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The Russian Court at Sea

4.5 (1976)

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The Russian Court at Sea.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Frances Welch(Author)

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On 11th April 1919, less than a year after the assassination of the Romanovs, the British battleship HMS Marlborough left Yalta carrying twenty members of the Russian Imperial Family into perpetual exile. They included the Tsar's mother, the Dowager Empress Marie, and his sister, the Grand Duchess Xenia, Prince Felix Youssupov, the murderer of Rasputin and a man once mooted as a future leader of Russia, and Grand Duke Nicholas, once Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Armies. As the ship prepared to set sail, a British sloop carrying 400 White Russian soldiers drew up alongside. The soldiers stood on deck and sang the Russian National Anthem. It was the last time the anthem was ever sung to members of the Imperial Family with Russian territory. The Dowager Empress stood on deck alone. According to the HMS Marlborough's First Lieutenant, nobody dared to approach her. The Russian Court at Sea vividly recreates this unlikely voyage, with its bizarre assortment of warring characters and its priceless cargo of treasures including rolled-up Rembrandts and Faberge eggs - for they were a family riven with hostility and mutual resentment. It is a story, by turns exotic, comic and doomed, of an extraordinary group of people caught up in an extraordinary moment in history when their lives were in every way at sea.

"A jewel of a book - In its quirkiness and sheer unlikeliness - Popular history writing at its cleverest and most enjoyable best." Mail on Sunday "A masterpiece of comic understatement" The Times "Welch writes with a limpid style and a cool intelligence" Sunday Telegraph "I was hooked from page one - this is cumulatively moving - a real triumph of sympathy" AN Wilson "The kind of history that makes fiction look pallid and pointless - " --Evening Standard "A gripping account of the Romanovs choppy passage into exile. Welch s detective work has produced a book that is wonderfully witty and sad by turns." --Mail on Sunday "The book's readability and telling use of detail are splendid." --Spectator "a splendidly exotic story ... Frances Welsh does it grippingly here, with lots of details I hadn't come across before. I loved to read of the goods they brought with them, including rolled-up Rembrandt paintings, Faberge eggs and other treasures of the sort. What a pilgrimage, to be sure." --Sunday Telegraph "A fascinating, poignant portrait of a bizarre collection of people caught up in the chaos of their exodus" --Irish Times "The book s readability and telling use of detail are splendid." --Spectator Frances Welch has written for the Sunday Telegraph, Granta, The Spectator and the Financial Times. She is co-author of Memories of Revolution: Russian Women Remember (Routledge, 1993), The Romanov & Mr Gibbes (Short Books, 2003) and A Romanov Fantasy: Life at the Court of Anna Anderson (Short Books, 2007) She is married to the writer Craig Brown, and has two children. She lives in Aldeburgh, Suffolk.

2.5 (10108)
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Book details

  • PDF | 224 pages
  • Frances Welch(Author)
  • Short Books Ltd (January 1, 2011)
  • English
  • 9
  • History

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Review Text

  • By Buddy Massey on November 24, 2014

    Excellent Book with much more in it than I have ever seen. the rescues and the facts are all great. A Lot of information about the diferent things that were saved ie The Grand Duchess Xenia asking what the boxes with shiny things spilling out at the dock and Captain Fothergil answering that that was all of her silver spilling out and the captain informing her that they were able to save the servants silver only. They carried mountains of luggage with their posessions, the Royal family nd the Youssoupovs Rembrants and part of Prince Felixs' Jewels.Most of this book seems to be quotes from Officer Pridhams memoirs. but with much more background information from Ms Francis Welch I Thouroghly enjoyed this work of hers I've got several of her books now and have enjoyed all of them. Reading History, Especially those that occured nearly exactly 100 years. Such a Wealth of information that was sealed to one and all for the last 100 years. 5 Stars for this one

  • By CMP3 on December 2, 2011

    Being a fan of Imperial Russian History for more than 40 years, I was quite happy to see that there was a book covering the post revolution flight of the Romanov's. It is definately a companion piece to the book of the same name by Perry & Pleshakov "Flight Of The Romanovs". Plenty of detailed information of the in-fighting between the various divisions of the family and where they all wound up. Also, great account of all the "LOOT" that was taken out of the country and the volume of riches the family not only had, but left behind. Much detailed info. regarding the Yusupov family who were on the same ship and suffered the same fate as the Romanov's.

  • By Alex BC on January 3, 2015

    Great read for the final days of the Romanovs escaping from Russia.It's important to know about all the events leading up to this stage in the royal saga.Massies books are a good start to gain the background.Highly recommended.

  • By R. Lowe on August 21, 2015

    I am a major reader of all things Romanov but I have had a very hard time getting through this book. It just does not hold my interest at all. Wish I had not bought it.

  • By Arthur V. Douglas on August 12, 2016

    An interesting book on the Romanov family as they fled from the evil Reds invading the Crimea. Family fights and intrigues are discussed per the refugees on board a ship sent by the Queen mother of England.Light reading for sure but well researched!

  • By Guest on April 19, 2012

    This book was a paperback edition but it was quite small and the print was so close to the binding that it was difficult to read even after cracking the binding which I do not like to do.I am accustomed to a better quality paperback edition of a book but I don't know how that could be described in the description of the book.The book itself was very interesting in telling about the voyage of members of the Romanov family who escaped from the Crimea, particularly how the Dowager Empress Marie interacted with the family and with the crew on the ship.

  • By bookworm on November 29, 2015

    An excellent book, full of interest. She is a good writer.

  • By maria beatriz bartoly on May 8, 2014

    The book is very good. The only comment I’ll make is about the incorrect year of birth of the younger daughter of the tsar which the author states is 1900 when in fact Grand Duchess Anastasia was born in 1901. The rest is a very agreeable, very interesting reading about the voyage of the ship which conducted the Romanovs and their retinue to the exile.Maria Beatriz Bartoly


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