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Show Conversation Hide Conversation 2. Join the Conversation. Most of the family was still alive, wounded, crying and terrified, their suffering made worse by the fact that they were in effect wearing bulletproof vests. Instead, events took a strange turn. Even though both sets of remains were identified by teams of top international scientists, who compared recovered DNA to samples from living Romanov relatives, members of the Russian Orthodox Church questioned the validity of the findings.
More research was needed, they claimed. Rather than rebury Alexei and Maria, the authorities stored them in a box in a state archive until and then turned them over to the church for further examination. Last fall the official state investigation of the tsar's murder was reopened, and Nicholas and Alexandra were exhumed , as was Nicholas's father, Alexander III. Since then there have been conflicting reports from government and church officials on when, or if, the entire Romanov family will be reburied and reunited, even if only in death.
Had Nicholas II died after the first 10 years of his reign he came to power in , he would have been regarded as a moderately successful emperor. Ultimately, though, his well-intentioned but weak personality—which also comprised duplicity, obstinacy, and delusion—contributed to the disasters that befell the dynasty and Russia. He was handsome and blue-eyed but diminutive and hardly majestic, and his looks and immaculate manners concealed an astonishing arrogance, contempt for the educated political classes, vicious anti-Semitism, and an unshakable belief in his right to rule as a sacred autocrat.
He was jealous of his ministers, and he possessed the unfortunate ability to make himself utterly distrusted by his own government. His marriage to Princess Alexandra of Hesse only exacerbated these qualities. Theirs was a love match, which was unusual for the times, but both Nicholas's father and Alexandra's grandmother, Queen Victoria of England, regarded her as too unstable to succeed as empress. She brought to the relationship paranoia, mystical fanaticism, and a vindictive and steely will.
Also, through no fault of her own, she brought the "royal disease" hemophilia into the family and passed it to her son, the imperial heir, Tsarevich Alexei, undermining the power of the family and distorting their interests. Princess Alexandra brought to the relationship paranoia, mystical fanaticism, and a vindictive and steely will.
The personal inadequacies of Nicholas and Alexandra led them both to seek support and advice from Grigori Rasputin, a holy man whose notorious sexual promiscuity, hard drinking, and corrupt and inept political machinations in their name further isolated the couple from the government and people of Russia. The crisis of World War I placed the fragile regime under intolerable stress. Petersburg which had been renamed Petrograd during the war to sound less German and was soon forced to abdicate, replaced by a republic under a provisional government.
The reburial of the Romanovs was a solemn state event meant to showcase the Russian nation's reconciliation with its past. In a televised procession, soldiers in dress uniform carried coffins down a red carpet, past Romanov descendants and assembled dignitaries, and into the Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. President Yeltsin, a former Communist Party leader, told those gathered that the lesson of the 20th century was that political change must never again be enforced by violence.
Priests from the resurgent Russian Orthodox Church offered blessings, but, notably, the patriarch of the church was not in attendance.
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At that time the Orthodox Church, which had been an intrinsic part of the Romanov system of rule, was reestablishing itself as a national power. Many members of its hierarchy resented the fact that the burial ceremony had been directed almost entirely by Yeltsin's secular political agenda to promote a liberal democratic Russia. A decade later scientists announced that the two bodies found in the second grave were Alexei and Maria. This time the church publicly objected to the findings of the "foreign experts" many members of the forensic teams were American and even questioned the earlier identifications of Nicholas and the others.
The church had canonized the family in , which meant that any physical remains were now holy relics. It was essential, the church maintained, that it have a role in making sure the bodies were correctly identified. Yeltsin had resigned the presidency of the Russian Federation in and handed over power to a little-known ex-KGB colonel named Vladimir Putin.
The young leader regarded the fall of the USSR as "the greatest catastrophe of the 20th century," and as soon as he took office he started centralizing power, reining in foreign influences and promoting a combination of nationalism, Orthodox faith, and aggressive foreign policy.
The Romanov Family's Demise: A Lack Of "Peace, Bread And Land"
It was an effective approach that, ironically, could have been taken from any number of Romanov tsars' playbooks. Putin was no closet royalist, but he was an admirer of the autocracy perfected by the Romanovs. Though born under Soviet communism, he had a pragmatist's understanding of history, in particular the fact that the most forceful leaders of Russia, from Peter the Great to Catherine the Great to Joseph Stalin, had managed to personify the essence of not just the state but the Russian soul, and Russia's uniqueness in world history.
Like the first Romanov rulers, Putin came to power during a time of troubles, and like his forebears he set about restoring the power of the state and the persona of its ruler. Rejecting the findings of the international scientists was, of course, a power grab by the newly emboldened church, and it was supported by the growing anti-Western sentiment promoted by the Kremlin and shared by much of Russian society.
By agreeing to the church's conditions, Putin was appeasing an important ally.
But the move also reflected conspiracy theories which often had anti-Semitic undercurrents spreading among ultranationalists about the remains. One was that Lenin and his henchmen, many of whom were Jewish, had demanded that the heads of the saintly Romanovs be brought to Moscow as a sort of diabolical Hebraic-Bolshevik tribute.
Was this the reason for the shattered state of the bones? Were these bones really the Romanovs? Or had someone escaped? These questions might seem easy to dismiss, but there is long-established tradition in Russia of murdered royals suddenly reappearing.
During the Time of Troubles, in the 17th century, there were not one but three impostor, known as the False Dmitris, who claimed to be Prince Dmitri, last son of Ivan the Terrible. And after more than imposters claimed to be Grand Duchess Anastasia. At first, during the spring of , the ex-imperial family was allowed to live in relative comfort at a favorite residence, the Alexander Palace at Tsarskoe Selo, not far from Petrograd. Nicholas's cousin, King George V of England, offered him sanctuary, but then changed his mind and withdrew the offer.co.organiccrap.com/37485.php
The Last Romanov - Historical Novel Society
It was not the finest moment for the House of Windsor, but it is unlikely that it made any difference. The window of opportunity was short; demands for the ex-tsar to stand trial were growing. Alexander Kerensky, first justice minister and then prime minister of the provisional government, moved the royals to the governor's mansion in Tobolsk, in distant Siberia, to keep them safe. Their stay there was bearable but depressing.
Boredom turned to danger when Kerensky was overthrown by Lenin and the Bolsheviks in October I nearly quit at page 71 on this story, but pressed ahead as it momentarily got interesting. I can't believe I read the whole thing. A confused jumble. There's certainly a story in there somewhere, perhaps a good one, of the end of the Romanov royal family of Russia and potential in a fantasy way modern fallout.
But the telling was not up to the concept. The primary stumbling block seems to be the author's inability to tell a story of a hundr I usually give a book pages before I give up. The primary stumbling block seems to be the author's inability to tell a story of a hundred years ago without such jarringly modern terms and characters that it kept knocking the reader out of the story.
Too much back story. Yeah, I know, the whole story was back story, but still Phraseology: "…she lets loose laughter…", "plants a kiss", "…to live as one with wild life" walking with a rifle over her shoulder, ready to blast said wildlife. A thriving population of Aurochs in Russia in ?
They've been extinct since The magical properties of ambergris? Sure, why not? Likewise, while she manages to create a feeling of authenticity around the Romanovs, her fictional cast is too twenty-first century. Her Rasputin comes off more like a dirty old con man than either holy or crazy. Mossanen seems to have a good feeling for her characters, she just can't convey it into words.
Even two stars would be a gift. This could have been a really good read; it's not. Dec 06, Misfit marked it as did-not-finish Shelves: historical-fiction , net-galley , russia. I yield, too much hocus pocus magic stuff for my blood and when view spoiler [Darya sniffed the ambergris and went into a trance and went back in time whilst Rasputin is fondling her was just a bit too much for my tastes. View all 51 comments. Jan 13, DeAnna rated it it was amazing.
Prepare yourself for one wild ride through history as Darya tells her tale and makes her search for the missing Tsarevich! While this is an honorable and often required trait in a member of the royal household, it also shows a single-mindedness that might not always make for a good companion, either. She lets her care of, and eventual search for, Alexis Romanov consume the remainder of her life. Darya is, on the other hand, a loyal and caring caretaker to Alexis as well as a devout and dedicated soul.
Their romance is fiery and passionate, made even more so by the fact that he is a forbidden Jew. For someone of her standing to be involved with a commoner was unheard of at that time, but for this commoner to also be a Jew? It was pure scandal. Darya and Avram do not let this come between them, however, showing both grace and the strength of true love to overcome all obstacles. The way the keep finding one another, despite the odds and political crisis of the time, is both magical and hope for us all. This era of history, and the Romanov family itself, has long been a curiosity of mine.
To find such an imaginative and intriguing story set during this time and involving this family was a happy surprise for me. Filled with both wild and the more sedate historical characters plus just a touch of the mystical, The Last Romanov brings magic and history together in a spectacular way. The Last Romanov is a wonderfully well-written read for any lover of history or even just someone who believes in the impossible.
The Devastating True Story of the Romanov Family's Execution
Sep 17, Ashley Arthur rated it really liked it. Once I got started, though, I found the story fascinating. The story is about an elderly woman, Darya, who is nearly a hundred years old and determined to find out if Alexi Romanov survived the night that the Bolsheviks slaughtered his parents and sisters. When Darya was a teenager, the Tsarina invited her to live with the royal family in order to look after Alexi, who had hemophilia.
For over fifteen years, Darya makes Alexi the center of her world, and eventually she views the Romanovs as her family.