Four Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Romanov Grand Duchesses (Anglais) Relié – Version intégrale, 27 mars 2014
Rentrée scolaire 2017 : découvrez notre boutique de livres, fournitures, cartables, ordinateurs, vêtements ... Voir plus.
|Neuf à partir de||Occasion à partir de|
|Relié, Version intégrale, 27 mars 2014||
Téléchargement audio, Version intégrale
|Gratuit avec l'offre d'essai Audible au lieu de EUR 29,13|
Aucun appareil Kindle n'est requis. Téléchargez l'une des applis Kindle gratuites et commencez à lire les livres Kindle sur votre smartphone, tablette ou ordinateur.
Pour obtenir l'appli gratuite, saisissez votre numéro de téléphone mobile.
Détails sur le produit
Si vous vendez ce produit, souhaitez-vous suggérer des mises à jour par l'intermédiaire du support vendeur ?
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
I am so glad that I went ahead and read this - not only is it one of my few five-star reads so far this year, it will probably become one of my favorite Romanov books of all time. Rappaport is a brilliant writer and researcher. She has accomplished what I did not think was possible - taught me many new things about life in Imperial Russia, about the lives of these four young women and why I should care about them and given me an eerily real sense of that long-ago time.
My e-galley copy is filled with highlighted passages and notes - many of them noting places with brand-new anecdotes from previously unpublished sources. I kept coming across them with genuine delight and surprise - I've been reading about the Romanovs for twenty years and never come across some of these stories. Rappaport also a good ear for excerpting funny, poignant and revealing passages from the girls' letters and diaries. You get a very good sense of their individual voices from reading this book.
I feel as though - for the first time - I can actually tell the girls apart and that the differences in their personalities are a revelation. I have a much more nuanced understanding of the Romanov family. Rappaport also managed the almost unthinkable in getting me to feel empathy for the Empress Alexandra. I am not a big fan of hers and believe she was an utterly disastrous ruler, wife and (even) mother. Rappaport looks sensitively at her background and helped me understand Alexandra's troubled mind while not excusing her actions.
All in all, a highly recommended work of non-fiction. Despite having received an eBook for review, I will immediately purchase a hardcover copy to add to my collection - it's that good!
Disclaimer: I received an advance eGalley from the publisher for review.
Multiply that loss by four, for the four daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra, and you have a sense of what author Helen Rappaport may have been seeking with the writing of this book.
Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia were the daughters of the ruler of Russia, and most folks know in general terms that they lived a sheltered, insular life, largely tucked away from the eyes of the country and the world by the choice of their melancholic mother and homeward-focused father. If you've read Massie and others, you know that the sisters had a habit of referring to themselves via acronym, OTMA, and that they were positioned as seemingly interchangeable ethereal "graces."
What Rappaport attempts to do, by drawing upon available primary and secondary sources, is to draw out the personalities of each of these young women, highlighting their differences as well as their similarities. Fully aside from the weight of knowing their fate while conducting her research, Rappaport was in some cases stymied by two unfortunate realities. First, to put the situation bluntly, Russia's protocol for determining succession rendered their younger brother the single most important offspring of their generation. Not that their parents loved them any less -- and indeed some of Nicholas's surviving comments on the birth of various daughters are achingly beautiful -- but in dynastic terms, most all eyes were on Alexei. Second, in the Victorian era, there were more strictures on the acceptable roles and presentation of young women. Thus the white dresses and the clouds of dark hair.
Despite these issues, the author has managed to extract vignettes from correspondence, recollections, and surviving memorabilia such as diaries to flesh out the haunting images and round them out into individuals with both attributes and flaws. Tatiana and Olga stand out from the mists most clearly, in part because of their wartime service and the happenstance that led to their appearances in society both on their own accord and as stand-in at certain events on behalf of their mother. Indeed, the responsibilities they shouldered and the way they did so highlight their potential had they lived longer lives, and make one wonder whether Russia's path might have differed and by how much if Nicholas had been a more involved ruler earlier on, if the family had not treated their son's hemophilia as a dread secret, if Alexandra's melancholy had not hamstrung the family, if Olga could have been her father's heir ... if, if, if....
In keeping with this, despite the insularity with which their parents wanted to enrobe the sisters, it was refreshing to learn about how the older two vigorously pitched in with nursing efforts on the home front. We are left to wonder how their fates might have been different had they all been born just a few years earlier. Rappaport also includes some fascinating details about romances and matchmaking that I will not go into, so as not to include any spoilers.
I was surprised at the number of correspondents the sisters had beyond the family, and the frequency with which they wrote to these friends. Another side effect of rendering the sisters as human beings rather than cardboard cutouts is to shed some light on their awareness of their steadily worsening situation.
It helps that in recent years, additional materials have become available, such as some of the grand duchesses' diaries; and that Rappaport reads Russian so that she can work with source documents as written. With material continuing to become available, I hope that she looks at issuing an afterword/postscript -- perhaps initially in electronic form, and then in printed form in future editions of this book.
NOTES ON IMAGES: The images used to illustrate this book range from the ones commonly seen, such as group shots at Tsarkoe Selo and on the building ledge at Tobolsk, to a few that may well be new to you, chiefly because they are of one or more sisters with people outside the family. I was disappointed at the paucity of images, however, and given the subject matter expected a good dozen more images than were included. Since any images of the sisters are at least a hundred years old and thus in the public domain, acquisition cost should not be a prohibiting factor. If for some reason it is, then it would have been helpful if the end notes included a list of websites that host images ... there are several that come to mind that could have been included without harming the revenue opportunities of the publisher.
SPECIFIC TO KINDLE: The conversion process for images was extremely disappointing and really should be redone. Images are all queued near the end, which isn't ideal. What's worse and inexcusable, however, is that their default size is postage stamp at best, and when clicked on, they either render pixelated or fuzzy. While it is possible that some of the pictures technically cannot be any better than this, quite a few of the "familiar" ones absolutely exist in a higher-resolution form that would permit them to be rendered at 4 by 6 inches or thereabouts in acceptable resolution without pixelization or moire.