Wednesday, 1 January 2014

'Four Sisters' by Helen Rappaport

Release date: 27th March 2014
Published by: Macmillan
ISBN No: 978 0230768178

On 17 July 1918, four young women walked down twenty-three steps into the cellar of a house in Ekaterinburg. The eldest was twenty-two, the youngest only seventeen. Together with their parents and their thirteen-year-old brother, they were all brutally murdered. Their crime: to be the daughters of the last Tsar and Tsaritsa of All the Russias. Much has been written about Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra and their tragic fate, as it has about the Russian Revolutions of 1917, but little attention has been paid to the Romanov princesses, who -- perhaps inevitably -- have been seen as minor players in the drama. In Four Sisters, however, acclaimed biographer Helen Rappaport puts them centre stage and offers readers the most authoritative account yet of the Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia. Drawing on their own letters and diaries and other hitherto unexamined primary sources, she paints a vivid picture of their lives in the dying days of the Romanov dynasty. We see, almost for the first time, their journey from a childhood of enormous privilege, throughout which they led a very sheltered and largely simple life, to young womanhood -- their first romantic crushes, their hopes and dreams, the difficulty of coping with a mother who was a chronic invalid and a haeomophiliac brother, and, latterly, the trauma of the revolution and its terrible consequences. Compellingly readable, meticulously researched and deeply moving, Four Sisters gives these young women a voice, and allows their story to resonate for readers almost a century after their death.

Copyright: The Book Depository Synopsis


  1. It sounds like an intriguing book. I have always been saddened by the idea of these lives cut short so brutally. It seemed a tragedy of a different sort, a sad counterpart to the terrible conditions for the that led to the revolution.

    1. Thank you for calling by Elizabeth and leaving your comment. It is very much appreciated :-) This is a tragic story that needs to be told so that we can learn lessons from the past. Hopefully by knowing what happened similar things may not happen again. I live in hope in respect to this philosophy! ;-) I too am looking forward to reading this book when it is published in March :-)


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