Sebag Montefiore, S: Romanovs
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 twenty 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 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 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.
Read by Simon Russell Beale
MP3 ON CD - THIS MP3-CD CANNOT BE PLAYED ON ALL DISC PLAYERS. PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ACCESS TO AN MP3 COMPATIBLE DEVICE.
Simon Sebag Montefiore is the internationally bestselling author of a number of prize-winning books that have been published in forty-eight languages. CATHERINE THE GREAT & POTEMKIN was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize; STALIN: THE COURT OF THE RED TSAR won the BBA History Book of the Year Prize; YOUNG STALIN won the Costa Biography Award, the
LA Times Book Prize for Biography and the Grand Prix de la Biographie Politique; JERUSALEM: THE BIOGRAPHY won the JBC Book of the Year Prize and the Wenjin Book Prize in China; THE ROMANOVS: 1613-1918 won the Lupicaia del Terriccio Book Prize. He is the author of the Moscow Trilogy of novels: SASHENKA, RED SKY AT NOON and ONE NIGHT IN WINTER, which won the Political Fiction Book of the Year Award. He is also the author of WRITTEN IN HISTORY: LETTERS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD and the forthcoming VOICES OF HISTORY: SPEECHES THAT CHANGED THE WORLD.