The Last Days of the Romanovs: Tragedy at Ekaterinburg [NOOK Book]

Overview


Rappaport, an expert in the field of Russian history, brings you the riveting day-by-day account of the last fourteen days of the Russian Imperial family, in this first of two books about the Romanovs. Her second book The Romanov Sisters, offering a never-before-seen glimpse at the lives of the Tsar?s beautiful daughters and a celebration of their unique stories, will be published in 2014.

The brutal murder of the Russian Imperial family on the night of July 16?17, 1918 has ...

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The Last Days of the Romanovs: Tragedy at Ekaterinburg

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Overview


Rappaport, an expert in the field of Russian history, brings you the riveting day-by-day account of the last fourteen days of the Russian Imperial family, in this first of two books about the Romanovs. Her second book The Romanov Sisters, offering a never-before-seen glimpse at the lives of the Tsar’s beautiful daughters and a celebration of their unique stories, will be published in 2014.

The brutal murder of the Russian Imperial family on the night of July 16–17, 1918 has long been a defining moment in world history. The Last Days of the Romanovs reveals in exceptional detail how the conspiracy to kill them unfolded.

In the vivid style of a TV documentary, Helen Rappaport reveals both the atmosphere inside the family’s claustrophobic prison and the political maneuverings of those who wished to save—or destroy—them. With the watching world and European monarchies proving incapable of saving the Romanovs, the narrative brings this tragic story to life in a compellingly new and dramatic way, culminating in a bloody night of horror in a cramped basement room.


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Editorial Reviews

EBOOK COMMENTARY

Praise for The Last Days of the Romanovs

“The brutal 1918 massacre of the Romanov family may be familiar, but in Russian scholar Rappaport's hands, the tale becomes as shocking and immediate as a thriller. Drawing on new archives and forensics, she crafts a portrait of the final weeks of Russia's last imperial family, cramped in the House of Special Purpose in Ekaterinburg. Though Tsar Nicholas's rule was harsh, the love and religious devotion he and his family shared makes them sympathetic. The Romanovs are now saints in Russian Orthodoxy, symbols of faith and hope. This gripping read helps you understand why.”—People magazine (3 ½ stars)

“Synthesizing a variety of sources, Rappaport details the Romanovs’ last two weeks. . . . How the last czar and his family died was one of Russia’s best-kept secrets for decades, and Rappaport spares none of the gory details of the panicked bloodbath . . . and botched burial of the corpses . . . this is an absorbing, lucid and authoritative work.” —Publishers Weekly

“British historian Rappaport combines detailed scholarship with an engaging narrative style. . . . The book's most gripping sections describe the days and hours leading up to and including the family's execution. Rappaport spares few details . . . Solid political and social history, related with the vigor of a true-crime thriller.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Rappaport fills out her story with vivid detail and superb characterization, building the tension and drama to its brutal climax, sparing no stomach-turning details. She draws us in so well, that we very nearly smell the dusty drapes and taste the sweat hanging thick in the air of that tragic Siberian summer. We can’t stop reading, wondering what will happen next, even though we know full well what happens next. Meticulously researched and intimately drawn, this is a must read for anyone interested in the sad fate of the Romanovs, or for anyone interested in plumbing the depths of human depravity, witnessing the nobility of calm resignation, or reliving the tragedy that foretold the executions of hundreds of thousands of innocents in the decades to come.”—Russian Life  

“The Romanovs are to Russian history what the Civil War is to American history -- an inexhaustible source of interest. . . .  Rappaport's impressive research . . . sheds new and sometimes controversial light on the Imperial victims and what transpired. But it is her finely honed literary skills . . . that make this book so compelling. . . . Dramatic, sorrowful and heart-poundingly intense, this excellent book is certain to win a new audience for the endlessly fascinating panorama of Russian history.” —Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

The Last Days of the Romanovs was, quite simply, stunning. It dealt with a subject that has long fascinated me, and I can say without reservation that it is the most detailed, authentic and gripping account of the bloody end of the Romanovs that I have ever read. I was staggered at how Helen Rappaport reconstructed and evoked such searingly vivid images; they are still with me now. Chilling and poignant, this is how history books should be written.” —Alison Weir, author of Henry VIII: The King and His Court

The Last Days of the Romanovs is perhaps the most accurate depiction of the demise of Nicholas and Alexandra that I've read.  Beautifully researched and written, Helen Rappaport’s newest book is notable not only for its balanced view of Russia’s last imperial family, but its realistic portrayal of a close-knit family in distress.” —Robert Alexander, bestselling author of The Romanov Bride

“That perfect but rare blend of history, sense of place, human tragedy, drama and atmosphere. . . . [The Last Days of the Romanovs] kept me up for 2 nights. . . . This book is going to be a bestseller . . . it will be the best read you will have had for ages.” —Susan Hill, author of The Various Haunts of Men and The Pure in Heart

“A rare combination of talents is Helen Rappaport; as an historian she exhibits a deep and sensitive insight into the past; and as a writer of English, her style is one of clarity and freshness.” —Colin Dexter, author of the Inspector Morse series

“Helen Rappaport has brought her subjects back to life with a sombre intensity. . . . The book is essentially a compassionate account of a close-knit, deeply devout and surprisingly ordinary family caught up in quite extraordinary circumstances. The atmosphere of dark menace that permeated the House of Special Purpose is very well captured as their Bolshevik captors gradually closed down their links with the outside world; sealing and whitewashing the windows and erecting a second perimeter fence. . . . I found this book a deeply touching anniversary tribute.” —The Independent (UK)

“A highly accessible account . . . rather than romanticizing the family members, the author explores their numerous character defects. Set against the rich political backdrop of the bloody birth of the revolution, the result is extraordinary and powerful.” —Oxford  Times (UK)

The Last Days of the Romanovs is well researched and has some excellent photographs . . . Rappaport successfully evokes the claustrophobic atmosphere within the house. . . . Nor does she spare the gruesome details of the massacre.” —Daily Telegraph (UK)

“An unromanticised telling of the family’s incarceration in the Ipatiev house and the circus that went on around them. [The Last Days of the Romanovs] brilliantly shows how history is never simple but always enthralling when written with this style.” —Bookseller (UK)

“An effective and engaging synthesis . . . with skill and imagination [Rappaport] juxtaposes the escalating chaos outside with the day-to-day tedium of the prisoners. . . . The result is an intriguing personal angle on what had seemed an exhausted subject.”—Sunday Times (UK)

“[Helen Rappaport] skilfully weaves together the grimly repetitive routine of the doomed family with the high drama engulfing the killers as they add the finishing touches to their terrible plan. Though some of the material is familiar, Rappaport's countdown format makes The Last Days of the Romanovs freshly compelling.” —New Statesman (UK)

“Helen Rappaport meticulously reconstructs the final days of the Romanovs in the Ipatiev house in Ekaterinburg and the unfolding political situation that sealed their fate. . . . Rappoport writes with verve, imagination and great empathy for her characters.”—The St. Petersburg Times

Publishers Weekly

Synthesizing a variety of sources, British historian Rappaport (Joseph Stalin) details the Romanovs' last two weeks, imprisoned in a cramped private house in Ekaterinburg, a violently anti-czarist industrial city in the Ural Mountains where Nicholas II; his wife, Alexandra; and their five children were executed on July 17, 1918. The czar's rescue was a low priority for the Allies, and several escape plots by Russian monarchists came to naught. A lax guard was replaced by a rigorous new regime on July 4, headed by Yakov Yurovsky, whose family's impoverished Siberian exile had fueled his burning hatred for the imperial family, and his ruthless assistant and surrogate son, Grigory Nikulin. How the last czar and his family died was one of Russia's best-kept secrets for decades, and Rappaport spares none of the gory details of the panicked bloodbath (it took an entire clip of bullets to finish off the czarevitch because an undergarment sewn with jewels protected the boy's torso) and botched burial of the corpses. Although parts of the Romanov saga are familiar and Rappaport's sympathy for the czar often seems naïve, this is an absorbing, lucid and authoritative work. 16 pages of photos. (Feb. 3)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Using a wide range of primary sources in English and Russian, Rappaport (Queen Victoria: A Biographical Companion), a British author who specializes in Russian studies, concentrates on the final weeks of the Romanov family's house arrest before their execution in Ekaterinburg in July 1918. Weaving in political and historical context, the author deftly conveys the tense and claustrophobic atmosphere in the "House of Special Purpose," as the family's place of detention was euphemistically called. The most engaging sections of the narrative are those that delve into the personalities of the family, showing them as flawed but sympathetic. The author details how their utter devotion to one another, their country, and their religion sustained them in their final days and contrasts their state of resigned calm with their jailers' merciless plans to "liquidate" the family. An epilog touches on the canonization of the family as saints in Russian Orthodoxy and their enduring mystique. Poignant but never maudlin, this book is an absorbing read, though the more serious reader might wish for more detailed notes on sources. Recommended for academic and large public libraries. (Illustrations not seen.)
—Megan Hahn Fraser

Kirkus Reviews
You-are-there account of the grim 1918 countdown toward the deaths of Tsar Nicholas II and his family. British historian Rappaport (No Place for Ladies: The Untold Story of Women in the Crimean War, 2007, etc.) combines detailed scholarship with an engaging narrative style. She lays the groundwork by summarizing Nicholas' tumultuous reign and the list of grievances that Russia's new communist regime and many citizens had against him. Short mini-biographies of the royal couple, their four daughters and one son make the point that isolation from their subjects caused resentment to build and made the leaders of the Bolshevik government intent on swift, brutal justice. Rappaport doesn't break much new ground in her descriptions of the cramped conditions and onerous restrictions that defined the Romanovs' lives under heavy guard from April 30 to July 17, 1918, in the Siberian city of Ekaterinburg. She does, however, strongly convey how far they had fallen and how difficult living in such close quarters was, especially for the Tsaritsa Alexandra and her son, Tsarevich Alexey, who were both quite ill. Rappaport's research uncovered some previously unknown efforts by British and German monarchs to rescue the Romanovs and provide them with safe haven. These efforts were stymied by "flabbiness of will," in addition to internal and external political obstacles, she concludes. The book's most gripping sections describe the days and hours leading up to and including the family's execution. Rappaport spares few details; indeed, some unduly lengthy recitals of meals and similar trivialities could have been omitted. There's no flab, however, in her grisly evocation of the scene after theexecution: "The corpses, many of them with hideous, gaping head wounds and broken and dislocated limbs, were now horribly mangled and ugly, their hair matted with caked blood. It was almost impossible to associate these wretched twisted bodies with the five charming, vibrant children of the official publicity."Solid political and social history, related with the vigor of a true-crime thriller. Agent: Charlie Viney/Mulcahy & Viney
From the Publisher
Praise for The Last Days of the Romanovs

“The brutal 1918 massacre of the Romanov family may be familiar, but in Russian scholar Rappaport's hands, the tale becomes as shocking and immediate as a thriller. Drawing on new archives and forensics, she crafts a portrait of the final weeks of Russia's last imperial family, cramped in the House of Special Purpose in Ekaterinburg. Though Tsar Nicholas's rule was harsh, the love and religious devotion he and his family shared makes them sympathetic. The Romanovs are now saints in Russian Orthodoxy, symbols of faith and hope. This gripping read helps you understand why.”—People magazine (3 ½ stars)

“Synthesizing a variety of sources, Rappaport details the Romanovs’ last two weeks. . . . How the last czar and his family died was one of Russia’s best-kept secrets for decades, and Rappaport spares none of the gory details of the panicked bloodbath . . . and botched burial of the corpses . . . this is an absorbing, lucid and authoritative work.” —Publishers Weekly

“British historian Rappaport combines detailed scholarship with an engaging narrative style. . . . The book's most gripping sections describe the days and hours leading up to and including the family's execution. Rappaport spares few details . . . Solid political and social history, related with the vigor of a true-crime thriller.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Rappaport fills out her story with vivid detail and superb characterization, building the tension and drama to its brutal climax, sparing no stomach-turning details. She draws us in so well, that we very nearly smell the dusty drapes and taste the sweat hanging thick in the air of that tragic Siberian summer. We can’t stop reading, wondering what will happen next, even though we know full well what happens next. Meticulously researched and intimately drawn, this is a must read for anyone interested in the sad fate of the Romanovs, or for anyone interested in plumbing the depths of human depravity, witnessing the nobility of calm resignation, or reliving the tragedy that foretold the executions of hundreds of thousands of innocents in the decades to come.”—Russian Life  

The Last Days of the Romanovs was, quite simply, stunning. It dealt with a subject that has long fascinated me, and I can say without reservation that it is the most detailed, authentic and gripping account of the bloody end of the Romanovs that I have ever read. I was staggered at how Helen Rappaport reconstructed and evoked such searingly vivid images; they are still with me now. Chilling and poignant, this is how history books should be written.” —Alison Weir, author of Henry VIII: The King and His Court

The Last Days of the Romanovs is perhaps the most accurate depiction of the demise of Nicholas and Alexandra that I've read.  Beautifully researched and written, Helen Rappaport’s newest book is notable not only for its balanced view of Russia’s last imperial family, but its realistic portrayal of a close-knit family in distress.” —Robert Alexander, bestselling author of The Romanov Bride

“That perfect but rare blend of history, sense of place, human tragedy, drama and atmosphere. . . . [The Last Days of the Romanovs] kept me up for 2 nights. . . . This book is going to be a bestseller . . . it will be the best read you will have had for ages.” —Susan Hill, author of The Various Haunts of Men and The Pure in Heart

“Helen Rappaport has brought her subjects back to life with a sombre intensity. . . . The book is essentially a compassionate account of a close-knit, deeply devout and surprisingly ordinary family caught up in quite extraordinary circumstances. The atmosphere of dark menace that permeated the House of Special Purpose is very well captured as their Bolshevik captors gradually closed down their links with the outside world; sealing and whitewashing the windows and erecting a second perimeter fence. . . . I found this book a deeply touching anniversary tribute.” —The Independent (UK)

“A highly accessible account . . . rather than romanticizing the family members, the author explores their numerous character defects. Set against the rich political backdrop of the bloody birth of the revolution, the result is extraordinary and powerful.” —Oxford  Times (UK)

The Last Days of the Romanovs is well researched and has some excellent photographs . . . Rappaport successfully evokes the claustrophobic atmosphere within the house. . . . Nor does she spare the gruesome details of the massacre.” —Daily Telegraph (UK)

“An unromanticised telling of the family’s incarceration in the Ipatiev house and the circus that went on around them. [The Last Days of the Romanovs] brilliantly shows how history is never simple but always enthralling when written with this style.” —Bookseller (UK)

“An effective and engaging synthesis . . . with skill and imagination [Rappaport] juxtaposes the escalating chaos outside with the day-to-day tedium of the prisoners. . . . The result is an intriguing personal angle on what had seemed an exhausted subject.”—Sunday Times (UK)

“[Helen Rappaport] skilfully weaves together the grimly repetitive routine of the doomed family with the high drama engulfing the killers as they add the finishing touches to their terrible plan. Though some of the material is familiar, Rappaport's countdown format makes The Last Days of the Romanovs freshly compelling.” —New Statesman (UK)

“As a short work of history it is informative and concise, telling you everything you need to know to understand what went on. As a fresh look at a crucial point in Russian and world history it presents new evidence and some fascinating first-hand accounts. As a family drama - parents alongside their children unaware of their deadly fate - it is claustrophobic and gripping. I cannot recall the last time I enjoyed a history book as much as this.”—Scott Pack, Me and My Big Mouth blog author (UK)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429991285
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 2/3/2009
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 15,611
  • File size: 527 KB

Meet the Author


Helen Rappaport studied Russian at Leeds University and is a specialist in Russian and nineteenth-century women’s history. Her previous book No Place for Ladies: The Untold Story of Women in the Crimean War (Aurum Press) was published to acclaim in the UK in 2007. She lives in Oxford.


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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Introduction: The Red Urals 1

1 Behind the Palisade 11

2 'The Dark Gentleman' 28

3 The Man with a Cigarette 44

4 The Woman in a Wheelchair 58

5 Girls in White Dresses 73

6 The Boy in the Sailor Suit 86

7 The Good Doctor 98

8 'Our Poor Russia' 106

9 'Everything Is the Same' 118

10 'What Is To Be Done with Nicholas?' 128

11 'Absolutely No News from Outside' 144

12 'Something Has Happened to Them in There' 159

13 'Ordinary People Like Us' 170

14 The House of Special Purpose 175

15 'The Will of the Revolution' 184

16 'The World Will Never Know What We Did to Them' 203

Epilogue: The Scent of Lilies 208

Note on Sources 224

Bibliography 228

Index 243

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 50 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 50 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Russia's Captive Royals

    A romance, a family saga, a murder mystery, and a political thriller - all of these descriptions aptly fit the story of the last Russian Tsar Nicolas Romanov and his family. Many novelists and historians have written about the family, the individual members, the time period, and even the tragic love story between Nicholas and Alexandra. Like many historical tales, the lives and deaths of the Romanovs are shrouded in myth, mystery and legend.

    Helen Rappaport's book tells the story of Russia's royal family at Ipatiev House in July 1918 the last residence they occupied & where they spent their final hours. It is different in tone from other books because of the specifics it addresses. Sheltered and protected all of their lives, removed from the everyday hardships of ordinary Russians the family is caught in a frightening situation without the normal trappings of their wealth and privilege.

    Taken from their palatial homes & with hopes of being exiled the family instead are captives in five gloomy rooms. Alexy, the heir to the throne has a fatal, painful disease & his four sisters are spending their teen years (or early 20's) not in happy youthful exuberance but in fear & with no chance to explore relationships with the opposite sex (one exception is noted). Born a royal, the Tsarina is ill, (perhaps a bit of a hypochondriac) devastated, difficult and unprepared for the events. The Tsar, always a simple and kind man who prefers exercise to affairs of state is beginning to realize that his family will not be rescued.

    Eyewitness accounts & a new look at the hierarchy for implementing the death penalty for the Tsar & for the entire family is exposed by Rappaport. She delineates why the family was included in the death sentence. Anyone who has read or seen anything about the Romanov family knows that the basement killings in July 1918 were brutal, but nothing compares to the vivid writing in this book. Nothing.

    But, as horrible as the deaths may have been, it is the daily life of the Romanov's during their time in Ekaterinburg that brings heartbreak to the reader. All the windows in their rooms were sealed so there was no light from windows - nor any chance of a cool breeze. Royal dignity was displayed when even small joys were taken such as the Tsar's daily newspaper.
    Rappaport's book does an excellent job of tracing the culpability of their deaths something that has long been in question.

    The research efforts that went into writing this book are very apparent. The way the research is used,however, is where the author distinguishes herself as a writer. Rappaport's story of the Romanovs last days is told as a as a reporter but with an historian's eye and heart. Facts are meshed with personalities to provide a full complement of the actual events at Ekaterinburg. This story has been told before in bits & pieces but never the ending and never so fully and perhaps never so well.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 22, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Helen Rappaport's depiction of the Romanov's last days is a page turner!

    Although there have been many books on the topic of the last Tsar of Russia, very few have come close to depicting the details that Helen Rappaport does in her book, The Last Days of the Romanovs: Tragedy at Ekaterinburg. Within the pages of her page-turning she recounts what the life of the deposed ruler was like under house arrest. However it is Rappaport's thesis that once the deposed ruler and his family were sent to the Ekaterinburg, their fate had been sealed into destiny. In the first chapter of her book, Rappaport recounts from the perspective of the Alexandra Romanov, what it meant to be moving into Asia-simply that they would never return back to the European Russia that they had known so well. This meant that they were terminally exiled. Rappaport makes this clear with her statement on page 2 in reference to the giant obelisk monument that is situated outside the city of Ekaterinburg: "Many would kiss the obelisk in a final farewell; others scratched their names on the plasterwork. Most would never pass this way again." Rappaport makes it clear that the former Tsar and his wife knew that their future did not await them in European Russia, and "they would never pass that way again."
    The Style of this book is written in a form of prose similar to the novel. Each chapter heading relates to a picture, a snapshot rather, to paint a more vivid picture of what the chapter was about. Each of the snapshots that are mentioned in the chapter headings are conveniently placed within the book. It is very easy to become enthralled in this book, as each page makes the last days of the Romanovs more relative to the audience. Although it is her intent to focus the majority of her attention on the last fourteen days that the Romanov family lived, Rappaport spends a great deal of time in the first chapter covering the events leading up to their deposition and transfer by rail to Ekaterinburg. This aids Rappaport's ability to convey the story to a much larger audience than just the educated elite.
    Rappaport backs up her argument in many different modes. It is apparent that she is knowledgeable of Russian History, as well as the city of Ekaterinburg, Russia. Through pictures, facts, and personal research within the city of Ekaterinburg, Rappaport makes it clear to her audience that she is very well informed. Her point of view is something that is unheard of in regards to the depiction of the death of the last Tsar; It is apparent that Rappaport is a monarchist and in favor of the Tsarist rule. In Ekaterinburg today, as the city, since the fall of Communism, has been dedicated to the Romanov family. This is a huge change in directions from where it was when the Romanov family was killed. Therefore, it may be a clear fact that the contemporary culture of Ekaterinburg has influenced Rappaport's interpretation of the historical events that occurred there.
    Within the pages of this page turner Rappaport shares with her readers the vivid and broken lives of the former Tsar and his family. She carries this through to their deaths on the morning of Thursday, 18 July 1918. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is remotely interested in the history of the 20th century. Rappaport's recounting is very much a part of what has gone into making the last century what it became.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 22, 2011

    Washes away the romanticism of the event

    Informative. Details all the players. Makes the Imperial Family real people rather than an idealized monarchy.
    Only disappointment is the illustrations/pictures did nit download with the book.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2010

    Last days of the Czar

    I found this book informative and full of historical details, but dry and slow reading. It is not light reading, but is good for the history buff who is interested in the subject.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2009

    Very informative!

    I have read a great deal of information on the Romanov Family, and I found this book to be filled with information that I had not heard before. I enjoyed the easy way that the informaion was presented. It is a must read for any Russian History Enthusiast.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2012

    Great read

    My only disappointment is that the illustrations are not included!!!!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Exceptional

    I enjoyed reading this book. I learned a lot with this book, Miss Helen Rappaport used some easy English words that made reading not difficult and revealing to us, what the Romanovs family had to endure.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2011

    A well-written, suspenseful, informative account of the Romanov murders

    The Last Days of the Romanovs by Helen Rappaport is a very suspenseful yet informative novel discussing the imprisonment and murders of the family of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, the last ruler of the Romanov dynasty. The novel begins with the transfer of the Romanov family from their imprisonment in Tobolsk (in Siberia) to Ekaterinburg, which is located along the Ural mountain range, in April of 1917. This imprisonment took place after Tsar Nicholas II had abdicated and the Bolshevik Revolution had taken over Russia. Thus, as a hated political criminal in the eyes of the Bolsheviks, Nicholas was doomed to harsh captivity. The novel continues to narrate the life of the Romanov family as they lived for nearly three months in a heavily-fortified house in Ekaterinburg, where strict security measures and guards forced the family and a few loyal servants to remain indoors for most of each day in a very confined space. Such accounts were intermixed with an elaborate explanation of the lives and thoughts of major figures involved with the Romanovs and of the political turmoil which enveloped Russia at the time. The end of the novel effectively describes the plotting, carrying out, and the aftermath of the gruesome murders of Tsar Nicholas II and his family, therefore eliminating the mystery regarding these horrifying events and simultaneously bringing closure to the story of the Romanov captivity. The Last Days of the Romanovs essentially consists of two elaborate plots: that of the Romanovs while they were imprisoned and that of the new Bolshevik government in dealing with the Romanovs. The first story line discusses specifically the mundane lives of the Romanovs during their imprisonment at Ekaterinburg. In this sense, the major themes of the novel are the almost torturous simplicity in which the Romanovs were forced to live at Ekaterinburg, but also the calm acceptance with which the Romanovs regarded their position. In contrast, however, this same plot also described the difficult and disease-stricken lives which the Romanovs led prior to and during their imprisonment. The second plot of the story explained the actions of the Bolsheviks regarding their prisoners ¿ the Romanovs. By rationalizing the thought processes and reasoning involved regarding the Romanovs, the author justifies while the murders occurred, although this same rationalization was still labeled as an atrocity. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel because it is an extraordinary combination of factual and historical information with an exciting plot line. By using foreshadowing throughout the novel, the author hints about the inevitable murders, creating a feeling of suspense throughout the novel. Although the reader greatly hopes the Romanovs will escape, he/she such an outcome is known to be impossible, creating a very interesting reading experience. As it is a very effective and well-written account of the Romanov murders, I strongly recommend The Last Days of the Romanovs to anyone who is even slightly interested in the demise of the Romanov dynasty and the transfer of Russian government from tsarism to communism.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 17, 2011

    VERY,VERY, INTERESTING!

    This book is one of the best Romanov's book I have read. The details are amazing. If you want to kinda know what happened their last days...read this book..Make sure you have a strong stomach when you get to the end:)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 3, 2010

    for those whose knowledge of russian history consist of viewing of the movie "nicholas and alexandra", this is a must read. concise, detailed ( the murder scene is particularily so). well balance in presenting the romanov.

    tragic throughout. one can't believe how easily it was to literally wipe out a dynasty that is over 300 years in such short order. one question constantly rise its head: "were there no one give a thought of the importance of the moment?" i wanted to say badly, "shame on the bolsheviks!!" i guess we can say that to so many so call revolutionaried, i.e. mao's cultural revolution brings to mind. at the end of the book, i can't help but to feel certain sadness not just on the lack of preparation to end a dynasty but the bumbling idiots that were the participants. it is too bad that history has let them "off" so easily. good read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 9, 2010

    Well done Ms. Rappaport. Compelling read.

    Helen Rappaport has done exceptional work on this book. Her research is masterful. This is one of the best accounts of The Romanovs that I have read.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2009

    I highly recommend this book

    Obviously Helen Rapport is passionate about the subject and did an incredible amount of research. She did a thorough job of explaining the situation in Russia in 1918, what led up it and what happened afterward. The Romanov family was brought to life and the reader got to know them as people not just names in a history book. Not really suited to the role of Tsar, Nicholas just wanted to lead a quiet life with his family. Alexandra was a domineering woman plagued by ill health. The children? They were just that, children. Their only crime was being born as Romanovs. Their lives were cut short before they really started. The chapter that dealt with the family's murder was very hard to read. The assassins subjected the family to so much pain and horror. The family pets were even killed - except for Alexey's beloved spaniel who gratefully was able to live out his live in England. The good, the bad and the ugly - I loved this book and would recommend it highly.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 2, 2009

    EXCELLENT UPDATE ON ALL QUESTIONS ON THE ROMANOV'S FATE. BEST READ THIS YEAR.

    If you thought all there was to say on the Romanov's fate has already been said- READ THIS BOOK. Helen Rappaport's book The Last Days of the Romanov's" is A MUST READ FOR ALL HISTORY BUFFS and REQUIRED READING for anyone attempting to get answers on what REALLY happened to the last Imperial Family of Russia. I plan on writing to the author praising her book- since she provides an address to contact her in the last chapter. All literary kudos to Helen Rappaport!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2014

    Amazing read

    At first was hard to understand but pushed through and eventually started to understand :) what a wonderful book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2014

    Great read!

    Great read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2013

    excellent

    Fast moving book. It was a great history lesson while giving us a chance to know each member of the family.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2013

    A must read

    Excellent book- very well written and engaging.

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  • Posted July 22, 2011

    Very well done.

    Helen took time to bring the whole scenario to life of what happened to the Romanovs.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Rappaport brings history alive

    The story of the murders of Tsar Nicholas and his family is well-known. Most people are familiar with the violent end of imperialism brought on by the Russian Revolution. In Helen Rappaports' examination of the last 14 days of the Romanovs' lives, the reader is thrust into the moment. Although an autocrat, Tsar Nicholas is also shown as a husband and father to three lovely daughters and a critically ill son. As Rappaport takes us on a detailed journey through the days leading up to their horrific murders, we are shocked and compelled even though we know what the outcome will be. The author makes us feel as if we are in the room with the Romanovs during the moments when they realize what is about to happen to them. Her description of the subsequent cover-up is gruesome and disturbing. This true story reads like fiction and I heartily recommend it to all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2010

    History Buffs

    I picked up this book for train reading, mostly because I'm a history buff and knew little about the last tzarist family of Russia. I certainly know a lot more now. Rappaport's book is very well researched, but reads a little less like a thriller as the quote on the cover would have you believe. She certainly looks at all sides of the story and if you are looking for a well-written book on this family and Russian history of this era, certainly pick this book up.

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