Alexandra: The Last Tsarina
Just as Edvard Radzinsky wrote the ultimate account of Nicholas II in The Last Tsar and Robert Massie memorably described the imperial marriage in Nicholas and Alexandra, Carolly Erickson has created an indelible portrait of Alexandra, the woman blamed by her contemporaries for the downfall of the Romanovs.
Under Erickson's scrutiny the full dimensions of the empress's singular psychology are laid bare: her childhood bereavement, her long struggle to marry the deeply flawed man she loved, Nicholas, the anguish of her pathological shyness, her painful, bruising conflicts with her in-laws, her increasing eccentricities and loss of self as she became more and more preoccupied with matters of faith, and her growing dependence on a series of occult mentors, the most notorious of whom was Rasputin.
Alexandra's thorny personal story unfolds against the backdrop of Russian history in the last decades before the Revolution of 1917, a time of opulent palaces, bejeweled aristocrats, and lavish wealth - and also of anarchist bombs and pervasive violence and fear. While the rich of St. Petersburg were carried away in a frenzy of fin-de-siecle merrymaking, the empress, feeling the burden of having to be her husband's emotional mainstay, sought answers to Russia's overwhelming problems through mediums and charlatans - and attempted to find healing for her hemophiliac son through the mysterious wonder-working powers of Rasputin.
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ALEXANDRA: The Last TsarinaUser Review - Kirkus
Russia's last empress receives compassionate but by no means uncritical treatment from biographer Erickson (Josephine: A Life of the Empress, 1999, etc.).Alexandra's term for herself—"Pechvogel," or ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - yankeesfan1 - LibraryThing
I've always found Tsarina Alexandra to be a fascinating character. This book did a good job of presenting her in a sympathetic light, but not excluding her faults. The insights into her treatment by ... Read full review