When Russia erupted into revolution, almost overnight the pampered lifestyle of the Imperial family vanished. Within months many of them were under arrest and they became “enemies of the Revolution and the Russian people.” None of them wanted to leave Russia; they expected to be back on their estates soon and live as before. When it became obvious that this was not going to happen a few managed to flee, but others became dependent on foreign relatives for help. After 35 years researching and writing about the Romanovs, Coryne Hall considers the end of the 300-year-old dynasty, and the guilt of the royal families in Europe over the Romanovs’ bloody end. Did the Kaiser do enough? Did George V? When the Tsar’s cousins King Haakon of Norway and King Christian of Denmark heard of Nicholas’s abdication, what did they do? Unpublished diaries of the Tsar’s cousin Grand Duke Dmitri give a new insight to the Romanovs’ feelings about George V’s involvement.
Most will know that the Romanovs were closely related to most of the royal families in Europe and yet, as they awaited their fate in the Ipatiev House a rescue seemed expected but it never came. Did the families do enough to save their families or was it all bound to happen anyway? Coryne Hall explores the best known of the stories, that of King George V whose offer of asylum eventually fell through, but also the attempts made by the Kings of Norway and Denmark, which I personally did not know much about. Coryne Hall has written a compelling book from which I learned a lot. I would highly recommend it!
To Free the Romanovs: Royal Kinship and Betrayal in Europe 1917-1919 by Coryne Hall is available now in the UK and will be released in the US on 1 October 2018.
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