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Saturday, 20 August 2016
The Forgotten Tutor: John Epps and the Romanovs
Topic: Books



'The Forgotten Tutor: John Epps and the Romanovs' co-authored by Janet Epps and Dr. Gabriella Lang, is the first book written about Mr. John Epps, the first and virtually unknown English tutor to the Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia, between the years 1905-1908. He was replaced by Charles Sydney Gibbes, but his August pupils continued to stay in touch with Mr. Epps up until 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.

Co-authored by Janet Epps and Dr. Gabriella Lang includes 146 pages, with 66 black and white photographs and illustrations, with Foreword by Hugh Bett of Maggs Bros. Ltd., London. Price: $20.00 Canadian dollars + postage. Available from the Royal Russia Bookshop. Click on the order button below to review our book catalogue.  
'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 August, 2016


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:12 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 20 August 2016 1:48 PM EDT
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Saturday, 2 July 2016
Topic: Books

Available September 2016
I am pleased to announce that the Summer issue of Royal Russia No. 10 is nearing completion. I anticipate that the files will be sent to the printers in August. This issue should be available for purchase from the Royal Russia Bookshop in September.
Please note that Margarita Nelipa will no longer be contributing articles to Royal Russia, after resigning from her position as our Resident Writer on 4th May, 2016. Gilbert's Books - the publishing division of Royal Russia - will no longer publish articles or books published by Ms Nelipa. I sincerely wish her continued success with her research and writing projects - Paul Gilbert
The following is a list of the articles and their respective authors in the No. 10 Summer 2016 issue (a full summary will be posted at a later date):
Return to Ekaterinburg
- Royal Russia Founder Paul Gilbert presents a summary of his recent journey to the Urals, which included visits to the Church on the Blood, the Novo-Tikhvinsky Convent, Ganina Yama, Porosyonkov Log, Alapaevsk and more, plus many of the author's photographs.
by Paul Gilbert
Elizabeth and Sergei. A Story of Love. A History of Lies.
by Valery Mikhailova
Translated by Irene W. Galaktionova 
Always Russian and a Romanov. Grand Duchess Anna Pavlovna, Queen of the Netherlands
by Coryne Hall 
The Truth and Myths of Peter III
by Irene W. Galaktionova 
A Throne which 'not for an instant might become vacant': Law and Succession among the Romanov Descendants 
by Russell. E. Martin
Imperial Residences. His Majesty's Own Dacha
by Paul Gilbert
My Memories of Imperial Russia 
by Crown Princess Cecilie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
The Fate of the Ekaterinburg Remains
by Paul Gilbert
Royal Russia News
Compiled, Translated and Edited by Paul Gilbert
- this multi-page news supplement offers Romanov enthusiasts and lovers of Imperial Russian history with 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. 
This issue also includes our popular collections of vintage photos:
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
Note: this issue is not yet available. No advance will be accepted at this time.
Please check this blog for updates on availability - Paul Gilbert
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 are now be issued.

Watch for our advertisements in upcoming issues of Majesty and Russian Life magazines. Royal Russia Annual can be purchased at the Royal Russia Bookshop (Canada), (United States), Booksellers van Hoogstraten (Den Haag, Netherlands), and Librairie Galignani (Paris, France). 
© Royal Russia. 26 June, 2016


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:01 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 1 August 2016 11:34 AM EDT
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Saturday, 25 June 2016
Important Changes to the Royal Russia Bookshop
Topic: Books

 © Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 25 June, 2016


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:54 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 25 June 2016 1:13 PM EDT
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Friday, 24 June 2016
Great Summer Reading - Forthcoming Titles from Royal Russia
Topic: Books

I am pleased to announce the following new titles, to be published over the summer months by Gilbert's Books (the publishing division of Royal Russia).

Please note that the titles listed here have NOT yet been published. An announcement will be made as soon as they are available from the Royal Russia Bookshop.

Royal Russia No. 10 - Summer 2016
Available July / August 2016 

Our 10th issue will feature 8 full-length articles, news and richly illustrated with vintage photographs.

The cover story Elizabeth & Sergei: A History of Love. A History of Lies by Russian historian Valery Mikhailova explores the relationship between Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich and Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna. 

The author's research is based on new documents from the Russian archives, including diaries and letters, which put to rest many of the misconceptions and untruths which have endured over the years about the grand ducal couple.

 Of Bygone Days
by Rear Admiral Semyon S. Fabritsky
Available August 2016

Semyon Semyonovich Fabritsky (1874-1941) had a fascinating career during the twilight years of Imperial Russia. 

He served as Flugel-Adjutant to Emperor Nicholas II, a position he served with immense pride and devotion to his sovereign. 

He also served aboard the Imperial yachts 'Polar Star' and 'Alexandria'. His eye witness observations provide the reader with a peek into these "floating palaces".

In these memoirs, Fabritsky offers his own candid personal observations of Nicholas II, noting the treachery, cowardice, and deceit which surrounded him during his 22-year reign.

200 pages, illustrated. First English translation by William Lee.

Romanov Legacy 2017 Calendar
Available July 2016

This is the 4th and final calendar in the series dedicated to the palaces and residences of the Russian Imperial family. 

Our 2017 calendar offers another dozen Imperial residences, including Oreanda (Crimea), Ilyinskoye (near Moscow) and the Palace of Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna (St. Petersburg).

NOTE: These titles are not yet available. Please check this blog or the Royal Russia Bookshop for updates on availability.
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 24 June, 2016


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:49 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 25 June 2016 8:08 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 7 June 2016
Last Copies of 'ALEXEI' and 'ALEXANDER III' by Margarita Nelipa
Topic: Books

Gilbert’s Books (the publishing division of Royal Russia) is selling off the remaining copies of Margarita Nelipa's two books: 

ALEXEI. RUSSIA’S LAST IMPERIAL HEIR. A CHRONICLE OF TRAGEDY (2015) - click on the title for more information about this book

- the first comprehensive biography in English about Emperor Nicholas II’s only son, and Russia’s last imperial heir who was born during wartime and died during Russia’s revolutionary upheaval, offers a year-by-year portrait study of Russia’s last imperial heir.

462 pages with 94 black and white illustrations 
PRICE: $30.00 CAD + shipping

ALEXANDER III. HIS LIFE AND REIGN (2014) - click on the title for more information about this book

- the first comprehensive biography in English about this little known and unjustly neglected sovereign who ruled Russia for only 13 years, from 1881-1894.

594 pages + 230 black and white photographs
PRICE: $40.00 CAD + shipping

Please note that neither of these two titles will be going into reprint, so this is your last chance to add these fascinating and well-researched books to your personal collections. 

* Ask about reduced shipping rates when you order BOTH titles! E-mail

Payment can be made securely online with a credit card or PayPal. 

Telephone orders can be made with a credit card (VISA or MasterCard only) at (905) 623-9168.
Our bookshop is open from *10:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday to Friday / *12:00 pm to 4:00 pm Saturdays and Sundays. *Eastern Time.

NOTE: Shipping rates are for Canada and the United States ONLY! 

OVERSEAS ORDERS, please contact me for the shipping rate to your country.

Click on the link below for more information, or to place an order:


© Gilberts Books / Royal Russia. 7 June, 2016


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:00 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 27 May 2016 2:35 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 27 April 2016
Russian Royal Classics
Topic: Books

© Royal Russia. 27 April, 2016


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 10:02 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 27 April 2016 10:13 AM EDT
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Friday, 1 April 2016
Special Offer from Royal Russia
Topic: Books




© Royal Russia. 22 April, 2015


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:25 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 1 April 2016 9:19 AM EDT
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Monday, 21 March 2016
Royal Russia Annual No. 9 - NOW IN STOCK!
Topic: Books

The No. 9 - Winter 2016 issue of our official magazine, Royal Russia Annual is now in stock. This issue offers 143 pages, and 113 black and white photographs - our largest issue to date!
The following full-length articles are featured in Royal Russia Annual No. 9 - Winter 2016:   

The Investigation Into the Deaths of the Russian Royal Family and Persons of Their Entourage
by Archpriest Oleg Mitrov / Translated from Russian by Irene W. Galaktionova
The questions raised by the murders of the Russian Royal family, including the discovery of their remains in the vicinity of Yekaterinburg, as well as the recognition or non-recognition of their authenticity, have been unsettling our society for the last 25 years. Recently, many people have been looking to the Russian Orthodox Church for its verdict on the matter. But expressing an objective view requires the Church to conduct a thorough examination of the historical records as well as the investigation materials and the results of scientific enquiries.
In this first English language translation, Mitrov addresses the ROC's questions and concerns regarding the Ekaterinburg remains. Among them are the previous forensic studies of the remains carried out in the 1990s, Sergeev and later Sokolov's investigation in the 1920s, disturbing issues regarding the excavations conducted in 1979, 1991 and 2007, and much more.
Archpriest Oleg Mitrov is a member of the Synodal Commission for the Canonization of Saints, and is also currently engaged in the study of the issues surrounding the murders of Russia’s last royal family.
Empress Marie Feodorovna: The Beginning of the End
by Coryne Hall
Since her evacuation from Russia on the British warship HMS Marlborough in 1919 the Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna, the most senior of the Romanov survivors, had been living in her native Denmark. The author discusses the final days leading up to her death on 13 October, 1928, her funeral in Copenhagen, and burial at Roskilde. In 2005, an agreement between Russia and Denmark paved the way for her remains to be reburied alongside those of her husband Emperor Alexander III in the SS Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg. The following year, the author received invitations from the Court of Denmark to attend the service in Roskilde Cathedral and the Royal Danish Consulate-General in St Petersburg to attend the reburial ceremonies in Russia. Ms Hall shares her memories of taking part in these historic events of which she bore witness to. 

The Smolnii, Russia’s Most Prestigious Institute for Girls of the Nobility
by Margarita Nelipa
The uniqueness of the Smolnii Institute lay in its objective – the advancement of middle-level education for girls in Russia under the patronage of various Empresses. Since its inception some 250 years ago, the Smolnii Institute remains in history as the most privileged educational establishment for noble girls. Peter the Great paved the way for the creation of the first learning institute for girls about to enter society. He held that educated girls became better wives. His daughter, Empress Elizaveta Petrovna embarked upon her father’s vision and established a monastery and the early stages of a school for girls. Upon her death, the school became Catherine the Great’s foremost concern. Recognizing that the State had responsibility to ensure the success of women’s education and influenced by French philosophers such as Rousseau, Catherine II was before her time in recognizing that a nation’s prosperity related to its level of education. In 1764, the Smolnii Institute came into existence. For the first time, girls of noble birth studied not only foreign languages, but also arithmetic, history and geography. With the ascension of Paul I, the Institute came under the patronage of Empress Mariya Fyodorovna. She applied far-reaching reforms to modernize the education and care of the students. The Smolnii’s last patron was Alexander III’s consort, Mariya Fyodorovna. Despite its prestige, the Smolnii Institute met immense problems. Students suffered from long-term isolation from their families, authoritarian discipline and the meager provision of food. Nonetheless, some 7,000 graduates passed through its doors, with several notable alumna. This first English language article discusses the historic development of the Smolnii Institute, its tribulations and triumphs.
My Russia. Trubetskoy Prison: Tsarist Prison With a Dark Page in Romanov History
by Paul Gilbert
The story of The Trubetskoy Bastion Prison in St. Petersburg, which served as the main political prison of Imperial Russia is told through archival documents, photographs, multimedia programs, audio records with prisoners' memoirs. The prison walls, cells, corridors and grim prison cells. are eloquent reminders of the gruesome past associated with this place, one which involved real or imaginary “enemies of the Revolution”, including former Tsar’s officers and officials, clergy and businessmen, professors, ordinary citizens, and members of the Russian Imperial family,  

Ivan Antonovich: The Forgotten Emperor
by Irene Galaktinovna
Of all the Romanovs, the baby Emperor Ivan VI (1740-1741) is arguably the least known. His successors condemned his name to oblivion, erasing it from history books; even the coinage bearing his image was collected and destroyed. Still, Ivan Antonovich continued to pine in exile for years afterwards until his tragic death at the age of 23 when the unfortunate young man, unhinged by years of solitary confinement, was killed during his supporters' clumsy attempt to liberate him. The article covers the complex succession issues of the mid-1700s Romanov dynasty and pays special attention to the circumstances of Ivan Antonovich and his family's lives in exile, culminating in the events of his tragic demise in July 1764.
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
Maple & Co was founded in England in 1841 by a budding 26-year-old entrepreneur, John Maple (1815-1900). The wholesale consumer goods shop he opened in London grew over time into a world-renowned company. By the end of the 19th century the interiors of many splendid buildings including palaces including those of members of the Russian Imperial family were decorated and furnished by this company. Maple & Co. are probably best known for their the decoration of Empress Alexandra’s private quarters in the Alexander Palace in Tsarskoe Selo.
The House of Martha and Mary
by Rheta Childe Dorr 
The author was an American journalist who on the afternoon of the day in 1917, when Nicholas II, deposed emperor and autocrat of all the Russias, with his wife and children left Tsarskoe Selo and began the long journey toward their place of exile in Siberia, Dorr sat in a peaceful room of the Martha and Mary Convent in Moscow and talked with almost the last remaining member of the Russian royal family left in complete freedom in the empire. This was Grand Duchess Elizabeth Fyodorovna, sister of the former empress and widow of the Grand Duke Serge, uncle of the emperor. 

The Convent at the Saviour Gates: A History of the Ascension Monastery
by Maria Saprykina
In 1407, Grand Duchess Evdokia, wife of Dmitry Donskoi passed away and was laid to rest in the church of the Ascension Convent in the Moscow Kremlin. The cathedral became the new burial place for women of the princely family. Grand duchesses and tsarinas became patrons of the convent, made generous donations and, after death, found eternal peace there. The author explores the history of the convent up until its destruction by the Soviets in 1929. In July 2014 President Vladimir Putin proposed the demolition of the 14th Corps Building, and reconstruct the Chudov Monastery and Ascension Convent, pending the approval of UNESCO. 
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. 

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), (United States), Booksellers van Hoogstraten (Den Haag, Netherlands), and Librairie Galignani (Paris, France).


© Gilbert's Books. 21 March, 2016


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 22 March 2016 5:09 AM EDT
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Monday, 29 February 2016
Coronation of Tsar Nicholas II 1896 - Our No. 1 Bestseller!
Topic: Books

Six eyewitness accounts of the crowning of Russia's last tsar at Moscow in May 1896. Trade size paperback with 385 pages, and more than 200 rare vintage photographs and illustrations. 

The pomp and pageantry surrounding the Coronation of Tsar Nicholas II is told through the eye-witness accounts of six people who attended this historic event at Moscow, held over a three week period from May 6 to 26, 1896.

The authors came from all walks of life and different nations: Francis W. Grenfell and Mandell Creighton, Bishop of Peterborough (Great Britain); John A. Logan, Jr., Kate Koon Bovey and Richard Harding Davis (United States); and Boris Alexandrovich Engelgardt (Russia).

Historians have left us only brief descriptions of this historic event, but it is thanks to the authors of this unique book that we are grateful. They recorded their observations in diaries and letters, leaving to posterity a first-hand record that allows modern-day readers to relive the crowning of Russia’s last tsar and the splendour and opulence of a world that is gone forever.

These exceptional memoirs offer a wealth of information that include the preparations and events leading up to and during the coronation festivities, the tsar’s entry into Moscow, the procession to the cathedral, the crowning of the tsar and the celebrations that followed. No two memoirs are alike; each of the authors guides the reader through this historic event through his or her own eyes.

A collection of over 200 rare photographs and illustrations from the private archives of Royal Russia complement this book offering the largest collection of this historic event ever assembled in one volume. 


© Gilbert's Books. 29 February, 2016


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:38 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 1 March 2016 8:03 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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