[Read] ➮ The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra ➶ Helen Rappaport – Sharkmotorcyclehelmets.co.uk

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 LifestyleOver The Years, The Story Of The Four Romanov Sisters And Their Tragic End In A Basement At Ekaterinburg In 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 ItThe 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 Rappaort Aims To Present A New And Challenging Take On The Story, Drawing Extensively On Previously Unseen Or Unpublished Letters, Diaries And Archival Sources, As Well As Private Collections It Is A Book That Will Surprise People, Even Aficionados


10 thoughts on “The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra

  1. says:

    Well that was damn tragic and beyond sad


  2. says:

    The Romanov Sisters The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandria by Helen Rappaport is a comprehensive look at the last royal family of Russia Rappaport attended Leeds University with the intention of joining the Foreign Office She changed her mind and became an actress She became a full time writer in 1998 and has written several books on Russian history and Victorian history Her work on Lenin caused a stir when she proposed that he died of syphilis rather than a stroke Growing up much of the late czarist history I read came from Massie s Nicholas and Alexandria which by no means was lacking at the time Research as an undergraduate came from mostly dated sources because little access by the Soviets limited research The fall of the Soviet Union opened a wealth of new information from the former Soviet archives My academic researching days were over by that time, but I still tried to keep up Two quick points First, this is an excellent work of research and expands greatly on what I knew of the last Romanovs Secondly, although there is a great information on the Romanov sisters, the book primarily focuses on the entire family and family life The sisters do hold a much larger role than in any other source I have read Czarist Russia has always seemed to me as a twisted fairytale When things seem at their best they crash to unbelievable lows Society seemed caught up in superstition While the world looked on to the births of four beautiful girls, the Russian population wondered why the German wife couldn t produce an heir to the throne When the sickly Alexei much was done to hide his illness He was the center of domestic attention The daughters grew up sheltered partly because of their unimportance and partly because of the social unrest The unpopular, lost war against the Japanese and Bloody Sunday of 1905 did little to raise the czar s standing with many Rappaport does an outstanding job of bringing to light the lives Olga, Tatiana, Marie, and Anastasia The daughters lives seem out of place and underrated in today s world of royals They were well behaved, very educated, volunteered in hospitals during the war, and sold handmade crafts raise money for charities Although there was no doubt privilege, they lived a relatively frugal and simple life imposed on them by their mother Their lives are examined as individuals rather than lumped together as one The writing is extremely well documented and much of the material comes from primary source materials letters and diaries The amount of personal information in included in this book is unprecedented The children are portrayed as real people in history with many of the same questions and challenges growing up I have read many history books over the years and this one did such an excellent job of bringing the daughters to life I got so involved in the story, even knowing the historical outcome, I hoped that it would end differently Even with all the tragedies in the world, wars, and other catastrophes, this history is truly sad I really am at a loss to speak highly of this book Outstanding history and research.


  3. says:

    Quick read Informative Learned a lot I picked it up to see what their story was all about And I was surprised at the amount of impact was both on the world and on them as a family.The author does a good job at keeping things at just the right level not too complex, not too simple She explains all the connections to the British family, covers some of the world tensions causing the problems for the Romanov s And their deaths are handled with the right level of respect.You really learn a lot about their marriage, the ways the girls were raised, and what people s thoughts on love were in the early 20th century About Me For those new to me or my reviews here s the scoop I read A LOT I write A LOT And now I blog A LOT First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at where you ll also find TV Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I ve visited all over the world And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who what when where and my pictures Leave a comment and let me know what you think Vote in the poll and ratings Thanks for stopping by Note All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them Many thanks to their original creators.


  4. says:

    We too have to understand through it all, that God is greater than everything, and that he wants to draw us, through our sufferings, closer to Him But my country, my God, how I love it with all the power of my being, and her sufferings give me actual physical pain Alexandra Romonova I cannot stress enough what a wonderful book this was For the duration of my reading, I was transported back in time through Russia, Finland and Britain at the turn of the century Revolution, death and hard times were ahead for Russia and its people after 1918 Knowing that this book would not have a happy ending though, didn t diminish the pleasure I had at glimpsing what life was like for the private Romanovs, a family that incited both controversy and intrigue Rappaport did an excellent job of relating the story of the Romanov sisters, by not focusing all of her attention on the great love story that was Nicholas and Alexandra, or even the mythical Rasputin, though they were an integral part of Russian history Instead, by means of surviving diaries and letters from the family, servants and friends, Rappaport paints how the quiet family lived, frustrations the girls had about being sheltered from the outside world, and even the first blooms of love From each of their births down to their tragic deaths, I came away with a deep appreciation for each of their different characters and strengths, also a profound sense of loss for what they might have accomplished had they lived What a wonderful read a new all time favorite


  5. says:

    Helen Rappaport paints a compelling portrait of Tatiana, Olga, Maria and Anastasia the four daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra in this well written account of the girls and their lives at court.I have read a great deal of books on the subject of Russia and the Romanov family and wasn t particularly sure what new information I would gain from this book But I was plesently surprised with the author s approach to the Novel and the research she had done Rappaport s skill at showing life within the Romanov family makes a genuinely new and interesting contribution to the Romanov story I found on reading this book that I gained a better insight into the girls lives and personalities and found that I came away with a better understanding of what life was like for these girls growing up and for the family on a whole.The one thing that amazed me when reading this book was how unsuitable Nicholas and Alexandra were for the position in society that they found themselves in and I had great admiration for the family life that they tried to lead and how close as a family they really were The personality of Alexandra is extremely well analysed in this book and I think by doing so we getting a better understanding of events within the family.For readers interested in the Romanov Family this is a great book, extremely well written and researched I love the fact that the book contained photos and but I would love if the author had included a map with names of the places mentioned in the book.


  6. says:

    As I, a recovering sick person who s had an entire day to ponder over the book sit down to write this review, I still find myself grasping at whispy clouds of thoughts I don t know how to write a review that would honour this gruesome tale of the end to one of the greatest dynasties of the modern world Don Bluth s Anastasia its historical inaccuracies notwithstanding was probably the first historical movie I watched and not unlike many, obsessed over So much so that I still remember how years later, an eleven year old Anya used to hole up in her father s office during summer vacation and pour over articles after articles online about the last Romanovs, the Bolshevik Revolution, and Anna Anderson And the day I turned seventeen, I vividly remember feeling crushed because Anastasia was never going to be older than me now.In The Romanov Sisters, Helen Rappaport effortlessly glides through the last Russian imperial family s history without making it seem like a tedious read which I for one was immensely grateful for I have had an abysmal track record with non fiction and unless it fully engages me, I drop books like dead flies Unlike all the historical accounts on the four sisters that I have read over the years, Rappaport s novel hits the closest even though she focuses on the imperial family as a whole as opposed to what the title suggests , one can t help but applaud how brilliantly she captures the personality of every single sister and make them seem human with quirks, personal achievements, flaws, hopes etc rather than portraying them as mere spectres of history.The story of the last Romanovs is essentially a story of love for it was an era when matrimony was a machination to a political alliance and finding a love match amongst imperial families was as rare as experiencing the warmth of a sunny December day in Tobolsk It s a story of familial love, of schaste, of a warm and happy childhood I dare complain the least, having such happiness on earth, having a treasure like you, my beloved Alix, and already the three little cherubs From the depth of my heart do I thank God for all His blessings, in giving me you He gave me paradise and has made my life an easy and happy one Nicky and Alix of Hesse whose marriage was a love match in the truest sense were blessed with a healthy baby girl Olga Nikolaevna in the winter of 1895 Olga was the greatest joy to her parents from the moment she was born although the entire empire was disappointed as it was hoping for a male heir image error


  7. says:

    Having read all of Helen Rappaport s books, including her 2009, Ekaterinburg the Last Days of the Romanovs, I was delighted to read her latest work The Romanov Sisters concentrates on the story of the Romanov s from a slightly different viewpoint rather than highlighting the relationship of Nicholas and Alexandra, or the illness of Alexey and Alexandra s reliance on Rasputin, she takes the largely untold life stories of four sisters and examines them in detail Of course, the marriage of Nicholas and Alexandra, the birth of Alexey and Rasputin are all there, but instead of the mere mention of four Grand Duchesses, they become individuals possibly for the first time in print.When Olga was born, in 1895, Nicholas and Alexandra were besotted with their daughter After all, Alexandra had given birth to a healthy and beautiful child and there was no reason to believe that the son needed as heir to the dynasty would not follow In 1897 with the birth of Tatiana, Alexandra did ask what the nation would say to the birth of another daughter obviously realising that public opinion might shift against her if she failed to produce a son If she was concerned then, the birth of two daughters Maria in 1899 and Anastasia in 1901 could only have caused her and Nicholas extreme concern However, as a couple they adored and loved their daughters It is reasonable to say that, had Nicholas been in almost any other situation, four royal daughters would have been an asset However, with Alexandra alienating the aristocracy by her non participation in society, with relatives circling and seeing the possibility of nudging their own sons nearer the throne and with only a male heir able to succeed as Tsar, the situation was a worrying one The birth of Alexey in 1904 should have solved all problems sadly, as we know, it caused new ones.It is fascinating to read that, even before the first world war, many members of the foreign press were nonplussed by the Russian reaction to the birth of the four Grand Duchesses, with some objecting to the discrimination shown the girls One American journal thought four daughters enough to guarantee the security of the succession and their visit to England in 1909 was a triumph where the young girls enchanted press and crowds alike However, in Russia, the knowledge that Alexey had haemophilia led their parents to retreat in order to hide their secret and the world of the four girls began to shrink amidst widespread unrest As members of the aristocracy bemoaned their lack of contact with society and to blame Alexandra for keeping them almost prisoners in their palaces, the healer and mystic Rasputin entered their lives Alexandra was wracked with guilt for giving her precious son the hereditary illness and, retreating into solitude and ill health herself, the girls often became carers to both their mother and brother.This book gives all the girls their own personality and makes fascinating reading While both Nicholas and Alexandra tended to treat their girls as younger than their age, we read of how they began to receive marriage proposals and to develop crushes on young officers that accompanied the family or on those soldiers they treated during the first world war By 1914 there were no desirable and marriageable royal princesses than Olga and Tatiana and, it is apparent, that both girls were young women by this time naive and unworldly but certainly struggling with crushes and feelings they were unable to ignore However, the author also asks the interesting question of whether the girls were also deemed less of a desirable marriage prospect by the fear of haemophilia and the instability of Russia, plus the isolation of the girls, which made them often shy and uncomfortable in society Although Alexandra insisted her girls were too young and inexperienced to be allowed into the St Petersburg society she objected to, she allowed them often inappropriate contact with officers in the gilded cage she confined them in and against which they obviously longed to leave, although they rarely voiced that wish, as they were generally obedient and loving daughters.This book follows their life from the glittering palaces of Imperial Russia, through rare, but much loved trips abroad, and on to the war and revolution We learn of how the girls nursed the injured, how they studied and how they forlornly hung on to every word about life outside of the one they lived in Helen Rappaport really makes this time come alive and this is a book to immerse yourself in and which, should you have any interest in this period of history, which you will enjoy immensely Wonderfully written, sympathetic but honest, this is a welcome appraisal of the life of the four daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra often sidelined by history, but now shown as the individuals they were and the tragedies they faced with dignity and fortitude This is another success from an author that I admire greatly and whose books are always a pleasure to read and re read.I received a copy of this book, from the publishers, for review.


  8. says:

    Dutiful members of the newly liberated proletariat, munching apples and caviar sandwiches were encouraged to visit the Alexander Palace on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays, making sure first to don the ugly but obligatory felt overshoes to protect the beautiful waxed parquet floors from damage After doing so, they would be ushered through the imperial apartments to an accompanying and frequently contemptuous account of their former occupants The well drilled official guides did their best to decry the decidedly bourgeoise tastes of Russia s last tsar and his wife The old fashioned, art nouveau style furniture, the cheap, outmoded oleographs and sentimental pictures, the English wallpaper, the profusion of knick knacks scattered around on every available surface reminded visitors of the typical parlor of an English or American boarding house or a second class Berlin restaurant The family themselves were dismissed in the glib phrases of Soviet speak as an historical irrelevance As visitors were conducted from room to room they could not avoid an increasing sense of Nicholas II, not as the despotic ruler painted to them but rather as a dull family man, who had crammed his study and library with photographs of his children at every stage of their development from babyhood to adulthood Helen Rappaport, The Romanov Sisters The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and AlexandraThe most interesting choice Helen Rapaport makes in The Romanov Sisters is what she decides to leave out of the narrative the deaths of her subjects The four daughters of Emperor Nicholas II and his wife, Alexandra, were murdered by the Bolsheviks on July 17, 1918, along with their parents, brother, and four retainers This essential fact has tended to dominate the Romanov legacy and to overshadow the lives of Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia Instead of providing any sort of description of their final moments which Rappaport has covered elsewhere, in her The Last Days of the Romanovs she opens her book with a hushed tour of the Alexander Palace, where the former person Nicholas Romanov had lived with his family She takes us room to room, pointing out the things that were left behind In the girls rooms are jewelry boxes, combs and brushes, exercise books, even their baby clothes and christening robes In attempting to create a presence by describing an absence, Rappaport delivers a profound statement on their fates than any number of graphically detailed reconstructions of what happened in the basement of the House of Special Purpose Following this sad prologue, Rappaport circles back to happier days, before revolution and imprisonment and death Rappaport starts the central narrative by providing a mini biography of Empress Alexandra, the oft absence, somewhat hypochondriacal mother who dominated the lives of her daughters Oft maligned by history, Rappaport is perceptive in explaining her, if never excusing her From this recounting of Alexandra, the story flows chronologically, tracing her courtship with Nicholas II, their eventual marriage, and the births of four daughters, all of whom would be outshone by the arrival of an heir, Alexei, whose hemophilia played a role in the downfall of their family.The contours of this tale will be familiar to anyone who has read about the Romanovs However, the difference between The Romanov Sisters and your typical book about the Russian Revolution is that Rappaport runs the story through Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia Events are depicted as seen through their eyes More than that, she attempts successfully to differentiate the girls from one another As Rappaport rightly points out, they are often described as a single unit including by their mother Here, she strains to carve out a personality for each, from a lovesick Olga to a mischievous Anastasia Much of The Romanov Sisters takes on aspects of an idyll There are vacations to the Crimea and pleasant cruises on their yacht Yet the storm is always approaching, and almost everything is tinged with the unspoken knowledge of the doom to come For instance, Rappaport relates the remembrances of Hallie Wheeler, wife of American diplomat Post Wheeler Hallie saw the Romanov children at the orchestra, and noted how Alexei received the most attention Her eyes, though, were on two of the girls Returning to her box after the interval, Hallie noticed that Anastasia and Maria had already taken up their places near her side of the railing She was not a beautiful child, but there was something frank and winning about her, she recalled of Anastasia On the flat railing sat the now depleted box of chocolates and her white gloves were sadly smudged She shyly held out the box to me, and I took one As the music struck up Anastasia began humming the folk tune they were playing Hallie asked her what it was Oh, she replied, it is an old song about a little girl who had lost her doll The lingering notes of that lovely song hummed by the young grand duchess, and the sight of her chocolate soiled gloves that evening, would stay with Hallie for many years In attempting to steer clear of their deaths, Rappaport does go a bit too far The time spent in the Ipatiev House is very streamlined This is somewhat understandable, especially since Rappaport has thoroughly tilled this soil in other books Nonetheless, certain important aspects with regard to the Romanov girls especially Maria s alleged trysting with a guard are entirely excised This is extremely odd, especially in comparison to Rappaport s earlier exploration of Olga s love life The portrait that emerges of Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia is one ordinariness They were born into incredible privilege and wealth, yet they were exceedingly normal in their everyday concerns, whether that was lovesickness, their weight, or their schoolwork At one point, they had everything, but when it was all taken from them, they never complained, content above all that they should be together as a family Naturally, as I read this, I saw the opportunities for some of them to escape What if, for example, Olga had married a foreign prince, and gotten herself out of Russia Inevitably, though, you come to the conclusion that if they had to die, they would have wished to die together I m in no position to discuss the canonization of the family by the Russian Orthodox Church I will say, though, that the evidence of how the girls acted in their final days, their acceptance of their circumstances, feels like a kind of martyrdom, even if it was forced upon them Big historical events tend to overwhelm us It is hard to understand the shape of certain tragedies, because it is beyond the imagination to conjure Millions of Russians died in the First World War Many millions mostly civilians died in the Russian Civil War that followed How do you imagine a million of anything, much less bodies The Romanovs especially Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia, and Alexei give us a frame of reference We know their names, their faces We know some of their thoughts and facets of their character They come to stand for all the victims who died unremembered, in unmarked graves.


  9. says:

    I have no internet so bare with me This book filled in of the gaps about the Romanovs lives Some questions were nicely answered with diary accounts, letters, and other observations It was informative, and laid out perfectly, starting with some background information about Alix. Some moments were boring, but it is a lot of information At the end I feel bad for the Romanovs This shouldn t of happened The last chapter sadden me.


  10. says:

    Me parece un libro complet simo sobre la vida de las cuatro hermanas Romanov, hijas del ltimo zar de R sia Nicol s II Contiene muchos fragmentos de sus cartas y diarios, adem s de notas a pie de p gina y fotograf as.Me ha permitido conocer la infancia claustrof bica y controlada al mil metro de estas cuatro j venes, su poca socializaci n viviendo sin apenas interactuar con j venes de su edad, su implicaci n durante la Primera Guerra Mundial,. Sus preocupaciones de adolescentes y su forzada madurez repentina debida a las circunstancias No se centra demasiado en la pol tica del momento sin puramente en la vida familiar que llevaba la fam lia Romanov, padres e hijos.El problema llega cuando llegas al final del libro Sabes c mo termina, es historia Pero no es lo mismo leerlo en wikipedia que despu s de ir conociendo a Olga, Tatiana, Maria y Anastasia durante cientos de p ginas Y es devastador.