on June 21, 2001
Charlotte Zeepvat's efforts are clearly shown throughtout this detailed book. She displays so many minor but interesting characters of the last centruy of Romanovs. Though it gets confusing, it is most likely people's unfamiliarity to the family and history.
Zeepvat paints a good writing of stories on these rarely known royals. Many of the stories can be very tragic and sad but it is none the less, informative.
If I ever need to write a paper on any of the characters, this is the book I will run to. It is a merger of many Romanov books with fantastic photos of the little known royals.
I appreciate Zeepvat's decision not to include much of the general stories of Nicholas II, his family, particularily Anastastia. This book is no Russian Royal book cliche like all the others on the last Tsar et al.,. It is packed with information on specific and interesting characters.
The author has done a wonderful job. If you have at least a slight interest in Russian History, this is the book for you.
on December 12, 2000
Lots of pictures & anecdotes that I have NOT seen in my many, many other Romanov books. The family trees are very complete. The book does NOT cover the same tired Nicholas & Alexandra stories. That is the strength of the book. The weaknesses of the book: could be better edited: it is missing a few lines in family trees, uses different names for the same person (Ella and Elisabeth, Ksenia and Xenia). The book can be hard to follow, but that is the fault of the material, not poor writing. The author talks about the immense whole of the Imperial family, including cousins, grandchildren, nephews etc. where they all seem to have shared the same handful of first names. The author's avoidance of the titles Grand Duke and Duchess is a real annoyance. I enjoyed the book a lot, it was a challenging read, I kept referring back to the family trees, all the time.
on December 8, 2000
Most books about the Romanovs concentrate on the last Tsar and his family. Nicholas II was an interesting figure, but he was the head of a large and fascinating family, most of whom are little known today. "Romanov Autumn" gives some detail to the lives of these now obscure people. One thing rather disconcerting is Zeepvat's use of unusual titles, like "Tsesarevitch" or "Grand Prince". Although she explains in her introduction that these are more accurate translations of the Russian titles, most people who read about the Romanovs are so used to "Tsarevitch" or "Grand Duke" that the new forms are jarring. Nevertheless, a Romanov fan should not be without this book.
on July 21, 2010
I hardly go through a book from start to finish without interruption. This book is one of the few that captured my interest from the first page to the very last. Zeepvat did an excellent job telling the stories and the peoples of the Imperial Russian family during the 19th and early 20th century. Each chapter focuses on a certain individual of the Romanov family, from Tsar Nicholas I to Nicholas II and everyone is between. I would recommend this book along side another one of Zeepvat's work - The Tsar and the Camera.
on August 16, 2000
The author has done a superb job of providing insights into the Romanovs, their personalities, their quirks, their passions, and their relationships. It is an collection of short stories, each of which stands on its own, but in combination it is a provides insights I haven't found in over 300 books I've read on the Romanovs and their times. For anyone who has even a minor interest in Russian history, this book should be must reading. For a Russophile, it is a banquet of good reading and wonderful insights.