"the book lingers with you long after you have finished it." (Majesty,
"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)
“Christopher Warwick’s well-research biography fills a gap in the literature of royal lives.” (The Times Literary Supplement, February 2007)
"Christopher Warwick has given the story a new power and a subtle shift of meaning." (Royalty Digest, February 2007)
"Christopher Warwick's acclaimed new biography of Ella sheds new light on a remarkable woman." (Royalty Magazine)
"…a definitive biography…Elisabeth Feodorovna is one of the last century's true heroes. Christopher Warwick's book will tell you why." (The Tablet, February 2007)
The remarkable life of Elizabeth, or Ella as she was almost universally known, is revealed in fascinating detail by Warwick.” (Yorkshire Evening Post, March 2007)
“…Warwick has produced a definitive biography…” (The Tablet, March 2007)
From the Inside Flap
CONSIDERED AT THE TIME to have been the most beautiful princess in Europe, capable of arousing "profane passions", Ella was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria and the daughter of Princess Alice of great Britain and Grand Duke Louis of Hesse. Following the tragically early deaths of her youngest brother and sister and also that of her young mother, Ella spent some of the happiest years of her youth in Britain with her grandmother Queen Victoria. At 19, however, much against the wishes of the Queen, who disliked 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 even which not only sealed the fate of both sisters, but that of the Imperial House of Romanov. Without these two marriages, the history of Russia might have been very different.
Following 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 pioneering 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 the rifle butts, she was hurled alive into a disused mineshaft and left to die of her injuries. She was subsequently canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church as the Holy Imperial Martyr Saint Elisabeth Romanova.