counter create hit Thirteen Years at the Russian Court: A Personal Record of the Last Years and Death of the Tsar Nicholas II, and His Family - Download Free eBook
Hot Best Seller

Thirteen Years at the Russian Court: A Personal Record of the Last Years and Death of the Tsar Nicholas II, and His Family

Availability: Ready to download

In September 1905 Pierre Gilliard entered Tsar Nicholas II’s household as the French tutor of Duchesses Olga Nicolaievna and Tatiana Nicolaievna. He would go on to spend a further thirteen years in the close company of the Romanov family. Within that time he would be a witness to one of the most remarkable and tragic events of modern history as a close-knit family was In September 1905 Pierre Gilliard entered Tsar Nicholas II’s household as the French tutor of Duchesses Olga Nicolaievna and Tatiana Nicolaievna. He would go on to spend a further thirteen years in the close company of the Romanov family. Within that time he would be a witness to one of the most remarkable and tragic events of modern history as a close-knit family was torn apart and executed in the midst of the Revolution. But this book is more than simply an eyewitness account of the Revolution. As one of the books early reviews notes, Gilliard ‘had unusual opportunities of knowing their simple domestic life, and when the tragedy that had befallen the Royal house inevitably drew its members, and the few of their attendants who were left to them, more closely together, he was able to learn more and more intimately the ties that bound them together and the difficulties that had brought them to such a doom.’ The Tablet Throughout his thirteen years Gilliard built strong personal relationships with those at the Russian court and his eyewitness account of that time is a beautifully intimate portrayal of the family. From little Aleksey who despite his haemophilia remained the centre of attention to his mischievous sisters, their anxious mother and proud father, Gilliard provides vivid sketches of each of the family members. He was also witness to figures outside of the family circle, including the infamous Rasputin. Throughout the account there are extremely personal notes interspersed with humour which provide a humanising view of the Romanov family, including the moment when Gilliard forgets to censor some of the language in Les Miserables to which Tsar Nicholas II teases with him: “You are teaching my daughters a very curious vocabulary, monsieur…” In 1914 Russia descended into war and over the coming years as the situation on the front becomes more tense so too does life within the court. The strain upon court and nation comes to a climax in March 1917 as the Revolution begins. Even through their abdication and imprisonment Gilliard remained with the family, until finally in 1918, after the Bolshevik’s coup d’etat, Gilliard is separated from them, never to see them again. Pierre Gilliard’s remarkable and tragic account of the last years of the Romanov dynasty was first published in 1921. He later became a French professor at the University of Lausanne and died in 1962.


Compare

In September 1905 Pierre Gilliard entered Tsar Nicholas II’s household as the French tutor of Duchesses Olga Nicolaievna and Tatiana Nicolaievna. He would go on to spend a further thirteen years in the close company of the Romanov family. Within that time he would be a witness to one of the most remarkable and tragic events of modern history as a close-knit family was In September 1905 Pierre Gilliard entered Tsar Nicholas II’s household as the French tutor of Duchesses Olga Nicolaievna and Tatiana Nicolaievna. He would go on to spend a further thirteen years in the close company of the Romanov family. Within that time he would be a witness to one of the most remarkable and tragic events of modern history as a close-knit family was torn apart and executed in the midst of the Revolution. But this book is more than simply an eyewitness account of the Revolution. As one of the books early reviews notes, Gilliard ‘had unusual opportunities of knowing their simple domestic life, and when the tragedy that had befallen the Royal house inevitably drew its members, and the few of their attendants who were left to them, more closely together, he was able to learn more and more intimately the ties that bound them together and the difficulties that had brought them to such a doom.’ The Tablet Throughout his thirteen years Gilliard built strong personal relationships with those at the Russian court and his eyewitness account of that time is a beautifully intimate portrayal of the family. From little Aleksey who despite his haemophilia remained the centre of attention to his mischievous sisters, their anxious mother and proud father, Gilliard provides vivid sketches of each of the family members. He was also witness to figures outside of the family circle, including the infamous Rasputin. Throughout the account there are extremely personal notes interspersed with humour which provide a humanising view of the Romanov family, including the moment when Gilliard forgets to censor some of the language in Les Miserables to which Tsar Nicholas II teases with him: “You are teaching my daughters a very curious vocabulary, monsieur…” In 1914 Russia descended into war and over the coming years as the situation on the front becomes more tense so too does life within the court. The strain upon court and nation comes to a climax in March 1917 as the Revolution begins. Even through their abdication and imprisonment Gilliard remained with the family, until finally in 1918, after the Bolshevik’s coup d’etat, Gilliard is separated from them, never to see them again. Pierre Gilliard’s remarkable and tragic account of the last years of the Romanov dynasty was first published in 1921. He later became a French professor at the University of Lausanne and died in 1962.

30 review for Thirteen Years at the Russian Court: A Personal Record of the Last Years and Death of the Tsar Nicholas II, and His Family

  1. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    I love the last Romanovs so so much. I've read several books on them and wrote a paper on Empress Alexandra for a class last semester, so I've come to learn a great deal about them over time. I am always impressed by their family life and the love they clearly had for each other. This book is the memoirs of the Romanov children's tutor, and reading about his time with the family, World War I, and the Russian revolution from his eyewitness perspective was fascinating but equally heartbreaking. Thi I love the last Romanovs so so much. I've read several books on them and wrote a paper on Empress Alexandra for a class last semester, so I've come to learn a great deal about them over time. I am always impressed by their family life and the love they clearly had for each other. This book is the memoirs of the Romanov children's tutor, and reading about his time with the family, World War I, and the Russian revolution from his eyewitness perspective was fascinating but equally heartbreaking. This work in particular gave me a greater understanding of what Alexei and Nicholas were like on a personal level. Additionally, Gilliard's account is a testament to those employed by the royal family, especially those who were dedicated and brave enough to stay by the tsar's side until the very end. Clearly, Gilliard's closeness to the family gives him a bias that does not, perhaps, lend to a particularly well-rounded view of the events he describes. But honestly, who can blame him??? He spent years around the family and weathered some of their greatest trials right alongside them. His argument concerning why the Bolsheviks hurried to dispose of the bodies-- not in fear of the White army, but of the Russian people-- was an interesting perspective. When Nicholas and Alexandra traveled across Russia during World War I, they were met with worshipful subjects and cries of "God Save the Tsar." Gilliard argues that the vast peasant population was, for the most part, removed from much of the revolutionary action. However, one must consider that Gilliard's reasoning, however correct, may have been inspired by his devotion to the tsar and his family. I am constantly and starkly reminded of the Romanov family's humanity as I learn about their individual personalities, how they interacted with each other, and how the responded to the chaos happening around them. Gilliard's memoir captures all of this well.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    A different view of the Romanov family from the tutor of Alexis primarily, I found the book interesting and his opinions compelling if somewhat biased as to the reasons the dynasty fell resulting in the murders of this family. I always thought the Czarina was controlling and very manipulating in her raising of her children,why did her two oldest daughters never marry? They were far older than the normal age for marriage at the time of their death,they had only been allowed to attend two social e A different view of the Romanov family from the tutor of Alexis primarily, I found the book interesting and his opinions compelling if somewhat biased as to the reasons the dynasty fell resulting in the murders of this family. I always thought the Czarina was controlling and very manipulating in her raising of her children,why did her two oldest daughters never marry? They were far older than the normal age for marriage at the time of their death,they had only been allowed to attend two social events, no life at all outside of the immediate family,so sad. The Czarina also isolated the family from the rest of the Romanov’s thus creating even more animosity among the upper classes and then there was Rasputin thrown into the mix. The Czarina was a neurotic woman at best with weak Czar who could /would not oppose her. The book is interesting and it also shows the investigation after the murders as well as the murders of the extended family including the Czarina’s sister. Very good informative book and with the DNA having been done now we know for sure that the entire family was killed in the “house of special purpose”.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Laurie

    These first hand accounts are so incredibly poignant, heart-breaking and fascinating. Whatever their faults may have been, the entire entourage did not deserve to die the way they did in that horrible basement - with loyal servants and young people totally innocent paying for the sins of the parents. It truly is appalling and the Bolsheviks knew that at the time or they would not have attempted to cover their tracks to the degree they did -in Russian-style which often means half-assed. Reading t These first hand accounts are so incredibly poignant, heart-breaking and fascinating. Whatever their faults may have been, the entire entourage did not deserve to die the way they did in that horrible basement - with loyal servants and young people totally innocent paying for the sins of the parents. It truly is appalling and the Bolsheviks knew that at the time or they would not have attempted to cover their tracks to the degree they did -in Russian-style which often means half-assed. Reading these memoirs, I felt Mr. Gilliard’s shock and horror: not the children! Surely, not the children! He had to see the contents of the Tsarevich’s pockets and his belt buckle for himself before he would believe it to be true. Very moving and very haunting.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Gwen

    Memoirs of the tutor hired for the Csar's young children--all the way up to the time of their murders, and beyond. We all know the story, but following his search for what happened is very compelling. His opinions of Rasputin and the influence of the Tsarevitch's hemophilia in the family is interesting. This is a difficult book to lay hands on, it must be out of print. Memoirs of the tutor hired for the Csar's young children--all the way up to the time of their murders, and beyond. We all know the story, but following his search for what happened is very compelling. His opinions of Rasputin and the influence of the Tsarevitch's hemophilia in the family is interesting. This is a difficult book to lay hands on, it must be out of print.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Maan Kawas

    Great and disturbing book by the Swiss tutor to the children of Tsar Nicholas II Romanov, Pierre Gilliard, which provides information about the Tsar and his family.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ana Bourasseau

    It's too bad such an important piece of work has so many grammatical errors and is impaired by atrocious editing. I purchased this edition through an independent source on Amazon, so I don't know if there are better editions of this piece of work. In addition, the book is riddled with awkward phrasing and translation. In my opinion, the content itself isn't bad. It recounts the "memoirs" of the royal family's french tutor from his beginnings at the Russian court to the end of their lives. It is It's too bad such an important piece of work has so many grammatical errors and is impaired by atrocious editing. I purchased this edition through an independent source on Amazon, so I don't know if there are better editions of this piece of work. In addition, the book is riddled with awkward phrasing and translation. In my opinion, the content itself isn't bad. It recounts the "memoirs" of the royal family's french tutor from his beginnings at the Russian court to the end of their lives. It is historically invaluable. Unfortunately, the book's most interesting parts are probably toward the end. I'm not sure why he spent so many moments of the book writing about World War 1, especially when he wasn't literally present. This just seems like filler. Also, although I can't critizise this too much (as these were the views of the time), it makes me upset to hear such anti semitic comments and anti-German sentiment from the author. He's delusional saying that the revolution was caused by German spies and the jews. Overall, invaluable document based on the day-to-day lives of the royal family, plagued by horrible editing, and an unfortunate point of view from the author.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ella

    This book was very insightful into the lives of the Romanovs and also invaluable in approaching the personality of the author, Gilliard himself, which has often been omitted from other sources. A reasonably short read, the book spans over thirteen years with quite a quick pace, though the anecdotes and accounts from Gilliard fill this timespan quite well. Although I wish that there had been more focus on the characters of the Grand Duchesses and Tsarevich, Gilliard's recounting is among the best This book was very insightful into the lives of the Romanovs and also invaluable in approaching the personality of the author, Gilliard himself, which has often been omitted from other sources. A reasonably short read, the book spans over thirteen years with quite a quick pace, though the anecdotes and accounts from Gilliard fill this timespan quite well. Although I wish that there had been more focus on the characters of the Grand Duchesses and Tsarevich, Gilliard's recounting is among the best that I have read and one of the most authoritative accounts of life in captivity. However, do be warned that there are some elements of anti-Semitism within the book that heavily detract from it's enjoyability as a read, although this was sadly accurate to the views of the time. There are some misspellings and omitting of some names (for Gilliard's own private reasons) in this translation, this does not detract from the readability. Overall 4 stars for it's account and invaluable quality as a source to the lives of the Romanovs.

  8. 4 out of 5

    {erika}

    Memoirs of the Romanov children's French tutor from his beginnings at the Russian court to the end of their lives---I didn't find it too dry and it was compelling. It seems in some ways incredibly accurate and a real insight into their characters and their situation and in others biased because of his great love of the family. Quite glad I read it and still fascinated by this period in time. I appreciated the level of detail he put into the state of WWI and Russian politics at the time. It is es Memoirs of the Romanov children's French tutor from his beginnings at the Russian court to the end of their lives---I didn't find it too dry and it was compelling. It seems in some ways incredibly accurate and a real insight into their characters and their situation and in others biased because of his great love of the family. Quite glad I read it and still fascinated by this period in time. I appreciated the level of detail he put into the state of WWI and Russian politics at the time. It is especially nice this is offered for free with the Gutenberg Project. Between this and the colorized photos we have now, I think it's a great way to help bring history to life.

  9. 5 out of 5

    حنان طبق

    I’ve always been fascinated about Russia, specially the last Czar family. This memoir got me very close to them as if I’ve crossed the 100 years back barrier and lived in their era sharing their love for each other and their country. Their tragic end always hits me with real sadness as if it just freshly happened yesterday.

  10. 5 out of 5

    meghan

    Interesting prospective Was an interesting read from someone who lived through the historic times. I do think the author was bias of his subjects but it is understandable since he spent so much time with the family. If only they could see the bigger picture of what was happening in the world around them, they might have saved themselves.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Marti

    This is a well written, heartrending, personal eyewitness account of the last Romanovs. Gilliard paints a picture of a family that is simple in taste (compared to the formal glitter of the Russian Court), devoted to each other and to their faith. A must read for anyone interested in Russian history or in how Tsar Nicholas II and his family lived and died.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mhairi Brown

    A really good, honest and affectionate first hand view of Russia's last imperial family. Pierre shares his own experience in a simple way while also giving you insight into the personalities of the whole family and some of their servants. Unfortunately most of what was shared was stuff I already knew from other books but it was still worth reading to get the perspective of someone who actually knew the family instead of just a historian's POV. A really good, honest and affectionate first hand view of Russia's last imperial family. Pierre shares his own experience in a simple way while also giving you insight into the personalities of the whole family and some of their servants. Unfortunately most of what was shared was stuff I already knew from other books but it was still worth reading to get the perspective of someone who actually knew the family instead of just a historian's POV.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nicolas Bracquez

    An amazing book that provides another view on these historical events and a more intimate side of the imperial family.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Fabiana Conte

    Thought provoking and beautifully written book... but if only he had included more details of the personality of the children I would have given the fifth star.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Safak

    ' Hicbir siddet,hicbir ofke zarar veremez bu huzura, olunceye kadar bu huzurun olacaktir zafer.' ' Hicbir siddet,hicbir ofke zarar veremez bu huzura, olunceye kadar bu huzurun olacaktir zafer.'

  16. 4 out of 5

    Suzy Acosta

    If you are a Romanov lover you will enjoy this book! I didn't really learn anything that I didn't already know but I enjoyed hearing it from the perspective of Pierre Gilliard. If you are a Romanov lover you will enjoy this book! I didn't really learn anything that I didn't already know but I enjoyed hearing it from the perspective of Pierre Gilliard.

  17. 5 out of 5

    automidori

    This book had brought me to have a view from the other side of the fence.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Gordon Kwok

    Great book by the French tutor to the Russian royal family, specifically the daughters of the last Tsar. It details his time at the Russian court and what it was like being a tutor to the family and what it was the Tsar and Tsarina were like. Great book for anyone interested in royal history.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kelley

    This was Pierre Gillard's autobiographical account of his years as tutor to the children of Tsar Nicholas and Tsaritsa Alexandra. Considering his 13 years of service to them, and his intense loyalty in staying with them until he forcibly separated from them after they were all arrested, I was a little disappointed with the lack of feeling of this book. At times he wrote as if he was a historian (about governmental workings that I'm pretty sure he would have had no personal knowledge of at the ti This was Pierre Gillard's autobiographical account of his years as tutor to the children of Tsar Nicholas and Tsaritsa Alexandra. Considering his 13 years of service to them, and his intense loyalty in staying with them until he forcibly separated from them after they were all arrested, I was a little disappointed with the lack of feeling of this book. At times he wrote as if he was a historian (about governmental workings that I'm pretty sure he would have had no personal knowledge of at the time as the family tutor) which went beyond the scope of this book. He was also surprisingly drawn in by some of the vicious gossip of the time. While he claims to write this book to support the family, he also is surprisingly derogatory to their close personal friend Anna Vryubova, succumbing to spreading malicious propaganda about her, that after having read quite a bit about her (through other sources), I am virtually certain wasn't true. Still, despite his shortcomings, Gillard, a Swiss, was to be admired for his deep devotion to the family and his willingness to be arrested and held in captivity with them in order to continue his service to a family he deeply admired (something Vyrubova did as well). Such devotion speaks volumes about their character. While I wanted to read this book to gain a clearer sense of this era in history (a time of great personal interest to me) but I was disappointed in that it wasn't as personal as other autobiographical accounts I've read of the same period.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Avis Black

    The author is not a reliable source for anything he didn't see with his own eyes. Gossip is not history. There was a great deal of gossip circulating around the family of Nicholas II that was generated by the Russian elite for propaganda purposes. This was a deliberate attempt to undermine his public support and force him to abdicate during a time in which World War I was going badly for the Russians. The Russian aristocracy had come to the conclusion that to win the war, Nicholas needed to go, The author is not a reliable source for anything he didn't see with his own eyes. Gossip is not history. There was a great deal of gossip circulating around the family of Nicholas II that was generated by the Russian elite for propaganda purposes. This was a deliberate attempt to undermine his public support and force him to abdicate during a time in which World War I was going badly for the Russians. The Russian aristocracy had come to the conclusion that to win the war, Nicholas needed to go, and they were trying to shove him out. Nicholas was not a particularly good commander-in-chief, and making him abdicate wasn't necessarily a wrong decision. However, the Russian nobility, after installing the moderate Kerensky government, were overtaken by events and run out of the country by the insanely malignant Bolsheviks, which is karma for you. The propaganda, however, had taken on a life of its own. To this day, everyone still believes all the wild stories with totally naive credulity, every single speck of them, with dropped jaw and goggling eyes, without verification. The historian Douglas Smith, who wrote a biography of Rasputin, says that almost every single story about him is based on heresay by people who had an ax to grind, not actual eyewitness testimony. I might add that after having read Anna Vyrubova's memoir, I am disgusted beyond belief with Gillard. However, you can read Gillard for the parts that he did witness.

  21. 4 out of 5

    John

    An incredibly interesting account based upon the authors proximity to the imperial household as a result of his 13 years as a tutor to Alexei Nikolaevich. His affection for the family is sincere he seems truthful in his impressions, and accurate in most of his political and military observations. But he may have underestimate the situation in Russia and overestimated the potential ability of Czar as he was within a circle that was being mislead. That said he paints an exemplary portrait of the r An incredibly interesting account based upon the authors proximity to the imperial household as a result of his 13 years as a tutor to Alexei Nikolaevich. His affection for the family is sincere he seems truthful in his impressions, and accurate in most of his political and military observations. But he may have underestimate the situation in Russia and overestimated the potential ability of Czar as he was within a circle that was being mislead. That said he paints an exemplary portrait of the royal family and an accurate one of the vulgar, low Bolsheviks.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    It was an interesting read. I like the perspective of the tutor in telling the story. It added a dimension of understanding about the Czar and his family that I didn't have before. If you are some one who is interested in this time period or the last Czar of Russia and his family worth a short read. It was an interesting read. I like the perspective of the tutor in telling the story. It added a dimension of understanding about the Czar and his family that I didn't have before. If you are some one who is interested in this time period or the last Czar of Russia and his family worth a short read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    Not giving this one a star rating as it's just a straight up, primary source historical account written by one of the tutors of Tsar Nicholas II's children. If you have any interest in that time period at all, you've probably read a good chunk of this memoir quoted in books by other authors, and that's probably all most readers need. Personally I prefer having the full memoir on my shelf. Not giving this one a star rating as it's just a straight up, primary source historical account written by one of the tutors of Tsar Nicholas II's children. If you have any interest in that time period at all, you've probably read a good chunk of this memoir quoted in books by other authors, and that's probably all most readers need. Personally I prefer having the full memoir on my shelf.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kenneth

    If you are interested in the Romanovs and their last days, this account may add some light upon the subject. It is, no doubt, biased as Gilliard was tutor to the Royal Princesses and later the Czarevitch.

  25. 5 out of 5

    David

    It was an interesting fast read. I really enjoy books on history, especially when it is based on first hand knowledge. It easily filled the holes I had in my understanding of the events.

  26. 4 out of 5

    MissyLynne

    Great insite to the Romanov family by the children's tutor, Pierre Gilliard. Great insite to the Romanov family by the children's tutor, Pierre Gilliard.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Erica

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

  29. 5 out of 5

    Anthony Fitzgerald

  30. 5 out of 5

    Daryl Myers

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.