The Romanov Family Album - Anna VyrubovaLondon: Allen Lane, 1982, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. A little rubbing to the edges of the dust wrapper with a short, closed and archive tape reinforced, tear to the top corner of the upper panel. Dust wrapper is also tanned and slightly spotted on the verso. Boards a little dulled. Text complete, clean and tight.
Contains: Black & white photographs;
From the cover: “One of the little-known wonders of Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library is a collection called “The Romanov Family Albums”. Bound in leather that is brittle and peeling with age, the albums comprise six volumes whose leaves have been mounted with the most intimate set of photographs of the Imperial family to survive the holocaust of the Russian Revolution. The volumes and their contents belonged to Anna Vyrubova, the close friend and confidante of Empress Alexandra. A unique witness to history, Anna Vyrubova followed the family of Nicholas II throughout the year, comforted his Empress in her trials over the frail health of the haemophilic Tsarevich, and photographed their most intimate moments together. It is to the memoirs and photographic albums of Anna Vyrubova that the editors of the present book have gone for the words and images that together make an extraordinary portrait of an apparently typical Edwardian family pursuing the pleasures of the privileged classes: walking in the country, playing tennis, sledding in Russia’s winter snows, shooting stags in Poland, taking tea, and picking berries in the forests of the Crimea and on the Baltic shores.
This, however, was no ordinary Edwardian family living in the lap of luxury, disarming as the impression may be. Nicholas II reigned as the autocrat of the mightiest Empire on earth; his word was law, his person God-like to millions of his subjects, his personal fortune and properties beyond calculation. When he cruised the high seas with his wife, son, and four daughters on the most splendid of all royal yachts, the Standart, battleships cleared the way for the Imperial presence.
Millions of lines have been written on the last days of the Romanovs — the extravagance at court, the weakness of the government, the Rasputin scandal, the brutality of the final exile and execution. The official life of these historic times was captured by court photographers and the first photo-journalists. But none of these professionals had access to the everyday life of Russia’s benevolent despots. Only the Romanov albums — with their old snapshots pasted in by Anna and her royal neighbours during the long nights of winter — reveal the paradoxically simple life at palaces in and around St Petersburg, at Livadia in the Crimea, at Spala (the hunting lodge in Poland), and on cruises aboard the Imperial yacht in happy and tragic times. The last chapter of this book shows the Tsar on the battlefield, the Tsaritsa and the Grand Duchesses nursing the wounded; it closes with the only known pictures of the family together awaiting death in Siberian exile.
Nearly 200 rare and touching documents, many published for the first time, transmit an unforgettable portrait of a deceptively carefree life on the brink of the volcano. Pulitzer Prize winner Robert K. Massie, whose timeless classic Nicholas and Alexandra is the definitive work on the twilight of the Romanov dynasty, writes again about this ill-fated clan in a lengthy and fascinating introduction that also tells how a remarkable treasury of historic photographs reached the American shore.”