Court of the Last Tsar: Pomp, Power and Pageantry in the Reign of Nicholas II

Court of the Last Tsar: Pomp, Power and Pageantry in the Reign of Nicholas II

by Greg King
     
 

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Praise for The Court of the Last Tsar

"Any book by Greg King is a book to be kept and savored. He has not only given us a fresh, clear-eyed, and often startling new look at the life of the last Romanovs, but also lived up to the promise of his title. He has shown us how the whole enterprise worked, from Tsar Nicholas to his lowest cook and chambermaid. This

Overview

Praise for The Court of the Last Tsar

"Any book by Greg King is a book to be kept and savored. He has not only given us a fresh, clear-eyed, and often startling new look at the life of the last Romanovs, but also lived up to the promise of his title. He has shown us how the whole enterprise worked, from Tsar Nicholas to his lowest cook and chambermaid. This book is a great work of scholarship—and a wonderful read."
—Peter Kurth, author of Tsar: The Lost World of Nicholas and Alexandra and Anastasia: The Riddle of Anna Anderson

"A mammoth, monumental achievement. No other book captures the essence and the entire scope of life at the court of Nicholas II. It's a thoroughly enjoyable and encyclopedic masterpiece that will be a major source for historians and biographers for years to come."
—Marlene A. Eilers, author of Queen Victoria's Descendants and publisher of Royal Book News

"Greg King has truly written a tour de force. The book is extremely well researched, has over 100 illustrations and is, quite simply, marvelous."
—Coryne Hall, author of Little Mother of Russia, Once a Grand Duchess, and Imperial Dancer

"Greg King is emerging as one of the leading authorities in today's liveliest field of Russian studies, and this is a major contribution to the study of late Imperial Russia."
—Joseph T. Fuhrmann, author of Rasputin and the editor of The Complete Wartime Correspondence of Tsar Nicholas II and the Empress Alexandra

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
* "...so completely approached the ear from a cultural standpoint...great companion to Russian Revolution and Nicholas and Alexandra collections in all libraries." (Library Journal, February 15, 2006)

"...for those who are intrigued by the Russian high court, there is no better escort." (Publishers Weekly, November 28, 2005)

"…fascinating, exotic, indispensable." ( The Sunday Telegraph, December 2006)

Publishers Weekly
This high-end coffee-table book offers a comprehensive look at the lifestyles of the late-czarist rich and famous. King (The Fate of the Romanovs) includes chapters on major czarist institutions like the Russian Orthodox Church, but this is not his main interest; instead, he focuses on imperial ceremonies, palaces and the fashions of Nicholas's court, as well as sexual scandals involving members of the Romanov family. King has a vast knowledge of the subject, and those who are fascinated by the life of the royals and aristocratic intrigue will find much to delight in; for instance, his description of czarist royal jewelry and the magnificence of Russian balls, even as the regime was soon to crumble, adds to our understanding of how myopic the regime was. The photographs, both color and b&w, add to the book's appeal. King has made valuable use of memoirs from the era, but sometimes he uses them uncritically. But for those who are intrigued by the Russian high court, there is no better escort. (Mar.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Since the fall of the USSR, many writers have covered the Russian Revolution and the Romanovs. None, however, has so completely approached the era from a cultural standpoint as King (The Fate of the Romanovs). He delves deep to display and study the people, places, and pageantry of the Russian court and to illuminate this "insular universe" whose very nature in turn explains many of the issues that brought about the Russian Revolution. In pointing out that after the revolution, Olga, sister of Nicholas II (who ruled from 1894 to 1917), bemoaned the "decay that hung over the dynasty as it entered the twentieth century," King does not connect the dots to the personalities involved in Russia's revolutionary activity, but he need not. His revelations of the pleasures and possessions of the imperial court draw a clear picture of the rot from within. This volume, filled with many color and black-and-white illustrations (not seen), fills the gaps created by purely political and historical treatments of the era. Orlando Figes's Natasha's Dance: A Cultural History of Russia comes the closest to the domain of King's book, which is much more thorough and strays less into the distant past. A great companion to Russian Revolution and Nicholas and Alexandra collections in all libraries.-Harry Willems, Southeast Kansas Lib. Syst., Iola Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780471727637
Publisher:
Turner Publishing Company
Publication date:
03/24/2006
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
600
Product dimensions:
7.80(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.60(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Greg King's The Court of the Last Tsar is a major contribution to the study of late Imperial Russia. The author's use of archives, memoirs, published sources and secondary studies is thorough and imaginative. His discussion of palaces and places, people and court life is impressive. Tragedy hovers in the background of King's narrative, of course, for we know the fate which awaits the characters in this drama. The author engages his readers on many levels and in various ways; but one will not find a trace of sentimentality or idealization in these pages. Greg King is emerging as one of the leading authorities in the liveliest field of Russian studies at the present time."
—Joseph T. Fuhrmann, author of Rasputin, A Life (1990) and the editor of The Complete Wartime Correspondence of Tsar Nicholas II and the Empress Alexandra (1999)

"The lives of Nicholas & Alexandra have been well documented over the years and it seems impossible to believe that there is anything about them we don't already know, but The Court of the Last Tsar does the impossible. It shows us not only Nicholas & Alexandra, but also the people and the surroundings which made up the daily lives of the last Tsar and Tsarina from 1894 to the eve of World War I - and all this in one book. By focusing on personages, palaces, possessions, pageantry and pleasures he has given us a wealth of information. Everything from their servants to the gold-braided court personnel, their magnificent palaces and yachts to humble picnics on the Finnish coast, from the pageantry of coronations and funerals to the informal life at their Crimean palace of Livadia, is covered in this wonderful book - not forgetting the jewels, the court gowns and the Faberge eggs. Greg King has truly written a tour de force.The book is extremely well researched (even including floor plans of the palaces and a list of the members of Nicholas' court) and has over 100 illustrations. It is, quite simply, marvellous."
—Coryne Hall, author of Little Mother of Russia, Once a Grand Duchess, and Imperial Dancer

"Greg King's The Court of the Last Tsar is a mammoth, monumental achievement. There is no other book that captures the essence, nay, the entire scope, of life at the court of Nicholas II. An inveterate who's who - from relatives and courtiers to residences and jewels - of a Byzantine court life, now lost in the midst of time. King make uses of historical sources, far and wide, and delivers a thoroughly enjoyable, and encyclopaedic masterpiece. This book will be a major source for historians and biographers for years to come."
—Marlene A Eilers, author of Queen Victoria's Descendants and publisher of Royal Book News

"Any book by Greg King is a book to be kept and savored. In The Court of the Last Tsar he has not only given us a fresh, clear-eyed and often startling new look at the life of the last Romanovs, but has also lived up to the promise of his title. He has shown us how the whole enterprise worked, from the highest figure -- Tsar Nicholas II -- to the lowest cook and chambermaid in the imperial domain. King has filled in all the gaps that the rest of us could only guess about. This book is a great work of scholarship -- not only that, a wonderful read."
—Peter Kurth, author of Tsar: The Lost World of Nicholas and Alexandra

Meet the Author

GREG KING is the coauthor of The Fate of the Romanovs (Wiley). His previous works include The Last Empress: The Life and Times of Alexandra Feodorovna, Tsarina of Russia and The Man Who Killed Rasputin: Prince Felix Youssoupov and the Murder That Helped Bring Down the Russian Empire. He has worked as an on-screen commentator with the Learning Channel, the History Channel, the Discovery Channel, and the Arts and Entertainment Channel.

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