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Four Sisters:The Lost Lives of the Romanov Grand Duchesses (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 27. März 2014

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Taschenbuch, 27. März 2014
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Pressestimmen

Rappaport is insightful in her analysis of Alexandra's vulnerability [and] illuminates the precise influence of Grigori Rasputin . . . An astoundingly intimate tale of domestic life lived in the crucible of power. (Observer)

[Rappaport] brings to Four Sisters an encyclopedic knowledge of the minutiae of Nicholas and Alexandra's family life . . . Four Sisters is a study in unity. It demonstrates resoundingly the strength of family ties. (The Telegraph)

A well-written gem . . . a fascinating, in-depth and comprehensively researched study of the imperial daughters. (Daily Express)

Evocative and beautifully researched and told, this is narrative history at its best. (Bookseller)

Poignant [and] well written ... Rappaport's sensitive portrayal of the doomed sisters draws the reader into an attachment to each one. (Mail on Sunday)

Werbetext

Award-winning and critically acclaimed historian Helen Rappaport turns to the tragic story of the daughters of the last Tsar of all the Russias, slaughtered with their parents at Ekaterinburg.

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Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Als historisch Interessierte an Russland und St. Petersburg habe ich neben den Klassikern Tolstoi, Puschkin, Dostojewski usw. usf. auch viele Biografien aus der Revolutionszeit gelesen und reiste vierrmal nach St. Petersburg, in den Jahren 1988, 1995, 1998 und 2000.
Helen Rappaport bekam anscheinend Zugang zu den Archiven der Hessen und anderen Verwandten der letzten Zarin.
Meines Erachtens hat sich niemand bisher mit der Seelenlage der Kinder von Nikolaus II und Alexandra Fjodorowna befaßt - und das war ein Manko.. Elterliche Pädagogik kann schon sehr egoistisch ausgerichtet sein, sicherlich nicht willentlich, aber die letzte Zarin war wohl keine Frau, die ihre Meinungen jemals hinterfragt und schon gar nicht in Zweifel gezogen hätte. Die ganze Familie hat das grausam bezahlen müssen.
Ich betrachte dieses Buch als Denkmal für vier "toughe" Mädchen, die in einem goldenen Käfig saßen und einer egomanen Mutter ausgeliefert waren. Alle Vier verdienen jeglichen Respekt, weil sie charakterliche Größe entwickelt haben und auch mal ihren Gefühlen nachgaben.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.3 von 5 Sternen 554 Rezensionen
392 von 414 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen One of my top Romanov books of all time 3. Juni 2014
Von Historical Fiction Notebook - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I came very close to not requesting a review copy of this book. I thought there was no point. I thought I'd reached my limit on Romanov books - they rarely contain anything new, they're all drawing on the same primary source material and sadly, the Romanovs have reached a point at which they don't even really seem like real people anymore. They're more like copies of characters in some old novel.

I am so glad that I went ahead and read this - not only is it one of my few five-star reads so far this year, it will probably become one of my favorite Romanov books of all time. Rappaport is a brilliant writer and researcher. She has accomplished what I did not think was possible - taught me many new things about life in Imperial Russia, about the lives of these four young women and why I should care about them and given me an eerily real sense of that long-ago time.

My e-galley copy is filled with highlighted passages and notes - many of them noting places with brand-new anecdotes from previously unpublished sources. I kept coming across them with genuine delight and surprise - I've been reading about the Romanovs for twenty years and never come across some of these stories. Rappaport also a good ear for excerpting funny, poignant and revealing passages from the girls' letters and diaries. You get a very good sense of their individual voices from reading this book.

I feel as though - for the first time - I can actually tell the girls apart and that the differences in their personalities are a revelation. I have a much more nuanced understanding of the Romanov family. Rappaport also managed the almost unthinkable in getting me to feel empathy for the Empress Alexandra. I am not a big fan of hers and believe she was an utterly disastrous ruler, wife and (even) mother. Rappaport looks sensitively at her background and helped me understand Alexandra's troubled mind while not excusing her actions.

All in all, a highly recommended work of non-fiction. Despite having received an eBook for review, I will immediately purchase a hardcover copy to add to my collection - it's that good!

Disclaimer: I received an advance eGalley from the publisher for review.
208 von 221 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Beautiful and Heartbreaking 4. Mai 2014
Von JLee - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts ( Was ist das? )
This is an incredible book, beautifully written and researched. It is also heartbreaking. I can’t tell you how many times I read something about one of the four Romanov sisters, the doomed daughters of Czar Nicholas and Alexandra, that caused me to stop reading and just stare at the faces on the cover. The author brings these young women to life, and it is impossible not to grieve for the innocent, young lives lost too soon.

Although the title refers to the four sisters (who referred to themselves as OTMA – Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia), the book actually begins before the marriage of their parents. Nicholas and Alexandra came to love each other very much; they were absolutely perfect for each other. They were absolutely wrong for the Russian monarchy. Nicholas would have made a wonderful country gentleman. Alexandra was very shy and suffered from health problems that limited her mobility. They were, however, warm and loving persons. How happy they could have been in other circumstances.

From Alexandra, Russia expects two things – for her to give birth to a son, and for her to be a social leader. Instead, she is almost invisible except for the disappointing announcements, one after another after another, of the birth of her daughters. And then, while the rest of the world is fascinated by the four Grand Duchesses, in Russia they are viewed as irrelevant and unimportant.

The girls live in virtual isolation. The only freedom they have is when they travel, especially on their yacht. They are constantly under threat, and they are constantly surrounded by armed guards. Still, they are brought up to be loving and charitable persons. Their personalities do come across. Anastasia is often a brat. Tatiana and Maria are stalwart. Olga, the oldest, is the most deeply affected by their confinement. She should have long been married and away, but instead she is kept at home. I just wanted to scream how unfair it all was. When they traveled outside of Russia, I wanted someone to stop them from going back. I wanted someone to rescue them, to protect them, to take care of them.

This is a wonderful book, and I highly recommend it.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Lives in Focus and Context 26. Januar 2017
Von ck - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Any loss of young life is a sadness. Those who remain are left to grieve and to wonder at what the young person who passed might have achieved during a longer time on earth.

Multiply that loss by four, for the four daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra, and you have a sense of what author Helen Rappaport may have been seeking with the writing of this book.

Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia were the daughters of the ruler of Russia, and most folks know in general terms that they lived a sheltered, insular life, largely tucked away from the eyes of the country and the world by the choice of their melancholic mother and homeward-focused father. If you've read Massie and others, you know that the sisters had a habit of referring to themselves via acronym, OTMA, and that they were positioned as seemingly interchangeable ethereal "graces."

What Rappaport attempts to do, by drawing upon available primary and secondary sources, is to draw out the personalities of each of these young women, highlighting their differences as well as their similarities. Fully aside from the weight of knowing their fate while conducting her research, Rappaport was in some cases stymied by two unfortunate realities. First, to put the situation bluntly, Russia's protocol for determining succession rendered their younger brother the single most important offspring of their generation. Not that their parents loved them any less -- and indeed some of Nicholas's surviving comments on the birth of various daughters are achingly beautiful -- but in dynastic terms, most all eyes were on Alexei. Second, in the Victorian era, there were more strictures on the acceptable roles and presentation of young women. Thus the white dresses and the clouds of dark hair.

Despite these issues, the author has managed to extract vignettes from correspondence, recollections, and surviving memorabilia such as diaries to flesh out the haunting images and round them out into individuals with both attributes and flaws. Tatiana and Olga stand out from the mists most clearly, in part because of their wartime service and the happenstance that led to their appearances in society both on their own accord and as stand-in at certain events on behalf of their mother. Indeed, the responsibilities they shouldered and the way they did so highlight their potential had they lived longer lives, and make one wonder whether Russia's path might have differed and by how much if Nicholas had been a more involved ruler earlier on, if the family had not treated their son's hemophilia as a dread secret, if Alexandra's melancholy had not hamstrung the family, if Olga could have been her father's heir ... if, if, if....

In keeping with this, despite the insularity with which their parents wanted to enrobe the sisters, it was refreshing to learn about how the older two vigorously pitched in with nursing efforts on the home front. We are left to wonder how their fates might have been different had they all been born just a few years earlier. Rappaport also includes some fascinating details about romances and matchmaking that I will not go into, so as not to include any spoilers.

I was surprised at the number of correspondents the sisters had beyond the family, and the frequency with which they wrote to these friends. Another side effect of rendering the sisters as human beings rather than cardboard cutouts is to shed some light on their awareness of their steadily worsening situation.

It helps that in recent years, additional materials have become available, such as some of the grand duchesses' diaries; and that Rappaport reads Russian so that she can work with source documents as written. With material continuing to become available, I hope that she looks at issuing an afterword/postscript -- perhaps initially in electronic form, and then in printed form in future editions of this book.

NOTES ON IMAGES: The images used to illustrate this book range from the ones commonly seen, such as group shots at Tsarkoe Selo and on the building ledge at Tobolsk, to a few that may well be new to you, chiefly because they are of one or more sisters with people outside the family. I was disappointed at the paucity of images, however, and given the subject matter expected a good dozen more images than were included. Since any images of the sisters are at least a hundred years old and thus in the public domain, acquisition cost should not be a prohibiting factor. If for some reason it is, then it would have been helpful if the end notes included a list of websites that host images ... there are several that come to mind that could have been included without harming the revenue opportunities of the publisher.

SPECIFIC TO KINDLE: The conversion process for images was extremely disappointing and really should be redone. Images are all queued near the end, which isn't ideal. What's worse and inexcusable, however, is that their default size is postage stamp at best, and when clicked on, they either render pixelated or fuzzy. While it is possible that some of the pictures technically cannot be any better than this, quite a few of the "familiar" ones absolutely exist in a higher-resolution form that would permit them to be rendered at 4 by 6 inches or thereabouts in acceptable resolution without pixelization or moire.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Good for the lover of Tzarist Russian History 20. Januar 2017
Von U291832 - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
I enjoyed this book a lot, this is a time period of great fascination for me (how's that for passive voice), but we don't often get to learn much about the sisters. The sisters are almost always relegated to the background of the Russian Revolution brewing. Here, for the first time, we are given a glimpse of the personalities of the sisters, beyond them being religious and dutiful. I enjoyed learning how they did want to connect with people their own age, as I did know already that they were very sheltered, though I often thought that was of their own volition, but was really the will of the Tsarista.
I've usually imagined the girls as very naive, which the book confirmed they were, but also delighting in being so, like those religious home schooled children one meets on occasion, where they see everything as rosy, no negatives, always smiling and praising God and completely void of complaints (you know those people who are irritating to talk too), thankfully in the book we found that the girls did have normal feelings and could get upset and moody.
We also got some insight into the relationship the girls had with their parents, how they adored them but also how they had to put up with their mother being forever sick and accommodating these never-ending ailments. Also how the sisters were madly in love with their baby brother and he seemed to return the affection.
Clearly they were a tight knit group as they had only each other (since their mother wouldn't allow them to fraternize with others to any in-depth degree).
Highly recommend if you enjoy this period or European royalty or have to do a paper on the subject. The book is close to 400 pages but moves very fast.
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Marvelous 16. Juni 2014
Von AmandaPaceEdwards - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
I became fascinated by the Romanovs as a child reading the Reader's Digest condensed version of Nicholas and Alexandra. While in college I wrote a paper all about "Did Anastasia Survive" based on Robert K. Massie's account. Since then I have read EVERYTHING I can get my hands on about the Romanovs. The internet opened up a whole new world and now I have an entire mini-library of Romanov books.

I had read Ms.Rappaport's previous book The Last Days of the Romanovs Tragedy at Ekaterinburg and it became one of my favorite books about the family. So as you can imagine, I was so excited to begin The Romanov Sisters (Four Sisters). It is the first time a book delves into what made these girls who they were. It is not the same old re-hashing of Massie's descriptions that so many books use in describing the Grand Duchesses. For those of us who have read so much about them the OTMA stories have become old and stale. We long for more information on who they were and what they were like. This book does not disappoint. It left me with an understanding about their social awkwardness, their immaturity, and their devotion to their country.
Most books lump the girls together blurring their individual personalities separating them only by the fragrance they wore or by Anastasia's humor, Maria's stunning eyes, Olga's intelligence, and Tatiana's bossiness.

This book shows what life was for these young women pre-war who were forced to give up a life of fancy balls and royal suitors for hospitals and wounded soldiers. I especially liked how the author explained the Grand Duchess Olga's possibility of becoming a Tsarina in her own right had Alexei died before taking the throne. Sadly, neither of those days every came.

This book is thoroughly researched with a HUGE bibliography and notes section for further information. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading about the Romanovs. Be prepared though, this book is not only about the four sisters. It also covers what life was like for Alexei and what shaped his personality and in turn affected the lives of his older sisters.
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