Alexandra: The Last Tsarina

Tsarina Alexandra hauntingly beautiful, melancholy, obsessed with the occult was blamed by her contemporaries for the downfall of the Romanovs But her true nature has eluded previous biographers Using archival material unavailable before the fall of the Soviet Union, acclaimed historian Carolly Erickson s masterful study brings to life the full dimensions of the Empress Tsarina Alexandra hauntingly beautiful, melancholy, obsessed with the occult was blamed by her contemporaries for the downfall of the Romanovs But her true nature has eluded previous biographers Using archival material unavailable before the fall of the Soviet Union, acclaimed historian Carolly Erickson s masterful study brings to life the full dimensions of the Empress s singular psychology her childhood bereavement, her long struggle to marry Nicholas, the anguish of her pathological shyness, and her increasing dependence on a series of occult mentors, the most notorious of whom was Rasputin With meticulous care, Erickson has crafted an intimate and richly detailed portrait of an enigmatic historical figure Unfolding against the turbulent backdrop of Russian history in the last decades before the Revolution of 1917, this engrossing biography draws the reader in to Alexandra s isolated, increasingly troubled interior world In these pages, the tsarina ceases to be a remote historical figure and becomes a character who lives and breathes.Intimate, rich in detail, carefully researched and informed by a generous imagination, Erickson s page turning account of Alexandra and her times is a gem of biographical storytelling, as vivid and hard to put down as an enthralling novel.
Alexandra The Last Tsarina Tsarina Alexandra hauntingly beautiful melancholy obsessed with the occult was blamed by her contemporaries for the downfall of the Romanovs But her true nature has eluded previous biographers Using

  • Title: Alexandra: The Last Tsarina
  • Author: Carolly Erickson
  • ISBN: 9780312302382
  • Page: 431
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “Alexandra: The Last Tsarina”

    1. When it comes to Russian history, my knowledge base is not so much "spotty" as it is "basically nonexistent." I read a biography of Catherine the Great last year, which was the first non-fiction Russian history book I had ever read. Alexandra: The Last Tsarina was the second, and before that my only source for information about the Romanovs came from the Royal Diaries series (the Anastasia one was really good, though) and one historic fiction book about them that I read in middle school. Add to [...]

    2. I disliked the writing immensily, it reads too much like historical fiction and at times Erickson cites sources that have been for years known as dubious, if not completely fake, namely Marfa Mouchanow's memoirs. And apparently Erickson knew they were unreliable, and used them anyways - but of course these fabricated memoirs are where the fun and shocking comments come from It can be amusing and it's an easy read, but absolutely not a good source for true, reliable information on the last Tsarin [...]

    3. A devastating story, but completely mesmerizing. Erickson weaves so much of Russian history and culture as she shapes the character of Empress Alexandra. Alexandra herself is complex and tragic, as is the story of her family's fate. An excellent biography.

    4. Very interesting and imformative. Through Alexandra's live we know about Queen Victoria, Alexandra's life in Germany before her marriage to Prince Nicholas and their life together from the start portaying life in Russia, the birth of their children and the tragedy of her son. We know so many secrets about the Royal Family and the real causes behind the Soviet Russia which so many people should know about. The style is really interesting. Good book.

    5. At the tender age of 13 I fell in love with Nicholas and Alexandra and their children reading Readers Digest while baby sitting. This is the best account of Alex's life I have read. Carrolly Erickson's ability to write a biography that reads like fiction is amazing.

    6. Devo ammettere che conoscevo pochissimo la storia dei Romanov e che Alessandra non mi ha fatto impazzire come persona, sempre insoddisfatta, depressa, piena di malanni più o meno psicosomatici. Certo non deve essere stato facile vivere in un paese straniero senza veri appoggi familiari, ma se si paragona la sua vita a quella di un qualunque altro abitante russo (e non solo) di quegli anni l'abisso è notevole. In più, leggendo le biografie dei vari sovrani che in un modo o nell'altro sono stat [...]

    7. Ennesima figura tragica e fortemente travisata questa della Zarina Alessandra, principessa d'Assia e nipote della Regina Vittoria, donna bellissima, malinconica, riservata ma, anche determinata, dignitosa, capace di una feroce autodisciplina che affinò durante i suoi anni alla corte russa, dove, mai accettata, per difendersi dalla sua timidezza e sopratutto dai loro pregiudizi, dall'ostilità e dal disprezzo assumeva atteggiamenti glaciali, di totale distacco, a volte anche bizzarri, realizzand [...]

    8. (in 2008)My Thoughts: I thought the book was fantastic. I’ve had a few experiences with reading bland biographies. The author does a great job making this accessible and readable. It felt like reading a novel rather than a biography. She did a fantastic amount of research but also brought real emotion into the characters. I thought it was great, I’ve never even had a huge interest in tsarist Russia, but I could definitely get into it if there are more books were this interesting! If I had to [...]

    9. This is a text that I would certainly call readable, but it veers slightly into the realm of historical fiction. Why? Because there are several fatal errors that this text makes. 1. The issue of Martha Mouchanow. Her memoirs have been CONTINUOUSLY discredited. The fact that Erickson uses them at all is solely to make the novel juicier to modern audiences and those not interested in reading a fact-based text. 2. Alexei's hemophilia. I'm sorry, but it was this that nearly made me put the book down [...]

    10. I found this book to be vague when it came to dates; most of the time it was around this time this happened. I got the impression that the writer had some expectation that the readers of this book already knew a lot of what had happened to the tsarina, so she didn't need to go into detail about what happened at a specific date.

    11. I enjoyed reading this book. It is a very interesting look at the life of Alexandra, the last tsarina of Russia. There are some notable differences in Erickson's book from other biographies on the subject, among them her insistence that Alexandra and her friend Anna Vyrubova had a much more troubled relationship than many books have previously suggested; and surprisingly her belief that Rasputin had much less to do with Alexandra's political failures. Rather, Erickson suggests most of her decisi [...]

    12. Po pravdě - nejsem si úplně jistá historickou přesností, chybí bibliografie (i když v originále asi je), ale je čtivá.Alexandra roky milovala Mikuláše II. a radši by zůstala na ocet, ale nikoho jiného si prostě nevezme. A pak když ji požádá o ruku, tak řeší, že nemůže přestoupit na jeho víru. To jí to za ty roky nedošlo?s. 63 Nicky si byl dobře vědom také toho, že by otec mnohem raději předal svou vládu milovanému synu Michailovi než jemu, jenž měl tu sm [...]

    13. Una discreta introduzione al mondo dei Romanov. La biografia della zarina Alessandra segue i principali eventi della sua vita utilizzando come fonti lettere, diari e altro materiale, nonché pubblicazioni precedenti. Nessuno infamia e nessuna lode, il libro non propone nulla di nuovo. Inoltre, è anche datata in quanto i corpi della granduchessa Maria e del granduca Alessio vengono indicati come ancora scomparsi. Consigliato per chi vuole leggere un primo testo un impegnativo che tratti della fi [...]

    14. I really liked this book, it's history, but it reads like fiction. I learned a lot about Alexandra and her family. I was happy to hear that they didn't know they would be executed until the last minute. I think that there is so much more to read about this family, especially Alexandra. Very good book.

    15. Erickson pens a passionate biography of Alexandra Romanov, the last Czarina of Russia with “Alexandra.” During her life, Alexandra was vilified by the Russian people, but Erickson’s portrayal paints a different portrait of the last Czarina – one that will surprise those who don’t know much about Russian history.The novel starts out with Alexandra, a young girl in Germany, witnessing the death of her mother, who was a daughter of Queen Victoria. After enduring several deaths in the fami [...]

    16. Lyn graciously loaned me Alexandra in the spring, following a conversation we had about how much we geek out about historical fiction, and how cool it would be to go to Russia. Being a nerd about the Russian Revolution, I surprisingly hadn't read much about the family of the last tsar, Nicholas II. Most of what I knew about the family's overthrow and demise came from History Channel specials, mostly episodes akin to "Could Anastasia still be alive?!" and "The Debauch of the Romanovs: Rasputin!" [...]

    17. I have a new perspective of Alexandra after reading this book. While I am not entirely sympathetic to her, I do feel more sorry for her than I had previously. She held herself remote due to her own insecurity and shyness, as well as her worries about her family. She also had more health issues than I had realized. True, some of them were psychosomatic, but not all. I had not realized that she had fallen through a piece of plate glass as a young girl (within a very short amount of time of her mot [...]

    18. La storia si ripete: quello della zarina Alessandra è un trascorso tragicamente molto simile a quello di un'altra regina del passato, Maria Antonietta di Francia. Entrambe spose straniere (una tedesca e l'altra austriaca), fraintese dai loro sudditi e malvolute dai parenti acquisiti, devote alla propria famiglia e alla corona, accusate di connivenza col nemico, prigioniere e vittime di una rivoluzione. Ed entrambe martirizzate dai rispettivi Paesi molto tempo dopo la loro morte. Non sono trasco [...]

    19. I have read many books about the rein of Nicholas and Alexandra, the last czars of Russia, and the rise of the Bolsheviks. Most of those books take a holistic view of the historical, social and economic climate that led to the fall of monarchial Russia, the rise of the Soviet Union and the exile and murder of the Romanov family. This is the first book I've read from the viewpoint of Alexandra, based on her diaries and letters (she was very prolific) and those of others. Erickson provides a fresh [...]

    20. Although I suppose it could have been more thorough in its examination of the empress's relationship with her sisters, I did enjoy this book. This is only the first bio I've read about Alexandra, so perhaps my view may change in the future. This book takes a look at the mysterious and much-maligned Tsarina Alexandra. Although the book seemed at times a bit melodramatic, especially when describing the empress's debilitating illness, it provided great insight into her melancholy world. It was inte [...]

    21. The last Tsarina of Russia, Alexandra, is told to marry a cousin she doesn’t care for specially after she meets the Prince of Russia, Nicholas. After many years of begging to the Queen of England, Alexandra’s grandmother, if she could marry Nicholas the Queen agrees. Her destiny to be Queen of Russia, her love of Nicky and their 5 children can only end in tragedy.I learned so much about Alexandra’s personality. I did not know she had illnesses that ailed her.Most of the book I knew about b [...]

    22. After reading about the last days of the Romanovs, I chose this author to read more about Nicholas and Alexandria and their family because of her talent for making history read like a novel. Didn't like the absence of maps and photos (there were several photos of family members but none of the palace, surrounding areas, supporting characters, Rasputin, etc.) and the length was a little too long; a few places that dragged on could have been a little tighter.Nicholas and Alexandria were totally un [...]

    23. A solid, competent, and succinct work with a good use of primary source material. Nothing terribly new or insightful here, but a thorough telling of a familiar story from Alexandra's perspective.One odd technique, however, which Erickson has employed in the past (To the Scaffold, the Story of Marie Antoinette) she uses again here. She rather abruptly concludes the story literally at the moment of her subject's death. This has a bit of a jarring affect on the reader, and robs Alexandra's death -- [...]

    24. This is some of the best biographical writing I have ever read. There is real insight into Alix's life from young girl to Empress. The author includes excerpt from letters both to and from Alix which help explain the relationships with her royal family and friends around the world. The personal and day to day experiences, whether they were in the palaces or in exile, are written with such detail that the reader feels both empathy and confusion over her intelligence and her privileged background [...]

    25. This biography discusses the life of Alexandra, grandaughter of Queen Victoria of England, who grew up and became Empress of Russia when she married her cousin, Nicholas Romanov. Together they had four children (one was a hemophiliac) and ruled during a time when Russia was going through a lot of turmoil. Unfortunately, this led to a revolution and the entire family was assassinated, their deaths ending monarch rule in Russia. This book was extremely well written and I came away from it with a b [...]

    26. I re-read this for extra help on an all essay question test for my Western Civilization class. I'm glad to have a chance for the re-read since it had been many years since I had originally read the book. I liked reading about the Tsarina, since most books of the time focus on the Tzar or their children. It helped me to understand why she fell so far under Rasputin's control. If you're interested in the history of the WWI era, I do suggest this book since the Tsarina was more involved in the issu [...]

    27. I pulled this off the library shelf one day out of boredom and was expecting more of what I have read before about Alexandra and the Romanovs. Parts of this new perspective from Alexandra's point of view is in fact very new to me. In all of my research on the last imperial family, I had never once heard of Phillipe Vachot or much on how Alexandra first met Rasputin. This book definitely empathizes with her when depicting her during the war while Nicholas II was away, unlike other works about the [...]

    28. I'm usually critical of Carolly Erickson but I think I like her biographies more then her historical fiction. It was like a historical fiction but without the inaccuracy she usually throws in. It was easy to get into and stay with and I instantly starting looking into other biographies that she has written. If you are interested in Russian history, Tsarina Alexandra, the Romanov family or history in general then I would give this a definite try.

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