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European Royalty Group Reads > Nick & Alex: Part 1

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message 1: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (SaraWEsq) | 2151 comments Please discuss Part One here.


message 2: by Sera (new)

Sera | 246 comments Has anyone started this one? I intend to sometime this week. I'm hopeful that others will be joining me.


message 3: by Tina (new)

Tina | 62 comments I had to read it early because I'll be traveling the next couple of weeks. . . so I've finished it--I really enjoyed it! I'll have only spotty internet for the next couple of weeks, but look forward to hearing what you think!


message 4: by Sera (new)

Sera | 246 comments That's great, Tina! Thank you.


message 5: by Juline (new)

Juline | 2 comments Plan on starting it this week hopefully. Just got Sarum so have a lot of reading to catch up on.


message 6: by Sera (new)

Sera | 246 comments Yay! I'll probably start it tonight or tomorrow.


message 7: by Sera (last edited Jul 30, 2010 05:59PM) (new)

Sera | 246 comments I started this last night and so far it's very much like The Flight of the Romanovs, although Massie is a much better writer. Massie's book is also much longer so I'm curious as to what extras he'll bring to the mix.


message 8: by Sera (new)

Sera | 246 comments About 50 pages in, and I still find that I never tire of reading this family. I often forget that it all started out as such a pure love story. It doesn't hurt that Massie is a captivating writer either.


message 9: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (SaraWEsq) | 2151 comments I'm a couple of chapters in. I was waiting to finish Part One before jumping into the thread, and then I realized, HELLO!, I know this story! It's not like there are going to be huge spoilers here!

I like the book a lot so far. This is my first Massie book (although I own and will someday get to the Peter the Great book). I love reading about how close knit Victoria seemed with her extended family - all the family visits and "granny" this and that. I love all the nicknames too - georgie, nicky, willie.


message 10: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (SaraWEsq) | 2151 comments Sera wrote: "About 50 pages in, and I still find that I never tire of reading this family. I often forget that it all started out as such a pure love story. It doesn't hurt that Massie is a captivating writer..."

I love reading how their relationship started too. I find it really interesting that the two of them communicated in English with each other (well, at least the part of the book where I'm at just mentioned it - not sure if they spoke in English for their entire marriage).


message 11: by Sera (new)

Sera | 246 comments Later in Part One there's some interesting information about Nicholas' language preferences.

Sara, I, too, enjoyed all of the nicknames. The family was very intimate with each other. I also find it fascinating how the various royal families were so interconnected over Europe. I forget that as late as the early 1900s, families were still marrying for strategic reasons.


message 12: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (SaraWEsq) | 2151 comments I'd like to read a book about all the interconnections or on Victoria's grandchildren (same idea). King, Kaiser, Tsar: Three Royal Cousins Who Led the World to War seems like it could get into it in some degree, but I haven't read it yet.


message 13: by Sera (new)

Sera | 246 comments That's a good one, Sara. It's based on the letters exchanged by these 3 cousins and how their relationship impacted WWI. It's really interesting, and I would recommend it. Massie is the master though, I must say.


message 14: by Sera (new)

Sera | 246 comments I continue to enjoy it, too. I started Part II last night. Although I'm very close and familiar to this story, I'm learning so many new things. Massie is a genius in both his research and his writing capabilities.


message 15: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 85 comments Ive read it a few times already, though its been years since the last time I picked it up. Yes Massie is a great writer and he manages to show Nicholas and Alexandra as real people.

They are not bad people, but they are a prime example of why absolute monarchies were such a disaster in the 20th century. Nicholas would have been better suited to have been born a British country gentleman.


message 16: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Huston (Telynor) | 17 comments Out of all the various biographies out there on these two, this one is certainly the most sympathetic. What I've enjoyed about it is that they are presented as people, with all of the flaws and mistakes, something that I've noticed that most writers tend to forget when talking about royalty. I think that both of them were very much the products of their time -- Nicholas was raised to think of himself as an autocrat, but lacked the effectiveness to make it so, and Alexandra simply had too much on her own plate mentally and physically to ever make a proper go of being a Russian empress.


message 17: by Sera (new)

Sera | 246 comments Very well said, Manuel and Rebecca. Interestingly, the Russian people viewed the Tsar as God's representative, which likely made him being so fundamentally flawed as Nicholas was, disconcerting. I think that's one reason why Alexandra became a better target for the rage of the people. Massie alludes to the fact that many Russians believed that if Alexandra was out of the picture, Nicholas better handle his role. In my opinion, to some extent, they were right.


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Books mentioned in this topic

The Flight Of The Romanovs A Family Saga (other topics)
King, Kaiser, Tsar: Three Royal Cousins Who Led the World to War (other topics)