Dimensions: 512 pages, 9.6 × 6.43 × 1.67 in
Published: October 30, 2012
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0312371152
ISBN - 13: 9780312371159
Read from the Book
FROM SPLENDOR TO REVOLUTION (1: A SPLENDID IMPERIAL COURT) Nothing as meaningful and sacred as the coronation of a Romanov tsar could take place anywhere but in the very heart of the Russian Empire. Even resplendent St. Petersburg, Peter the Great’s creation and the most western city in the empire, was unworthy. Only historic Moscow, the most Russian of cities, would do. Since the days of old Muscovy hundreds of years before, sentiment about rulers had changed little in the heart and soul of the average Russian. “Russians had been taught” from their cradle “to regard their ruler as an almost god-like creature. Their proverbs embodied this view: ‘Only God and the tsar know,’ ‘One sun shines in heaven and the Russian tsar on earth,’ ‘Through God and the tsar, Russia is strong,’ ‘It is very high up to God; it is a very long way to the tsar.’ ”1 Coronations in Moscow were “intended to bring home to the minds” of the emperor’s “subjects in the most vivid manner the Heaven-appointed nature of his functions and inheritance.”2 Thus, in accordance with tradition and mindful of the sacredness of the occasion, the Empress Marie Feodorovna traveled to Moscow for the coronation of her husband, Emperor Alexander III. It was May 1883, two years after he had ascended the Russian throne. Widespread excitement surrounded the emperor and empress’s coronation. Hundreds of thousa
From the Publisher
This sweeping saga recreates the extraordinary opulence and violence of Tsarist Russia as the shadow of revolution fell over the land, and destroyed a way of life for these Imperial women
The early 1850s until the late 1920s marked a turbulent and significant era for Russia. During that time the country underwent a massive transformation, taking it from days of grandeur under the tsars to the chaos of revolution and the beginnings of the Soviet Union.
At the center of all this tumult were four women of the Romanov dynasty. Marie Alexandrovna and Olga Constantinovna were born into the family, Russian Grand Duchesses at birth. Marie Feodorovna and Marie Pavlovna married into the dynasty, the former born a Princess of Denmark, the latter a Duchess of the German duchy of Mecklendburg-Schwerin.
In From Splendor to Revolution
, we watch these pampered aristocratic women fight for their lives as the cataclysm of war engulfs them. In a matter of a few short years, they fell from the pinnacle of wealth and power to the depths of danger, poverty, and exile. It is an unforgettable epic story.
About the Author
JULIA P. GELARDI is the author of Born to Rule and In Triumph’s Wake. She is an independent historian, currently living in Minnesota with her husband and two daughters.
“Independent historian Gelardi has done her homework, drawing on an impressive array of primary and secondary sources to deliver a joint biography of four women who were part of Russia’s imperial dynasty in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. . . . Against the backdrop of a tumultuous period in Russian history, this is really a book about an extended family, with a family’s sorrows, joys, squabbles, and scandals, albeit on a very grand scale. . . . this is an absorbing account that will appeal to Russian history buffs and to those who enjoy reading about royals.”— Booklist “Relating the drama and tragedy of royal life, Gelardi ably weaves in the extended family ties that connected most European rulers, including Queen Victoria, while also including helpful genealogy charts. Gelardi’s narrative framework of the four Romanov women’s long lives works well to explain not only the realties of the European courts and alliances but also the unique aspects of the Russian dynasty, which suffered repeated assassination attempts even during the age of splendor, resulting in young Nicholas II’s observation of his grandfather’s murder, possibly hastening Russia’s slide to revolution.”— Publishers Weekly (starred review) “Gelardi does an exceptional job of relating the last years of the Romanovs via the formerly underutilized perspectives of the women behind the men. While Orlando Figes’