Alix and Nicky

Alix and Nicky

The Passion of the Last Tsar and Tsarina

Book - 2012
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The dramatic story of Emperor Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra Fyodorovna, the last Tsar and Tsarina of Russia--A penetrating and deeply personal study that gives profound psychological insight into their marriage and how it shaped the events that engulfed them.

There are few characters in history about whom opinion has been more divided than the last Tsar of Russia, Nicholas II, and his wife the Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna. On one hand, they are venerated as saints, innocent victims of Bolshevik assassins, and on the other they are impugned as the unwitting harbingers of revolution and imperial collapse, blamed for all the ills that befell the Russian people in the 20th century. Theirs was also a tragic love story; for whatever else can be said ofthem, there can be no doubt that Alix and Nicky adored one another. Soon after their engagement, Alix wrote in her fiancé's diary: "Ever true and ever loving, faithful, pure and strong as death"--words which met their fulfillment twenty-four years later in a blood-spattered cellar in Ekaterinburg.

Through the letters and diaries written by the couple and by those around them, Virginia Rounding presents an intimate, penetrating, and fresh portrayal of these two complex figures and of their passion--their love and their suffering. She explores the nature and possible causes of the Empress's ill health, and examines in depth the enigmatic triangular relationship between Nicky, Alix and their 'favourite,' Ania Vyrubova, protégée of the infamous Rasputin, extracting the meaning from words left unsaid, from hints and innuendoes..

The story of Alix and Nicky, of their four daughters known collectively as 'OTMA' and of their hemophiliac little boy Alexei, is endlessly fascinating, and Rounding makes these characters come alive, presenting them in all their human dimensions and expertly leading the reader into their vanished world.

Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780312381004
Branch Call Number: 947.08 R76a
Characteristics: 368p. : ill

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c
Chidad
Sep 13, 2014

In over seven decades the history of the Russian Revolution and those that were central to it, especially the last Tsar and Tsaritsa have fascinated millions of people worldwide. At the heart, is a love story, hard won, and permanent, affected only by their son, the Heir. Alexei's, hemophilia, and its effect on their reign, and politics. Much has been written about them, and their intimate photograph albums, have been scanned worldwide. Few authors have captured their uniqueness, and their vulnerability. While Rounding promised us new information, there is not much new here, and often what she focuses on is the minutiae of their daily routine, or witless observations of some of the reign's most pivotal events - the October Manifesto, for one, which she passes over as just another day. A poor historian with a weak grasp of events, this is bad stuff. If you want a basic primer on their lives, Robert K. Massie's "Nicholas and Alexandra" is a much better written and balanced book, and gives a true focus on Alexei's illness and its effect on their parents, and ultimately the loss of their empire.

c
claire1953
Apr 13, 2013

I did enjoy reading this latest biography of the last Tsar and Tsarina of Russia although I found it difficult to stay focused at times. The author quotes heavily from their almost daily correspondence which gives it a heavier style. Nonetheless, the book explains the great love Nicholas and Alexandra had for each other and it also clearly explains how their relationship with Rasputin and their friend Ania led to their demise and subsequent murder. If you enjoy historical biographies, this is a good one.

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