The Flight of the Romanovs: A Family Saga

The Flight of the Romanovs: A Family Saga

The Flight of the Romanovs: A Family Saga

The Flight of the Romanovs: A Family Saga


A saga of love and lust, personal tensions and rivalries, antagonisms and hatreds, The Flight of the Romanovs describes the last century of the Russian imperial dynasty -- a century that saw the greatest social and political upheavals in all of recorded history. Drawing upon a wealth of untapped resources from Russian, British, and American archives, including unpublished diaries of many of the principal characters and never-before-published photographs, Perry and Pleshakov render an indelible portrait of a family and their time, from the youth of Alexander III in the 1860s to the death, one hundred years later, of his daughter Olga Alexandrovna, the last Grand Duchess.

Set against the backdrop of this most cataclysmic century, The Flight of the Romanovs is a must-read for anyone interested in this fascinating dynasty, Russian history, and the history of European royalty.


Conspiracy and murder, imprisonment, torture, flight, and abduction punctuate the story of the Romanovs, Russia's last imperial dynasty, during their last century. It is a chronicle of glittering sadness, of unfulfilled expectations and squandered opportunities. As with any family, the Romanovs provide a saga of love and lust, of personal tensions and rivalries, of antagonisms and even hatreds. But because of who these people were, issues of wealth and position permeated and complicated their personal relationships. Before the great revolution, the grand dukes and grand duchesses fled from reality at home, living sumptuous jewel-studded lives in palaces isolated from the harshness and brutality of Russia, or they retreated to luxurious vacations abroad. Probably no society has ever experienced a sharper contrast between privilege and poverty, with so few rich and so many poor. This huge disparity fed rage, hatred and ultimately revolution, forcing the Romanovs and all Russian aristocrats to flee for their lives.

Most of the Romanovs, like most royals, were ordinary people thrust by birth into extraordinary circumstances of opulence and power. In a nation of strong women, the Romanov women were characteristically stronger than the men, but, when the dynasty faltered, none emerged to seize the throne. The failure of the Romanov will and ability to lead caused many millions to die and shattered a brilliant culture; the misspent lives of the Romanovs brought a tragedy of monumental proportions to the people of Russia.

This book is the story of the last century of the Romanovs, from the youth of the future Alexander III in the 1860s to the death of his daughter, Olga, the last grand duchess, in 1960. Ours is the first book to look at the Romanov family at large when the dynasty was reach-

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