The Romanovs (Weidenfeld and Nicholson)

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9780297852667: The Romanovs (Weidenfeld and Nicholson)
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The Romanovs ruled Russia as tsars and emperors for three hundred years. Through ruthless force of personality, this family of flawed but brilliant autocrats transformed a weak realm ruined by civil war into a supreme empire that dominated Europe. Peter the Great, the murderous drunken tyrant, physical giant and political reformer, and Catherine the Great, the passionate German princess who overthrew her own husband to become the outstanding stateswoman of a golden age, were Russia's two greatest rulers. Elizaveta, who was as promiscuous as she was glamorous, continued Russia's rise as a European power. The feckless, unbalanced Peter III and Paul I were both murdered in a system described as tyranny tempered by assassination. Nicholas I censored Pushkin, made himself Gendarme of Europe and fought the Crimean War with Britain. Ultimately, Nicholas II and Alexandra, despite their happy marriage and the tragedy of their haemophiliac son, proved too inept, cruel and deluded to save Russia from the Great War and revolution.

This is the story of how Russia became the country we know today. Simon Sebag Montefiore shows that the rule of autocrats and their tiny court cliques have always dominated Russia's history, from the first Romanov tsar in 1613 through the magnificence of Peter and Catherine and the bungling decline of Nicholas II, to the Red Tsars of Lenin and Stalin in the twentieth century and the authoritarian presidency of Putin in the twenty-first.

A gripping narrative of pitiless intrigue and court conspiracy, THE ROMANOVS is a study of personality, policy and power.

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This is the intimate story of twenty tsars and tsarinas, some touched by genius, some by madness, but all inspired by holy autocracy and imperial ambition. Montefiore's gripping chronicle reveals their secret world of unlimited power and ruthless empire-building, overshadowed by palace conspiracy, family rivalries, sexual decadence and wild extravagance, and peopled by a cast of adventurers, courtesans, revolutionaries and poets, from Ivan the Terrible to Tolstoy, from Queen Victoria to Lenin.

To rule Russia was both imperial-sacred mission and poisoned chalice: six tsars were murdered and all the Romanovs lived under constant threat to their lives. Peter the Great tortured his own son to death while making Russia an empire, and dominated his court with a dining club notable for compulsory drunkenness, naked dwarfs and fancy dress. Catherine the Great overthrew her own husband - who was murdered soon afterwards - loved her young male favourites, conquered Ukraine and fascinated Europe. Paul was strangled by courtiers backed by his own son, Alexander I, who faced Napoleon's invasion and the burning of Moscow, then went on to take Paris. Alexander II liberated the serfs, survived five assassination attempts, and wrote perhaps the most explicit love letters ever written by a ruler. THE ROMANOVS climaxes with a fresh, unforgettable portrayal of Nicholas and Alexandra, the rise and murder of Rasputin, war and revolution - and the harrowing massacre of the entire family.

Written with dazzling literary flair, drawing on new archival research, THE ROMANOVS is at once an enthralling story of triumph and tragedy, love and death, a universal study of power, and an essential portrait of the empire that still defines Russia today.

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Simon Sebag Montefiore
Verlag: Orion Publishing Co Jan 2016 (2016)
ISBN 10: 0297852663 ISBN 13: 9780297852667
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Buchbeschreibung Orion Publishing Co Jan 2016, 2016. Buch. Buchzustand: Neu. 241x164x58 mm. Neuware - 'In the House of the Romanovs, a mysterious curse descends from generation to generation. Murders and adultery, blood and mud. Peter I kills his son; Alexander I kills his father; Catherine II kills her husband. The block, the rope and poison - these are the true emblems of Russian autocracy. God's unction on the brows of the Tsars has become the brand of Cain.' So wrote a young Russian historian in the 1890s just after the accession of the young Emperor Nicholas II. IN a few words, he explains why the Romanovs is a fascinating saga.Simon Sebag Montefiore tells the story of the dynasty that ruled Russia from 1613 to 1917 with its emphasis on the characters of the Emperors and Empresses, how their courts worked, the meeting of power and personality with a special emphasis on the greatest and most complex rulers, Peter the Great; his daughter Elizaveta; Catherine the Great in the 18th Century; Alexander I, Nicholas I and Alexander II the Tsar-Liberator in the 19th Century. This will also be a portrait of the doomed Tsars - Peter III, Paul I and the Court of the Last Tsar, Nicholas II; and reveal the special rule of women - age of the Imperial petticoat - during the 18th Century. It will not be a full history of military-political-economic times but an intimate chronicle. 784 pp. Englisch. Artikel-Nr. 9780297852667

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