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The Tragic Empress: The Authorized Biography of Alexandra Romanov

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Empress Alexandra Romanov – the last empress of Russia, wife of Tsar Nicholas II, and now a saint of the Russian Orthodox Church – chose Countess Sophie Buxhoeveden, one of her ladies-in-waiting, to be her authorized biographer, opening up to her about her closest relationships and giving her access to copies of her private correspondence. Additionally, as a lady-in-waiti Empress Alexandra Romanov – the last empress of Russia, wife of Tsar Nicholas II, and now a saint of the Russian Orthodox Church – chose Countess Sophie Buxhoeveden, one of her ladies-in-waiting, to be her authorized biographer, opening up to her about her closest relationships and giving her access to copies of her private correspondence. Additionally, as a lady-in-waiting, Countess Buxhoeveden attended on the Empress for much of the reign of Tsar Nicholas II, only leaving her side when the Imperial Family was removed to Tobolsk after the Tsar’s abdication in 1917. Thereafter, she followed the Empress to Tobolsk, and then to Ekaterinburg, where the entire Imperial Family, some of the Court suite and some of their servants met their deaths on July 17, 1918. The portrait the Countess paints of the Empress is of a warm, shy, kind and generous woman, devoted to Russia, her husband and her children, deeply charitable in word and deed, and a committed friend and mistress, but ill-starred, physically sick, maligned, misunderstood and much plotted against. The character descriptions in this book also include those for Tsar Nicholas, each of the children – OTMA and the Tsarevitch – Grand Duchess Ella (the Empress’ sister), Ania Vyrubova (the Empress’ most intimate friend), Rasputin and Kerensky (the Head of the Provisional Government that took power after the abdication of the Tsar and before the ascendancy of the Bolsheviks). The narrative also describes in detail the daily domestic life of the Imperial Family, and each of their trips to other parts of Russia and abroad in peace and war. It is rare for the author of any authorized biography to know her subject so familiarly and for so long, and to have been a first-hand witness to almost everything that happened for much of her life, and it is this that makes ‘The Tragic Empress’ such an intriguing and compelling book.


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Empress Alexandra Romanov – the last empress of Russia, wife of Tsar Nicholas II, and now a saint of the Russian Orthodox Church – chose Countess Sophie Buxhoeveden, one of her ladies-in-waiting, to be her authorized biographer, opening up to her about her closest relationships and giving her access to copies of her private correspondence. Additionally, as a lady-in-waiti Empress Alexandra Romanov – the last empress of Russia, wife of Tsar Nicholas II, and now a saint of the Russian Orthodox Church – chose Countess Sophie Buxhoeveden, one of her ladies-in-waiting, to be her authorized biographer, opening up to her about her closest relationships and giving her access to copies of her private correspondence. Additionally, as a lady-in-waiting, Countess Buxhoeveden attended on the Empress for much of the reign of Tsar Nicholas II, only leaving her side when the Imperial Family was removed to Tobolsk after the Tsar’s abdication in 1917. Thereafter, she followed the Empress to Tobolsk, and then to Ekaterinburg, where the entire Imperial Family, some of the Court suite and some of their servants met their deaths on July 17, 1918. The portrait the Countess paints of the Empress is of a warm, shy, kind and generous woman, devoted to Russia, her husband and her children, deeply charitable in word and deed, and a committed friend and mistress, but ill-starred, physically sick, maligned, misunderstood and much plotted against. The character descriptions in this book also include those for Tsar Nicholas, each of the children – OTMA and the Tsarevitch – Grand Duchess Ella (the Empress’ sister), Ania Vyrubova (the Empress’ most intimate friend), Rasputin and Kerensky (the Head of the Provisional Government that took power after the abdication of the Tsar and before the ascendancy of the Bolsheviks). The narrative also describes in detail the daily domestic life of the Imperial Family, and each of their trips to other parts of Russia and abroad in peace and war. It is rare for the author of any authorized biography to know her subject so familiarly and for so long, and to have been a first-hand witness to almost everything that happened for much of her life, and it is this that makes ‘The Tragic Empress’ such an intriguing and compelling book.

30 review for The Tragic Empress: The Authorized Biography of Alexandra Romanov

  1. 5 out of 5

    Laurie

    The Baroness’s observations and insights of the last days of Imperial Russia and of the incarceration of the Imperial family supply a needed counter-weight to the conclusions often made that the Tsar and Tsaritsa did everything wrong. She was a loyal companion to the Tsaritsa, and not blind to her faults and mistakes, but always empathetic and fair-minded. I came away from this with a sympathy and appreciation for the Baroness and feel at the bottom of all, her broken heart at what befell the Im The Baroness’s observations and insights of the last days of Imperial Russia and of the incarceration of the Imperial family supply a needed counter-weight to the conclusions often made that the Tsar and Tsaritsa did everything wrong. She was a loyal companion to the Tsaritsa, and not blind to her faults and mistakes, but always empathetic and fair-minded. I came away from this with a sympathy and appreciation for the Baroness and feel at the bottom of all, her broken heart at what befell the Imperial family.

  2. 5 out of 5

    gladys

    Different point of view Fast read. Provided another view of the Russian Empress that I have never come across. Story gives a more human portrayal of the tragic royal rather than focus on her flaws and hysterics. First hand account.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Eve Bagnall

    Magnificent Highly interesting and well written, although immensely sad. A stifling account of the family’s house arrest and subsequent days at Tobolsk and at the Ipatiev House. Sigh indeed....

  4. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    Review Review Reading this has given me a better understanding of life prior to communism. Very enjoyable way to learn about the history of the word.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    4.5 stars

  6. 5 out of 5

    Donna Peake

    Really enjoyed this book I saw the Empress in a whole different light.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Susan Williams

    A very respectful, loving tribute to the Empress Alexandra After reading several books on the Empress emphasizing her overly dependant relationship with Rasputin and many of her supposed bad qualities, this was a lovely book by one who knew her well and was with her almost to the end. It shows the very human, sweet, and dedicated side of Alexandra. She wholeheartedly cared for Russia, her adopted land, deeply embraced the Orthodox religion and became sublimely spiritual the further their fortunes A very respectful, loving tribute to the Empress Alexandra After reading several books on the Empress emphasizing her overly dependant relationship with Rasputin and many of her supposed bad qualities, this was a lovely book by one who knew her well and was with her almost to the end. It shows the very human, sweet, and dedicated side of Alexandra. She wholeheartedly cared for Russia, her adopted land, deeply embraced the Orthodox religion and became sublimely spiritual the further their fortunes declined. Her passionate caring for her family was her number one priority while her friendships with various ladies on her staff were just as heartfelt. Although she had limited physical strength after bearing five children with the added emotional burden of the hemophiliac tsarevich, Alexei, she worked tirelessly at her personal causes of hospitals and medical train cars for the war effort as well as kept up a steady correspondence with friends. She sounds like a very special person, unfairly maligned by history.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Briony Davies

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Bush

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jan Grevstad

  11. 4 out of 5

    Helene Raab

  12. 5 out of 5

    linda neuma

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Mcloughlin

  14. 5 out of 5

    Frontdesk

  15. 4 out of 5

    mr alan mundy

  16. 4 out of 5

    Catherine P LaViolette

  17. 4 out of 5

    gary mclean

  18. 4 out of 5

    J

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mary Wood Nytroe

  20. 4 out of 5

    Leslie A. Hettinger

  21. 4 out of 5

    Deb

  22. 4 out of 5

    deborah e dickey

  23. 5 out of 5

    paddy byrne

  24. 5 out of 5

    Melody Marinel

  25. 5 out of 5

    Darlene Mercer

  26. 4 out of 5

    Fred Clark

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sara Victoria Harding

  28. 5 out of 5

    Judith Turner

  29. 4 out of 5

    Johnnie Steinberg

  30. 4 out of 5

    ann clarke

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