Genre: Nonfiction, History
Publication Date: 2016
From the publisher:
The Romanovs were the most successful dynasty of modern times, ruling a sixth of the world’s surface for three centuries. How did one family turn a war-ruined principality into the world’s greatest empire? And how did they lose it all?
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. Simon Sebag 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, with a global cast of adventurers, courtesans, revolutionaries and poets, from Ivan the Terrible to Tolstoy and Pushkin, to Bismarck, Lincoln, Queen Victoria and Lenin.
I have been fascinated with the Romanov Dynasty ever since I read Robert K. Massie’s Nicholas and Alexandra when I was in High School. Since then I’ve read his Peter the Great and I have his Catherine the Great on my shelf. Along with those I’ve read many other books about the more famous Romanov Tsars and their families.
The reason I bought this one was because it wasn’t just about the famous three. It was about all of the Romanov Tsars including the Greats and the not so greats.
This is a dense book. There is a lot of information and multiple generations of similar names so keep track of. Montefiore has broken the book up as if it were a screenplay with each reign ‘scene’ having it’s cast of characters listed at the beginning of the chapter. That was extremely helpful.
I was glad I read this in both print and ebook format. Much of the time I was reading I had the ebook open on my phone so I could easily switch between the main text I was reading and the footnotes on my phone. Then periodically I’d pick up the hardcover to look at the photos.