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Chapter 35 - The Romanov Conspiracy

This November marks the 100th anniversary of World War I - "the war that will end war" as it was sadly entitled by H.G. Wells in 1914. This year also marks the 100th anniversary of the murder of the Romanovs, the Russian Tsar and his family, in July of 1918.

There were many political and social reasons for the overthrow of the royal family - the loss of so many men, bad military decisions, and constant deprivations in World War I, being named as the primary ones. After house arrest, the Romanovs were moved to Siberia where they were executed by the Bolsheviks in 1918.

What really happened though? Why didn't England come to their rescue since Nicholas was the direct cousin of George V, England's king at the time? Tsarina Alexandra was the granddaughter of Queen Victoria and a German princess. Nicholas was directly related to the Danish royal family. Surely someone of royal heritage would save this well established royal family! These questions have created fodder for many books about the Romanovs and their fate. So if you are interested in their story, here are some terrific books, both fiction and non-fiction, to try.

I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon - This is the second book I read during my birthday weekend. Since the Romanov deaths there has been speculation that at least one of the family escaped the execution. A young woman in Germany, Anna Anderson, asserted for many years that she was the youngest daughter, Anastasia. This novel by Lawhon tells that story.

The Kitchen Boy by Robert Alexander - A novel told through the eyes of a boy who worked in the kitchen in the Siberian house in which the Romanovs were imprisoned. This is the story from a different perspective.

The Romanov Prophecy by Steve Berry - I enjoy Berry's historical thrillers and this standalone novel is no exception. The premise is that after succession of weak governments, the Russian people have voted to bring back the monarchy. The new tsar will be chosen from the distant relatives of Nicholas II. The lawyer who is hired to perform a background check on one of the candidates finds himself in danger as he does his research.

There are two true history authors who have specifically chosen the Romanov family as their one of their favorite topics - Robert K. Massie and Helen Rappaport. Massie's initial book, Nicholas and Alexandra was written in 1968 and is still considered one of the best on the subject. He also wrote The Romanovs: The Final Chapter in 2012 about their last days.

Helen Rappaport is a more recent Russian history writer. Her books The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra, The Last Days of the Romanovs: Tragedy at Ekaterinburg and her newest, The Race to Save the Romanovs: The Truth Behind the Secret Plans to Rescue the Russian Imperial Family are all wonderful reads.

If you want to know more about this tragic family and time, order these or other books at

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