The Last Empress: The Life and Times of Alexandra Feodorovna, Tsarina of Russia

Greg King, Author, Nicholas Romanoff, Designed by Citadel Press $24.95 (431p) ISBN 978-1-55972-211-7
Despised by Russia's masses as the heartless ``German Bitch,'' Tsarina Alexandra, consort of Tsar Nicholas II, has been maligned and misunderstood by historians, stresses King in this wonderfully vivid biography. Princess of a grand duchy on the Rhine, and granddaughter of England's Queen Victoria, moody, fatalistic, obstinate, fervidly religious, Alexandra came to Imperial Russia's throne at age 22. Her democratic heritage, rooted in consitutitional monarchy, was quickly jettisoned in her marriage to a man regarded as semi-divine. King, a freelance writer who has mined unpublished archival material in England and Russia, argues provocatively that the Empress put her faith in debauched holy man Gregory Rasputin with good reason, for the evidence points to his uncanny faith-healing powers in alleviating her son Alexei's hemophilia. King further maintains that Rasputin's political influence on the Tsarina has been greatly overestimated; real power lay with her, King concludes, and Alexandra's sway over her husband led to the Romanov's fall. This biography is a worthy companion to Edvard Radzinsky's The Last Tsar. Photos not seen by PW. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/30/1994
Release date: 01/01/1960
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