Author Topic: Alexandra: The Last Tsarina by Carolly Erickson  (Read 14366 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline grandduchessella

  • Global Moderator
  • Velikye Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 13061
  • Getting Ready to Move to Europe :D
    • View Profile
    • Facebook page
Re: Alexandra: The Last Tsarina by Carolly Erickson
« Reply #30 on: May 25, 2006, 07:10:20 PM »
Quote
Quote
This blows. I read the book a while ago and i really liked it but now you're telling me it's false.  How do you know what she made up?
Does it have source notes throughout the text? (I don't have a copy of my own, so I can't look myself.)

Greg King also used Mouchanow as a source, but his book has source notes scattered throughout the text, so you can trace where each bit of information came from. I'll scan and post a page of his text later to show you what I mean.

If Erickson didn't note her sources within the text, your only way of knowing what's baloney is to read Mouchanow's book and see what looks familiar. :-/

Erickson uses the same format but also references Mouchanow heavily in non-footed noted sections, ie 'according to Martha Mouchonow' such-and-such happened. She has quite a sizeable section in the Index (not just the bibliography) so you can see the influence.
They also serve who only stand and wait--John Milton
Come visit on Pinterest--http://pinterest.com/lawrbk/

Offline pookiepie

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 150
  • vee are, how you say, Norvegians!
    • View Profile
Re: Alexandra: The Last Tsarina by Carolly Erickson
« Reply #31 on: May 25, 2006, 09:24:20 PM »
ok, thanks sarushka, i'll check my book tonight.  and who is Mouchanow? just another writer?

Offline grandduchessella

  • Global Moderator
  • Velikye Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 13061
  • Getting Ready to Move to Europe :D
    • View Profile
    • Facebook page
Re: Alexandra: The Last Tsarina by Carolly Erickson
« Reply #32 on: May 25, 2006, 09:46:01 PM »
In the Unreliable Books thread this was written about Mouchonow:

by Elisabeth: "The real author to avoid is Maria Mouchanow. She wrote a "Secret History" of the last tsaritsa which is completely fabricated and not to be believed. Fortunately this book is pretty rare and long out of print. It's interesting, but only as a means of discovering what the popular press in the States and elsewhere wrote about the IF while they were still alive. Mainly nonsense. "

by Robert Hall: "Some the most worthless books [ well that is relative, as they tend to be the most costly] are the most fun to read.  Mouchanow, as has been mentioned, is pure fantasy from somebody's mind and agenda. BUT- it is interesting. I remember  making a goal with it when I finished the thing, which now I regert as it is so hard to find and costly. "

She was a lady-in-waiting to Empress Alexandra.
They also serve who only stand and wait--John Milton
Come visit on Pinterest--http://pinterest.com/lawrbk/

Offline tea_rose

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 91
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Alexandra: The Last Tsarina by Carolly Erickson
« Reply #33 on: May 26, 2006, 07:17:15 PM »
  I was disappointed in this one.  In fact, I gave it away which is quite unusual for me ( I even retain the awful Ducky bio).   It didn't seem factual to me at several points and I have read other books by Erickson with pleasure.

  I do have Greg King's bio and I think it is good. However, I still am most fond of Massie's "Nicholas and Alexandra" though that is not a bio on Alexandra by herself. I have read it so many times since I was a girl and it never fails to capture me again.

Offline M. le Comte de Boir

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 7
  • I love Minnie!
    • View Profile
Re: Alexandra: The Last Tsarina by Carolly Erickson
« Reply #34 on: June 17, 2006, 06:15:30 PM »
I just finished reading it and, although she did a couple of things that annoyed me (Quoting, Martha and making Minnie look bad) I found the book, if nothing else, a nice read. It read a bit lighter than most biographies, so it's a good starter book, but you have to be careful to not believe everything she says. My one major critisism is that she spends FAR too much time talking about when Alexandra was sick as opposed to when she was out and about. I feel obliged to mention that the first book I read about the Romanovs was Nicholas and Alexandra and that I LOVE it. I keep a copy next to my biography of Evita and I keep them both on top of my copy of TSAR, which I love! Amazing photos!!!
I did not become the King's First Minister to preside over the fall of the British Empire!

-Sir Winston Churchill

Offline anna11

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 231
  • history is the world's court of justice
    • View Profile
Re: Alexandra: The Last Tsarina by Carolly Erickson
« Reply #35 on: September 15, 2007, 12:52:07 AM »
Does anyone know if this book is any good? Reviews on amazon say it isn't, but thoughts? Is it worth reading?


The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.

Offline dmitri

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 2018
    • View Profile
Re: Alexandra: The Last Tsarina by Carolly Erickson
« Reply #36 on: September 15, 2007, 02:33:10 AM »
Well there are numerous biographies of Alexandra Feodorovna. They all cover similar territory.

Offline Sarushka

  • Moderator
  • Velikye Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 6489
  • May I interest you in a grain of salt?
    • View Profile
Re: Alexandra: The Last Tsarina by Carolly Erickson
« Reply #37 on: September 15, 2007, 08:34:16 AM »
It's definitely very readable, but its accuracy is a little iffy. Erickson used some sources -- Mouchanow for example -- that have been proven unreliable, a mixture of fact and fiction. The trouble is, Erickson didn't use source notes, so it's tough to figure out what came from a good source and what's likely to be baloney.

If you do a search on "Erickson" you'll probably find more info. I'm pretty sure the book has been discussed here in the past.
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

Offline Helen_Azar

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 7472
  • Coming up Fall 2015: Tatiana's diaries and letters
    • View Profile
    • War-time diaries of Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna Romanov
Re: Alexandra: The Last Tsarina by Carolly Erickson
« Reply #38 on: September 15, 2007, 09:06:54 AM »
It's definitely very readable, but its accuracy is a little iffy. Erickson used some sources -- Mouchanow for example -- that have been proven unreliable, a mixture of fact and fiction. The trouble is, Erickson didn't use source notes, so it's tough to figure out what came from a good source and what's likely to be baloney.

Erickson is another one of those authors whose information, IMO, should be taken with a grain with salt... She started writing historical fiction recently - a good carreer move on her part, I think...

Offline Silja

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 600
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Alexandra: The Last Tsarina by Carolly Erickson
« Reply #39 on: September 17, 2007, 09:50:58 AM »
It's definitely very readable,

I didn't think so. Found its tabloid style (and poor scholarship) very annoying. To me the book was one of the worst biographies I ever read.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2007, 09:55:17 AM by Silja »

Offline Robert_Hall

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 6649
  • a site.
    • View Profile
Re: Alexandra: The Last Tsarina by Carolly Erickson
« Reply #40 on: September 17, 2007, 11:01:04 AM »
For what it is worth, I agree with Silja. I did not even finish reading it.
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 Sarushka

  • Moderator
  • Velikye Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 6489
  • May I interest you in a grain of salt?
    • View Profile
Re: Alexandra: The Last Tsarina by Carolly Erickson
« Reply #41 on: September 18, 2007, 10:23:16 PM »
It's definitely very readable,

I didn't think so. Found its tabloid style (and poor scholarship) very annoying. To me the book was one of the worst biographies I ever read.

Perhaps I should have said, "perceived as readable by the general public." ;)
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

Offline dmitri

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 2018
    • View Profile
Re: Alexandra: The Last Tsarina by Carolly Erickson
« Reply #42 on: September 19, 2007, 07:22:49 AM »
Carolly Erickson's book on Alexandra is no better or worse than many others.

Offline Helen_Azar

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 7472
  • Coming up Fall 2015: Tatiana's diaries and letters
    • View Profile
    • War-time diaries of Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna Romanov
Re: Alexandra: The Last Tsarina by Carolly Erickson
« Reply #43 on: September 19, 2007, 07:57:37 AM »

Perhaps I should have said, "perceived as readable by the general public." ;)

Yes, many books are "perceived as readable by the general public". Most of them are not...  ;-).

Offline Sarushka

  • Moderator
  • Velikye Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 6489
  • May I interest you in a grain of salt?
    • View Profile
Re: Alexandra: The Last Tsarina by Carolly Erickson
« Reply #44 on: September 19, 2007, 08:29:21 AM »
Carolly Erickson's book on Alexandra is no better or worse than many others.

I disagree. Being unable to track the sources of the information is a major handicap. I much prefer biographies with footnotes.


Incidentally, how many other bios of Alexandra are there in English? I can only think of The Last Empress at the moment.
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