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The Diary of Olga Romanov: Royal Witness to…
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The Diary of Olga Romanov: Royal Witness to the Russian Revolution

by Helen Azar

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Yes, that Olga Romanov, who kept a diary which has just recently been released. Alas, all this diary does is demonstrate that Miss Romanov really did not have a very interesting life although she came and went a lot before her imprisonment. Somehow, imprisonment was almost more liberating than freedom except for the execution part, of course. No matter what new materials are located, the sad ending is always the same. ( )
  khiemstra631 | May 5, 2014 |
Being a sadly bungled mishmash of diaries, correspondence, and memoirs of various people issued under the misnomer of the diary of Czar Nicholas' oldest daughter. The compiler's most disastrous mistake was to omit the diary's first decade, beginning it only in the war years, and the diary is frequently interrupted by excerpts from other people's diaries, letters, and reminiscences, most egregiously by the family's last year being narrated by the diary of the Czar himself. Olga's diary contributions are largely banal, and in any case read more like an appointment book than what we think of as a diary. These documents would be a good baseline for a biography, and one wishes that the compiler had gone that direction with this material. . ( )
  Big_Bang_Gorilla | Apr 24, 2014 |
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In August 1914, Russia entered World War I, and with it, the imperial family of Tsar Nicholas II was thrust into a conflict they would not survive. His eldest child, Olga Nikolaevna, great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria, had begun a diary in 1905 when she was ten years old and kept writing her thoughts and impressions of day-to-day life as a grand duchess until abruptly ending her entries when her father abdicated his throne in March 1917. Held at the State Archives of the Russian Federation in Moscow, Olga's diaries during the wartime period have never been translated into English until this volume. At the outset of the war, Olga and her sister Tatiana worked as nurses in a military hospital along with their mother, Tsarina Alexandra. Olga's younger sisters, Maria and Anastasia, visited the infirmaries to help raise the morale of the wounded and sick soldiers. The strain was indeed great, as Olga records her impressions of tending to the officers who had been injured and maimed in the fighting on the Russian front. Concerns about her sickly brother, Aleksei, abound, as well those for her father, who is seen attempting to manage the ongoing war. Gregori Rasputin appears in entries, too, in an affectionate manner as one would expect of a family friend. While the diaries reflect the interests of a young woman, her tone grows increasingly serious as the Russian army suffers setbacks, Rasputin is ultimately murdered, and a popular movement against her family begins to grow.… (more)

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