Alexander Palace Forum

Books and Films about the Romanovs and Imperial Russia => Books about the Romanovs and Imperial Russia => Topic started by: Elizabeth on June 02, 2005, 03:59:29 PM

Title: The Romanovs - 1818 - 1959
Post by: Elizabeth on June 02, 2005, 03:59:29 PM
Has anyone read this book?  I got it at the Cincinnati Museum (one of the few books that they had left).

It's not the most ACCURATE of the books out there - the cover ITSELF is wrong (one of the posed pics of the IF, but they "cropped out" Tatiana to fit it on the cover - ugh!).  There are also several errors, referring to N & A's home as the "Alexandra Palace."  Rasputin is dealt with in a few sentences, and the executions in 1918 of the IF are given all of about two paragraphs!!

However, it goes into a lot of history about Alexander II, esp. about what happened to the children from his morgantic marriage, which I hadn't read before, as well as Alexander III's relationship with his father and siblings, and Nicholas's close relationship with his uncle, Sergei. (Don't expect a lot about Ella, and what's there is entirely negative!)

Title: Re: The Romanovs - 1818 - 1959
Post by: KentKim on June 03, 2005, 10:09:42 PM
hmm...i'm wondering is your book a soft or hard cover, because the hard cover does indeed crop out the IF portrait, but more than Tatiana is cut out, in fact only Nicholas, Alexandra, Anastasia, and Alexei are shown. I personally like the hard cover's front cover, it's more of a hodgepodge of more pictures

I'm gathering you have the soft cover, and Tatiana is not really cropped out, for the pic online that i'm looking at.

Anyway, i'm surpised to find critism of this book and it's author, who has written many books about the royal families of Europe.
Anyways, the books purpose isn't to get into detail about the lives of NAOTMAA really,

The Publisher's explaination on the books contents:
"The lives of Tsars Alexander II and Alexander III have, until now, received little attention. But their reigns set in train the events which would culminate in the destruction of the Romanov dynasty and the tragic fates of the last Tsar, Nicholas II and his family. Through careful research, John Van der Kiste reveals the full story of this blighted dynasty. "

I personally love the book, i don't own it, but have borrowed it from the library serveral times. I learned a lot about the rulers before Nicholas II.
I would say if you want to read more about the NAOTMAA and Resputin, you should get "Nicholas and Alexandra" and if you want to learn more about Rasputin, the "Raspuin File" came out a few years ago, and is pretty comprehensive.  
Title: Re: The Romanovs - 1818 - 1959
Post by: Elizabeth on June 04, 2005, 09:10:56 AM
Hi, KentKim -
Thanks for your reply.

Yes, I DO have the soft cover, but it's a different editiion than the one linked on your e-mail.  My cover has Nicholas & Alexandra and their family (in the same formal portrait as in your linked soft cover edition), except it cuts off Alexei's right arm (and hence Tatiana).

I MUST admit that when I bought the book I realized it wasn't just about N & A, but didn't know the author would just "highlight" their reign.  I do see where it states,

"This study wisely skirts around the last czar, Nicholas II, and his consort, Alexandra, in its focus on more interesting (and equally tragic) members of Russia's doomed dynastic house. In particular, Van der Kiste's portrait of Alexander II is especially affecting."

I wholeheartedly agree that the author's coverage of Alexander II was EXCELLENT and, as I stated earlier, and addressed parts of his life that I had never read before.  

However, it concerns me when I see glaring typos, like calling the "Alexander Palace" the "Alexandra Palace at Tsarskoe Selo" (among others), that I wonder if there are others that I'm simply missing.

As for the other books you suggested, I, myself, have ready Massie's N&A too many times to count (I stopped counting at 20!), and I thought Radzinsky's Rasputin file was marvelous.

Small bit of trivia here - I got Mistalav Rostopovich to autograph my edition of "The Rasputin File" when he was in my city for a concert.  For those of you who haven't read it, Rostopovich (the great Russian cellist) found the "Rasputin File" at an auction and gave it to Radzinsky.  He was so CUTE when I asked him to autograph the book (he had been VERY serious up to that point!) - he giggled and said, "Oh, it's MY book" (everyone standing around us were VERY impressed), and then he said to me in a whisper, "Of course, WE know it's not "My Book", but I HELPED!"   ;)

Title: Re: The Romanovs - 1818 - 1959
Post by: KentKim on June 04, 2005, 10:37:14 AM
Radzinsky was quite lucky to have such priceless information given to him.

Didn't he [ Rostopovich ] purchase it at an auction, with the intention of giving it to his friend?

Great're lucky to have met Rostopovich, and gotten his autograph.