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Alix and Nicky: The Passion of the Last Tsar and Tsarina [Hardcover]

Virginia Rounding
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
RRP: 20.00
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Book Description

3 July 2012
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 of them, 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 fulfilment 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 haemophiliac 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.

Frequently Bought Together

Alix and Nicky: The Passion of the Last Tsar and Tsarina + Bertie: A Life of Edward VII + Serving Victoria: Life in the Royal Household
Price For All Three: 44.40

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: The Robson Press (3 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849543240
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849543248
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 15.8 x 4.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 155,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Virginia Rounding is an author and book critic, specialising in history and biography. Her most recent book, published in the USA and the UK this year, is a fresh examination of the lives of the last Emperor and Empress of Russia: Alix and Nicky: The Passion of the Last Tsar and Tsarina. A reviewer commented in the Washington Times: 'she has brought them to life in flesh and blood perhaps better than any previous writer on the subject. This is partly a result of her skill in rooting out and quoting commentary on them by those who knew them well and put their impressions down in letters and diaries. But she has a knack for building on these insights with her own, and so has produced a more rounded portrait than we have ever had before.'

Virginia's previous book was a biography of the Empress Catherine II (Catherine the Great: Love, Sex and Power, 2006, described in the Daily Telegraph as 'a thumping great triumph of a book'), and she recently presented a programme for BBC Radio 3 about music and musicians at Catherine's court. Catherine the Great was preceded by a study of French courtesans (Grandes Horizontales, 2003, in the Independent as 'impeccably researched, a flirt of a book, enjoyable and sexy').

Virginia is also the joint author, with Martin Dudley, of a series of books on church administration, and she reviews widely for a variety of newspapers and magazines, including the Daily Telegraph, FT Magazine, Independent, Daily Mail and Moscow Times. She lives in the Hoxton area of London and is an elected councillor (known as a Common Councilman) for the Ward of Farringdon Within in the City of London.

In addition to being a writer, Virginia has had a variety of jobs in order to keep body and soul together. She is currently part-time Clerk to the Guild of Public Relations Practitioners, and was for many years administrator of The Consort of Musicke, a vocal and instrument ensemble specialising in English and Italian music of the Renaissance. She has recently set up a writing consultancy, specialising in assisting post-graduate students with their writing of dissertations and theses, having enormously enjoyed her time doing precisely this as a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at The Courtauld Institute of Art from 2008 to 2011.

She was educated at Merchant Taylors' School for Girls, Great Crosby, and at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University of London.

Product Description

Review

"You would need a heart of stone not to be moved by reading the story of how the Romanovs met their deaths in 1917... a new and distinctive portrait of Tsar Nicholas II and his wife, the Empress Alexandra... In this solidly researched book, Rounding has brought a fascinatingly fresh slant to familiar material... her central story of a couple too dotty about each other to live in the real world emerges in all its tragic strangeness... Particularly moving is her account of Alix and Nicky s final days in captivity... Rounding points out that the word passion means suffering as well as sexual excitement. It would be hard to think of any royal couple in history who embody this subtle double meaning more poignantly" --Kathryn Hughes, Mail on Sunday

About the Author

Virginia Rounding is an author and book critic. Her books include Catherine the Great: Love, Sex and Power, which the Daily Telegraph described as a thumping great triumph of a book and Grandes Horizontales, described in the Independent as impeccably researched, a flirt of a book, enjoyable and sexy . She lives in London.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a dish to set before a Tsar 22 Aug 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a precise no nonsense work of history, written with respect for the facts and not as is so often the case, the authors sense of nostalgia for what he or she thinks should have been. There is little new that can be said on this subject, but I was particularly interested in the Tsarina's medical history, and also that the tsar was virtually isolated by the generals prior to his abdication. All in all this is a first class work by a very competant writer.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent New Research 29 July 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Virginia Rounding's book on Alix and Nicky is filled with interesting and original insight into the history of this tragic romance. The author has written her best work yet and the reader will not be disappointed with the strong results. The writing is lively, fast moving, and the conclusions well thought-out. This is recommended reading for anyone with an interest in Russian Royal history. An excellent summer read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alix & Nicky 17 Jun 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A very good read although it could be said a `little heavy` at times for my taste. Great insight into history.
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