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Anastasia’s Album: The Last Tsar’s Youngest Daughter Tells Her Own Story Hugh Brewster Hyperion

30th November 2011 History Books 0 Comments

Designed to resemble a scrapbook, this striking, profusely illustrated volume presents a sympathetic and affecting portrait of the youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II, the last Romanov ruler (see Children’s Books, Oct. 7). Brewster juxtaposes remarkably pristine period photos (some artfully hand-colored by Anastasia) with Christopher’s carefully composed shots of the palaces the family inhabited and of several family possessions: a doll, a Faberge egg, a Red Cross uniform worn by one of Anastasia’s sisters. His prose is equally atmospheric: Anastasia at three is “a blue-eyed whirlwind.” Well-chosen excerpts from Anastasia’s own correspondence and from memoirs by Romanov friends and staff heighten Anastasia’s very real presence in these pages. This immediacy renders the sudden end to the siblings’ carefree youth, and eventually the Romanovs’ violent deaths in Siberia in 1918, all the more tragic and haunting. Ages 7-up.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Grade 6 Up-It would be difficult to find a more engaging portrait of the Romanovs. Black-and-white photographs from family albums are complemented by exquisite contemporary photographs of restored palaces. In addition, there is an articulate text and a generous use of quotes from letters and diaries written by family members or their close friends. The focus is on the youngest daughter and her story. Although a few references are made to historical events and the hardships of the Russian people during the first two decades of the 20th century, the book concentrates on presenting an intimate portrait of the last ruling family of the aristocracy. It succeeds very well. Readers looking for photographs of a broader spectrum of Russian society toward the end of the empire may wish to consult Mikhail P. Iroshinkov’s Before the Revolution: St. Petersburg in Photographs: 1890-1914 (Abrams, 1992).
Elizabeth Talbot, University of Illinois, Champaign
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

An award-winning author uses Anastasia’s own photos, watercolors, letters, and diaries, long hidden in Russian archives, to reveal an engaging portrait of Russia’s last princess, her family, and their difficult exile in Siberia after the Russian revolution.

Anastasia’s Album: The Last Tsar’s Youngest Daughter Tells Her Own Story

Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov

Kids who may have learned about the Grand Duchess Anastasia from the animated movie will get a more accurate version of her life here. This slim entry in the Queens and Princesses series does its best to set the story of the Russian royal family against the simmering world affairs of the time, though many readers may not quite understand why Czar Nicholas II left the throne. That said, this attractive offering, with plenty of oversize, full-page photographs, will give them a glimpse of what life was like for Anastasia, both the glitter and glamour of the imperial Romanov household, as well as in the more familar aspects of family life: interacting with siblings, studying, and sewing. The photos, depicting both sides of Anastasias life, are set against textured pages and are particularly well reproduced, making it likely readers will linger. This book could be used as a gateway to others covering different aspects of world history. Glossary and ideas for other information are appended. Grades 4-6. –Ilene Cooper

Fame, fortune, and glamour, whats more fascinating than the world of royalty? These biographies present the lives of popular queens and princesses. Pictures and first-hand quotations bring you closer than ever to the women behind the crown.

Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov (Snap Books: Queens and Princesses)

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