In 2017, a film entitled “Matilda”, produced by Alexei Uchitel, created a stir in Russian mass media. The script was based on romance between the Heir to the Russian throne, future Tsar Nicholas II, and a young ballet dancer named Mathilde Kschessinska.
Despite the fact that Kschessinska’s personal diaries covering the period of this relationship exist, and are accessible, surprisingly the film’s creators failed to consult them.
The diaries (and a number of complementary letters) detail the development of a romance between the young ballerina and the heir to the Russian throne. What seemingly started out as a casual fling, ultimately evolved into a much more serious liaison for both.
Mathilde’s writings reveal the bliss, angst and anxiety of first love; they allow the reader to follow the affair from its inception to its inevitable conclusion, when the Tsesarevich gets engaged to a more suitable bride: Princess Alix of Hesse.
Translated and published in this ebook in English for the first time, the diaries provide a clear glimpse of future Tsar Nicholas II as a young man experiencing intense, consuming feelings of first love.
The ebook includes numerous photographs and illustrations. Digital Colourization of some of the images have been completed by Justyna Michalska