• Title: The Romanovs: 1613-1918
  • Author: Simon Sebag Montefiore
  • ISBN: 9781101946978
  • Page: 279
  • Format: ebook
  • The Romanovs The acclaimed author of Young Stalin now gives us an accessible lively wholly revelatory account based in part on new archival material of the extraordinary men and women who ruled Russia for three
    The acclaimed author of Young Stalin now gives us an accessible, lively, wholly revelatory account based in part on new archival material of the extraordinary men and women who ruled Russia for three centuries.In this fascinating chronicle, Simon Sebag Montefiore focuses his gifts as historian and storyteller on the greatest and most complex of the emperors and empressesThe acclaimed author of Young Stalin now gives us an accessible, lively, wholly revelatory account based in part on new archival material of the extraordinary men and women who ruled Russia for three centuries.In this fascinating chronicle, Simon Sebag Montefiore focuses his gifts as historian and storyteller on the greatest and most complex of the emperors and empresses of the Romanov dynasty 1613 1917 , on how their courts worked, and on the meeting of personality and power in each reign Scouring archives that opened up only after the fall of the USSR, the author reveals the real world of the most storied and myth shrouded rulers Catherine the Great, Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra and introduces readers to the lesser known but even scandalous Elizaveta daughter of Peter the Great and Alexander II whose wild sexual passions were bestowed upon a teenage mistress The author illuminates the eighteenth century Age of the Imperial Petticoat makes clear the full extent of the remarkable political amorous partnership between Catherine the Great and Prince Potemkin and uncovers a deep vein of decadence and stupidity underneath the accepted, romantic portrait usually presented of Nicholas II, the last of the Tsars As with all of his previous and widely acclaimed works of history, Simon Sebag Montefiore gives an absolute scholarly and archival foundation to a book that is both exceptionally informative and dazzlingly entertaining from first to last.

    One Reply to “The Romanovs: 1613-1918”

    1. As astounding and astonishing survey of this epic imperial family, The Romanovs is an incredible and insightful read. Did you know that Putin's grandfather was Rasputin's cook? The horrible fate of the Romanovs made me almost physically ill at the end - I of course was repulsed by their corruption, autocracy, anti-Semitism, and blind devotion to the despicable (yes occasionally wise) Rasputin, their ignoble assassination filled me with horror and sadness. The Romanov dynasty had an unlikely begi [...]

    2. Simon Sebag Montefiore's blockbuster history of the Romanov dynasty was a great choice for me to read prior to my much anticipated trip to St. Petersburg next month. I had been looking for a book on the Romanov dynasty and this was exactly what I was looking for. It's a unique and compelling read and quite a shocking insight into all twenty of the Romanov tsars and tsarinas. Some books especially non fiction need to be read in good old fashioned paperback in order to get the best out of them and [...]

    3. Review to follow. But it's basically just going to say it's excellent so if you don't need any more info than that, you're good to go.

    4. Having now completed the book has my view changed? No it hasn’t. Please see what I have written below. What is written here are either additional thoughts or that which I feel must be emphasized. While the book does indeed provide facts of interest I feel the author all too often sensationalizes, emphasizes the bad over the good and has excessive details on the sexual behavior of not only of the Romanovs but also every darn person mentioned. I really don't need to know the size of Rasputin's p [...]

    5. Heavy reading but well worth it. Unbelievably well researched none of the myth of this great house Family trees and fantastic photos Each chapter begins with a "cast of characters" which primes the reader for whom to expect to read about keeps the timeline straight as well as who is related Explores beginning links to other royal families, the construction of palaces, formation of armies.Torture, espionage, murder, intrigue, war, sex I thought at first to write quick synopses of each section, bu [...]

    6. I'M DONE!!! This is a behemoth of a book But it's so worth it! The Romanovs is absolutely wonderful historical nonfiction. Montefiore clearly knows his stuff, and it's a joy to read. I will say, if you don't read a ton of nonfiction (and more specifically, historical nonficiton), this may be a bit difficult. It's a WHOLE LOT of exposition. If you're used to that, or think that's no problem, then DEFINITELY pick this up! But it's something to keep in mind. If you don't think huge, unbroken paragr [...]

    7. This enormous book covers an enormous topic: 300 years of the Romanov dynasty. Toward the end of the book, when it reached the stories of Czar Nicholas II (whose reign was ended by the Communist Revolution), I found myself wishing the author would go deeper into the lives of the common people and help us understand the roots of the revolution better. But that is not within the scope of this book - this is a survey that has a lot of ground to cover and does a magnificent job of it.And now I need [...]

    8. Having read Mr. Sebag Montefiore’s previous book Jerusalem: The Biography, I was looking forward to reading this one. Unfortunately I found this mildly disappointing. While it is well researched and is organized in a linear manner, I found the narrative a bit disjointed. The other problem I had was the author’s emphasis on the various Romanov’s sexual lives. (view spoiler)[I really didn’t need to know the pet names Nicholas and Alexandra had for their genitals, the size of Rasputin's pen [...]

    9. This is one of those books some people feel that they must rate 5 out of 5 star because of all the time they invested on it, but I do feel without any imposition that this book clearly does deserve the rating of 5 stars, because of its magnitude and its amazing detail, it is an epic research work into the life of the Romanov dynasty that rules over Russia for over 300 years. If you are interested in ancient or modern Russian history this is the book for you because the only way to understand Rus [...]

    10. The Romanovs ruled Russia for 300 years. This book catalogues the rise and fall of the dynasty, atop a multi ethnic empire spanning one sixth of the globe.I liked the authors attention to detail and his erudite and gossipy style. I particularly liked the evocative opening chapter which bookends the teenagers Michael, first czar of Russia, and Alexei, doomed tzaraevitch and son of the hapless Nicholas II - one hunted by Polish death squads, the other destined to be murdered by Bolsheviks.In betwe [...]

    11. Pravo je zadovoljstvo čitati. Poslastica! Neverovatan uvid u splet okolnosti koje su stvorile istoriju. Kakve sudbine. Montefiore piše lepo. Knjiga prosto klizi.

    12. The Romanovs make the Lannisters look like the Bennett sisters. Simon Sebag Montefiore does his best to avoid speculation and sensationalism, but not even his sober outlook and academic restraint can quench the glorious madness that was the Romanov rule. THE MAYHEM. People are not only shot or beheaded, as one would expect, but imaginatively tortured, broken on the wheel, impaled in the bottom, cut into sections, stomped to pulp, doused in vodka and set on fire. Cut into sections. That requires [...]

    13. My early read on this book is enthralled. I'm just on p. 37 (plus the epilogue that I started with, and half the intro that I dispensed with), and I'm totally sucked in. I've already learned a great deal about how the peculiar Russian aristocracy works, and when I plunge back into Anna Karenina soon, it will be with much clearer vision. The pace feels just right for now, giving me the clarity I hoped for on the origin of the line, starting just far back enough to set the stage, and a clear pictu [...]

    14. This book was provided to me by the publisher at no cost.This book is a physical example of how hard it is to do complete histories of stuff from much before the 18th, even really 19th, century. Of the 650-odd pages, the last half covers less than the last century of the Romanov dynasty (which started in 1613 and went to 1918). Not because Michael or Peter the Great or Catherine the Great did less stuff, but because there's less stuff firmly attested. Or attested at all. Whereas there are heaps [...]

    15. I just graduated studying history and politics at uni and was slightly bitter about the fact i never got to study that much Russian history (check the modules before you pick your uni choice, rookie mistake!) so being newly free to read history books that i actually have an interest in, this was my first choice, the Romanovs have such a vast, bloody and totally crackers history that i'm amazed it's often overlooked and this book perfectly sums up the Romanov dynasty and it's amazing to read.This [...]

    16. Russian history has increasingly interested me of late. Hitler and Stalin by Alan Bullock gave greater insights into the struggles and cruelty of Stalin’s regime, and the revolution has fascinated me even more since reading Fall of Giants by Ken Follett (a book that generates polarised opinions, I enjoyed it!). The Romanovs seemed like a good choice to get the backstory. In some respects it fulfilled this purpose, in other aspects I was left wanting more.Firstly let me say that the book delive [...]

    17. The Romanovs inhabit a world of family rivalry, imperial ambition, lurid glamour, sexual excess and depraved sadism; this is a world where obscure strangers suddenly claim to be dead monarchs reborn, brides are poisoned, fathers torture their sons to death, sons kill fathers, wives murder husbands, a holy man, poisoned and shot, arises, apparently, from the dead, barbers and peasants ascend to supremacy, giants and freaks are collected, dwarfs are tossed, beheaded heads kissed, tongues torn out, [...]

    18. A story of brutality, sex and powerSebag Montefiore, known for his excellent works about Stalin and Catherine the Great, delves into the Romanovs - the imperial family who ruled Russia for more than 300 years. It is a tale of torture and sexual escapades. Tsars are displayed as modern day Caligula's.Based on newly disclosed personal letters, Sebag Montefiore tells a tale of enjoyable passages, but nowhere are the scenes set in the greater historical events. Finally, in the last chapters, Sebag M [...]

    19. This got better as it went along. I think part of the problem is there's just too many Alexander's, Catherine's, Nicholas's, Peter'sAfter the Great ones they all blend together a bit. My favorite parts involved the Napoleonic Wars and WWI because there were a lot of other characters from other countries. Then of course the end of the dynasty. Some of the stuff about Rasputin's penis was hysterically funny.

    20. Simon Sebag Montefiore might be an expert in chronological detail, but he is not a story-teller. This book with its epic ambition therefore at times turned into a blur of day-by-day, sometimes hour-by-hour accounts of court plotting, military activity and the intimate lives of some of the emperors. The Romanovs were shown to be unattractive, cruel and excessive monsters with a no-holds-barred approach to torture, murder and intrigue. The book certainly does a lot to explain Russia, but at times [...]

    21. If you're going to write one of these, there should be a compelling reason, or at least a treasure trove of new information. Aside from some really over-the-top details about the sex life of Alexander II and the woman who became his second, morganatic wife, there wasn't much new material to be gleaned. And if there was a compelling reason we needed another overview of a dynasty that may very well have ended with the accession of Catherine the Great, I failed to discern it. M0ntefiore cannot iden [...]

    22. This is not good; in fact it’s so bad that I’ve decided not to finish it. God knows I love reading history and I love reading about Russia, so that’s how bad this book is. Three hundred pages, I think, are more that enough to tell if something is good or not. 
Basically this is just the sexual antics of the Romanovs, of their lovers and mistresses, with a little bit of actual politcs told in a very confusing way, so much so that at times I couldn’t understand what was going on one para [...]

    23. Crazy rulers RegicideMurder of own kin Wife vs. husband, husband vs. wife, child vs. parent(s)BackstabbingBlood CorruptionForced abdication Murder(s)Affairs (lots)WarsFamily IntrigueFamineSnow and coldPersecution (it seems that Russia had a long standing history of “if in doubt blame the Jewish people”)Ladies and Gentleman welcome to History of The Romanovs You won’t regret reading it!5 stars

    24. Montefiore has created an exquisite and sweeping epic biography of the Romaovs beginning as far back as Ivan the Terrible of the Rurik Dynasty, who married the first Anastasia Romanov, mixing the blood of Ruriks and Romanovs, two dynasties that ruled Russia from 830 CE until the execution of Nicholas and Alexandra Romanov and family in 1918. I could not help but research the Ruriks because Montefiore created such a fire of curiosity inside me and because I needed to understand the line of succes [...]

    25. 4.5/5This was such a thrilling novel and I loved reading about the Romanov dynasty. I learned about historical figures that I've rarely even read or learned like Catherine the Great, Peter the Great and even the first Romanov, Michael I, which I found how he came into succession fascinating. Everything was well researched and there's an enormous amount of information. It was definitely hard to keep up with all the characters (there are literally hundreds of characters in this novel) and many had [...]

    26. I feel bad giving this book just two stars. There's clearly a good amount of original research and I suspect it's a 4- or 5-star book as a work of scholarship. For a non-academic reader such as myself, it was a struggle (it's been at least 10 years since I read a book so slowly). There are some interesting parts (Napoleon's invasion during the reign of Alexander I, much of the Nicholas II era), but too much that's not. Strange as it sounds, I think there are actually too few pages to cover three [...]

    27. History is never repeated, but it borrows, steals, echoes and commanders the past to create a hybrid, something unique out of the ingredients of past and presents.I've been curious about The Romanovs for a long time, because I am curious about history and Russian history in general, but also because I saw it everywhere. I am fairly new at reading history non-fiction on my own - even though I read a lot of it for history classes - but I thought that this one was excellent. While it's very long an [...]

    28. tl;dr The rise and fall of the Romanov dynasty. The Tsars got up to some weird sexual stuff in the meantime. Includes gore, dwarves, and filicide. On an unrelated book buying mission, I happened to be in Dymocks in the CBD when Simon Sebag Montefiore was making an appearance. He made The Romanovs sound so interesting in his interview that I ended up caving and bought the book. ($45 in hardback!! I can't believe I spent that much.)That was in February 2016. Nearly 20 months later I finally finish [...]

    29. This is the first time I've ever stopped reading a book because I found it so incredibly annoying. I gave this book until the reign of Paul I to win me over, but it failed in all aspects. I'm shocked that this book has an average 4-star rating.This book reads more like Gossip Girl: The Romanovs, rather than a book about the history of the Romanovs. This book isn't so much a biography, as it is a retelling of who slept with whom. To categorize this as history seems like a slap in the face to anyo [...]

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