Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Eurohistory - The European Royal History Journal --- how to subscribe

This morning we released to our printer the latest issue of our magazine, EUROHISTORY (ERHJ).

In it readers will find very interesting articles on: Claremont, the famed royal residence that has witnessed an undue share of royal tragedies; Grand Duchess Augusta of Mecklenburg-Strelitz; Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia; Prince Johann Georg of Hohenzollern; the three daughters of Prince Nicholas of Greece and Grand Duchess Helen Vladimirovna of Russia; Crown of Tears: Marie Antoinette of France and Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia; Queen Marie of Romania; Countess Viktoria-Luis elf Solms-Baruth; as well as our usual sections: Royal Book Reviews and Royal News.

We should be mailing the magazine by month's end since the printer requires at least a month to print and ship!

If interested in joining our ever-growing pool of subscribers, you can do so by emailing us at: books@eurohistory.com or aebeeche@mac.com

Subscription rates:

USA:           $50.00
UK:             £50.00
Europe:       $75.00
Rest of the World: $75.00

Or by sending your subscription payable to:

6300 Kensington Avenue
East Richmond Heights, CA 94805
Ph: 510.236.1730

UK Subscribers have the option of paying in Sterling by sending a cheque payable to Ms Katrina Warne:

Ms. Katrina Warne
c/o Eurohistory
12 Lockswood
Brookwood, Woking
Surrey GU24 0HL
United Kingdom

Monday, August 1, 2016

Queen Anne of Romania (1923-2016)

Queen Anne of Romania died today at a hospital in Morgues, Switzerland. She was 92 years old.  She was born Princess Anne of Bourbon-Parma.  In June 1948, she married the exiled King Michael of Romania



Now difficult to find is Queen Anne's memoirs:  Anne of Romania - A War, An Exile, A Life published in 2002 by the Romanian Cultural Foundation Publishing House.   The book was published in English and in Romanian.

http://royalmusingsblogspotcom.blogspot.com/2016/08/remembering-queen-anne-of-romania.html http://royalmusingsblogspotcom.blogspot.com/2016/08/queen-anne-of-romania-has-died.html

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Tatiana Romanov Daughter of the Last Tsar

Nicholas II of Russia had a private bath, a plonge (more like a small swimming pool) at the Alexander Palace.  It was place where the Emperor could relax, perhaps, read, or consider the events of that day.   No kids no wifey (one assumes) in this man cave, so image the delight of his second daughter, Grand Duchess Tatiana, was allowed to use the private bath.

"Papa darling, Huge thanks for allowing us to bathe in Your tub. It was immensely nice and fun and I enjoyed it terribly."   This was written by Tatiana to her father on March 7, 1915.  She was in her 18th year, a young woman on the cusp of adulthood.

This letter is included in Tatiana Romanov Daughter of the Last Tsar Diaries and Letters 1913-1918 (Westholme:$26.00), which will be seen as an important contribution to Romanov scholarship, thanks to Helen Azar, whose native Russian-language skills are an asset in translating original Romanov documents, such as diaries and letters.

Tatiana was perhaps the most gifted of the four sisters.  At times her diary entries and correspondence are eloquent, as she shows concern for family and friends, even after the Imperial Family is by the Provisional Government to Tobolsk in the late summer of 1917.

In exile, there were few complaints about their living conditions, and the lack of freedom.  In a letter to her aunt, Grand Duchess Xenia,  in September 1917,  Tatiana wrote: "The weather here is wonderful."    She also commented to her aunt that the house had a balcony and "it is fun to sit there and watch the street, to see the people. This is our only amusement."

The final years of Tatiana's life were not amusing, but she remained proud, and kind.  Her Orthodox faith and her relationships with her parents and siblings were important  to her.

Tatiana avoided politics and the growing revolutionary fervor in Russia that led to her father's abdication and their deaths.  The collapse of their world was not on their radar.  After Russia entered the first World War in 1914, Tatiana threw herself in the new duties: nursing and helping war refugees.   The Committee of Grand Duchess Tatiana was formed by an Imperial Ukase in September 1914.

During the next two years Tatiana was an eager nurse, taking part in surgeries including amputations.  A typical day would include lessons,  church services, visiting the infirmary, having meals with family members,  There were few political comments, but her view on the Germans --- calling them curs when German submarines destroyed Russian ships.

The murder of Rasputin by family members left an indelible impression.  In a Christmas letter (1916), Tatiana wrote to her mother. "....I believe the soul of our dead Friend is always with us and that he prays for you, my sweet angel Mama."  The Friend of course was Rasputin.

The Revolution changed everything.  The daily nursing visits came to an end in February 1917.  A month later, Nicholas abdicated, and 300 years of Romanov rule was over.    The family and a few retainers were kept confined at Tsarkoe Selo.    Tatiana's letters during this time period -- no diary entries --- are focused on  family and  keeping in contact with the outside world, especially her friends from nursing,  In one letter to Zinaida Tolstoy, there is a hint of lament about not being the Crimea for the summer.  "Strange to be without the sea for three years, there is no feeling of summer for me."   Until the war,  the Imperial Family spent summers at Livadia in the Crimea.   Winters were spent at Tsarkoe Selo, which in March 1917 had become their first prison.

The change in Tatiana's life becomes apparent in a letter to her aunt Xenia in January 1918.  "Does your Commissar read all the letters like ours?"

Tatiana's diaries for this time period are not complete, and kudos to Miss Azar for including excerpts from correspondence, biographies and other diaries of family members, servants and contemporaries.  The inclusion of the material, which always references Tatiana, enhances Tatiana's own words.  We see her through other eyes which help us to understand her and the life she lived.

The material for this book was obtained from the State Archives in Russia and in US libraries, including the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale.  The illustrations come from the State Archives, and most have not been published before... at least I have never seen them.

Russian Imperial expert Nicholas Nicholson is the book's co-author.  He is responsible for the numerous annotations (footnotes) that will help the general readers with the historical and political references and identifying family relations as many are identified only by nicknames.

This is an important work, true scholarship in the Romanov canon.

Westholme also published Helen's The Diary of Olga Romanov: Royal Witness to the Russian Revolution.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Summer sale at Rosvall Royal Books

Looking to add to your royal book collection?  Take a look at Rosvall Royal Books website  for their July -August sale!


Sunday, June 26, 2016

Wilhelm II und seine Geschwister by Barbara Beck

Kudos to German publisher, Friedrich Pustet, which publishes competent and interesting royal books.  One of the firm's more recent books is Wilhelm II und seine Geschwister, which translates to Wilhelm II and his siblings.

German historian Barbara Beck has written a competent book that focuses on the relationship between Kaiser Wilhelm II and his younger brother and sisters (Henry, Charlotte, Viktoria, Margarete and Sophie).  It  is not a surprise to say that the relationships were complicated and difficult.

Beck's style veers between a Ph.D dissertation (minus the footnotes) and a popular history.  The bibliography includes German and English language scholarly and standard books and articles.

Wilhelm II was a flawed man, his personality, his decisions made for family and country, were all formed by his deformed arm, his relationship with parents, his confused identity (British mother) and a desire to run a country and a family with an iron fist.

He could put boundaries on Henry and his wife, Irene (and Henry would have been a very different Kaiser had he been the older son), and Wilhelm's relationship with Charlotte, the sister closest in age, was the strongest although she had streaks of independence.  Charlotte, the wife of the Duke of Saxe-Meiningen, focused on herself - rather on the big picture.

Wilhelm's relationship with his three younger sisters, Victoria, Sophie and Margarete, was far different than with Charlotte or even Henry.  Victoria quickly went off the rails after her romance with Alexander of Battenberg was blocked.   No romance, no children with her husband, Prince Adolf of Schaumburg-Lippe, but what was missing from her life was the support of her family.

The author also has chapters on the two brothers, Sigismund and Waldemar, who died young.

Wilhelm, as a brother, did not have the mechanism to be the good brother.  He treated Sophie rather badly after she became the Crown Princess of the Hellenes, especially when he chastised her for converting to the Orthodox faith, not withstanding the fact that the Greek consort was required to be Orthodox.   His own personally and strident views would not allow him to comprehend the reality of Sophie's situation.

There was also no real support during the first world war and afterward when Wilhelm II was forced into exile.  Yes, there would be correspondence and meetings, but Wilhelm II's relationship with his siblings was supremely dysfunctional.

This is made clear by Barbara Beck.  This is one of more competent modern biographies on Wilhelm's relationship with his siblings.  (Someone now needs to write a biography on Wilhelm II and his children.)

The book is in German, and there are no plans to translate it into English, although ... this is a metaphorical stamping of my feet .. the book is, in my opinion, a very good candidate for translation, as I think there is a market (small as it is, but if marketed to the ideal readership, the book could sell.)

I hope Pustet Verlag will continue to publish more books like this.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Helen Rappaport joins Royalty Digest

Royalty Digest Quarterly welcomes renowned author HELEN RAPPAPORT as a writer for the magazine. Her first article is called "Mr HEATH - The English Tutor who taught Nicholas II to be the Perfect Gentleman" and tells the story of a unique man in a unique position as both employed by and friend of the Russian Imperial family for many years. Read this fascinating story in the new issue of RDQ (2/2016) which has just been published.


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Royal Collections Vol 1: Great Britain

For no other reason except to sit in a comfy chair and spend an hour or so losing yourself in the stunning new publication from EuropeanHistory.com:  Royal Collections Volume 1: Great Britain.

In the late 1990s, former financial analyst and now publisher-cum-writer, Art Beeche began a royal image collection of postcards and photographs.  The collection has become massive, and numbers  more than 400,000 images.    Wow.  My own collection is diminutive by comparison.

This 258 page is pure delight, page after page of historical photographs from Queen Victoria to present day.  Many of the photos are familiar, while others come from private family collections, and are published for the first time.    Mr. Beeche has purchased several collections at auction or from dealers..  He also acquired personal collections from the late Princess Olga of Yugoslavia, who was the older sister of Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent.

Count Hans Veit of Toerring -Jettenbach, a first cousin of the Duke of Kent and his siblings, also contributed a series of photos that he took at royal events, including Princess Alexandra's 70th  birthday.

My favorite photo (and I wish it were published in color) is on pages 206-207, a two page spread of the group photo taken after Prince and Princess Michael's Service of Blessing in the Anglican church (not a wedding), which took place several months after their civil marriage in Vienna in June 1978.

Another nice photogryaph shows Prince and Princess Michael of Kent with  Lord and Lady Frederick Windsor with their first daughter,Maud,and  Lady Ella Windsor, taken a few months after Maud's birth.

The book is divided into chapters on the British monarchs from Victoria to Elizabeth II, the junior branches (Gloucester, Kent, Edinburgh, Connaught & Albany), the old royal family ( Cumberland and Cambridge) and the extended family (Carisbrooke, Cambridge, Athlone and the Mountbattens).

I could ramble on and on about this special book.  I could tell you about more unique and special photographs ... group and family photographs of Prince Philip with his siblings and their descendants.

Let's just say you will want to order this book ... for the photos. Because the photos are awesome.

This  is a unique compilation because of the publisher's personal collection includes many published and previously private photos.      Royal Collections is the first of what will be a series of books with photos from the Eurohistory Archive.

Don't take this book to the beach.  This is a book you keep on your cocktail table, and dip in it from time to time, savoring all the delightful "new" photos.  Well done, Eurohistory.com