Welcome to 'Lost in the Myths of History'

It often seems that many prominent people of the past are wronged by often-repeated descriptions, which in time are taken as truth. The same is also true of events, which are frequently presented in a particular way when there might be many alternative viewpoints. This blog is intended to present a different perspective on those who have often been lost in the myths of history.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Back To Basics: Romanov Style!

Recently, on this blog, we were asked for some Romanov reading recommendations by a visitor! When beginning to sort fact from fiction, it's a great idea to have a solid reading list in mind. This is intended to be a very short list for those interested in reading more about Nicholas II and the last Imperial Family of Russia. The books on this list are some of the more recent and long-standing publications that are readily available for purchase online and elsewhere. For those of us on a not-so-royal budget, the "used" option on amazon.com is wonderful! If our contributors or visitors have suggestions they would like to add, please share your thoughts or own list! This isn't an exhaustive list by any means. It's a non-fiction list for those that are interested in starting their research into a very interesting family that has partly become shrouded in myth...

Please note: This list is in no particular order. Not all books will be suited to each individual's taste - I've tried to include a variety. If you have recommendations, please comment and I will be very happy to add to the list under Additional Recommendations!

Nicholas and Alexandra by Robert K. Massie. ~ A truly great introduction! Will arm you with the basic Romanov knowledge. A "must have" in every Romanov book collection. A true classic never goes out of style!

A Lifelong Passion: Nicholas and Alexandra: Their Own Story by Sergei Mironenko & Andrei Maylunas ~ As the title suggests, this is a book full of their own words through letters, diaries, etc.. Not only does it cover Nicholas and Alexandra, but often draws on material from their huge and extended family. Very well organized and hard to put down.

The Last Tsar: The Life and Death of Nicholas II: Edvard Radzinsky ~ Very detailed study into Nicholas II, his family, and even the events surrounding the death of the Imperial Family. Radzinsky, being a playwright, has a flair for drama. Don't let it deter you; this is still an amazing study!

The Last Empress: The Life and Times of Alexandra Feodorovna, Tsarina of Russia by Greg King ~ One of the first breakthrough biographies of Alexandra. Greg King thoroughly researched his subject and tried to clarify many of the myths people have had about Alexandra. He is gentle and respectful in the treatment of the Empress. It's a vivid biography and presents Alexandra in a new light for many people.

Tsar: The Lost World of Nicholas and Alexandra by Peter Kurth ~ Light on reading, but packed with pictures! Since it's always nice to put the a face to the name you're reading about, don't forget this book in your introductory research. After all these years, it's still a favorite of mine. I can't tell you how many times I've referred to it to find certain photos for reference.

The Romanovs: the Final Chapter by Robert K. Massie ~ A great way to start your reading into the final fate of the Romanov family. Very well researched and documented. Don't expect a dry, boring book - it's full of fascinating details. It won't cover the most recent updates, but it's still extremely useful in understanding the last days of the Romanovs and the aftermath that eventually followed.

Nicholas and Alexandra: The Family Albums by Michael, Prince of Greece ~ One of the best picture books out there. If you can snag a copy of this treasure trove, you won't be disappointed. You could literally spend hours browsing through this one. A picture is worth a thousand words. This book is worth every penny you spend on it and then some!

The Fate of the Romanovs by Greg King and Penny Wilson ~ One of the most recent takes on the final tragedy of the family. Extensively researched and well documented drawing on new materials and shattering many of the myths surrounding the imprisonment and murder of the Imperial Family. One might not agree with every conclusion the authors come to, but it's still an excellent Romanov read.

Special Mentions: Fictional Romanov Works:

Most Beautiful Princess by Christina Croft ~ A fictional re-telling of the life of Grand Duchess Ella, the Empress Alexandra's older sister who also found herself living inside the Russian court. Christina has previously written a biography on Ella, and the research there is further developed inside this marvelous book! You'll find yourself halfway through it in your first sitting!

The Lost Crown by Sarah Miller ~ A historically grounded fictional work regarding the daughers of Nicholas and Alexandra. Sarah has crafted a lovely work of art with this book. The time and effort she has spent in doing true research is put forth in a beautiful and compassionate way. She has presented each of the girls in a way that so many of us can relate to.

Highly Recommended Additional Reading:

The Camera and The Tsars & Romanov Autumn by Charlotte Zeepvat

Nicholas II, The Last Tsar by Marvin Lyons

The Murder of Grigorii Rasputin by Margarita Nelipa

(more to come)

Enjoy and Happy Reading :-)


Christina said...

Thank you, Val, for your interesting list (and for mentioning my book :-)). For pictures, I would also include Charlotte Zeepvat's wonderful 'The Camera & The Tsars' (and for information her beautifully written 'Romanov Autumn') and Marvin Lyons' 'Nicholas II, the Last Tsar'

Val said...

Thanks, Christina! Charlotte Zeepvat's "The Camera & The Tsars" was my choice for #11, but I didn't want to go overboard - it is a beautiful book! I haven't been able to get her "Romanov Autumn yet", but have heard excellent things! Thanks for the recommendations - you're probably better equipped to post a list than I am.....

Val said...

P.S. - Christina - I didn't include "Shattered Crowns", only because I know it isn't strictly a "Romanov" book....I think we can find another way to post about it soon :-)

May said...

Nicholas and Alexandra had such a beautiful family!

Val said...

Matterhorn - they really did! The entire family was beautiful from the inside out. This is clearly evidenced from the many photos that still remain. We are lucky that they had a lot of love for the camera :-)

Christina said...

Val, thank you for posting that beautiful picture. You are so right about the beauty of the family - so loving to one another and so lovely to look at. Thank you :-)

Val said...

Christina - thank you! I truly believe that beauty comes from within! There were so many photos that I wanted to post, but used a very standard one...still it does show the world much about them. They were a beautiful family in more than one way!