My mother was a Russian major at Harvard. She still has her old copy of Nicholas and Alexandra from that period. My interest in the IF didn't really take off till I was 10, when I read a blurb in the local paper saying that Nicholas II and his family had been canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church. I remembered that I had seen a book about them in my mother's library, so I went and took N&A down from the shelf and plunged in. From that point on I was, as they say, bitten by the Romanov bug.