Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna of Russia was born on 26 June 1899 (O.S 14 June) as the third daughter of Tsar Nicholas II and his wife, Alexandra Feodorovna. Tragically, she and her entire family were killed in the early morning of 17 July 1918. Her remains were not identified until 2007 and are still not interred with the rest of the family.
Described as “kindness itself”, Maria’s hopes and dreams for the future have been preserved in her diaries, though not all of them have survived. Helen Azar has translated the surviving letters and diaries painstakingly, and we can now dive into the mind of the young woman who was taken from this earth so brutally. The introduction of the book gives biographical information about Maria before diving into the letters and diaries. Maria herself destroyed many of her diaries and only the years 1912, 1913 and 1916 survive.
Maria Romanov: Third Daughter of the Last Tsar, Diaries and Letters, 1908–1918 is a lovely look at a forgotten woman, whose remains now lie unceremoniously in a box in an archive. It’s a must-have for any Romanov enthusiast. Maria Romanov: Third Daughter of the Last Tsar, Diaries and Letters, 1908–1918 by Helen Azar is available now in both the UK and the US.