THE DIARY OF OLGA ROMANOV: Royal Witness to the Russian Revolution

THE DIARY OF OLGA ROMANOV: Royal Witness to the Russian Revolution

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.

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IN THE STEPS OF THE ROMANOVS: Final Two Years of the Russian Imperial Family 1916-1918

IN THE STEPS OF THE ROMANOVS: Final Two Years of the Russian Imperial Family 1916-1918

IN THE STEPS OF THE ROMANOVS: The Final Two Years of the Russian Imperial Family 1916-1918

This volume offers an accurate glimpse into the final two years of the last Imperial Family of Russia: exclusively through their own diary entries and personal correspondence, supplemented by contemporary eyewitness accounts, many of which are published here in English for the first time.
The reader will get to know on a deeper level the Grand Duchesses and the Empress, as they work at Tsarskoe Selo infirmaries; witness the imperial family’s grief for their murdered “Friend” Grigori Rasputin; experience their arrest after the outbreak of revolution, and follow them into captivity in Siberia – and ultimately the Red Ural – where they meet their tragic end in the cellar of “The House of Special Purpose”.
This already familiar unique piece of history is individually told by Nicholas, Alexandra and their five children: Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia and Alexei. Their collective personal story is a portrayal of a united family bound together by love, hardship and tragedy, taking place during the twilight of an extraordinary bygone era.

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TSAR NICHOLAS II: DIARY OF THE ABDICATION

TSAR NICHOLAS II: DIARY OF THE ABDICATION

Tsar Nicholas II with his generals

FEBRUARY 1917

 27th February. Monday. Disorders started several days ago in Petrograd; unfortunately, even the troops have begun to take part in them. It is a sickening feeling to be so far away and to receive fragments of bad news. Did not spend much time listening to reports. During the day took a walk along the highway towards Orsha. The weather was sunny. After dinner I decided to quickly head to Tsarskoe Selo, and at 1 o’cl. in the morning boarded the train.

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MARIA ROMANOV: STRANGE EPISODE WITH BREAKING WINDOWS (THE CAPRICE)

MARIA ROMANOV: STRANGE EPISODE OF BREAKING WINDOWS (THE CAPRICE)
The Big Caprice and the Podkaprizovaya Road in Alexander Park.

 

The Grand Duchesses in Tsarskoe Selo circa 1915

In a 1915 letter from Grand Duchess Maria to her father, she described a very strange episode of the grand duchesses breaking glass panels with their parasols on the Caprice overpass in Alexander Park.

 

“15 September… We walked to the Caprice and walked up the stairs. You know [a diagram drawing]. And then, when we got up there, Olga took her parasol and attacked one of the windows viciously, and broke 3 glass panels, then gave me the parasol, and I broke a window too and Anastasia [did] too. “” 

For a long time, I was very confused by these lines, and could not figure out what happened, or why the girls would engage in an act that was nothing short of vandalism. So when I got back to Tsarskoe Selo last December, I decided to take a careful look at that area to see if I could find any clues.

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GRAND DUCHESS MARIA NIKOLAEVNA: BRETHREN CEMETERY OF TSARSKOE SELO

GRAND DUCHESS MARIA NIKOLAEVNA: BRETHREN CEMETERY OF TSARSKOE SELO

In 1914, soon after the start of the First World War, near the Kazan Cemetery, a special section of land was assigned for burial of deceased soldiers from Tsarskoe Selo infirmaries. Originally the cemetery contained 400 graves and was named “The Heroes’ Cemetery”, but by early 1915 it was renamed  ‘The Brethren Cemetery of Tsarskoe Selo”. From this time it came under the special patronage of Empress Alexandra Feodorovna.

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1913 DIARY OF MARIA ROMANOV. MATH AND SCIENCE SCHOOL

1913 DIARY OF MARIA ROMANOV.  MATH AND SCIENCE SCHOOL

Maria Romanov in 1913

“4 [March]. Monday. Had lessons in the morning. Had breakfast with Papa and Mama on the sofa. Went to the review of the Albavsky sailors. Had tea alone. Had a music lesson. Went to Realnoye School with Olga and Trina for a physics [lesson]. Did homework. Had dinner with Anastasia and Alexei. “

The Math and Science school (Realnoye School) is located almost directly across the street from Grand Duchesses’ Olga and Tatiana’s infirmary, so occasionally Maria would stop by to see them there before or after Physics lesson.

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