This book presents a vivid and original portrait of the entire Romav family, who shaped Russian history and politics for three centuries and whose legacy still sparks the public's imagination. For 300 years the history of Russia was inextricably linked to that of one family: The Romavs. Claiming a divine right to reign and tracing the family line back to Peter the Great they shaped the history of Russia, for better or for worse, for three centuries. The influence of Michael, Ivan, Catherine II, Nicholas I and Alexander III defined the politics, society, art and philosophy of their times and lead to the establishment of Russia as one of the great world powers. But when the Romav's gathered to celebrate their tercentenary in 1913 dark clouds were gathering all around. Rasputin had prophesized their demise and his unpopular influence on the Tsar was growing. The strain of the First World War had spread unrest throughout Russia. On 17 July 1918, three-hundred and four years of the Romav dynasty ended when, probably under Lenin's orders, Tsar Nicholas II, his wife and five children were brutally murdered by a Bolshevik execution squad. This brilliant and original new work on the entire Romav family paints a vivid picture of the dynasty and illustrates exactly what it contributed to the creation of Russia. By bringing the characters of the Tsars and their family to life Lindsey Hughes has added so much to our kwledge of this fascinating dynasty.
Lindsey Hughes was an internationally renowned authority on 17th and 18th century Russian history, in particular on the age of Peter the Great. As well as teaching at London University's School of Slavonic and East European Studies, where she was a professor and head of the history department, she wrote prolifically and was a valued member of an influential cohort of scholars brought together in the Eighteenth-Century Russia Study Group founded in 1968 by Anthony Cross. She passed away in 2007 shortly after having completed this final book.