☀ [PDF / Epub] ★ The Romanovs: 1613-1918 By Simon Sebag Montefiore ✍ – Saudionline.co.uk



10 thoughts on “The Romanovs: 1613-1918

  1. says:

    As astounding and astonishing survey of this epic imperial family, The Romanovs is an incredible and insightful read Did you know that Putin s grandfather was Rasputin s cook The horrible fate of the Romanovs made me almost physically ill at the end I of course was repulsed by their corruption, autocracy, anti Semitism, and blind devotion to the despicable yes occasionally wise Rasputin, their ignoble assassination filled me with horror and sadness The Romanov dynasty had an unlikely beginning in 1613 with Michael I being reluctantly brought in to quell the chaos that reigned in Russia at the end of the 16th C in the aftermath of Ivan the Terrible The Romanov family then ruled with a heavy hand for just over three centuries fraught with politics, intrigue, Times of Trouble, revolutions, wars, and lots and lots of massacres It was fascinating to learn about all the Tsars most of which I had heard about and knew next to nothing about their reigns The tragedies of Peter III, Paul I, and Nicholas II and Michael II as well although he was only tsar for a day were horrific but still the violence was not out of proportion to the times they lived in I believe my favourite stories in the book were those of the greatest tsars and tsarinas Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, and Alexander I I had no idea of the incredible sexual appetite of this regime of all regimes and how interrelated they were with the British and German dynasties Nicholas II s wife Alix was related to Queen Victoria and many of the tsars and their children intermarried with German families I learned as well that many of the tsars ruled for extremely short periods of time Paul only 5 years, Ivan VI and Peter III for only a year, and both Constantine and Michael II for a few days or even less The author breaks up the Romanov period into three Acts Act I The Rise Michael I to the advent of Peter I, Act II The Apogee Peter the Great to Alexander I, and Act III The Decline Nicholas I to II to Nicholas II Michael II and each of those into Scenes that are introduced with a very useful casting which helps keep the myriad of names straight which cover the major events of a reign or reigns or towards the end, the phases of the ultimate fall of the Romanovs I really enjoyed Act II Scene 6, the Duel which narrated the great contest of the beginning of the 19th C between Napoleon and Alexander I It was absolutely fascinating and I realised to what degree that Europe was really saved from Napoleon by Alexander I because the Germans and British were completely sidelined in 1812 1813 and it was the Russian army beat Napoleon in 1814 Having read War and Peace but having as yet to have neglected to review it , I loved learning of the political history behind the meeting of these two geniuses who could have become friends they were nearly brothers in law , but for Napoleon s ambition and Alexander s pride became bitter foes I learned that Alexander did not order the burning of Moscow He had returned to Petersburg and left control and decision making in the army to Kutuzov who faced with either losing the entire Russian army after the incredible carnage of Borodino or losing the capital, chose to live and fight another day The scorched earth policy was devastating to Alexander, but it turned out to be the right decision as Napoleon squandered his time for a week in Moscow and was defeated by a combination of the onset of wintry conditions and famine and the marauding techniques of the Russian army pursuing him all the way back to Paris If Alexander had preferred Paris to St Petersberg, we might be speaking Russian words in Paris than just bistro which entered the French vocabulary during the Russian occupation of March to May 1814.The only drawback to this book is the lack of detailed maps to explain the geopolitics Otherwise, the writing is excellent as good as Montefiore s Stalin The Court of the Red Tsar which was excellent and the level of research is truly amazing I believe that Montefiore had access to many documents that have only been accessible inside the Soviet Union or just recently found which allows him to belay certain myths and legends and give the reader a truly interesting and factual history.


  2. says:

    Two teenaged boys, both fragile, innocent and ailing, open and close the story of the Romanov dynasty Both were heirs to a political family destined to rule Russia as autocrats, both raised in times of revolution, war and slaughter Both were chosen by others for a sacred but daunting role that they were not suited to perform Separated by 305 years, they played out their destinies in extraordinary and terrible scenarios that took place far from Moscow in edifices named Ipatiev At 1 30 a.m on 17 July 1918, in the Ipatiev House in Ekaterinburg Alexei, aged thirteen, a sufferer of hemophilia, son of the former tsar Nicholas II, was awakened with his parents and four sisters and told that the family must urgently prepare to move to a safer place At night on 13 March 1613, in the Ipatiev Monastery outside the half ruined little town of Kostroma Michael Romanov, aged sixteen, a sufferer from weak legs and a tic in his eye was awakened by his mother to be told that a delegation had arrived He must prepare to urgently to return with them to the capital Simon Sebag Montefiore, The Romanovs 1613 1918Simon Sebag Montefiore s The Romanovs is telling a very familiar story about a very familiar dynasty In terms of scope, very little separates this from, say, W Bruce Lincoln s The Romanovs Autocrats of All the Russias, which follows the exact same historical figures over the exact same time period But the difference here is that Montefiore has a specific focus He is not here to analyze autocratic decision making or gauge the impact of Imperial rule on Russia or the wider world, though those aspects are present Instead, he locks onto the bloody soap opera that was Russia under the Romanovs and never relents There are wars, coups, sex, revolutions, betrayals, sex, assassinations, dramatic blunders, sex, torture, catastrophic flaws, a dash of incest, countless affairs, and a real exploration of the limitations of human beings in power There is also in case I have failed to stress this enough a lot of sex You will probably want a cigarette after reading some of the love letters between Alexander II and his mistress eventual wife Katya Dolgorukaya The Romanovs begins in 1613, with the ascension of Michael I, the first Romanov tsar It ends in 1917, with the brutal murder of Nicholas II, the last Romanov tsar excluding Michael II, who served one day , along with his wife, children, and several retainers In between, there are all those things mentioned above This weighs in at 654 pages of text, and it is a decent start if you re looking to fill the hole in your life left by the end of Game of Thrones Montefiore tells this tale in novelistic fashion, structuring his narrative around scenes of dialogue and big set pieces He sticks close to his main characters and attends to their personalities, their virtues, and their flaws He peppers his prose with the kind of conversational interjections you d expect from a guy at the pub, such as his reference to Alexander I who Montefiore finds underrated by history as a metrosexual Certainly, Montefiore has a way with words For example, when discussing the many enemies of Empress Alexandra wife of Nicholas II , he states that they libelously depicted a traitorous German pornocracy with naked lesbian hellions Alexandra and Anna Vyrubova in thrall to Rasputin s throbbing phallus At another point, he gives a great thumbnail sketch of Mikhail Kutuzov, b te noire of Napoleon In the 1860s, Leo Tolstoy s novel War and Peace presented Kutuzov as an oracular personification of the soul of the Russian nation in 1941, Stalin promoted him as a genius he was neither But this prot g of Potemkin and Suvorov had vast experience, having served as governor general and as ambassador to the sultan He was wise, unflappable and sly, a nature symbolized by his eye wound bullets had passed fortuitously through his right temple and out through his right eye without affecting his judgment or shaking his sangfroid If he could no longer stay awake during a war council nor mount a horse, this priapic antique concealed two peasant girl mistresses disguised as Cossack boys among his staff And his depiction of the wanton destruction of the ex tsar, his wife, and their children, is extremely potent Alexandra was crossing herself She had always believed that she and Nicky would be, as she wrote long before, when they were newlyweds, united, bound for life and when life is ended, we meet again in the other world to remain together for all eternity As her hand was raised, Ermakov fired his Mauser point blank at her head which shattered in brain and blood Maria ran for the double doors at the back so Ermakov drawing a Nagant from his belt fired at her, hitting her in the thight, but the smoke and clouds of plaster were so dense that Yurovsky ordered a halt and opened the door to let the shooters, coughing and sputtering, rest as they listened to moans, screams and low sobs from within It is worth nothing that while Montefiore occasionally indulges glib conclusions and gleefully dwells on the sordid aspects of the story, he is an esteemed historian who has written extensively about Russia and the Soviet Union I did have some minor issues First, while Montefiore does not ignore the overall context, I found it helpful going in to have some semblance of the order and meaning of events, since the perspective is tightly tethered to the Romanovs themselves Montefiore mitigates a lot of the complexity by providing a number of family trees, to keep everyone straight, while also starting each chapter with a cast of characters, so that you can recall everyone s role Second, I was often befuddled by Montefiore s use of but and and, by which I mean, he seems to interchange them That is, but is generally used to introduce a clause that contrasts with that which has come before Meanwhile, and is used to connect things that are supposed to be taken together Long story short, Montefiore uses but to connect things that are supposed to be taken together, while also utilizing and to introduce contrasting clauses Of course, Montefiore has a PhD from Cambridge, while I am the village drunk, so maybe I m totally wrong Still, there are a lot of confounding sentences here Overall, though, these are extremely minor quibbles in an overwhelmingly entertaining book The history of the Romanovs is so dramatic that even the most pedantic, monotonal recitations still manage to provide at least a frisson of excitement And this is anything but pedantic or monotonal The Romanovs is, to the contrary, a fortunate intersection of material and author Montefiore was born to give this account He is learned and well read, has literary style to spare, and is effortlessly confident in tracing the epic sweep of the Romanov dynasty, from the extraordinary heights of Peter the Great and Catherine the Great, to the tragic depths of Nicholas II and his young family, herded into a basement room by drunken, ruthless criminals masquerading as revolutionaries Montefiore draws you into this story so effectively that you will have to remind yourself that you re actually learning You have to remind yourself that all these things the good, the bad, the inexplicable actually happened.


  3. says:

    Simon Sebag Montefiore s blockbuster history of the Romanov dynasty was a great choice for me to read prior to my much anticipated trip to St Petersburg next month I had been looking for a book on the Romanov dynasty and this was exactly what I was looking for It s a unique and compelling read and quite a shocking insight into all twenty of the Romanov tsars and tsarinas Some books especially non fiction need to be read in good old fashioned paperback in order to get the best out of them and the Romanoves is a prime example I originally purchased this on Audio but very quickly realized this was a mistake and switched to the hardback edition I was so glad I did as each chapter is prefaced with a cast list and I found this extremely helpful as there is a vast amount of characters in each chapter and I found myself consulting the Cast List on numerous occasions to remind myself of who was who and I think this is reflected in the length of time it took me to complete this book I also enjoyed the inclusion of the Family tree, maps and illustrations which really added to the enjoyment of the book and are so important additions for the reader.From the first paragraph of the Introduction I was hooked. It was hard to be a tsar Russia is not an easy country to rule Twenty sovereigns of the Romanov dynasty reigned for 304 years, from 1613 until tsardom s destruction by the revolution in 1917 The Romanovs were actually the most spectacularly successful empire builders since the Mongols ,This is an epic history of The House of Romanov which was the second dynasty, after the Rurik dynasty, to rule over Russia, and ruled from 1613 until the abdication of Czar Nicholas II on March 15, 1917, as a result of the February Revolution its packed full of facts and intrigue and details that any reader who enjoys reading about the Romanov family from its begining until its shocking massacare of the entile family in 1918 may well find this a very interesting read Its also a story of power, love, lust sex and violence and greed and I was at times quite shocked by the debauchery and cruelty of the time although I had come accross it in other accounts of the Romanov family its seems highlighted in this account and may not be for the feint hearted A very comprehensive and detailed book and therefore a slow but extremely satisfying read for me Its perfectly paced and meticulously researched and while it could have been a slog with such a vast amount of information and details to pack in, the author manages to bring Russian Histroy and the house of Romanov to life in a most unique and modern way and I found myself engrossed throughout Delighted I had the opportunity to read this before my visit to St Petersburg and looking forward to visiting a number of places mentioned in the book.


  4. says:

    Having now completed the book has my view changed No it hasn t Please see what I have written below What is written here are either additional thoughts or that which I feel must be emphasized While the book does indeed provide facts of interest I feel the author all too often sensationalizes, emphasizes the bad over the good and has excessive details on the sexual behavior of not only of the Romanovs but also every darn person mentioned I really don t need to know the size of Rasputin s penis Seriously, given the amount of details pertaining to sex, a appropriate title might be The Sex Lives of the Romanovs and Their Compatriots 1613 1918 I am kind of joking but there is also a message to be taken note of The mix of historical facts and the pronounced emphasis on sex is just plain weird In any case a prospective reader should be warned The sex is not graphic, but excessive and unnecessary Further, I felt I was wading through an immense amount of irrelevant details, not just those related to sex The writing is dense Lots of names, dates and minutiae Important historical details are there if you can wade through the muck to get to them Perhaps the book s wide scope, covering all of the Romanovs, makes it difficult to achieve adequate depth The Napoleonic Wars, the Crimean and Balkan Wars, the Russian Revolution and the First World War are all, albeit cursively, covered Below I have recommended books by Robert K Massie, but also George, Nicholas and Wilhelm Three Royal Cousins and the Road to World War I should be mentioned I gave it 4 stars I did not find the personalities of the eighteen different Romanov czars to be sufficiently analyzed Each one s most important actions are spoken of but their personality traits remain diffuse Each one s physical appearance is described but their thoughts get much less attention Negative attributes come to the fore over the positive For me a balanced portrayal is lacking I left the book with the feeling that the author immensely dislikes the Romanovs as a group and was unable to acknowledge their achievements All of them are pretty much classified as anti Semitics with little attention paid to those actions which counter this sweeping judgement I think the positive actions of Peter the Great, Catherine the Great and Alexander II s abolition of serfdom warranted attention Not only were the serfs emancipated but also given land The emancipation occurred in 1861 It is interesting to note that the Civil War in the States began this year Blacks were not given land.By the end of the audiobook I was sick and tired of having to rewind to catch the Russian names The narration should have been slower and names distinctly pronounced This is my second non fiction book by the author I gave Jerusalem The Biography also two stars My review am providing my review because I believe by comparing the two one sees similarities I have decided on the basis of these two books that most probably even the author s fiction will not fit my tastes though the topic might attract me It is interesting to note that in both of these books the author goes off on a tangent about his own family s roots and how his ancestors knew famed personages This doesn t belong in either book Please read below I have tried to avoid repetition Halfway through I have gotten thorough the Romanov Czars up to Nicolas I I am not for the most critical of the factual content but rather its focus However, please see below the paragraph about Alexander von Benckendorff This author loves to stun, loves to point out violence Beheadings, impalements, dismembering of bodies, torture, tongues ripped out, rapes, deviant sexual behavior and physical abuse abound He doesn t merely document, he dramatizes One example is that written about the Congress of Vienna Less is said about its political consequences than the partying and sexual liaisons of the delegates You get a whiff of the author s way of writing from the fact that rather than the book having chapters the different sections are called scenes and acts This author prefers to detail the bad rather than the good One example very little is said about the magnificent buildings erected by the Romanovs Sure, they are mentioned, but few details are given Art collections, literary works are scarcely mentioned A quote is taken from Pushkin, but what does the author choose to quote A line about the the size of General Aleksey Arakcheyev s penis Sigh The author enjoys throwing out statements that shock or at least surprise Some sentences leave you wondering what exactly is being implied I prefer clarity I was surprised by the statement that Alexander von Benckendorf, head of the Secret Police under Nicolas I, didn t know his own name and had to consult his business card The author leaves no comment on the validity of this statement Who said this What are the sources Which facts are pure gossip and which true If this is to be considered a serious work on the Romanovs why is this statement presented in such a fashion Reading this is not a waste of time I am learning, but I don t like the presentation, the author s dramatization and penchant for salacious details.I MUCH prefer the writing of Robert K Massie I have read and highly recommend the author s books Nicholas and Alexandra and Catherine the Great Portrait of a Woman I would grab Peter the Great His Life and World if I could I should say something positive I liked how the author wrote about the Napoleonic Wars.I am further disappointed that family tree information provided in the written version is not made accessible in the audiobook format via an accompanying PDF file Not a big problem though, since one can easily find the information on the web The audiobook is narrated by Simon Russell Beale I don t love it, but there is nothing actually wrong For the most part the lines are clearly pronounced and presented at a good speed He seems to be fluent in Russian, so he whips off the names quickly This makes it hard for me to jot them down It can be hard to guess the correct spelling, but I have come close enough to be able to find them on the web.I continue.


  5. says:

    Review to follow But it s basically just going to say it s excellent so if you don t need any info than that, you re good to go.


  6. says:

    Heavy reading but well worth it Unbelievably well researched none of the myth of this great house Family trees and fantastic photos Each chapter begins with a cast of characters which primes the reader for whom to expect to read about keeps the timeline straight as well as who is related Explores beginning links to other royal families, the construction of palaces, formation of armies.Torture, espionage, murder, intrigue, war, sex I thought at first to write quick synopses of each section, but this review would have been entirely too long Each Tsar s reign was so eventful, so much violence and drama I m buying this book 2017 Lenten nonfiction Buddy Reading Challenge book 311 14 18 Audio reread wanted to know how everything is correctly pronounced so bought the audibleAUDIO READ 5 of 2018


  7. says:

    I M DONE This is a behemoth of a book But it s so worth it The Romanovs is absolutely wonderful historical nonfiction Montefiore clearly knows his stuff, and it s a joy to read I will say, if you don t read a ton of nonfiction and specifically, historical nonficiton , this may be a bit difficult It s a WHOLE LOT of exposition If you re used to that, or think that s no problem, then DEFINITELY pick this up But it s something to keep in mind If you don t think huge, unbroken paragraphs are your thing, I d recommend checking this out on audiobook I often find that exposition works better when you re listening rather than reading.I do think that the structure of this books REALLY helps with it s size, both literal and figuratively This book is well over 600 pages of text plus an extensive bibliography , and it covers about 300 years Montefiore breaks the book up into several different parts, and the chapters in each part are described as scenes The beginning of each scene has a cast all of the important figures he ll be discussing and I found that wildly helpful There are lots of similar, if not identical, names, and being able to flip back to the cast list really helped with keeping track of who s who.Montefiore s tone throughout the novel was great he s informative, but happily pokes fun at the quite frequent ridiculousness of the Romanov family Many of the footnotes, while not essential to the story, are full of wonderful little tibits.I definitely recommend picking this up


  8. says:

    Having read Mr Sebag Montefiore s previous book Jerusalem The Biography, I was looking forward to reading this one Unfortunately I found this mildly disappointing While it is well researched and is organized in a linear manner, I found the narrative a bit disjointed The other problem I had was the author s emphasis on the various Romanov s sexual lives view spoiler I really didn t need to know the pet names Nicholas and Alexandra had for their genitals, the size of Rasputin s penis, or that Nicholas I, publically portrayed as a paragon of family values, visited his main mistress twice a day hide spoiler


  9. says:

    The Hell Gardeners DepravationPerversionDespotismWere some of Romanov s favorite hobbies Hobbies Did I say hobbies Maybe hell seeds will provide a better match for those deviant diversions If you re interested in a testimony of their iniquity, just take a look at the list of atrocities commited by Peter the Great Great in bestiality, for sure There, you ll meet a beheaded brother, a murdered mistress, a son tortured till death, etc, etc,Romanov have been hell farmers they lived and died in hell Nobody escapes the Law of Karma


  10. says:

    This enormous book covers an enormous topic 300 years of the Romanov dynasty Toward the end of the book, when it reached the stories of Czar Nicholas II whose reign was ended by the Communist Revolution , I found myself wishing the author would go deeper into the lives of the common people and help us understand the roots of the revolution better But that is not within the scope of this book this is a survey that has a lot of ground to cover and does a magnificent job of it.And now I need to find books about Russia in the late 19th century


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The Romanovs: 1613-1918 download The Romanovs: 1613-1918, read online The Romanovs: 1613-1918, kindle ebook The Romanovs: 1613-1918, The Romanovs: 1613-1918 94011c4d15b7 The Acclaimed Author Of Young Stalin Now Gives Us An Accessible, Lively, Wholly Revelatory Account Based In Part On New Archival Material Of The Extraordinary Men And Women Who Ruled Russia For Three CenturiesIn This Fascinating Chronicle, Simon Sebag Montefiore Focuses His Gifts As Historian And Storyteller On The Greatest And Most Complex Of The Emperors And Empresses Of The Romanov Dynasty , On How Their Courts Worked, And On The Meeting Of Personality And Power In Each Reign Scouring Archives That Opened Up Only After The Fall Of The USSR, The Author Reveals The Real World Of The Most Storied And Myth Shrouded Rulers Catherine The Great, Nicholas II And His Wife Alexandra And Introduces Readers To The Lesser Known But Even Scandalous Elizaveta Daughter Of Peter The Great And Alexander II Whose Wild Sexual Passions Were Bestowed Upon A Teenage Mistress The Author Illuminates The Eighteenth Century Age Of The Imperial Petticoat Makes Clear The Full Extent Of The Remarkable Political Amorous Partnership Between Catherine The Great And Prince Potemkin And Uncovers A Deep Vein Of Decadence And Stupidity Underneath The Accepted, Romantic Portrait Usually Presented Of Nicholas II, The Last Of The Tsars As With All Of His Previous And Widely Acclaimed Works Of History, Simon Sebag Montefiore Gives An Absolute Scholarly And Archival Foundation To A Book That Is Both Exceptionally Informative And Dazzlingly Entertaining From First To Last