ordinariness, while she is expected to be extraordinary somehow, is what makes her special and even interesting.
 

Of course it does! And I think engaging in activities such as writing and painting/art naturally bring us closer to our subjects. I'm glad you enjoyed your journey and look forward to seeing the fruits of your labor...best of luck with it!

Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right...

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Book about Olga Nikolaevna
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2013, 03:29:22 PM »

From my previous readings and knowledge of Olga I find her to be 'extraordinarily ordinary'. Charming, sweet, sensitive, grounded, unpretentious, and (in her later years at least) devoid of petulance in a way many other royals were not. I've always been struck how 'current' OTMA seems, and perhaps Olga in particular. A sort of bridge from the post-Victorian world to the modern age and attitude of young women.

Yes, you hit the nail right on the head! Olga was extraordinarily ordinary. And yes, all of the girls seemed much more modern than one would imagine... Even in in a lot of their photos they look curiously modern... I have seen photos of them wearing clothes which could have come out of the Lands End catalogue :)

Of course it does! And I think engaging in activities such as writing and painting/art naturally bring us closer to our subjects. I'm glad you enjoyed your journey and look forward to seeing the fruits of your labor...best of luck with it!

Thank you very much!