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Sunday, 7 February 2016
The Forgotten Tutor: John Epps and the Romanovs
Topic: Books

 

includes 146 pages, with 66 black and white photographs and illustrations

Foreword by Hugh Bett of Maggs Bros. Ltd., London

Use the order button at the bottom of this page to order your copy from the Royal Russia Bookshop

 
Gilberts Books - the publishing division of Royal Russia - is pleased to present our latest title - The Forgotten Tutor: John Epps and the Romanovs is the first book written about the virtually unknown tutor to the Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia, between the years 1905-1914.

In December 1914 the eldest daughter of the last Tsar sent her former tutor a photographic portrait of herself. The soulful picture, signed ‘Olga 1914’, was the last communication the devoted tutor received from any of his former pupils. In July 1918 the family of Nicholas II were brutally murdered by a Bolshevik firing squad in the basement of the Ipatiev House in Ekaterinburg.

After his return to England in 1914, John Epps took particular pains to preserve his Imperial mementoes. Over nine years — between 1905 and 1914 — he collected every letter, card and drawing he received from the ill-fated children. About 30 of his papers were discovered more than a decade ago at Maggs Bros. Ltd., an antiquarian book dealer in London, England. They had lain untouched at the bottom of a tin document drawer for nearly 70 years.

The lives of the four daughters of Emperor Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra Feodorovna have been carefully preserved through the post-Revolution memoirs of Pierre Gilliard, Sydney Gibbs, Margaretta Eagar and Anna Vyrubova. These names recorded for posterity tell the story of their lives and their influence on the Imperial children. Of John Epps, however, there was no mention. He had been totally lost to history. Until now. 

Janet Epps - an Australian descendant of the tutor - and Dr. Gabriella Lang tell the story of John Epps, who arrived in Russia in 1880 to take up a post in an English school. From 1900, he was employed as a teacher at the Imperial Lyceum in Tsarskoye Selo.

It was not until 1905, however, that he was offered the position of tutor to the four daughters of Russia's last tsar. On Monday April 25th, 1905, John Epps arrived at the Alexander Palace where he was met by Princess Sonia Orbeliani - the Tsarina’s lady-in-waiting who took him to schoolroom, where he encountered “a tall, slender woman.” He describes this meeting: “Have I the honour of speaking to the Tsarina?” he asked hesitantly. “Yes, you do,” she replied. His new August employer smiled and did her best to make him at ease.

Many of John Epps’ observations of the grand duchesses are now preserved in the pages of this charming book. To John Epps, they had not been historical figures but real people with whom he had a relationship and these historical documents were tangible proof of that.

The highlight of the book are the reproductions of the letters, cards and drawings created by the grand duchesses for their beloved tutor, and published for the first time in The Forgotten Tutor. These childish drawings and sketches - so lovingly prepared and just as lovingly collected and carefully preserved - coupled with Epps' impressions of life in the Alexander Palace, tell of a different age, a magical world that ended so brutally. The stage is now set for John Epps' story to be told, for acknowledgement of his contribution to the rich tapestry of the Romanov saga and - most importantly - to finally bring these poignant personal mementoes of the last tsar and his family into the public arena.
 
The Forgotten Tutor: John Epps and the Romanovs is the 25th title published by Gilbert's Books - the publishing division of Royal Russia - since 1994.

For more information on the discovery of John Epps papers, please refer to the following news articles published in the Australian press in 2004:
 

Romanov Children's Ephemera Found in Trunk in London (ABC - The World Today, 14 October, 2004)

A Rare Glimpse into History (The Sunday Age, 14 October, 2004)

 

 

© Gilbert's Books. 20 December, 2014


 


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:12 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, 7 February 2016 5:22 AM EST
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Wednesday, 20 January 2016
American Friends and Supporters! Save up to 30% at Royal Russia Bookshop
Topic: Books


 


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 11:06 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 21 January 2016 11:10 AM EST
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Wednesday, 2 December 2015
Royal Russia Annual No. 9 - COMING SOON!
Topic: Books


Royal Russia No. 9 - Winter 2016. Available Late February 2016
 
The production of the No. 9 - Winter 2016 issue of our official magazine, Royal Russia Annual is on schedule. This issue will go to the printers in early February and copies will be available for purchase from our online bookshop in late February. The No. 9 issue will offer more than 125 pages, and more than 100 black and white photographs.     

Royal Russia News
Compiled, Translated and Edited by Paul Gilbert
 
This new addition to our periodical offers Romanov enthusiasts and lovers of Imperial Russian history with a multi-page news supplement, featuring the top news stories and photographs from Russian media sources on the Romanovs, their legacy and Imperial Russian history, translated from Russian and presented in English for the first time.
 
The following full-length articles will be featured in Royal Russia Annual No. 9 - Winter 2016:

COVER STORY:
Empress Marie Feodorovna: The Beginning of the End
by Coryne Hall 

The Smolnii, Russia’s Most Prestigious Institute for Girls of the Nobility
by Margarita Nelipa

My Russia. Trubetskoy Prison: Tsarist Prison With a Dark Page in Romanov History
by Paul Gilbert

Ivan Antonovich: The Forgotten Emperor
by Irene Galaktinovna
 
The Unknown History of Maple & Co: The Famous Furniture Manufacturer in the Interiors of the Palaces of the Russian Imperial Family
by Galina Korneva and Tatiana Cheboksarova
 
The House of Martha and Mary
by Rheta Childe Dorr 

The Convent at the Saviour Gates: A History of the Ascension Monastery
by Maria Saprykina

Plus 2 collections of rare and vintage photographs:

Frozen in Time
- featuring photographic memories of the Russian Imperial family

The Lost World of Imperial Russia 
- featuring vintage photographs of Imperial Russia before the Revolution
 
Our official magazine was intended to be published only once a year as an annual, but due to its popularity, Royal Russia Annual is now published twice a year, while still retaining its original name. An annual Winter edition and an annual Summer edition will now be issued.

Watch for our advertisements in upcoming issues of Majesty and Russian Life magazines. Royal Russia Annual can be purchased at the NEW Royal Russia Bookshop (Canada),  Amazon.com (United States), Booksellers van Hoogstraten (Den Haag, Netherlands), and Librairie Galignani (Paris, France).
 
AVAILABLE 28 FEBRUARY 2016
 
Watch this page for further updates 
 
© Gilbert's Books. 02 December, 2015
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 2:37 PM EST
Updated: Monday, 1 February 2016 10:57 AM EST
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Thursday, 26 November 2015
My Hermitage. How the Hermitage Survived Tsars, Wars and Revolutions
Topic: Books


Richly illustrated with nearly 300 colour photographs

In a memoir, the museum’s long-time director takes the reader on a private tour of this global treasure. Holding one of the largest collections of Western art in the world, the Hermitage is also a product of Russia and its dramatic history. Founded by Empress  Catherine the Great in 1764, the stunning Winter Palace was built to house her growing collection of Old Masters and to serve as a home for the imperial family. Tsars came and went over the years, artworks were acquired and sold, buildings were burned down in terrible fires, and still the collections grew. After the violent upheavals of the Russian  Revolution in 1917, the palaces and collections were opened to the public.

Now, in an unprecedented collection of illuminating essays, Piotrovsky explores the cultural history of a collection as rich in adventure as art. From fascinating intrigues to revelatory scholarship on the collection’s incredible art and artefacts, My Hermitage is a profound and captivating story of art’s timelessness and how it brings people together.

In July 1992, Dr. Mikhail Borisovich Piotrovsky was appointed Director of the Museum by a decree of the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation.
 

 

 
© Royal Russia. 26 November, 2015
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 11:44 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 27 November 2015 11:48 AM EST
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Friday, 6 November 2015
Almost Anastasia. The Life of Franziska Schanzkowsky
Topic: Books


Soft cover * English text * 375 pages * 18 Black & White photographs
 
Price: $30.00 CAD + postage 
 
Once one mystery was solved, the real mystery began . . . 

Almost Anastasia by Vera Green and Victoria Hughes, tells the story of Franziska Schanzkowsky, the former factory worker who convinced royals, courtiers, and forensic experts that she was actually the Grand Duchess Anastasia, daughter of Emperor Nicholas II and sole survivor of the massacre of the Russian Imperial Family at Ekaterinburg in 1918. DNA analysis has established who she really was, but once that mystery was solved the real     mystery began—how did she do it? Why did she do it? What would it be like to step into someone else's life and live it forever? 

A work of narrative non-fiction drawn from original documents (some never before translated into   English) and interviews with the people who knew her, Almost Anastasia follows Franziska from the streets of Berlin to the castles of deposed royalty, from Jazz Age New York to Nazi Germany and beyond. It is a tale of mystique, madness, and one woman’s determination to fool the world.
 

 

 
© Royal Russia. 05 November, 2015
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 1:15 PM EST
Updated: Friday, 6 November 2015 1:21 PM EST
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Tuesday, 8 September 2015
Alexei: Russia's Last Imperial Heir, A Chronicle of Tragedy
Topic: Books

 

For more information on this title, please refer to the following link: 

Alexei: Russia's Last Imperial Heir, A Chronicle of Tragedy

© Gilbert's Books. 08 September, 2015


 


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 9:15 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 8 September 2015 9:27 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 1 September 2015
Royal Russia - Our Official Magazine
Topic: Books

 ||| CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION/ ORDERS |||

 



Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:00 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 30 August 2015 4:24 PM EDT
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Thursday, 13 August 2015
The Hermitage Treasure Gallery: The Collections of the Russian Emperors and Empresses
Topic: Books

Large soft cover * Imported from Russia * English text * 160 pages * 300 photographs
Price: $55.00 CAD + postage 
 
The story of the Treasure Gallery—the Hermitage’s magnificent and unique collection of examples of the jeweller’s art—is inseparably bound up with the history of the rule of the Romanov dynasty (1613-1917). The personal collections of Peter I, Anna Ioannovna and Elizabeth became the foundation for the jewellery collection of Catherine the Great. In 1764 the Empress gave orders for the organization of the Diamond Chambers within her apartments for the storage of those precious objects. Many items from this collection have been witnesses not only to notable historical events and political upheavals, but also to important moments in the private lives of members of Russia’s ruling house.

The fall of the Romanov dynasty did not mean an end to the history of the Hermitage’s collection of treasures. Throughout the twentieth century it continued to be augmented with incomparable acquisitions. The late twentieth century was marked by various gifts to the Hermitage, while in the past decades with the support of generous patrons the Treasure Gallery has been enriched with works of art and jewellery obtained through the Hermitage’s Expert Purchasing Commission.

Richly illustrated with more than 300 colour photographs, this album features a Foreword by Mikhail Piotrovsky, an introduction on the history of the collection, and precious objects from the collections of the following emperors and empresses of Russia: Peter the Great, Peter II, Anna Ioannovna, Elizabeth, Catherine the Great, Paul I, Alexander I, Nicholas I, Alexander II, Alexander III, and Nicholas II.
 

 

 
© Royal Russia. 13 August, 2015
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 9:21 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 14 August 2015 11:39 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 5 August 2015
Royal Russia Annual No. 8 - NOW IN STOCK!
Topic: Books


The No. 8 - Summer 2015 issue of our official magazine, Royal Russia Annual is now in stock and available for purchase from our online bookshop. The No. 8 issue is our largest to date, with 135 pages, and 111 black and white photographs.     

NEW - Royal Russia News
Compiled, Translated and Edited by Paul Gilbert
 
This new addition to our periodical offers Romanov enthusiasts and lovers of Imperial Russian history with a 22-page news supplement, featuring the top news stories from Russian media sources on the Romanovs, their legacy and Imperial Russian History, translated from Russian and presented in English for the first time.
 
The following full-length articles are featured in Royal Russia Annual No. 8 - Summer 2015:

Cover Story: Emperor Paul I: Neither Demon Nor Saint
by Andrew M. Cooperman 
 
For most of the two hundred fourteen years since his assassination, Emperor Paul I has either been demonized or canonized by historians. In truth, Paul I was neither demon nor saint, but rather a remarkable man who lived and reigned during an important time in Russia's history. Caught as he was between the more polished and genteel courts of his mother, Catherine the Great, and his son, Alexander I, Paul's short reign of four years is too often viewed by some as harsh and tyrannical. Others, however, have insisted that Paul's serious attempts at internal reform and international peace entitle him to greater recognition. More recent scholarship has attempted to place Paul and his policies as emperor in a balanced perspective. That Paul was a different type of monarch in both style and in policy than his mother and son is certain. However, historians are now viewing those differences on their own merits, rather than measuring them against those of Catherine and Alexander. In that spirit, this article presents Paul wielding a sceptre rather than a pitch fork, and wearing a crown rather than a halo.
 
My Russia: The State Archives of the Russian Federation
by Paul Gilbert
 
I have had the privilege of visiting GARF on two separate occasions over the years. My article explores the history of Russia's largest archive, and repository of Romanov documents, photographs and other personal possessions of the Russian Imperial family, from Peter the Great to Emperor Nicholas II. I also share my own personal observations on the many items of Nicholas II and his family held in GARF's vast Romanov archival collections. 
 
Physicians of the Imperial Court
by Margarita Nelipa
 
Medicine intervenes not only in the lives of the common folk during the period of their vulnerability, be it during childbirth and when dying, it similarly encroached into the intimate lives of Russia’s imperial families. With the benefit of diaries and archival records, the author examines several personal physicians who attended the imperial Court over a period of two hundred years and accordingly offers a unique portrayal about several monarchs and their heirs during their final moments of life, following chronic illness or foul play. While only a select few physicians received a formal request to serve the Court, when summoned these trusted individuals gained unfettered entry into the private bedroom chambers of the emperor, the empress and their children. Though Professors Sergei Fyodorov and Evgenii Botkin are familiar to many, those who attended the courts of Peter I, Nikolai I, Alexander II and III are also deserving of recognition. 

A Loyal and Affectionate Friend. Ferdinand Thormeyer and the Family of Alexander III
by Coryne Hall
 
Ferdinand Thormeyer served as the French tutor to the children of Emperor Alexander III and Empress Maria Feodorovna: Tsesarevich Nicholas Alexandrovich (future Emperor Nicholas II), the Grand Dukes George and Michael, and the Grand Duchesses Xenia and Olga. Later, he became almost a substitute father-figure to Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich. Olga and Michael, especially, poured out their hearts to him about various matters. After the Revolution, Thormeyer continued to correspond with Olga until her death in 1960. His extensive correspondence with the children of Alexander III, along with photographs and drawings were sold at a Geneva auction in 2010 for more than $400,000.

The Tsar's Bride. A Story of Mikhail Romanov and Maria Khlopova's Star-Crossed Love
by Irene Galaktinovna
 
When the first of the Romanovs, the young Tsar Mikhail Feodorovich, first came to power, he was obliged to take a wife. Although the tsar himself was deeply in love with the girl he'd chosen, his political advisors had other plans. As a result, the tsar and his bride spent six years apart, hoping to be reunited - which ultimately never happened. Mikhail only married years later, deeply disappointed.

A Friend for Better or Worse. The Romanovs and Their Dogs
by Irene Galaktinovna
 
Few people realize that it was the Romanov dynasty who introduced dog breeding into Russia. The Russian Royals' relationship with their four-legged companions evolved over time, from breeding and keeping palace pooches to finally viewing dogs as trusty partners and friends.

Princess Vera Konstantinovna Remembered
by M.N. Tretiakova and M. Ardov 
 
The authors have compiled an article on Princess Vera Konstantinovna, which includes an interview with the youngest child of Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich in 1994, in which she shares her memories of her parents, her siblings, among other members of the Russian Imperial family. 
 
Was the Tsar Right to Abdicate in 1917?
 by Vladimir Moss
 
Why did the Tsar agree to abdicate from the throne in that lonely railway carriage near Pskov in February, 1917? And was he right to do so? These questions are relevant not only to our understanding of the Tsar himself, but also of Russia and her destiny. For, as we know, the abdication of the Tsar led to the destruction of Russia, a catastrophe of the most terrible consequences both for Russia and the world, which are still being felt to this day. So could it all have been avoided if the Tsar had simply refused the pleas of his generals and the other plotters against him, and continued to rule?

Plus 2 collections of rare and vintage photographs:

Frozen in Time
- featuring photographic memories of the Russian Imperial family

The Lost World of Imperial Russia 
- featuring vintage photographs of Imperial Russia before the Revolution
 
* Our official magazine was intended to be published only once a year as an annual, but due to its popularity, Royal Russia Annual is now published twice a year, while still retaining its original name. An annual Winter edition and an annual Summer edition will now be issued.

Watch for our advertisements in upcoming issues of Majesty and Russian Life magazines. Royal Russia Annual can be purchased at the NEW Royal Russia Bookshop (Canada),  Amazon.com (United States), Booksellers van Hoogstraten (Den Haag, Netherlands), and Librairie Galignani (Paris, France).
 

 

 

© Gilbert's Books. 5 August, 2015


 


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:15 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 5 August 2015 9:21 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 1 July 2015
Saint Petersburg Palaces: History, Architecture, Owners
Topic: Books


includes 23 Imperial Palaces * 12 Grand Ducal Palaces * and 21 Palaces and Mansions of the Nobility
Large hard cover * English text * 240 pages * 550 photographs 
 
This new book presents the largest collection of Russian palaces ever to be published in English. This richly illustrated volume—more than 500 illustrations—mostly in colour—features 23 Imperial palaces, 12 Grand Ducal palaces, and 21 palaces and mansions of the nobility in St. Petersburg.
 
St Petersburg Palaces is a showcase of some the architectural masterpieces of the former capital of the Russian empire. These include the palaces and mansions created by the most eminent architects of the time, including works by Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli, Savva Chevakinsky, Antonio Rinaldi, Ivan Starov, Giacomo Quarenghi, Harald Bosse, Andrei Stackenschneider, Auguste de Montferrand, Hippolyto Monighetti, Adam Menelaws, Andrei Voronikhin, Luigi Rusca, Maximilian Messmacher, Alexander von Gogen and other celebrated masters.
 
This stunning pictorial is divided into three sections: Imperial Palaces, Grand Ducal Palaces, and Palaces and Mansions of the Nobility. The accompanying text outlines the history, architecture and owners of each palace and mansion, complimented with photographs of the historic interiors, plus contemporary views. Many of the palaces and mansions featured in this volume are little known to Western readers, therefore making this book a must for collectors!

 

© Royal Russia. 1 July, 2015


 


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:09 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 1 July 2015 6:30 AM EDT
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