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Anastasia: The Riddle of Anna Anderson

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  702 ratings  ·  51 reviews
Anastasia: The Riddle of Anna Anderson
Paperback, 456 pages
Published June 30th 1985 by Back Bay Books (first published August 1st 1983)
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Terri Lynn
Let me begin by stating that I am an historian so my training has always required intensive and accurate research with multiple sources of verified facts. I do not take anything on faith and and do not believe in offering shoddy research as facts. Apparently Peter Kurth is the opposite. I was appalled to see one review on here from several years ago where a reviewer said she wished we did not have DNA testing because wouldn't it be so nice if we could pretend historical lies are really true. Wel ...more
I am not convinced Anna Anderson is a fake. She knew too much about the royal family to be a peasant. If not Anastasia, then who?
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Interesting. I knew there were 'updates' to this case having seen a TV program on it but didn't remember what they concluded, so I refused to look it up until after I'd finished reading. It was disappointing, though because I kind of feel I wasted three days of my life, which I'm sure is nothing in comparison to the people who donated endless reservoirs of time, money and care on someone who ended up being either just very clever or insane. Sad and somewhat admirable. I wonder if the same thing ...more
At the time I read it, I found it to be a very convincing (therefore true) story of what happened to Anastasia, then several years later I read "The Romanovs: the Final Chapter" by Robert K. Massie. The book by Robert Massie was written several years later, at a time when more forensic evidence (not to mention the remains of the Romanovs) was available. It turns out that forensic evidence has revealed that the woman written about in "Anastasia: the Riddle of Anna Anderson" was a mentally off, ru ...more
Marta Peris
Perfect book it you are interested in one of the greatest mysteries of modern history; what happened to Anastasia Romanov.

Although from the beginning I knew Anna Anderson was not the real Anastasia I was very interested in her life and how she convinced so many people that she was in fact the Tsar's daughter. There's a point when the information on the Internet and the few documentaries about Anderson are not enough, and I have other books about Anastasia and the Ekaterinburg massacre to read (I
Written before DNA testing was availble, the author made a compelling case for Anna Anderson's claim that she was Anastasia, daughter of the Nicholas & Alexandra, of the doomed Romanov family. Testing performed after her death subsequently proved her claim to be a lie, but the book is, nonetheless, fascinating.
Jenna DeVillier
It was difficult for me to read this book for several reasons. One, I have been very interested and easily upset by the Romanovs' story for many years (so I was grateful the accounts of their murders was glossed over, sometimes). Also, being a heavily researched book, it was dense at times and got boring. And finally, it was hard reading and knowing all the while that Anna Anderson's claim was finally disproved in the 90's, and especially in 2007, when Anastasia's body was found. I couldn't allo ...more
Outdated info with a bias for dramatization but lots of pictures and information. Just keep in mind current DNA evidence.
Aug 08, 2008 Sean rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
This story intrigues me to this day. I recommend this to all! (My personal opinion...Anna Anderson WAS Anastasia.)
Dolores Andral
This book is especially interesting reading it in 2015, after the 1984 DNA tests ruled out Anna Anderson as the real Anastasia. (This is not a spoiler alert: it's 2015.) Even the protests of "Anastasians" who were diehard believers and held fast to a conspiracy theory because the bodies of Anastasia and her brother were still missing, were diminished in 2007 when those bodies had been found and tested. And outside those decrying foul play, I think most have come to realization that Anna Anderson ...more
Peter Kurth's book on Anna Anderson is considered one of the most important in a field that is full of books, most of which seem to be rehashing of the facts given in this one and a few others. I've had this on my shelf for years and always put off reading it for some perfect opportunity - a beach or a long plane ride, so I could savor all the crazy awesomeness that is the Anastasia/Anna Anderson mystery. Now that I decided to just read it already, I'm glad that I didn't have it for one of those ...more
Mar 06, 2009 Katie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Russian History
From the time of the deadly massacre of the Russian Imperial Family in 1918 until 1983 an interresting quetion was on everyone's mind. "Did Anastasia Romanov, youngest daughter of Tsar Nicolas II, survive?" There were many women who claimed it was true, but one woman REALLY stood out. Her name was Anna Anderson. She had many simularities to the Grand Duchess and had many people both inside and outside the family convinced she WAS Anastasia. The book is a very interresting account of her life bot ...more
Weil ich kürzlich über Rasputin gestolpert bin und etwas über ihn im Internet nachgelesen hatte, fiel mir auch dieses Buch über Anna Anderson (aka Anastasia) wieder ein, das ich schon länger hatte.
- Vorsicht, Spoiler -
Ich las das Buch mit Interesse, konnte es aber natürlich nicht lassen im Internet kurz zu recherchieren, ob in dem Fall später noch weitere Indizien bekannt wurden die zur Aufklärung der Identität hilfreich waren. Und ja, es gab welche. Nach dem Fall des eisernen Vorhangs wurde di
I've been addicted to Anastasia Romanov myths forever, but unfortunately never Wikipedia-ed what actually happened to her before buying and reading this thrift store book, which amounted to me wasting a lot of time. Anastasia is dead, they've found her bones/grave and tested her DNA, but up until then many people would claim to be Anastasia. Anna Anderson was one of them, but she isn't Anastasia.
Imagine that you and your family are presumed killed, but you suddenly show up alone a year a half later in a foreign country, with a good but not great memory, terrible wounds that are healing, no papers, no personal effects, nothing that can identify you. If all your immediate family are dead, how do you prove who you are? Can you? This is the biography of a woman who desperately tries to establish her identity and connect with her extended family. Unfortunately, through politics, social clime ...more
I thought this book was really well researched. It made you question whether this Anne Anderson was the real Anastasia or not. I kind of hope she wasn't the real Anastasia because she seemed to be a very vindictive, mean woman, to the people spending their own lives to help her.
I don't know why, but I'm particularly intrigued by Anna Anderson. I'm kind of sorry she wasn't Anastasia.
Peter Burton
Very detailed and interesting.We now know that the claimant was not Anastasia but it's still interesting to see how the story developed and what happened
One of the reasons I fell in love with Russian history was this book and this story.
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Jan 27, 2010 Caitlin rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who believes Anastasia escaped the murder of her family.
Recommended to Caitlin by: found it on a website
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This book was long and drawn out. Yes she is, no she isn't. Was the question answered in this book. Truthfully no, that was left to be answered years later thought DNA. I would liked to have known how Anna Anderson knew so much information about the family, things that maybe only one or two people knew. So you might as well say that the Riddle of Anna Anderson is still a riddle and seems that it will never be answered.
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Ian Chapman
I read this years ago, before DNA testing conclusions. I enjoyed the engaging commitment of Peter Kurth to the subject, which made it an enjoyable read. I thought Frau Anderson looked more like Tatiana than Anastasia, and I don't think they found all the bodies. Perhaps one of those imperial princesses did survive.
Mar 06, 2008 Lisa rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Russian history buffs.
This was a topic I used to obsess over. I ate up every word of this book, and pored over the photographs. Finally, DNA technology proved in the late 1990s that Anna Anderson was a fraud. I carefully placed the newspaper clipping in the back of this book and threw it in the thrift-store box.
The story of the youngest daughter of the Tsar of Russia, the Romanov Family, Anastasia. This book tells the story of the child's body not believed to be buried with her family, and the subsequent claim many years later of a older woman that she is the lost Anastasia of Russia.
I read this book during my obsession with Russia at one time...I LOVED it...

Sometime at times, I wish we didn't discover DNA, it is nice to speculate rather than having cold hard fact on everything....Too bad she wasn't really the real princess...
I remember reading, and loving, this biography way back in my teens in the 80's. I was fascinated by Anastasia and was convinced Anna Anderson was the real deal as she knew so much. I was so disappointed when recent DNA tests revealed she wasn't.

Chloe Katsilas
Really makes you wonder...of course, I read this years before Anastasia's remains were found, thus disproving the lost princess theory. Regardless, the book is based on a true account of a person who believed she was someone else. Very interesting.
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  • The Fate of the Romanovs
  • A Lifelong Passion: Nicholas and Alexandra: Their Own Story
  • Anastasia: The Lost Princess
  • The Flight Of The Romanovs A Family Saga
  • The Romanovs: Autocrats of All the Russians
  • Michael and Natasha: The Life and Love of Michael II, the Last of the Romanov Tsars
  • The Quest for Anastasia: Solving the Mystery of the Lost Romanovs
  • The Camera and the Tsars: The Romanov Family in Photographs
  • The Last Tsar: The Life and Death of Nicholas II
  • The Romanovs: The Final Chapter
  • The Murder of Princess Diana
  • The Last Days of the Romanovs: Tragedy at Ekaterinburg
  • Alexandra: The Last Tsarina
  • My Story
  • Rasputin: The Saint Who Sinned
  • Potemkin: Catherine the Great's Imperial Partner
  • Anastasia's Album: The Last Tsar's Youngest Daughter Tells Her Own Story
  • Nicholas and Alexandra: The Last Tsar and Tsarina
PETER KURTH is the author of "Anastasia: The Riddle of Anna Anderson," "American Cassandra: The Life of Dorothy Thompson," "Tsar: The Lost World of Nicholas and Alexandra," and "Isadora: A Sensational Life," and co-author (with Eleanor Lanahan) of "Zelda: An Intimate Portrait." His work has appeared in Vanity Fair, Condé Nast Traveler, Forbes FYI, The New York Times Book Review, The New York Obser ...more
More about Peter Kurth...
Tsar: The Lost World of Nicholas and Alexandra Isadora: A Sensational Life American Cassandra: The Life of Dorothy Thompson Im Schatten Victor Adlers: Die Osterreichische Sozialdemokratie Zwischen Wahlrechtskampf Und Revisionismusstreit, 1889-1907 Zelda, an Illustrated Life: The Private World of Zelda Fitzgerald

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