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Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra
by Helen Rappaport
From the publisher:
They were the Princess Dianas of their day—perhaps the most photographed and talked about young royals of the early twentieth century. The four captivating Russian Grand Duchesses—Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia Romanov—were much admired for their happy dispositions, their looks, the clothes they wore and their privileged lifestyle.
Over the years, the story of the four Romanov sisters and their tragic end in a basement at Ekaterinburg in 1918 has clouded our view of them, leading to a mass of sentimental and idealized hagiography. With this treasure trove of diaries and letters from the grand duchesses to their friends and family, we learn that they were intelligent, sensitive and perceptive witnesses to the dark turmoil within their immediate family and the ominous approach of the Russian Revolution, the nightmare that would sweep their world away, and them along with it.
The Romanov Sisters sets out to capture the joy as well as the insecurities and poignancy of those young lives against the backdrop of the dying days of late Imperial Russia, World War I and the Russian Revolution. Helen Rappaport aims to present a new and challenging take on the story, drawing extensively on previously unseen or unpublished letters, diaries and archival sources, as well as private collections. It is a book that will surprise people, even aficionados.
(Originally published in the UK by Macmillan as Four Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Romanov Grand Duchesses; ISBN 978-0230768178)
Brings Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia into clearer focus than any other Romanov biography by drawing on sources not previously accessed.
Also contains a previously unseen 1916 formal photograph of Olga and Maria.
in my opinion:
The best collective biography of NAOTMAA I've read thus far. Finally, OTMA are presented as more than background, their personalitles not only distinct but more fully rounded than ever before.
That said, I will acknowledge that some readers will be frustrated by the number of pages that are devoted to Alexandra, Alexei, and politics in general. Although I understand the desire for a biography focused solely on OTMA, that's not an entirely realistic request. Nothing influenced the circumstances of these girls' lives more strongly than their family dynamic and the political situation.
where to find this book:
this book profile was written by Sarah Miller