The Romanovs. Love, Power & Tragedy – 25th Anniversary

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NOTE: All of the articles pertaining to Nicholas II and his family which were originally published in my Royal Russia News blog, have been moved to this Nicholas II blog. This article was originally posted on 18 April 2018 in my Royal Russia News blog – PG

The year 2018 marked the 25th anniversary of the publication of The Romanovs: Love, Power & Tragedy, the first of Royalty Magazine’s (Leppi Publications) historic publishing collaborations.

The timing of it’s publication in 1993 was unprecedented. Combining the extraordinary source material with the highest production values and some of the finest and most beautiful photographic reproduction, The Romanovs, Love, Power & Tragedy was an immediate success, hailed as a unique work which brought the story of the last Tsar and his family to life as never before.

This coffee-table sized book tells the story of Russia’s last Imperial family through their private diaries and family photograph albums. It features 320 pages, and richly illustrated throughout with HUNDREDS of unique historic colour / black and white / and sepia photographs.

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A copy of the book is presented to HM Queen Elizabeth II in Moscow, October of 1994

The official presentation of The Romanovs, Love, Power & Tragedy (above) was made to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in Moscow during her first visit to Russia in October of 1994. To Her Majesty’s left is President of Russia, Boris Yeltsin, and (right) Royalty Magazine Founding Editor Bob Houston.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the hitherto unseen Romanov archives were opened and Royalty Magazine was given world exclusive access to the complete collection. It soon became clear that it was an historic moment – the Soviets were meticulous in their record keeping – and called for a project that would do justice to the historic photographs, letters and family albums kept hidden during seven decades of communist rule.

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Researching the Romanov archive was the first step in a project that took three years to complete. Working with the state archivists every photograph, letter and document was photographed and catalogued.

The book is divided into 14 chapters, each with a carefully researched article by Romanov experts and historians: four Russian and one German:

Alexander Bokhanov (1944-2019) is a Professor of History, a specialist in 19th and 20th century Russian history. He is the author of more than 30 books and 200 articles. A graduate of Moscow University, he is a leading scientific researcher of the Institute of Russian History of the Russian Academy of Sciences. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, he began to adhere to monarchical views. He was also the first historian in post-communist Russia to publish a series of books about the fate of Emperor Nicholas II, and has since become one of Russia’s leading experts on the life and reign of Russia’s last emperor and tsar. In September 2013, Alexander Bokhanov suffered a double stroke, but after treatment, has returned to writing about Russian history.

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Alexander Nikolayevich Bokhanov (1944-2019)

Zinaida Peregudova has worked in the State Archives of the Russian Federation since graduating from Moscow University in 1957. Head of the Archives’s Russian History Department, she has written numerous books and articles on Russian revolutionary movements in Tsarist Russia.

Lybov Tyutyunnik has worked at the State Archives since graduating from Moscow University in 1972. Currently she is Chief of Depository of its Personal Funds and Archival Collections; and author of several publications on political development in Tsarist Russia.

Vladimir Oustimenko is a graduate of Kiev University, taught Marxim-Leninism in Moscow before taking a post-graduate course in the subject between 1988-90. Since 1990, he is the director of Stop-Kadr which organizes exhibitions of Russian and Soviet history.

Dr Manfred Knodt served as a pastor of the Lutheran City Church in Darmstadt and chaplain to the Grand Ducal family of Hesse. A specialist in Hessian ducal history and biographer of the last Grand Duke, Empress Alexandra’s brother Ernst Ludwig, he served as chaplain in German POW camps in Britain between 1945-48. He served as Chairman of the Hessian Family History Association from 1984-1995. He died on 29th October 1995.

An introduction is written by Professor of History and Director of the State Archives of the Russian Federation Dr Sergei V. Mironenko. The entire book has been beautifully translated into English by Lyudmila Xenofontova.

For many Romanovphiles and collectors – myself included – The Romanovs: Love, Power & Tragedy remains the classic title on the life of Russia’s last Tsar and Tsarina.

© Paul Gilbert. 12 December 2019

What kind of man was Nicholas II?

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The following article (click HERE to read) by Georgy Manaev was published in July 12th 2019 edition of ‘Russia Beyond’. Sadly, it is yet another negative assessment of Nicholas II, filled with the same nonsense, myths and lies, which have endured for more than a century now.

Below, are my comments regarding two of Manaev’s misconceptions:

The author Georgy Manaev quotes Alexander Guchkov about the Emperor: “Are we dealing with a normal person?”, yet fails to mention that Guchkov along with Pavel Milyukov, openly discussed a treasonous plot to oust Nicholas II from the throne.

And again, Nicholas II is criticized that his diaries lack “little to no information about politics, international relations or court intrigues.”

Manaev adds: “in other words, the things that should have been of interest to a Russian tsar during one of the most difficult periods of Russian history. Instead, about 90 percent of the diary is dedicated to his daily routines.”

Like a broken record, Manaev rehashes one of the most popular criticisms against Nicholas II. 

Russian historian Alexander Nikolaevich Bokhanov (1944-2019) wrote:

“For more than 38 years, Nicholas Alexandrovich wrote a few sentences every evening in his diary. After the fall of the monarchy, both scholars and laymen began to study his diaries, interested to learn what kind of man and monarch he was. Sadly, the crushing majority of them stuck with a negative assessment of Nicholas II.

“Their conclusions, however, were based on his diaries, which in all fairness do not offer any broad historical conclusions. Nevertheless they have been made and continue to be made to the present day. In actuality, Nicholas II’s diaries are often nothing more than a daily list of meetings and events which allow one, fully and accurately, to establish only two biographical aspects about him: where he was and whom he dealt with.

“His diaries are a completely personal and official document reflecting the daily events, nothing more. His diary entries rarely reflect any emotion, and with the passage of time they disappear almost completely. Any kind of political judgement or evaluation are extremely rare.

“In keeping a diary, Nicholas II was not thinking about leaving a historical testimony for his descendants. He never would have imagined that his daily, terse, personal remarks would be studied for political purposes. Only during the last months of his life, finding himself in the degrading position of a prisoner, did he record on paper his pain for the fate of his dearly beloved Russia.”

Click HERE to listen to my interview, in which I discuss Guchkov and Milyukov, who openly discussed a treasonous plot to oust Nicholas II from the throne.

© Paul Gilbert. 12 July 2019

In memory of Alexander Nikolaevich Bokhanov (1944-2019)

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Alexander Nikolaevich Bokhanov (1944-2019)

Russian historical science has suffered an irreparable loss. On 14th May 2019, the eminent Russian historian Alexander Nikolaevich Bokhanov died after a long and serious illness.

Bokhanov was a Professor of History, a specialist in 19th and 20th century Russian history. A graduate of Moscow University, he is a leading scientific researcher of the Institute of Russian History of the Russian Academy of Sciences. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, he began to adhere to monarchical views. 

He was the author of 30 books and nearly 200 articles – in Russian. For Westerners, he is best known as one of the contributing authors of The Romanovs. Love, Power and Tragedy, published in the UK in 1993.

Alexander Bokhanov was the first historian in post-Soviet Russia to write an impartial biography of the last Russian Emperor and Tsar Nicholas II. The book’s publication marked the beginning of his professional study of the life of the slandered Tsar, the rich, tragic and still little-studied era of his reign. 

In September 2013, Alexander Bokhanov suffered a double stroke, leaving him partially paralyzed. The memory of Alexander Nikolaevich Bokhanov will remain forever in the hearts of admirers of Russian history. Вечная память.

© Paul Gilbert. 14 May 2019