- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 9171 KB
- Print Length: 269 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Taylor Street Books (2 May 2014)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00K3C14F0
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #304,466 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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The Life and Death of Nicholas and Alexandra - Annotated Kindle Edition
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Even if you do not share my interest and love for all things Russian, I believe you will find it an interesting read.
By: Yakov Yurovsky
(The Life & Death of Nicholas and Alexandra is based on two public domain works: "My Empress" by Marfa/Maria Mouchanow and Yakov Yurovsky's account of the July 1918 execution of the Imperial Family, their Doctor and servants. Please note that this version has been significantly edited and updated.)
Maria Mouchanow was appointed as a maid to Tsarina Alexandra upon her ascension as Empress. It should be pointed out that first "maids" at the Russian Court did not do menial labor and may have served as "lady's in waiting" serve the UK's Queens. She held the responsibility for the Imperial jewels, the Crown Jewels and the personal care and dress of the Tsarina. She also managed bills the Tsarina owed. Miss Muchawnow was served by a staff of eight, who followed only her orders. To receive this "Tschin", as it is called in Russia, most definitely had to do with one husband's rank.
The Grand Duchess Alix of Hesse had been engaged to Tsar Alexander III's oldest son and heir Nicholas. It was most definitely, a love match. However, before the couple could be wed, Tsar Alexander III's health took a severe turn for the worse. It was widely known that his son and heir was not the man his father had been. Grand Duchess Alix was hurriedly called to Livadia so that she may see the dying Tsar.
The Tsar and his Empress, the Danish born Marie Feododorovna were immensely popular. When Alexander's body was brought back thru the streets of St. Petersburg, the now Dowager Empress was wildly cheered, while the intended bride of Nicholas II was ignored. This did not bode well for the young Alix and upset her terribly.
The maid, although continually telling the reader how good and kind Alexandra was, manages to portray her as haughty, unfriendly and superior. She showed no interest in Society and was generally misunderstood. To top it off her first four children were daughters and people were beginning to look towards the Tsar's brother Grand Duke Michael as the next Tsar. These goings on terrified Alexandra and it was with much joy that she finally dqelivered Alexei in 1905. However, shortly after his birth, it became apparent that the young Grand Duke suffered from "the English Disease" - hemophilia. This information was kept top secret.
All of this trauma caused the Tsarina to withdraw more and more. Her sister Grand Duchess Elizivata wife of Grand Duke Sergei( uncle of the Tsar and the Governor General of Moscow) tried to be a positive influence, but Miss Mouchanow did not hold the GD Elizaveta in high opinion, believing that she was a bad influence on her younger sister, the Empress.
In order to save her son and relieve some of his pain, she first turned to a man named Philippe, who prophesied the arrival of the monk, Rasputin, to the Imperial Court. The first time Rasputin sat with the Tsarevich, the child immediately calmed and began to feel better. Needless to say, Alexi's overjoyed mother was hooked and Rasputin something holy. The sight of the ignorant, dirty monk with the boundless sexual appetite, shocked Russian High Society to it's very core. On top of that neither the Tsar or Tsarina would allow a word against him. Natural rumors began to circulate that the strange monk had made Alexandra his sexual slave and that the Tsar did not make any decisions without Rasputin's input.
Outside the Tsar's palace, revolution was brewing along with the (at first ) highly patriotic Russo-Japanese war. However, a large group of peasants decided to peacefully march on the Palace to present their complaints to the Tsar. Unbeknownst to the protestors. The Tsar was miles away at Tsarkeloe Selo and the rather cruel Grand Duke Sergei, released his soldiers on the protestors. Over 1000 men, women and children were killed.
The reign of N&A was doomed from the start. The tragedy of their (and their children's & helpers) executions is one of the mysteries of the 20th century.
I think this book could serve as a tool for historians. Maria's ppv is one sided and not totally factual.
I found the section by Yakov Yurovsky far more interesting. Granted it was not well written but I think it's somewhat accurate.
2 1/2 stars