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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Splendid panoramic view, 24 Nov 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Romanovs (Paperback)
It was quite an ambitious undertaking for the author to write a family biography of the Tsar Liberator and his family, but he has pulled it off very well. Until now I'd never known much about the character of Tsars Alexander II and III, but this account brings them to life, and the contrast between Alexander III and his reticent son Nicholas II is drawn well. Above all, it is fascinating to read what became of the lesser-known Grand Dukes and Duchesses, as well as the martyrs who were killed during and after the revolution. Also Alexander II's family by his mistress, the daughter living until 1959, seem to have received little attention till now. Well done to Van der Kiste for lifting the curtain on this little-known historical chapter.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written and interesting, 13 Jan 2009
By 
John Hopper (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Romanovs 1818-1959 (Paperback)
A well written history of the reigns and families of Emperors Alexander II and III. It's good to read something that talks about the lesser known members of the family, not just Nicholas and Alexandra and their children. Somehow surprising that the last child of Alexander II survived until 1959 - a yawning gap between two vastly different worlds.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Family of Alexander II: understanding the Imperial Clan better meaning to understanderstand its downfall better, 7 Aug 2008
By 
Amelrode (Vilvoorde) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Romanovs 1818-1959 (Hardcover)
When I first saw this book I was a bit astonished why 1818 to 1959? I figured fairly quickly that 1818 refers to the birth date of Alexander II (29 Apr 1818), but 1959 remain a mystery as I always had 1960 in mind when Olga Alexandrowna died, the "last" Grand Duchess.

Well, I forgot that Alexander II was married twice. His second wife was Princess Catherine Dolgoruky, who was created Princess Yurievska. His daughter from this second marriage and his last child to die was Princess Catherine Yourievska who died on 22 December 1959.

This time frame makes it already clear that this book focuses on the Czar Alexander II and his family, including Czar Alexander III. It is not so much about the last Czar Nicolas II or rather in an indirect way as the family of Alexander II was the wider family of Nicolas II and the "famous uncles" had a great influence on the last Czar and the reputation of the dynasty as a whole.

By following the ups and down of the Imperial clan and the relationships of its members one is learning and understanding a lot about the functioning or non functioning of the Imperial Family, whose unity was precarious and whose members' life style and often odd sense of responsibility contrasted too harshly with the respect demanded. This all had an impact on the history of Russia. It was part and parcel leading up to the revolution. This book really filled a gap. One understands a quite bit more about the Imperial clan and why one might regard him as doomed. The Romanovs were by far not only victims of the revolution but have to bear lots of responsibility for their own downfall. They were in charge and they could have turned the wheel. They did not. They did not deserve to be shot in cellars (none does!), but loosing power and wealth is a different matter.

This book is written in the usual excellent style of van der Kiste, extremely readable and giving in depth information. It is a pleasure to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Story, 3 April 2014
By 
Mr. L. J. Dalton "Intel" (Essex, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Romanovs 1818-1959 (Kindle Edition)
Although the story is sad at the end, it gives a message that a country should never discard what it knows for something that is disproved. Look at the results now with Russia. The country has lost so many souls in the communist purges, and all the valuable people have emigrated. What is left? Well - the same old unimaginative Putin and his cronies! They are still fighting for empire!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth Reading, 20 Aug 2013
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This review is from: The Romanovs (Paperback)
I am currently into the history of the Romanovs as a whole and found this a good read. It gives backgrounds to some of the other characters involved besides Nicholas and Alexandra. As with most of the other books around the romanov tragedy it's hard to understand Alexandra.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 14 July 2014
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This review is from: The Romanovs 1818-1959 (Hardcover)
Interesting story of a vanished world. Well written and well informed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Discovering Other Romanovs, 19 Nov 2012
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This review is from: The Romanovs (Paperback)
A great choice if you're interested in other Romanovs beside the family of Nicholas II. The book focus especially in Alexander II and his immediate family, in other words, his two wives and children.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Different perspective, 28 Aug 2014
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This review is from: The Romanovs 1818-1959 (Kindle Edition)
Interesting read. Avoids the usual oft repeated well known facts and looks for original stuff about the wider family
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Have not read it yet, 13 Nov 2009
By 
Elisio C. Ribeiro (1000-238 Lisbon, Portugal) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Romanovs (Paperback)
ditto, but since I know other books by the author, I am sure I will not be disappointed.
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The Romanovs 1818-1959
The Romanovs 1818-1959 by John Van der Kiste
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