They were the two youngest daughters of the world’s most powerful man – Nicholas II, Tsar of Russia. Known to their family and friends as “The Little Pair”, Grand Duchesses Maria and Anastasia were born into opulence, but led modest lifestyles. They were two normal young women growing up in extraordinary circumstances, ultimately getting caught in the middle of frightening political events that would take their teenage lives. Until this volume, the two girls did not have a chance to tell the story of the last four years of their lives during the first world war and the revolution, – in their very own words. Read more MARIA and ANASTASIA: The Youngest Romanov Grand Duchesses In Their Own Words
The First English Translation of the Wartime Diaries of the Eldest Daughter of Nicholas II, the Last Tsar of Russia, with Additional Documents of the Period
In August 1914, Russia entered World War I, and with it, the imperial family of Tsar Nicholas II was thrust into a conflict they would not survive. His eldest child, Olga Nikolaevna, great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria, had begun a diary in 1905 when she was ten years old and kept writing her thoughts and impressions of day-to-day life as a grand duchess until abruptly ending her entries when her father abdicated his throne in March 1917. Held at the State Archives of the Russian Federation in Moscow, Olga’s diaries during the wartime period have never been compiled into English until this volume. At the outset of the war, Olga and her sister Tatiana worked as nurses in a military hospital along with their mother, Tsarina Alexandra. Olga’s younger sisters, Maria and Anastasia, visited the infirmaries to help raise the morale of the wounded and sick soldiers. The strain was indeed great, as Olga records her impressions of tending to the officers who had been injured and maimed in the fighting on the Russian front. Concerns about her sickly brother, Aleksei, abound, as well those for her father, who is seen attempting to manage the ongoing war. Gregori Rasputin appears in entries, too, in an affectionate manner as one would expect of a family friend. While the diaries reflect the interests of a young woman, her tone grows increasingly serious as the Russian army suffers setbacks, Rasputin is ultimately murdered, and a popular movement against her family begins to grow. At the point Olga ends her writing in 1917, the author continues the story by translating letters and impressions from family intimates, such as Anna Vyrubova, as well as the diary kept by Nicholas II himself. Finally, once the imperial family has been put under house arrest by the revolutionaries, we follow events through observations by Alexander Kerensky, head of the initial Provisional Government, these too in English translation for the first time. Olga would offer no further personal writings, as she and the rest of her family were crowded into the basement of a house in the Urals and shot to death in July 1918.
The Diary of Olga Romanov: Royal Witness to the Russian Revolution, compiled and introduced by scientist and librarian Helen Azar, and supplemented with additional primary source material, is a remarkable document of a young woman who did not choose to be part of a royal family and never exploited her own position, but lost her life simply because of what her family represented.
The Last Ruling Romanovs…. Much has been written about the life of the last Imperial family of Russia: Tsar Nicholas II, his wife Tsarina Alexandra, and their five children – Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia and Aleksei. The entire family, including their personal physician, retainers, and even their pets, became tragic victims of the Bolshevik revolution. They were arrested, exiled, and ultimately secretly murdered in a small cellar of a house in the Urals, in the summer of 1918. In this book, you will follow the events which led up to their eventual tragic fate through personal words of each family member, as well as their close friends and associates. Their letters, diaries, and postcards – many of which have been compiled into English here for the first time – tell a unique story, and have yet a lot to reveal. Translated from Russian by Helen Azar, along with Eva and Dan McDonald, who compiled most of the 1918 letters from French, this book offers an extraordinary glimpse into the very private world, and the final years, of the last Russian imperial family – which they chronicle in their own words. This book is a great companion to the “The Diary of Olga Romanov: Royal Witness to the Russian Revolution”, also by Helen Azar. Read more RUSSIA’S LAST ROMANOVS: In Their Own Words
Beneicke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University has been an invaluable source of primary material for my books. Nothing compares with looking at the original letters and postcards written by the members of the Romanov family themselves! Photographs do not do this experience justice of course, so the last time I was at Beinecke in early July, I decided to make a few videos so I can share a little of the experience with you.