Ella: Princess, Saint and Martyr

Hardcover | December 15, 2006

byChristopher Warwick

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Considered to have been the most beautiful princess in Europe, capable of arousing ‘profane passions’, Elisabeth of Hesse and by Rhine, or ‘Ella’ as she was known, was a  granddaughter of Queen Victoria and the daughter of Princess Alice of Great Britain and Grand Duke Louis of Hesse. A privileged, happy Victorian childhood was touched by tragedy not only with the early deaths of her youngest brother and sister but also that of her young mother. Close to Queen Victoria, Ella spent some of her happiest times in Britain. At 20, however, much against the wishes of her  grandmother, who despised everything Russian, Ella became engaged to Grand Duke Serge Alexandrovich, the authoritarian younger brother of Tsar Alexander III. It was at their wedding that her younger sister, Alix, formed a love match with the future Tsar Nicholas II; an event which not only  sealed the fate of both sisters, but that of the Imperial House of Romanov. But for these two marriages, the history of Russia might have been very different.

With the assassination of her husband, Ella renounced society and, against considerable opposition, founded the first religious Order of its kind in Russia, working for the poor and destitute of Moscow. Though loved for her charitable works and pionerering achievements, Ella, like Nicholas, Alexandra, and fourteen members of their family, met a brutal death at the hands of the Bolsheviks. At the height of the Russian Revolution, she was taken captive to Siberia where, having been clubbed with rifle butts, she was hurled alive into a disused mineshaft and left to die  of her injuries. Later retrieved, her incorrupt body was eventually laid to rest on the Mount of Olives. She was subsequently canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church as the Holy Imperial Martyr Saint Elisabeth Romanova.

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Considered to have been the most beautiful princess in Europe, capable of arousing ‘profane passions’, Elisabeth of Hesse and by Rhine, or ‘Ella’ as she was known, was a  granddaughter of Queen Victoria and the daughter of Princess Alice of Great Britain and Grand Duke Louis of Hesse. A privileged, happy Victorian childhood was touched...

From the Jacket

'...RIVETING, ANS SO UNUTTERABLY MOVING. WHAT A TOUR DE FORCE!...COMBINE[S] SPARKLING DETAIL WITH THE GRIM REALITIES OF THE LAST DECADES OF IMPERIAL RUSSIA. [CHRISTOPHER WARWICK'S] ELLA LIVES, AND WE LIVE ALL THE DRAMAS AND THE TRAGEDIES WITH HER. THIS IS A POWERFUL, STUNNING AND POIGNANT BOOK THAT DESERVES WIDESPREAD RECOGNITION.'—ALI...

Christopher Warwick is the author of several best-selling biographies, among them the authorized Princess Margaret; King George VI & Queen Elizabeth; George & Marina, Duke & Duchess of Kent; Queen Mary's Photograph Albums and The Universal Ustinov, a popular study of the celebrated actor, writer and raconteur, Sir Peter Ustinov. He has...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:352 pages, 8.58 × 5.69 × 1.09 inPublished:December 15, 2006Publisher:WileyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:047087063X

ISBN - 13:9780470870631

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Author's Note.

Acknowledgements.

Chapter One.

Chapter Two.

Chapter Three.

Chapter Four.

Chapter Five.

Chapter Six.

Chapter Seven.

Chapter Eight.

Chapter Nine.

Chapter Ten.

Chapter Twelve.

Bibliography.

Source Notes.

Index.

Editorial Reviews

"the book lingers with you long after you have finished it." ("Majesty," September 2006) "As  ... Warwick’ s biography of Ella aptly demonstrates, unravel one biography of a late-19th-century European royal and the entire dynasty unfolds." ("The Daily Telegraph," November 2006) "… inspiring… " ("Majesty," November 2006) "Christopher Warwick marshals an impressive dossier of research, drawing extensively on primary sources, to bring to life the lost worlds of late 19th Century royalty and the sumptuous last gasp of the Romanovs...it is hard to imagine a more rigorous study of a woman who, unusually in the annals of history, combined the roles of society beauty and latter-day saint." ("Mail on Sunday," December 2006) "Warwick's biography is freighted with domestic and cultural detail and weighted with tragedy." ("The Times," December 2006)