Review: 'The Romanov Sisters' by Helen Rappaport
“The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra” written by Helen Rappaport, is the nonfictional historical account of the lives of the four daughters of the last czar in Russia, Nicholas II.
Rappaport, a British historian with special interests in the Victorian Era and Russia during its revolution, provides the reader with details of the four sisters' lives that have been gleaned from diaries, letters and other sources. Apart from the author's interest in that particular time period, her motivation for sharing this information is to set the record straight, to put to rest false information about these young women and their tragically short lives.
The facts about the sisters, Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia, are even more fascinating than the rumors and imagined stories that have been told since that fateful day in 1918 when the sisters and their family met their untimely demise.
One portion of the book that I read with interest was what Nicholas and his wife, Alexandra, were willing to try in their desperate attempt to produce a male heir after the first four born were female. In an Imperial family and a country solid in tradition, a male heir was of tantamount importance. What if Alexandra couldn't produce a son? Did it mean she had lost favor with God? A son had to be produced at all costs, even faith healing and use of the occult.
Despite the historical facts “The Romanov Sisters” present, the text reads like that of a novel – flowing while being informative. Resources are cited, corresponding with both notes and a bibliographical section.
There is something in “The Romanov Sisters” for both the casual reader and the history buff.
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