I have always enjoyed history in school, college minor, and personal pursuits but I have never been exposed to the Romanov history as I was with this book. My knowledge of the Romanovs was limited to perhaps a mentioning of Peter the Great, Alexander I, and even Rasputin but never to the depth I was afforded while reading Ms. Crowles, “The Romanovs”.
For a book of only 217 pages I am amazed at the fact that over 300 years of Romanov history was presented. Beginning with the first Romanov and ending with the unfortunate demise of the entire family of Nicholas II. Of course, I believe the purpose was to offer the highlights of each reigning Tsar with careful thought of not overwhelming the reader with confusing points and information which the author performed admirably.
The Romanovs were a family of mixed characteristics…intelligence to simple, weakness or strength, madness, cruelty, extravagance to minimalism. It appeared that cruelty was by far a prevalent trait. The number of murders against their own family members was atrocious and brutal in form. Court secrets, rebellion and intrigue lead to fear and lack of trust of nearly everyone including family. Virginia Crowles explains how each of the Tsars impacted Russia, whether by advancement or decline. Perhaps the most impact, in my opinion, was offered by Peter the Great and Alexander I. I appreciated the fact that the women were not left out of Ms. Crowles presentation. Not only were there women who ruled Russia directly, but where strong in character who stood beside their husbands and had a huge impact on decisions. Another strong aspect that was raised by Virginia Crowles regarding the Romanov lifestyle was the numerous adulterous affairs by both husband and wife and the fact these affairs seemed to be endured and accepted without argument.
Virginia Crowles gives us a historical rendition of the Romanov family that is clearer understanding of these Russian rulers. Her resources and footnotes were precise and helpful with regard to a few of her points.
I received this eBook from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I truly recommend this historical account for any history buff. I was fascinated by all of the information Ms. Crowles provided. I especially recommend this read with the current DNA tests that are being done regarding the bodies suspected of being Nicholas II children. This would be great background to understanding the the importance of this situation.
Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/25gRkJG