We received a large shipment of books from Russia earlier this week, including four new photo books on the Romanov palaces and residences. Each title offers text and/or captions in English. For more information or to place an order, please refer to the following links;
A new edition of Last Days at Tsarskoe Selo by Count Paul Benckendorff is now available from our online bookshop. The price is $20.00 CAD + shipping.
Count Paul Benckendorff served as the Grand Marshall of the Russian Imperial Court under Tsar Nicholas II. After the collapse of the monarchy, both he and his wife shared the captivity of the Russian Imperial family at Tsarskoe Selo.
His narrative provides a detailed eye-witness account of the last tsars’ abdication, transfer to Tsarskoe Selo, and daily life during his months there under house arrest.
Throughout, Benckendorff characterizes Emperor Nicholas II and his wife, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna as courageous, gracious, and poised despite their obvious concern over the safety of their family.
Originally published in 1927, this new edition of Count Benckendorff’s memoirs is the most comprehensive to date. New features include a preface, an expanded introduction about the author, as well as a collection of more than 40 photographs not found in the original. The text is unabridged and includes all of the appendixes from the original edition.
I have added a new section to my online bookshop which offers a selection of Rare and Second-Hand books on the royal families of Russia, Europe and Great Britain. Books on Russian, European and British royalty are combined into one list.
The new section currently offers more than 30 titles for collectors to choose from. Some copies are brand NEW, while others are more than 100 years old, and yet in excellent condition! All the titles listed in this section are one of a kind! The page will updated twice a month with additional titles.
The books offered in this section of my shop are from the personal library of a former royalty enthusiast who had amassed an enormous collection over many decades. Many of the books are in near mint condition, despite their age. Some books are extremely rare collectors items. Copies have been priced according to condition and rarity.
Please note that a portion from the sale of each book will be donated to Royal Russia. This helps me offset the costs of maintaining and developing the growing Royal Russia web site and blog.
Lost Book Recounts Love Affair With Russian Grand Duke Topic: Books
In the 1870s, a young American woman had a passionate relationship with Grand Duke Nicholas Konstantinovich (1850-1918), the first-born son of Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolayevich and Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna, and a grandson of Emperor Nicholas I.
Her account of the 28 months in Russia is a love story, not only of her love for the Grand Duke, but also for Russia itself. She had written a book accounting her story, and only a few copies of her book survived. Now, Eva and Daniel McDonald bring this story to readers in Fanny Lear: Love and Scandal in Tsarist Russia.
Harriet Clarissima Ely Blackford, also known as Fanny Lear, was an American courtesan in the late 19th century – a strong, independent woman who refused to accept the restrictions placed on women by society at the time.
In her short, adventure-filled life, Harriet’s travels took her from Philadelphia to the social heights of Europe and ultimately to Tsarist Russia, where an affair with the Tsar’s nephew culminated in her arrest and expulsion from Russia. Various diplomatic reports from the U.S. State Department detail the scandalous events and the dire implications of this ill-fated love affair.
Once out of Russia, she reportedly wrote this account in English over the course of 11 days and then supervised its translation into French. Published under the title Le Roman d’une Americaine en Russie, it was an instant bestseller. Her story brought on diplomatic pressure from Russia that caused her expulsion from France and Italy, although she continued to be a prominent figure in the social and celebrity sections of the European media during the 1870s and ’80s.
A Bride for the Tsar: Bride-Shows and Marriage Politics in Early Modern Russia Topic: Books
From 1505 to 1689, Russia’s tsars chose their wives through an elaborate ritual: the bride-show. The realm’s most beautiful young maidens—provided they hailed from the aristocracy—gathered in Moscow, where the tsar’s trusted boyars reviewed their medical histories, evaluated their spiritual qualities, noted their physical appearances, and confirmed their virtue. Those who passed muster were presented to the tsar, who inspected the candidates one by one—usually without speaking to any of them—and chose one to be immediately escorted to the Kremlin to prepare for her wedding and new life as the tsar’s consort.
Alongside accounts of sordid boyar plots against brides, the multiple marriages of Ivan the Terrible, and the fascinating spectacle of the bride-show ritual, A Bride for the Tsar offers an analysis of the show’s role in the complex politics of royal marriage in early modern Russia. Russell E. Martin argues that the nature of the rituals surrounding the selection of a bride for the tsar tells us much about the extent of his power, revealing it to be limited and collaborative, not autocratic. Extracting the bride-show from relative obscurity, Martin persuasively establishes it as an essential element of the tsarist political system.
A Bride for the Tsar: Bride-Shows and Marriage Politics in Early Modern Russia is published by Northern Illinois University Press.
Russell E. Martin is professor of history at Westminster College and codirector of the Muscovite Biographical Database in Moscow.
A Romanov Diary by Grand Duchess Marie Georgievna - UPDATE Topic: Books
I am pleased to announce that our highly anticipated new title, A Romanov Diary: The Autobiography of the Grand Duchess Marie Georgievna was received from the printers on Friday, 11th May.
For those of you who took advantage of the Pre-Publication Order promotion back in February and March of this year, these orders have now been packed and shipped. No further orders will be accepted until my return from Russia on Monday, 4th June. Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience that this may cause some of you.
This title will be made available at our online bookshop beginning Tuesday, 5th June. You are then welcome to order this title securely online using PayPal or credit card, or by telephone with a Visa or MasterCard. The price is $25.00 CAD + postage.
Mail orders are also accepted! Click on the link below, download and print a copy of our Order Form and mail it to our office along with your payment.
This title can also be purchased from Booksellers Van Hoogstraten (The Hague, Netherlands) and Librairie Galignani (Paris, France).
The Diary of Emperor Nikolai II: Volume 1: 1894-1904 Topic: Books
This is the first volume of the first complete publication of the diaries of Emperor Nikolai II. The first volume covers the years 1894-1904, and includes more than a thousand people he was in direct communication with. Nikolai started to keep diaries at the age of thirteen; it was a cultural norm of the Russian Imperial family and members of the nobility at that time. Only fifty diaries of Emperor Nikolai II survived, from the years 1882-85 and 1887-June 1918. Nikolai showed his diaries to no one, but made an exemption for his bride and then wife Aleksandra Fedorovna. The first volume of this set of diaries preserves the original orthography and is provided with comments and translations where necessary.
Imported from Russia, this book offers more than 1,100 pages. The diary has been edited by Sergei Mironenko, author and historian, Director of the State Archive of the Russian Federation (GARF) in Moscow. Text is in Russian.
In 1906 Queen Alexandra of Great Britain and her sister, the Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna of Russia purchased Hvidore, a villa on the Danish coast, as their private home. Until 1914, the sisters visited the property every autumn, entertaining friends and many royal relatives in an informal atmosphere. It was indeed a royal retreat.
The First World War put an end to these happy times but in 1919, now exiled from Russia, the Dowager Empress Marie made the villa her home and Hvidore became her Court in exile. In 1920 she was joined by her daughter, the Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna and her family, who all lived at Hvidore, not always happily, until the Empress's death in 1928.
Hvidore: A Royal Retreat tells the story of the purchase, renovation, the many royal visitors and finally the sale of this forgotten royal home. This beautiful and informative book is filled with magnificent original photographs from a private collection.
Just this past week, I received an unexpected gift from a kind supporter of Royal Russia living in Poland. The parcel contained two large hard cover books on the Imperial residences of Spala and Bialowieza.
The first book, Spala: An Imperial Residence contains 144 pages and is divided into two parts, one for the Emperor Alexander III, the other for the Emperor Nicholas II. More than 200 photographs show each sovereign with his respective family in residence at Spala.
The second book (and my personal favourite), Bialowieza: An Imperial Residence contains 124 pages, and offers more than 250 photographs. Of importance is An ablum of photographs by Z. Karasik made for Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich, which shows the interiors of this unique Gothic-style hunting palace. Also of interest is The Bialowieza Railroad, a section containing archival photographs of the Imperial train.
Overall, the quality of both books is very impressive. The text of each book is written in three languages: English, Polish and Russian. Many of the photographs are new to me. The selection of photographs of the interiors of both Imperial residences is exceptional to say the very least!
Sadly, neither residence has survived. However, we must be grateful that these outstanding collection of photographs published in these two magnificent volumes have. They allow us to have a more comprehensive appreciation for these two residences that were cherished by the last two Russian sovereigns and their families.