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on 9 July 2008
I have to say when I finished reading this book I was sory to have come to the end of the story. Ella is a true story of human courage and goodness, she was a remarkable woman yet so humble and unasuming. Considering she married in to the wealth and splendour of the Russian court she never let it get the better of her and stayed the same person she had been before her marriage. She met a cruel end yet never gave up her faith or goodness. The sad thing is if she had been Empress of Russia perhaps history would have turned out differently, maybe the Tsar married the wrong sister. I strongly recomend this book its a great price and a really good read.
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on 23 August 2011
This is a truly moving book, of a profoundly beautiful princess and saint of the Orthodox Church. Of course, as an Orthodox Christian I wanted to know more of her monastic life and witness. The profound seeds of love of Christ, were visible so early in Ella's life. The book clearly shows that revisionist anti-Tsarist polemic is plain wrong. Russian Imperial society was at it's best rooted in the Orthodox Christian faith, and the Westernization of the 19th century intelligentsia led many towards socialism and atheism and materialism. Around the world Ella's icon, with Nun Barbara martyred with her graces Russian churches and Orthodox homes. This life of Ella has some beautiful and touching photos and memories of a remarkable woman.
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on 5 July 2012
I was always facinated by what I read about Ella. She was too good to be true. The ost beautiful princess in Europe, the most kind hearted and most saintly woman to live.. I always wondered whether this is true or just people trying to make her look more divine than human.

I am still puzzled. But thie is a great book that gives us so much into the life of Ella and the society of St.Petersburg at that time. I wish it contained many unpublished pics of Ella and Serge than mere few pics that did not do any justice to the princess.

Why wouldn't she acted more motherely towards the nephew and niece of Sergei. That is very strange way of behaving for a woman who was suppose to be a mother to all people.

I wish this book discovered more about the real equaltion between Ella and Sergai. Whether they were actually living as man and wife or the rumours of Grand Duke's interest towards other men to be true. I do not understand why an explantaion was offered in way of Ella's Brother Earnie, telling that he believed so many rumours about Sergai was spread by Kaiser cos Ella has rejected his proposal??? I think that is lame!
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on 4 July 2013
I chose this rating as it was an interesting read even though it didn't really give much insight into Ella's character. For me she still remains a bit of an enigma.
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VINE VOICEon 26 November 2006
The life of the Grand Duchess Elisabeth, sister of the last Czarina and by marriage her aunt, seems to be made for legend: the society beauty who marries the prince charming who in terns got assassinated, she then turning to religion, becoming an abbess before being killed my the ruthless revolutionaries. Well, all this is true but it is only half of the story.

Christopher Warwick unfolds the events of the life of the Grand Duchess step by steps, putting them into context and being quite frank about things, like the doubtful sexual orientation of her husband. He does not writes in order to promote the cult of an saint and therefore refrains from the religious connotations or myths, like those surrounding the Grand Duchess 's death. This is very much appreciated.

Still there are certain elements missing which could explain how this person really was like. Born into a family of strong woman, she was

during her marriage a rather weak person, ordered about and publicly humiliated, only in widowhood she came into her own. How very different form her sister, the Czarina, who dominated her husband. There is not too much about her, but the relationship was not all good. Here the reader relies on guesswork. Her change from Grand Duchess to Abbess could have merited a more in-depth study. I liked that C. Warwick points out that she was as an abbess still a grand duchess and that she showed in her way of life.

The reader will meet a remarkable woman, an interesting woman and the biography is very solid giving the reader a great inside, but I feel the author has not really taken all available material into account. In my own library I have some books with shed more light on certain aspects of the grand duchess's life than this one. But still it is a very good book and enjoyable to read. However, I would not go as far as the previous reviewer in my praise I still believe it is worthwhile reading this very book
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on 29 March 2013
NEVER HEARD OF HER BEFORE THIS, BUT LIKED IT SO MUCH I KEEP LENDING IT OUT AND MAY GET ANOTHER COPY.
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on 17 November 2006
This new biography about Ella (Grand Duchess Elisabeth Feodorovna of Russia) is a must read for any Romanov enthusiast. Christopher Warwick has obviously done extensive research in the archives at Windsor, Darmstadt and Moscow to come up with new information about Ella and her husband Grand Duke Serge Alexandrovich to satisfy even the most well informed Romanov buffs. Even if one isn't particularly interested in Russian history Mr Warwick has produced a well written and very readable book about a woman who continues to fascinate many people.

Ella was considered by many to be the most beautiful of Queen Victoria's granddaughters. She was also an elder sister of the last Tsarina Alexandra and like her she was murdered by the Bolsheviks in 1918. Ella's life took her from the Courts of Germany and England to St Petersburg. She later moved to Moscow when her husband was appointed Governor-General of Moscow and this city became her main residence until she was arrested in 1918. A few years after the assassination of her husband Ella founded the Martha and Mary Convent and took the veil. Two years after her murder Ella's coffin's was transported to the Russian Orthodox Church in Jerusalem where she still rests. Ella was canonised in 1981 and in 1998 her great nephew Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh was present along with Queen Elizabeth II when ten statues of twentieth century martyrs were unveiled above the west door of Westminster Abbey. Ella's statue is the fourth from the left.

Wiley have produced a beautifully bound hardback book, which is excellent value for money and makes for a very interesting read about a figure from history that deserves to be better known by a wider audience.
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on 4 May 2012
This book was very readable, not too much information about the political characters, concentrated on the princess.it gave me some information that I hadn't known.
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on 15 August 2013
Very good book and enjoyable to read, One major problem, I can understand spelling mistakes within sections of the books that are within quotes, but PLEASE, you need to proof check this book. Marine in places instead of Marie; Prince Serge born in 1817 instead of 1857. Nearly every 3 or 4 pages there's a mistake. Very annoying especially at this price!
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on 9 January 2016
Excellent as always
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