I admit I don’t know much about the Romanov legacy in Russian. The little bit I know is from the opening of “An American Tail” and the abounding misinformation in “Anastasia.” Yes, I get knowledge from children’s animated movies. Actually, isn’t Danielle Steel’s “Zoya” also supposed to be about Anastasia? I know it took place in Russia. And of course, the movie “Nicholas and Alexandra,” whose theme song I used to be able to play on the piano when I was in elementary school.
Anyway, my point is that Russian history – even modern 20th century history – is not something typically taught in American schools. So my knowledge was scant going into this biography.
It’s interesting to read the conflicting opinions of the Empress of Russian, who went by the nickname “Alix.” Most of the websites I found online say she was overbearing, a hardliner, and an interfering wife. The Alix that author Carolly Erickson presents is deeply in love with her husband (and he with her), a dedicated mother to her children, in love with her adopted country, and trying to encourage her weak husband to become a true emperor of Russia. It’s hard to reconcile just which portrayal is the most accurate. One thing is for sure – Gregory Rasputin was her downfall. A charlatan who secured her favor by “curing” her hemophiliac son’s illnesses, he caused her to be ridiculed and hated by the citizens of Russia. And despite her attempts to strengthen her husband, he continued to ignore the plight of all Russians which in turn led to revolt, the rise of Lenin, and the Romanovs eventual deaths.
A tragic tale for sure, this was a very well-written book that didn’t seek to put rose-colored glasses on the reader, but simply laid out the history of Alexandra – the good and the bad – and let the readers decide for themselves how they felt about Alix.
If you liked that post, read on...
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Will The World End in 2012 by Raymond Hundley on May 3rd, 2010
The Books of 2015 on December 31st, 2015
Book: The Wedding Party on January 10th, 2008