Friday, August 12, 2011

The Resurrection of the Romanovs By Greg King

I have enjoyed watching (reading) Greg King develop into a truly superb royal writer.  He and his co-author Penny Wilson have hit it out of the park with their latest book, The  Resurrection of the Romanovs (Wiley: $35.00).  

The book is really about a Polish woman, Franziska Schanzkowska, the woman  behind the Anna Anderson persona.  For nearly 70 years,  Franziska largely survived as Anna Anderson, who convinced many that she was Grand Duchess Anastasia, the youngest daughter of Nicholas II.

The Resurrection of the Romanovs: Anastasia, Anna Anderson, and the World's Greatest Royal Mystery

So many people wanted to believe that Anastasia survived the mass murders, and the evidence in her favor was, at times, overwhelming.   The story came to a crumbling end when DNA testing proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that Anastasia died with her parents and siblings on July 16/17, 1918, and the  woman who emerged from a canal in Berlin in 1920 was a mentally ill Polish peasant.

The Resurrection of the Romanovs: Anastasia, Anna Anderson, and the World's Greatest Royal Mystery  (UK)

King and Wilson jumped deep into the story, and analyzed mountains of information, from court proceedings to previously unpublished and undiscovered documents. The result is a home run -- real research, real detective work.

So much has been written on Anna Anderson - the pros, the cons, the supporters and those who were equally convinced that Anna was a fraud.   But so many wanted to believe that this story would have a happy ending for Anna.  She  would be vindicated, but, instead of being vindicated, Anna was proven conclusively to be a fraud.  

DNA does not lie.

The Resurrection of the Romanovs is a mammoth achievement, a true historical revelation, and the absolute standard on the enigma that was Anna Anderson.  Greg and Penny's first collaboration was The Fate of the Romanovs.

The Fate of the Romanovs

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