This Week in the News – The Romanovs and Imperial Russia


Portrait of Grand Duke Andrei Vladimirovich, 1916

Artist: Nikolai Vasilyevich Kharitonov (1880-1944), from the collection of the State Historical Museum, Moscow

The portrait is signed on the bottom by Grand Duke Andrei, and dated 10th December, 1916

Grand Duke Andrei Vladimirovich (1879 – 1956) was the youngest of four sons born to Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich (1847-1909) and Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna (1854-1920).

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This Week in the News includes a link and brief summary to full-length articles published in the past week from English language media and internet sources.

This initiative is a courtesy to those who do not have a Facebook account, or for some reason cannot view the Royal Russia Facebook page – now, with more than 135,000 followers from around the world!

Royal Russia is pleased to offer our dedicated followers with the following full-length articles, on a variety of topics covering the Romanov dynasty, their legacy, monarchy, and the history of Imperial and Holy Russia, for the week ending 17 February 2018.


ARTICLES – click on the red headline text below to read the respective articles

Russia’s own lady Hamilton: Why did the first Russian Emperor execute his Scottish mistress?

A descendant of Scottish aristocrats, Mary Hamilton (died in 1719) was not only a lady-in-waiting in the court of Peter the Great, but also his (not so) secret lover. Her fate was sealed when she tried to hide the truth from the imperial family. Oleg Yegorov writes in RBTH.

Russian nobility’s most daring swashbuckler

This Russian imperial guardsman fought Napoleon, married a gypsy and was booted from an around-the-world voyage for bad behavior. Count Fyodor Tolstoy earned the nickname “American,” even though he never visited the U.S. Georgy Manaev writes in RBTH.

What happened to the pets of the last Romanovs?

Some of them not only followed their owners into exile but also lost their lives on the same tragic night in July 1918 when the Romanovs were killed. Interestingly, though, one dog managed to survive and ended up in the UK.
Ksenia Zubacheva writes in RBTH.

23 postcards to say ‘I love you’ in Tsarist Russia

‘What do I need your fidelity for? Show me your love instead’: They knew how to cut to the chase in the 19th century. Nikolay Shevcenko writes in RBTH.

Gaze across the city of tsars and emperors from a bird’s eye view + VIDEO

St. Petersburg takes on a whole new charm during the winter months, when it is covered with snow. I have visited the city during the winter on several occasions over the years, and am always in awe of the city’s beauty during this particular season – PG

Alexander Pushkin, one of the Russia’s greatest writers, used to say that his favourite season in St. Petersburg was winter. Now you can see it for yourself.

Why Russia has two calendars and how it lost 13 days of history

100 years ago, the Russian people irrevocably had half a month wiped off their lives: 13 days of February in 1918. Here’s why. Alexey Timofeychev writes in RBTH.

Gone forever: 4 geniuses whom Russia lost to emigration a century ago

A hundred years ago, during the space of just a few years, hundreds of thousands of people fled Russia, torn apart by revolutions and the Civil War of 1917–1923. Most of them never returned and their homeland lost several Nobel Prize winners, genius musicians and talented authors. They, in their turn, spent lives in exile, longing for their Motherland. Oleg Yegorov writes in RBTH.


Cursed Days by Ivan Bunin. Published in 1998, by Ivan R. Dee Publisher, Chicago. Translated with introduction and notes by Thomas Gaiton Marullo. 228 pages

I highly recommend reading Cursed Days by Ivan Bunin (1870-1953). This book reflects the authors’ diary of the years 1918–1920 in Moscow and Odessa. It is regarded as one of the very few anti-Bolshevik diaries to be preserved from the time of the Russian Revolution and civil war.

His scathing account of his last days in Russia recreates events with graphic and gripping intimacy. His criticism of Bolshevik leaders is unparalleled, referring to them as “pitiful, dull, mangy-looking creatures”. 

On hearing of the death of the Bolshevik leader, Vladimir Lenin, in January 1924, Bunin gave an emotional speech in Paris, in which he dubbed Lenin a degenerate by birth, who committed the monstrous crime of crashing the world’s most powerful nation and killing several million people

Cursed Days was originally published in 1925–1926 in the Paris-based ‘Vozrozhdenye’ newspaper (its final version was published by Petropolis in 1936). The first English edition was published in 1998. Cursed Days, was banned in the Soviet Union until the late 1980s, it has since been published in 15 editions!

Bunin was the first Russian writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature (1933). He was revered among White emigres for his anti-Bolshevik views, and regarded him as a true heir to the tradition of realism in Russian literature established by Tolstoy and Chekhov.

Ivan Alekseyevich Bunin died in Paris on 8 November 1953.

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Detail of the monument to Russia’s last Imperial family, shows Emperor Nicholas II carrying his only son and heir down the 23 steps to the basement of the Ipatiev House, where they were all murdered on the night of 16/17 July 1918. The monument is part of the Church on the Blood in Ekaterinburg.

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Disclaimer: the links published on this page are for information purposes only,
and may not reflect the opinions of Paul Gilbert and/or Royal Russia

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