The Romanovs: 1613-1918
- Narrated by: Simon Russell Beale
- Length: 28 hrs and 46 mins
- Unabridged Audiobook
- Release date: 03-03-16
- Language: English
- Publisher: Orion Publishing Group
This is the intimate story of 20 tsars and tsarinas, some touched by genius, some by madness, but all inspired by holy autocracy and imperial ambition. Montefiore's gripping chronicle reveals their secret world of unlimited power and ruthless empire building, overshadowed by palace conspiracy, family rivalries, sexual decadence and wild extravagance and peopled by a cast of adventurers, courtesans, revolutionaries and poets, from Ivan the Terrible to Tolstoy, from Queen Victoria to Lenin.
To rule Russia was both imperial-sacred mission and poisoned chalice. Six tsars were murdered, and all the Romanovs lived under constant threat to their lives. Peter the Great tortured his own son to death while making Russia an empire and dominated his court with a dining club notable for compulsory drunkenness, naked dwarfs and fancy dress. Catherine the Great overthrew her own husband - who was murdered soon afterwards - loved her young male favourites, conquered Ukraine and fascinated Europe. Paul was strangled by courtiers backed by his own son, Alexander I, who faced Napoleon's invasion and the burning of Moscow, then went on to take Paris. Alexander II liberated the serfs, survived five assassination attempts, and wrote perhaps the most explicit love letters ever written by a ruler.
The Romanovs: 1613-1918 climaxes with a fresh, unforgettable portrayal of Nicholas and Alexandra, the rise and murder of Rasputin, war and revolution - and the harrowing massacre of the entire family. Written with dazzling literary flair, drawing on new archival research, The Romanovs: 1613-1918 is at once an enthralling story of triumph and tragedy, love and death, a universal study of power and an essential portrait of the empire that still defines Russia today.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By H L Condliffe on 03-06-16
Fantastic content and narration
Fantastic if you have even the slightest interest in Russian history. Yes, the narrator speaks quickly but it's well over 24 hours long, there's so much content he has to! So much interesting detail, never boring, and I've learned so much. I love this audio book and would thoroughly recommend.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Berenguela on 21-09-18
Great book, not so great reader
The book is fantastic, and I am sure it will become a classic on Russian history. Mr Sebag Montefiore has done a great work: he combines detail, research and historical accuracy with amenity and readability.
Alas, the listening experience is botched by the performance of the reader; he has quite a curious diction, where he rathers splutters words. It is specially annoying in a book like this, where foreign names abound. I’ve had to check plenty of them. He also has an unsteady reading pace, where he suddenly accelerates and one word seems to crash into the next one. A pity.
By Mikael on 06-12-17
Very fascinating story and good performance overall. Could have been a little less about the last tsars.