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Publisher's Summary

The Romanovs were the most successful dynasty of modern times, ruling a sixth of the world's surface. How did one family turn a war-ruined principality into the world's greatest empire? And how did they lose it all?
This is the intimate story of 20 tsars and tsarinas, some touched by genius, some by madness, but all inspired by holy autocracy and imperial ambition. Montefiore's gripping chronicle reveals their secret world of unlimited power and ruthless empire building, overshadowed by palace conspiracy, family rivalries, sexual decadence and wild extravagance and peopled by a cast of adventurers, courtesans, revolutionaries and poets, from Ivan the Terrible to Tolstoy, from Queen Victoria to Lenin.
To rule Russia was both imperial-sacred mission and poisoned chalice. Six tsars were murdered, and all the Romanovs lived under constant threat to their lives. Peter the Great tortured his own son to death while making Russia an empire and dominated his court with a dining club notable for compulsory drunkenness, naked dwarfs and fancy dress. Catherine the Great overthrew her own husband - who was murdered soon afterwards - loved her young male favourites, conquered Ukraine and fascinated Europe. Paul was strangled by courtiers backed by his own son, Alexander I, who faced Napoleon's invasion and the burning of Moscow, then went on to take Paris. Alexander II liberated the serfs, survived five assassination attempts, and wrote perhaps the most explicit love letters ever written by a ruler.
The Romanovs: 1613-1918 climaxes with a fresh, unforgettable portrayal of Nicholas and Alexandra, the rise and murder of Rasputin, war and revolution - and the harrowing massacre of the entire family. Written with dazzling literary flair, drawing on new archival research, The Romanovs: 1613-1918 is at once an enthralling story of triumph and tragedy, love and death, a universal study of power and an essential portrait of the empire that still defines Russia today.
©2016 Simon Sebag Montefiore (P)2016 Orion Publishing Group
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Customer Reviews

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By Mikael on 12-06-17

Great book.

Very fascinating story and good performance overall. Could have been a little less about the last tsars.

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By Joseph on 08-20-17

informative history of the Tsars

good narration. kept me interested till the end. highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Russian history

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Customer Reviews

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By MR A M INNES on 05-04-16

Classic history book.

Loved it. Very enlightening history of last Royal family. So much murder and treachery both home and abroad. And the legacy of their deaths that makes current political situation in Russia what it is now, tyrannical.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful


By H L Condliffe on 06-03-16

Fantastic content and narration

Fantastic if you have even the slightest interest in Russian history. Yes, the narrator speaks quickly but it's well over 24 hours long, there's so much content he has to! So much interesting detail, never boring, and I've learned so much. I love this audio book and would thoroughly recommend.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Shane on 06-12-16

Thorough History

This book was a really fantastic look at a topic not known by most of the historically literate west. The author does a fantastic job at explaining this usually new material in a way that, while detailed, is easy to follow. Although there were times when the amount of names got confusing, the narrative was so centered around the important characters, that confusion was kept to a minimum.

This book did not propose any groundbreaking insights or controversial theories, but rather it told a long, detailed story well. It is one of the best books I have listened to on Audible to date.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful


By Gregory on 09-17-16

Really enjoyed it

I wasnt sure I would like the narrative style of this series, but I ended up quite enjoying it. The story itself is amazing, it has everthing. I went on a journey, culminating in tears at the end, so involved I had become without even realising.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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