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Alix and Nicky: The Passion of the Last Tsar and Tsarina

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  570 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
The dramatic story of Emperor Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra Fyodorovna, the last Tsar and Tsarina of Russia—A penetrating and deeply personal study that gives profound psychological insight into their marriage and how it shaped the events that engulfed them.

There are few characters in history about whom opinion has been more divided than the last Tsar of Russia, Nicho
ebook, 400 pages
Published January 17th 2012 by St. Martin's Press
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Jun 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: july-2016
Alix and Nicky remained on my TBR shelf for over two years, and after reading, I have no idea why that was. Well, perhaps the fact that my copy is rather a large hardback which was incredibly difficult to juggle whilst in bed...

I am a self-confessed Russian history nerd. I studied Russian history, from Peter the Great to the modern day, throughout my A Level History course and as part of my undergraduate degree. There's something about it which is both mysterious and compelling. It is perhaps no
May 27, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
I really, really wanted to love this book. Massie's 'Nicholas & Alexandra' is one of my favorite books, so I was looking forward to this update now that much new information is available from the Russian archives. Overall, though the information it contained was good, this book was a disappointment.

First of all, the organization was weird. Rounding begins with chapters organized by topic, but about halfway through switches to organizing each chapter chronologically, starting over again with
Virginia Rounding
Jul 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition

Well, I would give it 5 stars, wouldn't I?

Here's an extract from my Introduction to the book, which explains something about my approach to the writing of it:

"The analogy that comes most readily to mind when writing a new book about such apparently well-known yet still controversial figures is that of curating an exhibition of some already famous artist. Just as the curator endeavors to present a different view, through judicious, sometimes idiosyncratic, selection, juxtaposition, ordering, and

Maybe a 2.5.
Title was misleading. I thought this was to be a love story but it was all about Alix's health problems and Nicky's indecisiveness. And it was so political. I also disliked the author's writing style. She was presumptuous and enjoyed acting as if she knew exactly what the family was thinking or meant the entire book. Her sources were shaky at best and her notes were badly done. And she bounced around too much. The last 50 pages were so boring and hard to get through.
I received this book for free as a First Reads giveaway.

I have no doubt that in the right hands, this book would get a solid 5 out of 5 star rating. It is obvious that the book was thoroughly researched, and that the author has a great interest in this topic and a passion for acting as a "curator" to gather the various accounts and opinions of Alix and Nicky. I really admire and respect all the work that very clearly went into this book on the part of the author. Unfortunately, I didn't really e
Marilyn Penner
Sep 25, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those interested in Romanovs, Royals and Russa
Nicholas and Alexandria had three passions : their passion for each other, their passion to keep their rule autocratic, and their passion for suffering. They apparently felt they were fated to suffer, so they were passive about the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune that fell upon themselves. Those that fell upon their son Alexis, they were not so passive about.

I found the book both sad and interesting. Sad because those two shy people just could not be the autocrats their ancestors were. S
Oct 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have always been fascinated with the Romanovs due to a childhood obsession with the film 'Anastasia.' I also did a project on them for my European history class during my freshman year in high school. However, I did not realize how ignorant I was on their history until I read this book.

I was blown away by how Virginia Rounding manage to personalize all the Romanovs, especially Alix & Nicky. It was amazing being able to read letters of theirs and to really get to know their personalities. A
Apr 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a pretty rough read. Not because it's not a compelling story-- it is, though it can be dense at times and perhaps overly confusing in the description of the ministerial musical chairs and other things-- it's more because the story is almost too compelling.

We know, most people, that Alexandra and Nicholas, their five children, three servants, and personal doctor were shot in a cellar maybe a year after the tsar abdicated. What made this book so difficult for me was that I got to know Alex
Jun 30, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was really fascinating concerning the relationship between Nicky and Alix and their children. It really went into Rasputin's huge influence over the family. The main things I has problems with was the author jumping around switching to events sometimes out of order. Nicky and Alix's anti-Semitism really turned me off and Alix's using her invalid state as a tool to control her children. My favorite parts were when the author did a personality test on Nicky with very accurate results tha ...more
Rebecca Huston
I am going to be brutally honest here and state right up front that I did not like this book very much. While I appreciated some aspects, such as the descriptions of the palaces, and various celebrations such as in 1913 and the coronation, the author's attitude was sarcastic and at times snide -- that's hard to take in a nonfiction, historical book. Most frustrating was the nonlinear format of telling the story, and the constant jumping about by the author -- it was annoying and made the story d ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Little Mother of Russia: A Biography of the Empress Marie Feodorovna (1847-1928)
  • The Flight Of The Romanovs: A Family Saga
  • From Splendor to Revolution: The Romanov Women, 1847--1928
  • The Court of the Last Tsar: Pomp, Power and Pageantry in the Reign of Nicholas II
  • Michael and Natasha: The Life and Love of Michael II, the Last of the Romanov Tsars
  • The Diary of Olga Romanov: Royal Witness to the Russian Revolution
  • The Camera and the Tsars: The Romanov Family in Photographs
  • Tsar: The Lost World of Nicholas and Alexandra
  • Nicholas and Alexandra: The Last Tsar and Tsarina
  • Once a Grand Duchess: Xenia,  Sister of Nicholas II
  • Anastasia: The Lost Princess
  • Sovereign Ladies: The Six Reigning Queens of England
  • A Lifelong Passion: Nicholas and Alexandra: Their Own Story
  • Anastasia's Album
  • Alexandra: The Last Tsarina
  • The Last Tsar: The Life and Death of Nicholas II
  • The Romanovs: The Final Chapter
  • The Quest for Anastasia: Solving the Mystery of the Lost Romanovs
Virginia Rounding is a writer, critic, and intermediate member of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders. Her most recent book, published in the USA and the UK this year, is "The Burning Time", an investigation of the circumstances, motivations and deaths of the men and women burnt at the stake - and of those who set fire to them - in London in the mid-16th century.

Her previous book was a fresh
More about Virginia Rounding...