Explore the Final Days of Imperial Russia Through the Eyes of its Last Imperial Duchesses
Well before I was introduced to World War I politics, there was a little cartoon called Anastasia that had the hands-down best non-Disney music number of all time. I remember being thoroughly disappointed to learn the movie was total bollocks, but also feeling a tiny fraction of real despair for those ghostly figures emerging from a royal portrait dancing gracefully, once upon a December, who in real life were executed in a basement. I’m no monarchist, but there’s little dignity or progress to be had murdering children and their parents in the night.
I started reading Helena Rappaport’s The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra thinking that I’d be disillusioned of my sentimentality by how the royal family really was with their privileged lifestyles and ignorance. Instead, this look into their private diaries and letters, some of which has thus far remained unpublished, confirmed that truly no one deserved such a tragic end as the Romanov family faced. Far from being willfully naive to the political climate and the closing hours of Imperialist Russia, Olga, Tatiana, Marie and Anastasia were highly educated young ladies who contributed their time and skills to the war effort.
The Romanov Sisters is an interesting read to WWI history buffs, Romanov aficionados, and cartoon Anastasia fans alike.