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The Camera and the Tsars: The Romanov Family in Photographs Hardcover – 19 Feb 2004

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press Ltd (19 Feb 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0750930497
  • ISBN-13: 978-0750930499
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 2 x 27.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,008,132 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Charlotte Zeepvat is a freelance writer and Historical Consultant of royalty Digest. Her first book Prince Leopold was published to widespread acclaim in 1998. She has also written Romanov Autumn (November 1999), Queen Victoria's Family, Sutton April 2001. She lives near Rye, Sussex.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By BookSnob on 1 Feb 2006
Format: Hardcover
A brilliant Romanov photo album at a reasonable price? Yes, it is possible!

As most Romanov lovers will know, the best photograph books are virtually impossible to get hold of unless you're willing to part with serious cash. Charlotte Zeepvat's book, however, is a real gem and it's a steal.

I got this for Christmas, but unlike some other gifts, I am sure I will continue to be delighted with this one for many years. It is beautifully done, with many, many pictures, most of which I had never seen before. It is not all about Nicholas, Alexandra and their children, but more concerned with the Romanov family as a whole, spanning from the family of Alexander II to the various emigres who scattered across Europe and America after the Revolution. Each photograph comes with a clear explanation of who the people are, with the main details about their lives in a concise format. There are many familiar faces from the courts of Europe both as children and as adults, and also many unfamiliar faces, such as those of the more obscure Grand Dukes and Duchesses.

This book is an excellent investment, as I am sure it will be treasured by every owner for many years to come. It is an invaluable reference tool when reading biographies, as Zeepvat's extensive inclusion of practically all the members of the Romanov family means that there is literally a face to put to every name you may come across in other works.

Don't miss out on this opportunity to own a low priced Romanov photograph album while you can! If this ever goes out of print, the prices will go sky high!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 April 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book contains a wonderful collection of Romanov photos since thebeginning of the art of photography.Most of them have not previously beenpublished.The collection is not only about the last tsar and his familybut more about the other members of the Romanov dynasty and theirrelatives. In connection with the photos there is also much informationand personal history provided. In this way you learn a great deal alsoabout the lesser known members of the Romanov family.The author has reallysucceded with this photo book and I can't praise it enough! It willcertainly be one of my favourite Romanov books among the others I have.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am fascinated by the Tsars and this book is absolutely perfect.
There is a wealth of pictures contained within the book, most of which I have never seen before.
If you are interested in this area of history and love old photos - this is the book for you.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 14 reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Views of a Vanished World 3 Jun 2004
By John D. Cofield - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Camera and the Tsars is a well organized collection of photographs of the extended Romanov family from the mid 1800s through the post-Revolutionary period. As with her earlier work Queen Victoria's Family, Charlotte Zeepvat has done an excellent job of seeking out many photographs of the more obscure members of the family to give us a more rounded view of the Imperial Family than we usually get from the standard photos seen over and over again.
When I looked through this book I was struck by what a good looking group of people the Romanovs were. The photos are a mixture of formal portraits and snapshots (many taken by the Romanovs themselves), and in most of them the subjects are nice, pleasant seeming people not at all overwhelmed by the formal settings and clothing. The men mostly seem to have been rugged outdoor types, and the women rather romantic and elegant, with some quite beautiful. The children are really cute, too. Interestingly, most of them are smiling, which is rather unusual for nineteenth century photography. There are even some smiling pictures of Alexandra, the last Tsaritsa, who is usually stone faced in most of her portraits. Its also interesting to see how the passage of years changed some of the people. I particularly liked Grand Princess Alexandra Iosipovna, who married one of Nicholas I's sons (and is Prince Philip's great-grandmother). She went from being a fresh faced young girl to an elegant matron to a magnificent grande dame. Also Grand Princess Maria Pavlovna the elder, whose pictures could be used for a dictionary illustration for "distinguished" or "imposing". Even though the pictures are all black and white, you can imagine how the jewels must have glittered and the silks and satins gleamed and rustled.
The final few pictures showing the post-Revolutionary surviving Romanovs are particularly evocative. These are people who have lost a lot and endured enormous pain, and it shows on their still dignified, but very sad, faces.
This is a book all Romanov aficionados will want. It will also appeal to anyone interested in photography, fashion, or just human beings themselves.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A unique look at a priviledged world... 21 April 2006
By Cynthia K. Robertson - Published on
Format: Hardcover
When I ordered The Camera and the Tsars: A Romanov Family Album by Charlotte Zeepvat from Amazon, I assumed that this book was primarily personal photographs taken by Tsar Nicholas II and his family. I was happy to discover how wrong I was! The Camera and the Tsars is a beautiful book that chronicles the lives of the Imperial Family in photographs, starting with Nicholas I. As Zeepvat writes, "by the mid-1850s the imperial family and the camera had embarked on a long and fruitful relationship." What makes this book a true treasure is that most of these stunning pictures have never before been published.

The Camera and the Tsars details not just the immediate family, but extended family as well. The author breaks the photos down into 12 chapters, including The Family, Born Romanov, The Family at Work, The Family at Play, and Marrying into the Family. Many of the photos are extremely rare, including one taken of the ladies of the court for the coronation of Nicholas II, a death-bed scene of Nicholas I, and a wedding photo of Grand Duchess Elizabeth, wife of Konstantin (Russian wedding photos weren't usually taken in the 19th Century). The pictures of family gatherings (with family members from all the Royal Houses of Europe) are fascinating. The Camera and the Tsars includes more pictures of Empress Alexandra smiling than in all the other books I've ever seen combined. And the photos of her immediate family (the last Tsar) will haunt the reader. The later Romanov's were shutterbugs and some of the photos are credited to them. But most are done by professionals and are works of art. Even today, photographs continue to be discovered after being "lost" for so many years.

My one complaint about Camera of the Tsars is that the author includes detailed narratives about the subjects in the photos, but she tries to put her own spin on things. I have always read that Grand Duke Sergei and his wife, Elizabeth of Hesse had a troubled marriage and that Sergei was a very difficult man. Zeepvat claims this perception was orchestrated by family members who disliked Sergei, and that "private letters now coming to light" prove that Elizabeth's marriage was not "one long martyrdom." Unfortunately, Zeepvat does not provide us with the source of this "new" information.

I think that the author should have stuck with descriptions and omitted her interpretations in a book of this nature.

Still, The Camera of the Tsars is an interesting book (especially for any serious Romanov collector), and provides a unique look into their very privileged world.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Absolutely incredible... 21 May 2004
By "otmafan" - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I love this book! The pics are great, everything about it is good. There are pics not only from the last family but from all dating back to Alexander II. It's an amazing book that is put together very nicely, in a similar layout to Queen Victoria's Family.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful book except for irksome error. 9 July 2004
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I do not have much to add to my review that hasn't been said by the other reviewers. However, Zeepvat refers throughout the book to the members of the Russuan royal family as 'Grand Prince' and 'Grand Princess'! In all my extensive readings of the Romanovs I have never seen anything but 'Grand Duke' or 'Grand Duchess', indeed, this is how certain family members referred to themselves in their memoirs. That said, this is still a wonderful book to add to any royal collection.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A book of rare photos of the wider Romanov family 25 May 2004
By K. Maxwell - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Thankfully this book is not just about Nicholas, Alexandra and their children who have already had numerous books published of their photos. Instead we are presented with hundreds of rare, and in many cases never before published pictures, of the often lesser known members of the Romanov clan.
This book charts their photographic interests in both public and private from the 1850's to the 1930's. The only other comparable book to it for images of the wider Romanov family is 'The Last Tsar' by Larissa Yermilova and thankfully there is not too much overlap in their photographic contents.
Charlotte Zeepvat has divided her photos up in to topics such as: The Last Tsar, The Family, Born Romanov, A Suitable Marriage, The Family at Work etc. Each photo in the book is captioned, often accompanied by a story either relating to the specific picture or some other anecdote of that person's life. We get to see many members of the imperial family that often only get passing mentions in other books and this photo album will be an invaluable reference for photographic images of the various Romanov members that you will find nowhere else and is a great companion to this author's other book 'Romanov Autumn'.
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