"Independent historian Gelardi has done her homework, drawing on an impressive array of primary and secondary sources to deliver a joint biography of four women who were part of Russia's imperial dynasty in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. . . . Against the backdrop of a tumultuous period in Russian history, this is really a book about an extended family, with a family's sorrows, joys, squabbles, and scandals, albeit on a very grand scale. . . . this is an absorbing account that will appeal to Russian history buffs and to those who enjoy reading about royals."--"Booklist""Relating the drama and tragedy of royal life, Gelardi ably weaves in the extended family ties that connected most European rulers, including Queen Victoria, while also including helpful genealogy charts. Gelardi's narrative framework of the four Romanov women's long lives works well to explain not only the realties of the European courts and alliances but also the unique aspects of the Russian dynasty, which suffered repeated assassination attempts even during the age of splendor, resulting in young Nicholas II's observation of his grandfather's murder, possibly hastening Russia's slide to revolution."--"Publishers Weekly "(starred review)"Gelardi does an exceptional job of relating the last years of the Romanovs via the formerly underutilized perspectives of the women behind the men. While Orlando Figes's "Natasha's Dance: A Cultural History of Russia "used Tolstoy's "War and Peace" as its framework, telling some of the same story, Gelardi offers a more richly detailed account, sure to captivate those with a deep interest in Russian and interrelated European history. Highly recommended."--"Library Journal""Gelardi's style, as in her previous work, the superb "In Triumph's Wake," is simple, straightforward and engaging. Her research is thorough and her sources solid. She contrasts well the Romanovs' privileged lives with the privations brought on by the Russian Revolution, and she doesn't skip the grimmest details. Gelardi is proof that history written from the female perspective can be all business. . . . another of Gelardi's excellent chronicles."--"Roanoke Times ""The Romanovs of Russia, like the Stuarts of England and the Bourbons in France, were one of those famous European dynasties doomed to end in violence and exile. Now, Julia P. Gelardi vividly describes how four Romanov women--an empress, a queen and two duchesses--though born into luxury, died in relative poverty. . . . Gelardi has written a richly detailed portrait of four women, whom marriage and blood put at the center of European history, and, as regimes fell, their worlds changed forever. It's a complex story well-told . . . an absorbing account."--"Richmond Times Dispatch""Gelardi is an excellent writer and a wise historian. She balances her often page-turning narrative of the spectacle and intrigue of the Imperial Russian court with insight into deeper themes. . . . To depict the terrifying events of the last chapters of From Splendor to Revolution calls for compassion and human insight, as well as the skill of a master story-teller. Gelardi certainly demonstrates that she possesses these gifts. . . . Gelardi has written a fine work of narrative history that will stand comparison with classics such as Robert Massie's "Nicholas and Alexandra" and Edward Crankshaw's "The Shadow of the Winter Palace.""--"California Literary Review"
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About the Author
JULIA P. GELARDI is the author of "Born to Rule "and "In Triumph's Wake." She is an independent historian, currently living in Minnesota with her husband and two daughters.
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