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Journal of a Russian Grand Duchess: Complete Annotated 1913 Diary of Olga Romanov, Eldest Daughter of the Last Tsar

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She was the eldest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia - the Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna Romanov. In 1913, the tricentennial year of her family's dynastic rule, Olga was coming of age - turning 18 in early November, and her life was full of romance, pageantry and fun. This volume comprises of diary entries from the full year, which allow the reader a unique glimpse in She was the eldest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia - the Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna Romanov. In 1913, the tricentennial year of her family's dynastic rule, Olga was coming of age - turning 18 in early November, and her life was full of romance, pageantry and fun. This volume comprises of diary entries from the full year, which allow the reader a unique glimpse into the daily domestic routines of the Russian imperial family just prior to the outbreak of the First World War.


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She was the eldest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia - the Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna Romanov. In 1913, the tricentennial year of her family's dynastic rule, Olga was coming of age - turning 18 in early November, and her life was full of romance, pageantry and fun. This volume comprises of diary entries from the full year, which allow the reader a unique glimpse in She was the eldest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia - the Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna Romanov. In 1913, the tricentennial year of her family's dynastic rule, Olga was coming of age - turning 18 in early November, and her life was full of romance, pageantry and fun. This volume comprises of diary entries from the full year, which allow the reader a unique glimpse into the daily domestic routines of the Russian imperial family just prior to the outbreak of the First World War.

30 review for Journal of a Russian Grand Duchess: Complete Annotated 1913 Diary of Olga Romanov, Eldest Daughter of the Last Tsar

  1. 5 out of 5

    Camille

    This is an extremely interesting portrait of the life and mind of Tsar Nicholas II’s eldest daughter. I've been a Romanov fan since Spring 2003, so finally discovering a book about royal daily life— told in the actual voice of Grand Duchess Olga, and with many rare and previously unpublished photographs— is priceless, especially as 1913 was the last full year of life as Olga knew it before the outbreak of World War I. Olga’s diary was kept as a journal of activities, and as such is written in a This is an extremely interesting portrait of the life and mind of Tsar Nicholas II’s eldest daughter. I've been a Romanov fan since Spring 2003, so finally discovering a book about royal daily life— told in the actual voice of Grand Duchess Olga, and with many rare and previously unpublished photographs— is priceless, especially as 1913 was the last full year of life as Olga knew it before the outbreak of World War I. Olga’s diary was kept as a journal of activities, and as such is written in a very practical and dutiful style, with rare inserts of Olga's personal feelings in her entries (which is a bit of a shame, as Olga is often considered as being the most thoughtful and reflective of her sisters, so it would have been invaluable to see her thoughts about the life she lead). Although not full of Olga’s emotions, what her diary of daily activities offers is a fascinating insight into the daily life of the Grand Duchesses. Some of the glimpses we get include: the lessons Olga had and which ones she did on certain days; some of the books she or her father read; plays, ballets, and operas the family attended; games they played (ranging from cards, kolorito, parlor games, and hide-and-seek, one game which was described in detail by Olga on 5 December: “Played hide-and-seek downstairs in a few rooms, in the dark of course. Ran around, crawled on all fours, pushed furniture. Very nice and fun.”); evenings spent “working” (the Grand Duchesses’ code word for knitting); types of dances she danced at balls; where they took tea and their meals everyday and with whom, as it was almost always with different guests; the various people the family met with and royal relatives who visited; places the Romanovs traveled to (the details of the 300 Years of Romanov Reign tour was particularly interesting); the royal duties Olga’s family participated in (such as preparations for upcoming charities); and how they spent their holidays (Olga seemed to really enjoy tennis, often playing several games every day she was in Livadia). It was particularly interesting to see the contrast between the frequent royal duties and activities to the very average pastimes of daily life, such as Olga overseeing the rehearsals for a regiment parade in the morning and then spending the afternoon breaking up the ice in the pond with her Father. Olga also faithfully records other seemingly trivial details, such as many of her Father’s daily activities that Olga herself was not present at, the daily temperature, and the health of her family, particularly that of the Empress and Alexei. Although her diary wasn’t a record for her personal feelings, occasionally some slip through, like her gratitude to God for things that happened that day or snippets of heartfelt prayers to help a loved one; when a certain day was particularly fun and delightful or when a conversation was particularly funny, to certain events which were tedious for Olga and days she was feeling particularly melancholy. The most touching and frequently recorded emotions are from Olga's hopeless passion for Pavel Voronov (whom Olga refers to as ’S’), an officer on the imperial yacht, the Standard. Olga records every moment she sees him (even if it was only through a spy glass) and the time they spent together— how happy being with him made her feel and how sad and lonely she got if a lot time went by between meetings (the length of which she often specifically recorded). Some of her deeper feelings and pet names for her crush (such as “dear one”, “much loved”, and “turtledove”) were written in code, particularly Olga's entry on 12 December after she learned about his upcoming marriage: “I loved him terribly much, and it was so hard, I was angry and almost did not speak to him.” However, only a few entries later, Olga records her sincere wishes that he’ll be granted happiness in his new marriage. These occasional glimpses into her feelings really show the goodness of Olga's heart. While interesting, Olga’s diary is sometimes difficult to follow, as each entry is written in a very ‘bullet list’ of facts manner, sometimes not in chronological order, and most of the people are listed solely by their initials. Thankfully the translator, Helen Azar, offers helpful footnotes that explain who certain people are, or adds additional insights into particular activities or aspects of Russian culture that provide not only understanding for the reader but also depth to the events Olga recorded. Overall Olga Romanov’s 1913 Diary is an invaluable historical resource. I’m so happy to have experienced this Romanov Time capsule, and I’m eager to read the letters and diaries of the rest of her sisters.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Olea

    Anost. Autoarea cărții încearcă să-i dea consistență inserînd, calendaristic, scrisorile ducesei către tatăl ei, alegere care derutează în lectură, și note de jurnal ale anturajului familiei regale, cu referiri la ducesă (fie critice, fie exaltate). Sînt note de subsol, aparținînd editorului american și preluate ad litteram în traducere, incorecte, neglijent formulate. Cartea capătă consistență cînd începe jurnalul țarului, de la Țarskoe Selo și din exil, la Tobolsk și la Ekaterinburg, intercala Anost. Autoarea cărții încearcă să-i dea consistență inserînd, calendaristic, scrisorile ducesei către tatăl ei, alegere care derutează în lectură, și note de jurnal ale anturajului familiei regale, cu referiri la ducesă (fie critice, fie exaltate). Sînt note de subsol, aparținînd editorului american și preluate ad litteram în traducere, incorecte, neglijent formulate. Cartea capătă consistență cînd începe jurnalul țarului, de la Țarskoe Selo și din exil, la Tobolsk și la Ekaterinburg, intercalate cu notele lui Kerenski (șeful guvernului provizoriu). Aici se simt nervozitatea, tensiunea, suspiciunea din primele luni ale revoluției bolșevice, cu comportamentele iraționale corespunzătoare. Simt că se putea organiza altfel informația disponibilă. Așa rămîne numai o intenție onorabilă, omagiul scriitoarei adus bunicilor ei, de apreciat în cerc restrîns. Încă nu am dat peste cartea care să reflecteze memorabil evenimentele prin care au trecut membrii familiei regale. Nici nu am căutat-o, recunosc; spre cartea aceasta m-a atras faptul că este vorba de destinul altei Olga... . Legat de subiectul istoric, deocamdată rămîn cu amintirea unui film puternic de Karen Șahnazarov - „Asasinul țarului” (https://www.cinemagia.ro/filme/tsareu...).

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ioana-Nicoleta Găurean

    Code: 2.9.5. Location: Glasgow

  4. 5 out of 5

    Chris Wylder

  5. 5 out of 5

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  17. 5 out of 5

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  27. 5 out of 5

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    Tanya Anderson

  29. 4 out of 5

    George Hawkins

  30. 4 out of 5

    Katie

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