[EPUB] ✻ Alix and Nicky By Virginia Rounding – Saudionline.co.uk

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About the Author: Virginia Rounding

Virginia Rounding is a writer, critic, and intermediate member of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders Her most recent book, published in the USA and the UK this year, is The Burning Time , an investigation of the circumstances, motivations and deaths of the men and women burnt at the stake and of those who set fire to them in London in the mid 16th century.Her previous book was a fresh

10 thoughts on “Alix and Nicky

  1. says:

    I really, really wanted to love this book Massie s Nicholas Alexandra is one of my favorite books, so I was looking forward to this update now that much new information is available from the Russian archives Overall, though the information it contained was good, this book was a disappointment.First of all, the organization was weird Rounding begins with chapters organized by topic, but about halfway through switches to organizing each chapter chronologically, starting over again with the beginning of their relationship This seems really odd to me As a historian and Russophile, I know enough of the story to understand what was going on, but someone less familiar with the Romanov family would probably get lost at the start of the book Weaving the themes throughout the chronology is pretty standard for biographies, and deviating from that did not work well in this book.Secondly, the writing seemed very amateur to me It read like a graduate thesis than a work by a professional historian or writer There were too many personal interjections and the editing seemed a little sloppy There were also numerous instances where I felt like Rounding was really trying to force the story to fit her theme, rather than allowing the story to unfold.It was not a terrible book by any means I enjoyed the increased emphasis on Nicky and Alix as people rather than political figures There was some information that was new to me the role of Anna Vyrubova was especially interesting.Overall, though, I found myself wishing that the book featuring all this new material about Nicholas and Alexandra had been written by someone experienced I d much rather read another book by Robert Massie, updated with the new archival information, but alas, that does not yet exist This book is interesting, but simply not as good as it could have been.

  2. says:

    Gr mata, kuru vienk r i vajadz ja pabeigt, nomoc t l dz beig m, jo paral li lasu v l divas par attiec go t mu un pl n v l viena Autore mani gal gi nep rliecin ja ne par sav m v sturnieces, ne rakstnieces sp j m Vispirms jau tas, ka v stures notikumu izk sts neb s saprotams nevienam, kur pirms tam jau nav iepazinies ar atiec g perioda Krievijas v sturi daudzi rk rt gi svar gi notikumi, kas tie i skar cara imeni, te tiek piemin ti gar mejot, un imp rijas sabrukums visp r ir k ds nejau s p rpratums Turkl t autore nezin mu iemeslu vad ta ir sajaukusi noda u hronolo iju, kas diez vai veicina izpratni par notieko o Raundinga daudz cit , izmanto imperatoru v stules, bet man palika iespaids, ka cit ti tiek aunpr t gi izmantoti, lai pier d tu vi as teoriju, kura laikam gan visu laiku tika virz ta uz triumf lu, pareiztic bas apdvestu fin lu, kur skaidro cara imenes iecel anu sv to k rt gr mata izmantojama tikai k papildliterat ra, lai ieraudz tu k das nianses, kuras vienalga vajadz tu preciz t un p rbaud t.

  3. says:

    Alix and Nicky remained on my TBR shelf for over two years, and after reading, I have no idea why that was Well, perhaps the fact that my copy is rather a large hardback which was incredibly difficult to juggle whilst in bedI am a self confessed Russian history nerd I studied Russian history, from Peter the Great to the modern day, throughout my A Level History course and as part of my undergraduate degree There s something about it which is both mysterious and compelling It is perhaps no surprise, then, that I picked this up when I was on a trip to Oxford Alix and Nicky is both rich and thorough, and I thought that the non reliance upon a rigid chronological structure worked incredibly well The writing is strong, the vocabulary varied, and the chapters wonderfully structured I feel as though I learnt a lot whilst reading, which is always a bonus Virginia Rounding is an author whom I haven t read before, but based upon this, I have added the rest of her bibliography to my to read list, and have a feeling that there will be some gems in store for me.

  4. says:

    Well, I would give it 5 stars, wouldn t I

    Here s an extract from my Introduction to the book, which explains something about my approach to the writing of it

    The analogy that comes most readily to mind when writing a new book about such apparently well known yet still controversial figures is that of curating an exhibition of some already famous artist Just as the curator endeavors to present a different view, through judicious, sometimes idiosyncratic, selection, juxtaposition, ordering, and even omission, so the biographer must select, consider, compare, and above all look with a fresh eye at what is already knownn as well as seek out the previously unknown In so doing, curator and biographer may respectively light upon something that previous exhibitions and books have missed, some detail or a new way of seeing that may alter earlier perceptions Through engaging closely with a number of texts, particularly diaries and letters and sometimes looking at what is unsaid as much as what is said I have aspired to come as close as possible to penetrating the souls of these two complex characters, while presenting the story of their passion taken in both senses, of love and of suffering in a way that I hope will pique the interest of both the Romanov expert and the general reader At the same time and again bearing in mind the curating analogy mine is only one way of seeing, of arranging the material to allow the characters to appear, of telling the same story differently It may be almost as impossible to find the historical Nicholas and Alexandra as to find the historical Jesus, so much being dependent on the attitudes and beliefs of witnesses There may be as many Nickys and Alixes as there are theories about them, their images distorted by the parts they are assigned in other people s mythologies During their lifetime they were constantly surrounded by gossip, and sometimes it may seem that it has not yet died down They were in addition extremely private people, only really known to one another and maybe too shy even for such private knowledge to be complete Nicky s own account of himself, in his diary, is designed to give little away he was always restrained, rarely given to obvious self expression though at times his silence speaks volumes And, as if misleading gossip on the one hand and considerable reticence on the other did not present sufficient obstacles to knowledge, Nicholas and Alexandra have now vanished even further from our sight, into the reflective surface of an icon where the image as instrument of devotion is meant always to point beyond itself, to be seen through rather than stared at, the portal to a different sort of knowledge As saints if that is what they are, or might be they have moved literally beyond our understanding

  5. says:

    Maybe a 2.5 Title was misleading I thought this was to be a love story but it was all about Alix s health problems and Nicky s indecisiveness And it was so political I also disliked the author s writing style She was presumptuous and enjoyed acting as if she knew exactly what the family was thinking or meant the entire book Her sources were shaky at best and her notes were badly done And she bounced around too much The last 50 pages were so boring and hard to get through.

  6. says:

    I received this book for free as a First Reads giveaway.I have no doubt that in the right hands, this book would get a solid 5 out of 5 star rating It is obvious that the book was thoroughly researched, and that the author has a great interest in this topic and a passion for acting as a curator to gather the various accounts and opinions of Alix and Nicky I really admire and respect all the work that very clearly went into this book on the part of the author Unfortunately, I didn t really enjoy reading it The passion that is in the title refers to both definitions of the word emotion as well as suffering When I first read the book s title, I took it to be the emotional kind of passion and looked forward to a book mostly about the love between Alix and Nicky I think the book is actually heavier on the suffering side there is a lot of detail about their struggles, their troubles relating to the Russian people, their personality traits, Alix s illness, etc When the emotional side came up, I really got into it and read eagerly But there seemed to be talk of politics and military events there just wasn t enough of their love story for me Don t get me wrong I love history, and I love non fiction history biography books, but this book didn t bring history to life for me It was a rather dry restating of facts and events.The book is separated into chapters that highlight important aspects of Alix and Nicky s lives The chapters bounce around quite a bit, not really following any chronological order One minute we re reading about Nicky s childhood, the next Alix is a grown woman and has been married to Nicky for years, the next Alix and Nicky are writing love letters to each other before they were engaged, and the next we re reading about Nicky s childhood again Another issue, although this is no fault of the author s, is the Russian names of friends, family, and important figures they are all pretty similar to my American eyes and it was hard to keep track of who was who The author does provide a list of characters, essentially, at the front of the book, and also gives a little reminder each time a character is brought up of what role they play, but I still became very confused very quickly.I have to state again just how much effort clearly went into this book, and how sure I am that someone else would give this a shining review But to me, it was simply ok it s just not my type of book I had to force myself to sit down and read, and then I found myself flipping ahead to see how much I had to read before I got to the end of the chapter Because of this, I just can t give it better than 2 stars.

  7. says:

    Nicholas and Alexandria had three passions their passion for each other, their passion to keep their rule autocratic, and their passion for suffering They apparently felt they were fated to suffer, so they were passive about the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune that fell upon themselves Those that fell upon their son Alexis, they were not so passive about.I found the book both sad and interesting Sad because those two shy people just could not be the autocrats their ancestors were Sad because they thought they Must Be Autocrats, when, if they had political savvy, they could have worked with their ministers to start the process of turning Russia into a constitutional monarchy They weren t cut off from the rest of Europe They must ve seen what worked and what didn t in their relation s countries Sad because Alix knew her son s suffering came from her genes Her brother Frittie and her uncle Leopold had hemophilia Sad because Alix did so want to Do Something else she would not have got up from her chaise lounge and try to nurse and then to govern the country while Nicky was at war.The bits about Alix s illnesses were quite interesting Could the porphyria George III allegedly suffered been passed down to her Was it that and not just her shyness that turned her from an active child to a reclusive bedridden empress Also, the Imperial Family s home life was not as idyllic as depicted in other books The Grand Duchesses were not one personality OTMA in four bodies but four different personalities who at times were catty towards each other The Empress and Ania Verboyva were not so much bosom chums as rivals for the Tsar s affections.

  8. says:

    I have always been fascinated with the Romanovs due to a childhood obsession with the film Anastasia I also did a project on them for my European history class during my freshman year in high school However, I did not realize how ignorant I was on their history until I read this book.I was blown away by how Virginia Rounding manage to personalize all the Romanovs, especially Alix Nicky It was amazing being able to read letters of theirs and to really get to know their personalities As a history graduate, I honestly felt like I had come across a gold mine.I also enjoyed just how human they were, because I think for a long time the Romanovs seemed to be like mythical characters to me I found myself relating to Alix on an anxiety depression level because from what I read it seemed as though she did suffer from both issues as well as agoraphobia I honestly couldn t put the book down The names of family members did get a bit confusing after a while, with people being named after each other or having similar names, but the overall gist of the book the humanity, the frailty, of the Romanovs came across really well I highly recommend this book to anyone wishing for a personal look inside one of history s most famous families.

  9. says:

    I enjoyed the informative but tedious early chapters of this book which include in better detail Nicky and Alix s relationships they kept from the rest of the family, especially with Anna Vyrubova However, the chapters were too long and the book suffered from a combination of Anastasia s Secret disorder bad earlier, chapter, good later chapter and Natasha s Dance disorder good, informative beginning, confusing later chapters Most of the book could have been rated at 4 stars, despite the amount of concentration required to read it, but I found chapter eleven unimportant and tedious, discussing a large collection of ministers Nicholas and Alexandra were appointing and not appointing I might have not finished this book, but I decided I wouldn t be too lost if I skipped a couple pages, so I technically finished it Despite chapter eleven, chapter twelve was well done, but not quite deserving a spot on my almost cried shelf, so I think three stars is fitting and I still will read Catherine the Great Love, Sex, and Power.

  10. says:

    This is a pretty rough read Not because it s not a compelling story it is, though it can be dense at times and perhaps overly confusing in the description of the ministerial musical chairs and other things it s because the story is almost too compelling.We know, most people, that Alexandra and Nicholas, their five children, three servants, and personal doctor were shot in a cellar maybe a year after the tsar abdicated What made this book so difficult for me was that I got to know Alexandra and Nicholas very well, almost personally, and I knew all along what was going to happen Around the chapter where Nicholas abdicated, I nearly stopped reading.The last chapter is very worthwhile, though It intersperses Biblical quotations with an almost lyrical description of the family s months of confinement, and then discusses the subsequent canonization of the family with gentle speculation This whole book is like that, actually, minus the Biblical quotations clear eyed but kind, and well worth the read if you are interested in the last Russian tsar.

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