❮Read❯ ➶ Once a Grand Duchess: Xenia,Sister of Nicholas II ➺ Author John Van der Kiste – Saudionline.co.uk



10 thoughts on “Once a Grand Duchess: Xenia,Sister of Nicholas II

  1. says:

    John Van der Kriste has written a fabulous biography in his work about the life of Grand Duchess Xenia Romanova His incredible research for this book has paid off brilliantly because his use of the primary resource documents which surrounded her life truly helped bring Xenia into clear focus both as a historical figure, a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter, and as a deeply complex person Perhaps the biggest tribute I can give van der Kriste is that by his book s end and Xenia s death , I was truly saddened much as I would be by the death of a friend I came to feel that I knew this woman, a person of great personal dignity and grace, yet who also had her share of weaknesses and foibles, and who was saddled with family tragedy that is almost impossible for us to fathom While as a member of the Imperial elite in Russia, she was a person of distinction who lived the life of a wealthy heiress and who certainly had too much idle time for her own good Yet, with the Revolution, events brought on in part because of her own son in law who murdered Rasputin , her life and that of her extended family, and all Russians changed forever Her subsequent tribulations, which lasted the last 43 years of her life, longer than she had lived in Russia, truly showed the strength she learned from the hardships of her life While Xenia isn t a well known or pivotal figure in Russian history, her story will be of great interest to anyone interested in delving deeply into the Imperial history of turn of the 20th century Russia You ll come to know Grand Duchess Xenia and I believe, appreciate her depth, and determination as a result.


  2. says:

    So I went on a John Van der Kiste kick that s a sentence never written before He writes this minor biogs that are fun little romps through history Not very deep Nothing earth shattering, but enough to give you ample cocktail hour chats about a subject that probably there aren t a lot of books to give those facts Not that I ve had a lot of chats about Xenia but at times it s nice to know what the supporting cast of the drama that is history is doing.Xenia is the sister of Nick II She married for love and fell out quickly For all of the prudery of Alexandra Nick s wife , Xenia must have given her heart attacks Xenia and her husband cousin Alexandra did not stay true to each other, often living in separate countries for long stretches Yet it was close enough long enough to have seven kids.She also survived the Revolution, escaping with her mother the Dowager Empress to England For the rest of her long life living another 40 years in England in grace and favor residence Basically, she lived off the royal family of England.After the revolution, the book obviously drags becausethere s not much to talk about She took her allowance from the British Royal Family, supported her kids, and gave money away You do kinda wonder why she never seemed to want a job She just goes on It s almost painful, not that she never did but that she never wanted It never seemed to occur to her that maybe she shouldn t be living free of charge on someone s estate Or that maybe her kids shouldn t either So as a book, it s fine I don t think anyone should read it, unless you have a driving ambition to know about Xenia.


  3. says:

    Unfortunately I am very disappointed by this book which reads like an almost 300 page traffic report truly an account of who visited whom, at which palace, who joined and left the party, who was absent, where the different people went to when the party dismantled very dull.The excerpts from diaries and letters are tiny snippets that have not been used well and do not liven up what is mostly a history of the never ending movements of the various royal families of Europe.Many of the paragraphs contain sentences that have no relation to each other, many times I thought a good point or interesting piece of information was about to be divulged only to find the next sentence was on a completely different subject For example a paragraph which told of Xenia growing alarmingly thin and of the family concern for her is finished by saying a certain person visited her one thinks ah, here comes an opinion by this person on Xenia s health or a revelation of fact but no the authors simply wanted to tell us this person visited it had nothing to do with the rest of the paragraph at all I am a frequent reader of non fiction and history books, I am accustomed to reading even the most difficult of this genre, and can say that this is not a difficult read except for the obstacle of boredom , its just not a very interesting one A shame since I think the Imperial family had fascinating lives.


  4. says:

    A very interesting book on a very underrated royal When I suddenly had the idea to look for a book on Xenia, as she d frequently been mentioned in books about various other Romanovs, this was the only book I could find but it s a good one, painting a picture of a full life from imperial splendor into exile Although dry in some parts, with some quotes formatted oddly and lots of names thrown in that weren t always clear, I thought this was a solid tribute to a very interesting woman, who has gone through history largely unnoticed It provides a new view of the Revolution and filled in some gaps in my knowledge A good book to start the year off with.


  5. says:

    This is a solid biography of a sympathetic Romanov grand duchess For those unfamiliar with the wider history or who are new to Romanov biographies, this biography may prove overwhelming as there is very little attempt to clarify for the reader who is who descriptions shift frequently from Christian names to family nicknames used for the same individual For those who know about the final generation of Romanovs in Russia, this is unlikely to prove a problem and the portrait offered of Xenia is that of a gentle and kind woman who watched, with bewilderment and heartbreak, the disintegration of her homeland amid a terrible catalogue of bereavements.


  6. says:

    A thorough biography, although some passages in the early portions are verbatim from Hall s book on Empress Marie It amazes me how nonchalant the imperials were about leaving Russia after the Bolsheviks took over The British royals were very generous to Xenia and her extended family.


  7. says:

    Fascinating story of GRand Duchess Xenia An examination of her life is a welcome addition to the body of knowledge of the Romanov family.


  8. says:

    If you re looking for a book that discusses the exiled Romanovs and how they survived after the Russian Revolution, I recommend this book Xenia s desire to stay keyed into the family, especially after the war, offers a surprising look at humility and grace after tragedy The author does a good job of using primary sources, often her own words, and notes the different ways the Grand Duchess helped stranded and destitute Russian emigres.The hardest part was reading about Anastasia and the death of Tsar Nicholas II from the family s perspective Desperate for happier news, the family seemed to be at odds When Anastasia showed up, the family divided One of the final great tears in a family known for close relationships not just marriage to first cousins, either When one of the older generation fell, everyone seemed to mourn for Xenia, showing a deep appreciation for her empathy.Learning about George V s actions in the war and the possibility of saving the Imperial family but choosing not to really helped fill in gaps that history often ignores We learn about WWI in America, in a rather rushed fashion, while not studying how the revolution created a hard downfall for the royals across the continent A group of us became us versus them during the greatest challenges of the 20th century And how guilt can cause one to overcompensate in some ways.I will say if you re not up on the European royal family lineage, you might find a lot of problems I frequently had to move back and forth between the charts and reading Mostly because everyone kept using the same name for generations at a time However, it s clear the amount of resources each chapter referenced and the clear look into her life.Definitely worth a read as a continuation into the life of European royalty Queen Victoria s reaches extended everywhere.


  9. says:

    Another view into the Russian Royalty at the time of the Revolution Of course, totally oblivious to the plight of the Russian peasants and the real world, but is a good window into the gentry going down


  10. says:

    RUSSIAN HISTORYTsar Nicholas and his family members continue to be a subject of fascination and tragedy to the present time I continue to be in awe concerning this span of history because it is the truth.


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