The authorized biography of the last Romanov Grand Duchess, in an illustrated edition with previously unreleased photos
When she died in exile in November 1960, Olga Alexandrovna was the last grand duchess of Russia, favourite sister of Tsar Nicholas II who had been massacred with his family during the revolution. Born in splendour that is difficult to imagine today, Olga had endured a lifetime of tragedy with courage and exceptional powers of adjustment.
The Last Grand Duchess is a valuable account of the final decades of the intriguing 300-year reign of the house of Romanov - seen through the eyes of its last surviving member. Through Olga, we see Queen Victoria, George V of England, the inscrutable Rasputin, and Mrs Anderson, whose story inspired the play Anastasia.
In the official memoir, Ian Vorres captures captures the loneliness and violence of Olga's years in Russia - from her childhood games in the echoing royal galleries to her fifteen-year loveless first marriage of Prince Peter of Oldenburg; from the Borki train disaster when Olga was seven to her bleak escape to Denmark in 1917. In addition, the author's unique relationship with his subject - they became friends after a chance meeting in Toronto in 1958 - led to revelation of many intimate family details.
Through Vorres, Olga paints her incisive portraits of her father, Tsar Alexander III, and her domineering mother, the Empress Marie. She vividly conveys the peculiar atmosphere of the Russian Court, with its mixture of petite bourgeois domesticity and outward splendour. Through it all, the Grand Duchess emerges as an honest and somewhat sad woman - a woman to whom fate dealt an incredibly cruel blow.
This book would be described as good to very good condition if it wasn't for the tea or coffee staining as shown in photographs #4 and #5. The latter shows the back page and this staining is on the edges of a total of 20 pages before lessening to just the page ends. This is still a perfectly readable book and therefore a cheaper alternative for a book that usually costs £50.