06 October 2014

The Family Romanov; Candace Fleming

The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial RussiaThe Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Years ago I read the Massie Nicholas and Alexandra and saw the movie made from the book and, well, became fascinated by this family. This book doesn't add much to my knowledge, but the insertion of excerpts from diaries and letters unavailable when the earlier book was written does deepen that knowledge.

It still boggles the mind how wealthy the tsars were, and how out of touch with the reality of what was going on (particularly at the end) they all were. Maybe the exact amount of danger they were in once they fled Tsarkoe Selo wasn't clear, but prior to that? It takes a special arrogance to be that unaware.

It also helps that Fleming is an engaging writer, minus the ticks of Edward Radzinsky's The Last Tsar (which may suffer from translation issues, or the fact that he was a reporter and assumes a short attention span from his readers). My only complaint is around the addition of Lenin and others: it was greatly appreciated, and adds to our understanding of what was going on in Russia, but more at times would have helped. For example, the tutors are dismissed at the end with a "that's the last time they'd see the royal children" but what happened to the tutors?

With luck this will engage readers as much as Massie's book engaged me.

ARC provided by publisher.

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