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« on: September 23, 2015, 12:42:57 PM »
Apparently they plan on exhuming the remains of Nicholas and Alexandra to do additional DNA studies to compare their DNA with the DNA of Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna and Tsar Alexander II!

Dear Friends and Fellow Russian/Romanov History Enthusiasts! Some of you may know some of my work from the book series "The Russian Imperial Family: In Their Own Words". I have worked very hard in the past 5 years to bring you my own translations of the original words of the four Russian grand duchesses, who may never have had the chance to speak otherwise.

My book “The Diary of Olga Romanov: Royal Witness to the Russian Revolution” was released in 2013, while the book dedicated to the Tsar’s second daughter, “Tatiana Romanov, Daughter of the Last Tsar: Diaries and Letters, 1913–1918” is scheduled to be released in Autumn 2015. In between, I had put together other books based on the imperial family's diaries and letters, including “Journal of a Russian Grand Duchess: Complete Annotated 1913 Diary of Olga Romanov, Eldest Daughter of the Last Tsar” and "Russia's Last Romanovs: In Their Own Words."  Despite these, there remain many, many documents written by the Grand Duchesses, as well as by members of their family, that have never before been translated and published.  Although "The Little Pair," the Grand Duchesses Maria and Anastasia have allowed me to speak for them in a book dedicated to them both, “Maria and Anastasia: The Youngest Romanov Grand Duchesses In Their Own Words”, I strongly believe that each them deserves her individual book, like their two elder sisters.

The State Archives of Russian Federation (GARF) are indeed holding many more documents written by all four grand duchesses, which have not been translated or published before, as well as a myriad of other primary source material which has remained untapped. Unfortunately it is very expensive to purchase copies and scans from GARF, especially while operating from another country, in addition to having to pay extra to a third party in Moscow to obtain them. I am no longer able to afford to do this on my own, but would like to continue doing the translations while it is still possible. Which was why I decided to start this GoFundMe campaign to fund the cost of copies of the material and a trip to the Russian archives. Traveling there myself would actually be cheaper than to pay someone in Moscow, and a lot more efficient.  I am hoping to raise at least $3,000 in the next year which will allow me to travel to Moscow for about a week and get as many scans and copies from GARF as possible, and translate and publish them, including a lot of it for free on my upcoming website..

If you are able to contribute anything at all, any amount will help. I will be posting regular updates and reports on the GoFundMe page, and also sharing them on my Facebook "Russian Imperial Family: The Romanovs In Their Own Words" ( This is the link to the campaign page:

Thank you all so much in advance!

All the best,


I am very excited to announce that "Tatiana Romanov, Daughter of the Last Tsar: Diaries and Letters, 1913–1918" is scheduled to be released in November! 


"Translated for the First Time in English with Annotations by a Leading Expert, the Romanov Family’s Final Years Through the Writings of the Second Oldest Daughter.  Grand Duchess Tatiana Nikolaevna of Russia was the second of the four daughters of Tsar Nicholas II and his wife, the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna. Long recognized by historians as the undisputed “beauty” of the family, Tatiana was acknowledged for her poise, her elegance, and her innate dignity within her own family. Helen Azar, translator of the diaries of Olga Romanov, and Nicholas B. A. Nicholson, Russian Imperial historian, have joined together to present a truly comprehensive picture of this extraordinarily gifted, complex, and intelligent woman in her own words. Tatiana Romanov, Daughter of the Last Tsar: Diaries and Letters, 1913–1918, presents translations of material never before published in Russian or in English, as well as materials never published in their entirety in the West.  The brisk, modern prose of Tatiana’s diary entries reveals the character of a young woman who was far more than the sheltered imperial beauty as she previously has been portrayed. While many historians and writers describe her as a cold, haughty, and distant aristocrat, this book shows instead a remarkably down-to-earth and humorous young woman, full of life and compassion. A detail-oriented and observant participant in some of the most important historical events of the early twentieth century, she left firsthand descriptions of the tercentenary celebrations of the House of Romanov, the early years of Russia’s involvement in World War I, and the road to her family’s final days in Siberian exile. Her writings reveal extraordinary details previously unknown or unacknowledged. Lavishly annotated for the benefit of the nonspecialist reader, this book is not only a reevaluation of Tatiana’s role as more than just one of four sisters, but also a valuable reference on Russia, the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the people closest to the Grand Duchess and her family."

The primary source material (diaries and letters) were translated by me, and they are thoroughly annotated by Nick Nicholson, with a lot of new information. So it is a truly remarkable book, even if I say so myself :).

You can currently pre-order it on If you have any questions about the book please feel free to ask!

As always, I thank you for your interest and support.

Those of you who follow my "Diary of Olga Romanov" Facebook page may have noticed that from the beginning of this year I have been sharing daily entries from Olga's 1913 diary which corresponded to current dates. The background story of this is that a little over a year ago I was able to obtain a facsimile of Olga's original complete 1913 diary from GARF, and since then I have been doing my own translations of it.  During the past few months I have compiled my translations into a book, which will contain many footnotes as well as numerous photographs to illustrate the text. It will also contain ALL of Olga's decoded diary entries, again thanks to the wonderful Antonina Voronskaya!  As with my previous "In Their Own Words" books, this will be a quality paperback sold at an affordable price, and will also be available as an ebook.
Today I would like to announce that the "Journal of a Russian Grand Duchess: Complete Annotated 1913 Diary of Olga Romanov, Eldest Daughter of the Last Tsar" is set to be released next week. I will keep you posted. Here is the preview of the cover:



Just wanted to let you guys know that this book will be released this weekend, on Valentine's Day. You will be able to buy it on Amazon, hard copy and ebook, both. Thanks.

Servants, Friends and Retainers / Valya Dolgorukov vs Dolgoruky
« on: February 07, 2014, 11:56:40 AM »
I have seen Valya's last name appear as both versions depending on source, which one is correct, does anyone know? Thanks!

Just came across this...  Fictional Tatiana diaries... I *think* this is supposed to be fiction?

Hi everyone,

This is my new book, which for now only comes in an ebook format. I wanted to get it out as soon as possible because it really is a perfect companion to the Olga book, hence the digital format only. But hoping that eventually it will come out as a "real" book (that takes a lot a longer).  

The book contains a lot of the unique material I translated through the years but was not able to include in the Olga book, as well as some very rare Ekaterinburg -Tobolsk letters between the family members when they got separated - which have never been published in English before. Special thanks to Eva and Dan McDonald for their translations.

Among other things, it also contains part of Yakov Yurovsky's memoir translated by Margarita Nelipa, the author of "The Murder of Grigorii Rasputin: a Conspiracy That Brought Down the Russian Empire" (and the new Alexander III biography, both of which are available from Paul Gilbert's store). Many thanks to Margarita for letting me use her translation in this book.

The already familiar story of the last Russian Tsar and his family is told through the letters of the Romanov family members themselves, as well as those who knew them well, so you will be able to follow it directly from primary sources.  Here is the book description and the link:

Much has been written about the life of the last Imperial family of Russia: Tsar Nicholas II, his wife Tsarina Alexandra, and their five children - Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia and Aleksei. The entire family, including their personal physician, retainers, and even their pets, became tragic victims of the Bolshevik revolution. They were arrested, exiled, and ultimately secretly murdered in a small cellar of a house in the Urals, in the summer of 1918. In this book, you will follow the events which led up to their eventual tragic fate through personal words of each family member, as well as their close friends and associates. Their letters, diaries, and postcards - many of which have been translated into English here for the first time - tell a unique story, and have yet a lot to reveal.

I hope you guys enjoy it! Comments and questions are welcome. :)

Olga Nicholaievna / Olga's diary entries translations
« on: April 19, 2013, 09:54:11 AM »
Not all of Olga's diary entries I translated will be included in my book, but I still wanted to share them with everyone.  For those of you who are interested, I will be posting one entry per day on the book's Facebook page (click on banner below) or here:  If you are on Facebook, just "like" the page and you will be getting them in your newsfeed :).

Here is one I posted yesterday:

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:

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

[Edited to add title to subject line]

I am surprised no one mentioned this book here yet (or if they have, I couldn't find it)... A new survivor conspiracy book in French (so far) by Marc Ferro, who published a biography of Nicholas II in the past... Very odd...

Description via google translate:

On the night of July 16 to 17, 1918 in Yekaterinburg, in the Urals, Tsar Nicolas II, his wife Alexandra and their five children were executed by the Bolsheviks. This official version, Marc Ferro has never believed. In this book, he shows how he proceeded to bring out the vérité.Aujourd 'Today the recent discovery of newspaper Olga, the eldest daughter, shows that the Tsarina and her four daughters were not murdered. Marc Ferro notice that each episode of this case, historians have simply copied the information provided by the White Russians alone. Too many inconsistencies in the accounts, too informal testimony were systematically excluded. Similarly, when two historians found the bodies of victims and the Yeltsin government is to conduct comparative analyzes, all editors around the world repeat the information as fact without checking. Finally and most importantly, a U.S. academic has discovered in the archives of the Vatican newspaper Olga, who proves that he has escaped the massacre. The survival of the Tsarina and archduchesses was a shameful reality for the Bolsheviks as for whites. Witnesses are dead, some executed by the Reds, the other by the whites. After March 1918, the Bolsheviks feared that William II did break the peace of Brest-Litovsk, if the Empress "German" and girls were not spared. The story begins with the girls and mother were evacuated to the city of Perm in Ukraine then occupied by the Germans, except Anastasia managed to escape. Subsequently, we find their traces in Italy, Germany, Canada, and elsewhere, where they die in the 70s in the largest secret.Marc Ferro finally lifts the veil on one of the greatest mysteries of the twentieth century, a real taboo History. 

I wasn't sure which topic this belongs under, so admins please free to move.

I'm trying to contact those who own the copyrights to a certain photo in the book "Royal Russia" (  It says the Lovell Estate owns the rights to the image, but I can't find any info on how to contact them. Does anyone know a current address or phone number/email for them?



This may be so obscure that I don't really expect an answer, but perhaps someone does know, which would be awesome.

Here it goes:

Apparently there was an incident in 1915 (possibly May) when a grenade exploded on one of the Russian military ships. That's pretty much all I know... As I mentioned, it may be something so obscure that it wasn't recorded in any history book... 

Does it sound familiar at all?

Many thanks!


Just came across this strange book.  

This woman claims to have had an affair with Nicholas II AFTER his marriage... Here are a few excerpts ""Nicholas II, Czar of all the Russias, was a real conquest despite his physical appearance, the state of his nerves and his abnormal sexual appetites. He was painfully thin and stooped, he never had recovered completely from adolescent acne, and was usually in need of a bath.  'Sometimes', recalled La Belle, 'he really stank'.... An additional cause for 'Nick's' nervousness was his domineering consort, the Czarina, who believed in witchcraft and leaned upon the monk Rasputin for both spiritual and secular advice. 'He had a very unhappy home life', Otero claimed, 'from the things he told me about his wife, how she wandered around the palace at all hours holding midnight conferences with the black monk and burning incense to drive away evil spirits... "

There is more weird stuff, the whole thing is bizaarro... Has anyone come across this book before? I did a search and it doesn't look like it has been discussed...

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