Anastasia: The Lost Princess

Overview

Anastasia—the name has become synonymous with enigma. the story of the youngest daughter of the last Russian czar has become one of the world's most favorite romantic fascinations, and is one of the strangest, saddest, most haunting riddle of the twentieth century: Did she escape the massacre of the Russian Royal family in 1917?

James Blair Lovell's exhaustive search for the truth culminates in the definitive book, the last word on the mystery of Anastasia. Drawn form eyewitness...

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Overview

Anastasia—the name has become synonymous with enigma. the story of the youngest daughter of the last Russian czar has become one of the world's most favorite romantic fascinations, and is one of the strangest, saddest, most haunting riddle of the twentieth century: Did she escape the massacre of the Russian Royal family in 1917?

James Blair Lovell's exhaustive search for the truth culminates in the definitive book, the last word on the mystery of Anastasia. Drawn form eyewitness testimony, medical and scientific study, handwriting analysis, and a cache of thousands of documents, letters, paintings, private photographs, and audio tapes, Anastasia: The Lost Princess separates the facts from the myths, and establishes beyond a shadow of a doubt the identity of the real Anastasia. Filled with romance, intrigue, drama, and startling revelation, it is Anna Anderson's true story.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A great, absorbing read by a gifted storyteller. . .Lovell is a splendid narrator, balanced, sympathetic, with a rare eye for the ironic." --Kirkus Reviews

"Reads like a detective novel, {and} presents an often shocking portrait totally at odds with the Anastasia legend of stage and screen. the fullest account of the mystery to date." —Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Was Anna Anderson of Charlottesville, Va., who died in 1984, the princess Anastasia, survivor of the Bolshevik massacre of the Russian imperial family, as she claimed to be? In the fullest account of the Anastasia mystery to date, freelance writer Lovell unconvincingly argues that she was indeed the daughter of Nicholas II and Alexandra. In 1976 the author met Anastasia and her husband, John Manahan, eccentric scion of a wealthy Virginia family. Drawing on interviews and on unpublished materials, including some 100 hours of taped dialogue with Anastasia recorded in the 1960s by a Russian investigator, Lovell pieces together this temperamental, reclusive woman's sad, bizarre life, which encompassed stays in German asylums, several breakdowns, depression, paranoia, poverty and endless court cases against her detractors. This chronicle, which reads like a detective novel, presents an often shocking portrait totally at odds with the sugar-coated Anastasia legend of stage and screen. Photos. Author tour. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Readers will encounter a truly bizarre cast of characters here. First there is the ``heroine,'' Anna Anderson, who claimed to be Anastasia, the fourth daughter of Nicholas II, miraculous only survivor of her family's murder. Around her swarm minor European royalty, shady fortune hunters, credulous Americans, and assorted crackpots. The author, who must rank as the most assiduous of the ``Anastasia scholars'' he frequently invokes, is a complete believer in her story. He pursues every rumor, denounces every doubter, and seems to accept every story his heroine told, including one of a meeting with Hitler, who promised he would restore the Romanovs. Lovell concludes his saga with details of his hunt for a fifth imperial daughter, unknown to history. Those who want to believe his absurd tale will find much here to reinforce their illusions. Most libraries can skip this.--R.H. Johnston, McMaster Univ., Hamilton, Ontario
Kirkus Reviews
The story—apparently definitive—of Anastasia, the fourth daughter of Czar Nicholas II of Russia. Free-lance journalist Lovell (The New York Times, The Washington Post) writes of Anastasia's escape at age 16 from the 1917 assassination of her family, of her desperate but futile attempts to establish her identity, of her struggle to overcome the fictional representations of her in films (one starring Ingrid Bergman won an Oscar), songs, plays, and novels—and of his own experience writing this book, working with the aged recluse (who believed him to be a reincarnation of her father), the "Czarina of Charlottesville, Va." that she had become. Curiously, Anastasia's true life is more of a fairy tale than the fictions: a foundling of questionable origins; rescued from a suicide attempt in a Berlin canal; periodically committed to asylums for mental aberrations and tantrums; tested on the basis of a scar, a disfigured toe, an anecdote or riddle; and, finally, rescued by a Virginian gentleman, John Manahan, who married her to keep her from being deported and ended up sharing her bizarre world. Unfortunately, her disagreeable personality made her more the witch than the princess—demanding, argumentative, deceitful, imperious, suspicious, disheveled (except when one N.Y.C. hostess gave her a charge account at B. Altman); surrounded by legions of cats, dogs, and mementos of all sorts; and consumed by hatred for the British royal family, who, she claimed, refused to recognize her because they had confiscated her dowry. She died at age 83, in 1984. Lovell is a splendid narrator, balanced, sympathetic, with a rare eye for the ironic (Anna reveals her identity to him whilesitting in the lobby of a movie house where King Kong is playing). The major irony: how a Russian female without beauty, charm, money, talent, or training managed to live for most of the 20th century without ever having to work, existing on the faith, however imperfect, of those who needed to believe in her. A great, absorbing read by a gifted storyteller. (Two eight-page photo inserts—not seen.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312111335
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1995
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 544
  • Sales rank: 704,190
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Eminent Romanov historian James Blair Lovell's major work, Anastasia: The Lost Princess, was first published in 1991. When he died in 1993, he left behind a vast and important archive of Romanov documents and artifacts.

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2004

    Must we always make up things to shroud the truth

    Anastasia Romanov died with her family. Anna Anderson was NOT the grand duchess. DNA proves it. Yes, it is a mystery how she knew all those imperial secrets, but she was not the duchess. And for all of you who think she was the real Anastasia, then why doesn't her DNA match? Oh I know, I know, they are 'hiding the real truth and lying about her DNA.' First, Anna Anderson made up that she was the grand duchess. Then she was proved wrong. Then people got bored with the truth again, so they made up another lie. Get over it. Yeah it was a fun mystery, but now it's mostly solved.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2006

    Biased and One-Sided

    I found this book to be completely biased. Even before DNA the case that Anna Anderson was Anastasia was extremely weak. Andeson met her Aunt Princess Irene of Prussia under an assumed name. Neither recognized the other. Also Grand Duchess Olga did not recognize Anderson. Anderson disappeared on 12 August 1922 and reappeared on 15 August 1922. These were the same days on which Fransiska Schanskowska reappeared. The Author claims that a prostitute identified Anna Anderson as Schanskowska. Where is the proof? Who was the prostitute? No other books refer to a prostitute. The suggestion that Nicholas and Alexandra had a fifth daughter is beneath contempt. This claim destroys Lowell's credibility for good. This claim is an insult to the Russian Royal family. Lowell mocks the claimant's opponents and believes every single word of Anna's. The is no semblance of balance in this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2006

    I believe Anna Anderson

    WOW! What a book. I really think Anna Anderson is Anastasia. Anna even had the same scars as Anastasia and the same foot deformation. even certain family and friends believed it was her. C'mon How could she know all those secrets??? So whatever the DNA says I'm convinced!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2003

    Amazing Story

    The story of the last Tsar and his family has intrigued me for the last 15yrs. The Lost Princess is a wonderfully written book. Unfortunately in this day and age of DNA it is now possible for us to know that Anna Anderson was not Anastasia. Anna Anderson's small intestine was checked for mitochondrial DNA and it came back matching a relative of Franziska Schanzkowska the Polish peasant worker. That leaves us a very interesting question. How did Anna Anderson know so many 'facts' about the imperal family???

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2003

    The grand duchess?

    This book is great! The only bad thing is most of the time he refered to anastasia as a princess, but realy since shes imperiol not royal shes a grand duchess wich is higher then a mere princess.but anyways back to the point of anna anderson. I believe that she survived the masacre of the imperiol romanov family. Anna anderson waas anastasia.In alot of books they say she was a fraud becouse she wouldnt speak russian but she understood it. Would u ever speak it again if those people made u watch ur family suffer?I woldnt! Well she is her imperiol highness grand duchess anastasia nickolevna. romanov

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2000

    Amazing!!!!! intricately detailed!!!

    I love this book and I'm only on page 223 after sitting down to read 3 times!!! I am utmost and fully conviced that Anna Anderson was trully Anastasia. Who else could it posibally be??? After you read this, you'll be convinced too!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2009

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