St. Martin's Press
June 3, 2014
Interested in the Romanov family? This is a book for you! 492 pages, over 100 pages of references, notes, index items.... and wonderful photos from the family archives. It's the story from the viewpoint of the girl's lives during this time instead of the Czar.
This is a perfect book for a history buff. The story of this family and their lives, and loss of lives, never grows old and stale to the historical readers.
Look at the cover - gorgeous! On sale June 3rd.
THE LOST LIVES OF THE ROMANOV GRAND DUCHESSES
PUBLICATION: UK: Pan Macmillan, 27 March 2014 USA: St Martin's Press, 3 June 201 4
The four captivating young Romanov sisters were perhaps the most photographed and talked about young royals of the early twentieth century. And with good reason; they were much admired for their happy dispositions, their looks, and their devotion to their parents and sick brother. From an early age they were inevitably at the centre of unceasing gossip about the dynastic marriages they might make. But who were they really beyond the saccharine image perpetuated by those now familiar photographs of them as pretty girls in white dresses and big hats? What were their personal hopes, dreams and aspirations and how did they interact with each other and with their parents? What was life really like within the highly insular Imperial Family and how did they really feel about their mother’s obsessive and all consuming love for their spoilt brother Alexey?
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. They are too often seen merely as set dressing, the beautiful but innocuous background to the bigger, more dramatic story of their parents – Russia’s last Tsar and Tsarina, Nicholas and Alexandra. They are perceived as lovely, desirable and living charmed lives. But the truth is somewhat different.
For most of their short lives the four Romanov sisters were beautiful birds in a gilded cage, shut away at their palaces at Tsarskoe Selo or Livadia as a reaction to the fear of terrorist attacks on the Imperial Family. In reality the sisters had few friends and were largely cut off from the real world outside and the normal life experiences of other girls – that is, until everything changed in 1914. Suddenly, with Russia’s entry into the war, the girls had to grow up fast.
In a deliberate echo of the title of Chekhov’s play, Four 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, drawing on previously unseen and unpublished letters, diaries and memoirs of the period.
The book is also the subject of a forthcoming documentary ‘Russia’s Lost Princesses’, which the author has been working on with Silver River Productions for BBC2. A transmission date will be announced soon.