Alexander Palace Forum

Books and Films about the Romanovs and Imperial Russia => Books about the Romanovs and Imperial Russia => Topic started by: RichC on October 02, 2008, 07:58:23 PM

Title: Postcards From the Russian Revolution
Post by: RichC on October 02, 2008, 07:58:23 PM
I was very lucky to have received a small gift today of a book called Postcards From the Russian Revolution, published this year by the Bodleian Library.  It's a short but interesting book filled with photos of old pre-revolutionary postcards from the library's special collections.

The cover which shows a cartoon of a revolutionary holding up the severed head of Grand Duke Serge is quite startling.  I had no idea that there were actually postcards published in Russia before the revolution which celebrated the fall of the monarchy and indeed the killing of members of the royal family.
Title: Re: Postcards From the Russian Revolution
Post by: Robert_Hall on October 02, 2008, 08:17:03 PM
Very interesting, Rich C. I will look for it  when I go to England next month.
Title: Re: Postcards From the Russian Revolution
Post by: Ivan Gurlov on October 03, 2008, 07:41:02 AM
If my memory serves me well I think I saw a copy of this two weeks ago in Waterstones in Bath - certainly a number of the postcards included evil depictions of various members of the Russian royal family
Title: Re: Postcards From the Russian Revolution
Post by: s.v.markov on October 20, 2008, 09:33:25 AM
This is an interesting and inexpensive little book ~ about 'postcard' size, hardback, and containing pictures of around 50 postcards on Russian topics from about 1904 to the early 20's. They are a small fraction of an immense collection, on every subject imaginable, gathered together by one man (John Fraser) over a period of sixty years or so. He finally presented the whole lot to the Bodleian Library, Oxfod. In his introduction, Andrew Roberts reminds us that the postcard was the early 20th Century's equivalent to the email ~ written and sent quickly to make a point, share an item of news, or remind someone of an important theme or thought. The selection reproduced here is of interest on many levels. The reverse side of the postcard (on which the message is written) is also shown in each case, and is often just as interesting as the picture itself. It is true a few of the cards are lurid, cruel and unkind, and portray the Romanovs in a way we are not accustomed to seeing (on this forum at least), but we have to remember this is how the revolutionary groups perceived them. Others, however, are tender reminders of how the Imperial Family was portrayed to the Russian populace in the first decade of the 20th Century ~ a postcard of the five children in sailor suits in August 1908 on holiday at Shkery, Finland, is a fine example. The most poignant postcard, in my view, is a view of the Governor's House, Tobolsk, written (in Russian) on 2nd November 1917, and addressed to Peter Sergeivich Tolstoy in Odessa. The card says : 'I send you my warmest thanks for your message and your good memories, O.' Almost worth buying the book for that one item alone ~ although it has been published before. Details at
Title: Re: Postcards From the Russian Revolution
Post by: Mari on October 21, 2008, 12:08:19 AM
I see what you mean I found that Postcard and some others on line. I ran into violent caricatures first about the French Revolution and some of those are shocking also. And the 20th century Postcards with dead soldiers are also graphic and pathetic at the same time.

Click link and turn back to 1st postcard!
Title: Re: Postcards From the Russian Revolution
Post by: Alixz on November 18, 2008, 06:43:06 AM
I just received this little book in the mail yesterday.

I am glad that RichC posted about it.

I found the whole thing very interesting. There are some great pictures, not only of satire, but photographs that made the front of post cards.

I highly recommend it.  It is inexpensive.  It is marked $20 USD, but I got it for $15.00 USD.

The author translates the Russian captions and what is on the back of the cards as well.  There is one card sent by Olga N from Tobolsk and a good picture of the governor's mansion.  Both Tobolsk and Yekaterinburg houses look very much alike from the outside.
Title: Re: Postcards From the Russian Revolution
Post by: Raegan on November 24, 2008, 08:26:55 AM
Thanks for bringing this book to everyone's attention. It looks really unique and interesting. Going by the reviews here, I must get it!