‘The Last Empress: The Life & Times of Alexandra Feodorovna, Tsarina of Russia’- by Greg King is not exactly a new book (1994), but the story of Alexandra Feodorovna and her family is still alive today. Several movies and series have been made where she and her family are featured; the fall of the Romanovs still intrigues people today.
Born as Alix of Hesse, a daughter of Princess Alice of the United Kingdom (and thus a granddaughter of Queen Victoria) and Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse, she married Nicolas II of Russia just 25 days after the death of his father Alexander III.
The book also focuses on her childhood, which I enjoyed a lot. I didn’t know much about who she was before she was the Tsarina. She was only six years old when her mother, Princess Alice, died of diphtheria she contracted from her son and Alix’s brother Ernest. I never realised how much her childhood was influenced by Queen Victoria after her mother’s death.
I knew a little of her time as the Tsarina, but the book really tells the whole story. The disappointment of having four daughters and the relief at the birth of a son, and the worry that later followed concerning his health. Also, I never knew the relationship with Rasputin was that close.