Catalogue


The last grand duchess : Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna, 1 June 1882-24 November 1960 /
Ian Vorres.
imprint
Toronto : Key Porter Books, c2001.
description
xix, 260 p. : ill., geneal., ports. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
1552633020
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
author
imprint
Toronto : Key Porter Books, c2001.
isbn
1552633020
general note
Includes index.
catalogue key
5492796
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Introduction or Preface
Preface to the Fourth Edition This book, the official biography of Grand Duchess Olga, youngest sister of the ill-fated Tsar Nicholas II, was first published in England in 1964 and in the United States in 1965. It enjoyed worldwide acclaim. It was written while the Grand Duchess was still alive with her full consent and cooperation. She died in exile in Toronto, Canada, on December 16, 1960.Much has been written on the last imperial reign of Russia by members of the court, by tutors of the imperial children, by foreign diplomats serving in St. Petersburg at the time and by numerous relatives of the doomed family. The unique historic value of this book, however, lies in the fact that it is the first and only official biography ever released by a direct member of the ruling imperial family itself. Grand Duchess Olga was also the last surviving member of the family. This book has served, and is still serving, as an authoritative source for several biographies on the last Romanovs written in recent years. This is understandable because Grand Duchess Olga was particularly close to her brother, the Emperor, and her reclusive sister-in-law, Empress Alexandra, and was allowed to live with them in the Alexandra Palace in Tsarskoe Selo up to the bitter end. This book is based on the many intimate conversations I had with the Grand Duchess, over a a year-and-a-half, in her home near Toronto.This book has also been used as conclusive proof against Mrs. Anna Anderson who attempted to pass herself off as Grand Duchess Anastasia, Grand Duchess Olga's beloved niece. Mrs. Anderson eventually took her case before the Supreme Court of Germany, though her claim to the tide was ultimately rejected. I am indeed satisfied that this official biography helped render historical truth and justice.A multitude of irresponsible and historically biased publications dealing with the last imperial family of Russia make it increasingly difficult today sift fact from fiction. "It is legend that ultimately creates history," Jean Cocteau once said. Unfortunately, the Romanov legend continues to inspire new publications even today, including most recently a superfluous biography on Grand Duchess Olga based mostly on hearsay. The reissuing of a fourth edition will help, I hope, restore historical truth.Judged today, the life of the Tsar's sister personifies an ancient Greek tragedy in which its heroes are led to their downfall by superior forces they cannot control, despite their determined actions of courage and compassion. Grand Duchess Olga's life, in fact, constituted a double tragedy. She was not only haunted by the real drama of her family, but also by the constant appearances, all during her lifetime, of numerous imposters claiming to be members of the doomed family, especially Grand Duchess Anastasia and the young Tsarevich.When writing this book, I recall meeting two other women claiming to be the Grand Duchess Anastasia, besides Mrs. Anderson. I also met two men claiming to be the Tsarevich and numerous individuals personifying a variety of Russian Grand Dukes, Grand Duchesses and Countesses, all of whom purported to be relatives of the ill-fated family. All of them profited financially and socially from their assumed roles and added, needless to say, to the courage and discomfort of the Grand Duchess Olga."People simply want to believe all the tales written about my family, especially about my beloved Anastasia, and that repulsive Rasputin. I often feel it doesn't help what I have to say," I recall the Grand Duchess telling me once in despair. She has, however, patiently dwelt on both in length for this book."History has made our lives difficult," the late President John Kennedy once declared in an address to the American people. In Grand Duchess Olga's case, history succeeded in making her life more unbearable than most. "If I ever start crying, I will never stop" she once told me. It i
Introduction or Preface
Preface to the Fourth EditionThis book, the official biography of Grand Duchess Olga, youngest sister of the ill-fated Tsar Nicholas II, was first published in England in 1964 and in the United States in 1965. It enjoyed worldwide acclaim. It was written while the Grand Duchess was still alive with her full consent and cooperation. She died in exile in Toronto, Canada, on December 16, 1960.Much has been written on the last imperial reign of Russia by members of the court, by tutors of the imperial children, by foreign diplomats serving in St. Petersburg at the time and by numerous relatives of the doomed family. The unique historic value of this book, however, lies in the fact that it is the first and only official biography ever released by a direct member of the ruling imperial family itself. Grand Duchess Olga was also the last surviving member of the family. This book has served, and is still serving, as an authoritative source for several biographies on the last Romanovs written in recent years. This is understandable because Grand Duchess Olga was particularly close to her brother, the Emperor, and her reclusive sister-in-law, Empress Alexandra, and was allowed to live with them in the Alexandra Palace in Tsarskoe Selo up to the bitter end. This book is based on the many intimate conversations I had with the Grand Duchess, over a a year-and-a-half, in her home near Toronto.This book has also been used as conclusive proof against Mrs. Anna Anderson who attempted to pass herself off as Grand Duchess Anastasia, Grand Duchess Olga's beloved niece. Mrs. Anderson eventually took her case before the Supreme Court of Germany, though her claim to the tide was ultimately rejected. I am indeed satisfied that this official biography helped render historical truth and justice.A multitude of irresponsible and historically biased publications dealing with the last imperial family of Russia make it increasingly difficult today sift fact from fiction. "It is legend that ultimately creates history," Jean Cocteau once said. Unfortunately, the Romanov legend continues to inspire new publications even today, including most recently a superfluous biography on Grand Duchess Olga based mostly on hearsay. The reissuing of a fourth edition will help, I hope, restore historical truth.Judged today, the life of the Tsar's sister personifies an ancient Greek tragedy in which its heroes are led to their downfall by superior forces they cannot control, despite their determined actions of courage and compassion. Grand Duchess Olga's life, in fact, constituted a double tragedy. She was not only haunted by the real drama of her family, but also by the constant appearances, all during her lifetime, of numerous imposters claiming to be members of the doomed family, especially Grand Duchess Anastasia and the young Tsarevich.When writing this book, I recall meeting two other women claiming to be the Grand Duchess Anastasia, besides Mrs. Anderson. I also met two men claiming to be the Tsarevich and numerous individuals personifying a variety of Russian Grand Dukes, Grand Duchesses and Countesses, all of whom purported to be relatives of the ill-fated family. All of them profited financially and socially from their assumed roles and added, needless to say, to the courage and discomfort of the Grand Duchess Olga."People simply want to believe all the tales written about my family, especially about my beloved Anastasia, and that repulsive Rasputin. I often feel it doesn't help what I have to say," I recall the Grand Duchess telling me once in despair. She has, however, patiently dwelt on both in length for this book."History has made our lives difficult," the late President John Kennedy once declared in an address to the American people. In Grand Duchess Olga's case, history succeeded in making her life more unbearable than most. "If I e
Introduction or Preface
Preface to the Fourth Edition This book, the official biography of Grand Duchess Olga, youngest sister of the ill-fated Tsar Nicholas II, was first published in England in 1964 and in the United States in 1965. It enjoyed worldwide acclaim. It was written while the Grand Duchess was still alive with her full consent and cooperation. She died in exile in Toronto, Canada, on December 16, 1960. Much has been written on the last imperial reign of Russia by members of the court, by tutors of the imperial children, by foreign diplomats serving in St. Petersburg at the time and by numerous relatives of the doomed family. The unique historic value of this book, however, lies in the fact that it is the first and only official biography ever released by a direct member of the ruling imperial family itself. Grand Duchess Olga was also the last surviving member of the family. This book has served, and is still serving, as an authoritative source for several biographies on the last Romanovs written in recent years. This is understandable because Grand Duchess Olga was particularly close to her brother, the Emperor, and her reclusive sister-in-law, Empress Alexandra, and was allowed to live with them in the Alexandra Palace in Tsarskoe Selo up to the bitter end. This book is based on the many intimate conversations I had with the Grand Duchess, over a a year-and-a-half, in her home near Toronto. This book has also been used as conclusive proof against Mrs. Anna Anderson who attempted to pass herself off as Grand Duchess Anastasia, Grand Duchess Olga''s beloved niece. Mrs. Anderson eventually took her case before the Supreme Court of Germany, though her claim to the tide was ultimately rejected. I am indeed satisfied that this official biography helped render historical truth and justice. A multitude of irresponsible and historically biased publications dealing with the last imperial family of Russia make it increasingly difficult today sift fact from fiction. "It is legend that ultimately creates history," Jean Cocteau once said. Unfortunately, the Romanov legend continues to inspire new publications even today, including most recently a superfluous biography on Grand Duchess Olga based mostly on hearsay. The reissuing of a fourth edition will help, I hope, restore historical truth. Judged today, the life of the Tsar''s sister personifies an ancient Greek tragedy in which its heroes are led to their downfall by superior forces they cannot control, despite their determined actions of courage and compassion. Grand Duchess Olga''s life, in fact, constituted a double tragedy. She was not only haunted by the real drama of her family, but also by the constant appearances, all during her lifetime, of numerous imposters claiming to be members of the doomed family, especially Grand Duchess Anastasia and the young Tsarevich. When writing this book, I recall meeting two other women claiming to be the Grand Duchess Anastasia, besides Mrs. Anderson. I also met two men claiming to be the Tsarevich and numerous individuals personifying a variety of Russian Grand Dukes, Grand Duchesses and Countesses, all of whom purported to be relatives of the ill-fated family. All of them profited financially and socially from their assumed roles and added, needless to say, to the courage and discomfort of the Grand Duchess Olga. "People simply want to believe all the tales written about my family, especially about my beloved Anastasia, and that repulsive Rasputin. I often feel it doesn''t help what I have to say," I recall the Grand Duchess telling me once in despair. She has, however, patiently dwelt on both in length for this book. "History has made our lives difficult," the late President John Kennedy once declared in an address to the American people. In Grand Duchess Olga''s case, history succeeded in making her life more unbearable than most. "If I ever start crying, I will never stop" she once told me. It is to her everlasting credit that she kept smiling to the bitter end. Ian Vorres Canada, 2000
First Chapter

Preface to the Fourth Edition

This book, the official biography of Grand Duchess Olga, youngest sister of the ill-fated Tsar Nicholas II, was first published in England in 1964 and in the United States in 1965. It enjoyed worldwide acclaim. It was written while the Grand Duchess was still alive with her full consent and cooperation. She died in exile in Toronto, Canada, on December 16, 1960.

Much has been written on the last imperial reign of Russia by members of the court, by tutors of the imperial children, by foreign diplomats serving in St. Petersburg at the time and by numerous relatives of the doomed family. The unique historic value of this book, however, lies in the fact that it is the first and only official biography ever released by a direct member of the ruling imperial family itself. Grand Duchess Olga was also the last surviving member of the family. This book has served, and is still serving, as an authoritative source for several biographies on the last Romanovs written in recent years. This is understandable because Grand Duchess Olga was particularly close to her brother, the Emperor, and her reclusive sister-in-law, Empress Alexandra, and was allowed to live with them in the Alexandra Palace in Tsarskoe Selo up to the bitter end. This book is based on the many intimate conversations I had with the Grand Duchess, over a a year-and-a-half, in her home near Toronto.

This book has also been used as conclusive proof against Mrs. Anna Anderson who attempted to pass herself off as Grand Duchess Anastasia, Grand Duchess Olga's beloved niece. Mrs. Anderson eventually took her case before the Supreme Court of Germany, though her claim to the tide was ultimately rejected. I am indeed satisfied that this official biography helped render historical truth and justice.

A multitude of irresponsible and historically biased publications dealing with the last imperial family of Russia make it increasingly difficult today sift fact from fiction. "It is legend that ultimately creates history," Jean Cocteau once said. Unfortunately, the Romanov legend continues to inspire new publications even today, including most recently a superfluous biography on Grand Duchess Olga based mostly on hearsay. The reissuing of a fourth edition will help, I hope, restore historical truth.

Judged today, the life of the Tsar's sister personifies an ancient Greek tragedy in which its heroes are led to their downfall by superior forces they cannot control, despite their determined actions of courage and compassion. Grand Duchess Olga's life, in fact, constituted a double tragedy. She was not only haunted by the real drama of her family, but also by the constant appearances, all during her lifetime, of numerous imposters claiming to be members of the doomed family, especially Grand Duchess Anastasia and the young Tsarevich.

When writing this book, I recall meeting two other women claiming to be the Grand Duchess Anastasia, besides Mrs. Anderson. I also met two men claiming to be the Tsarevich and numerous individuals personifying a variety of Russian Grand Dukes, Grand Duchesses and Countesses, all of whom purported to be relatives of the ill-fated family. All of them profited financially and socially from their assumed roles and added, needless to say, to the courage and discomfort of the Grand Duchess Olga.

"People simply want to believe all the tales written about my family, especially about my beloved Anastasia, and that repulsive Rasputin. I often feel it doesn't help what I have to say," I recall the Grand Duchess telling me once in despair. She has, however, patiently dwelt on both in length for this book.

"History has made our lives difficult," the late President John Kennedy once declared in an address to the American people. In Grand Duchess Olga's case, history succeeded in making her life more unbearable than most. "If I ever start crying, I will never stop" she once told me. It is to her everlasting credit that she kept smiling to the bitter end.

Ian Vorres
Canada, 2000

Reviews
Review Quotes
The story ... an astonishing verisimilitude and pathos ... a character of an almost Dostoyevskyan innocence and goodness.
This light, authorised and well-illustrated biography, based upon a series of intimate conversations, is charmingly composed and utterly absorbing....At the end Mr. Vorres uncovered a burning Russian patriotism interwoven with serene religious faith -- and an unaffected pleasure in her acceptance by a variety of ordinary men and women.
This light, authorised and well-illustrated biography, based upon a series of intimate conversations, is charmingly composed and utterly absorbing.
Memoirs about the last Romanovs are hard to resist. ... there remains the appeal of the doomed family.
The story ... has an astonishing verisimilitude and pathos....It is obvious that, like her brother Nicholas II, Olga was of limited intelligence, but in here total lack of pretension, her refusal to be embittered by the atrocious circumstances of her later life, and her charity and kindness, she emerges from the book as a character of an almost Dostoyevskyan innocence and goodness.
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
When she died in exile in 1960, Olga Alexandrovna was the last Grand Duchess of Russia, the favorite sister of Czar Nicholas II who was executed with his wife and five children during the Revolution. Born in splendor difficult to imagine today, she endured a lifetime of relentless tragedy with courage and exceptional powers of adjustment.The Last Grand Duchess is a valuable account of the final decades of the house of Romanov as seen through the eyes of its last surviving member. Through Olga, we meet Queen Victoria, George V of England, Rasputin, Mrs. Anderson - on whose story the movie Anastasia was made - and other impostors who plagued the exiled duchess with false hope.In this official memoir, Ian Vorres captures the loneliness and violence of Olga's years in Russia, her loveless first marriage to Prince Peter of Oldenburg, her years of exile in England and Denmark, and her final settlement with her second husband and family in Canada.Long out of print, and now reissued in a handsomely illustrated edition, The Last Grand Duchess is the thorough and engaging official biography of an extraordinary woman.
Publisher Fact Sheet
This is a moving biography of the final decades of the house of Romanov as seen through he eyes of its last surviving member.
Main Description
When she died in exile in 1960, Olga Alexandrovna was the last Grand Duchess of Russia, the favorite sister of Czar Nicholas II who was executed with his wife and five children during the Revolution. Born in splendor difficult to imagine today, she endured a lifetime of relentless tragedy with courage and exceptional powers of adjustment. The Last Grand Duchess is a valuable account of the final decades of the house of Romanov as seen through the eyes of its last surviving member. Through Olga, we meet Queen Victoria, George V of England, Rasputin, Mrs. Anderson - on whose story the movie Anastasia was made - and other impostors who plagued the exiled duchess with false hope. In this official memoir, Ian Vorres captures the loneliness and violence of Olga's years in Russia, her loveless first marriage to Prince Peter of Oldenburg, her years of exile in England and Denmark, and her final settlement with her second husband and family in Canada. Long out of print, and now reissued in a handsomely illustrated edition, The Last Grand Duchess is the thorough and engaging official biography of an extraordinary woman.
Main Description
When she died in exile in 1960, Olga Alexandrova was the last Grand Duchess of Russia, favourite sister of Czar Nicholas II, who was executed with his wife and five children during the Revolution. Born in splendour difficult to imagine today, she had endured a lifetime of relentless tragedy with courage and exceptional powers of adjustment. The Last Grand Duchess is a valuable account of the final decades of the house of Romanov seen through the eyes of its last surviving member. Through Olga, we see Queen Victoria, George V of England, Rasputin, Mrs. Anderson - on whose story the movie Anastasia was based - and other imposters who plagued the exiled grand duchess with false hope. In this official memoir, Ian Vorres captures the loneliness and violence of Olga's years in Russia, her loveless first marriage to Prince Peter of Oldenburg, her years of exile in England and Denmark and her final settlement with her second husband and family in Canada. Long out of print, Key Porter is proud to republish this classic account of an extraordinary woman, this time with photographs.
Table of Contents
Foreword
Preface to the Fourth Edition
Preface to the First Edtion
Born in the Purple
The Schoolroom and the World
The First Great Sorrow
A New Era
A Kind of Happiness
Gathering Storms
The Rasputin Legend
In and Out of Chaos
The Bread of Exile
A New World in the Evening
""The Sunset Is Over""
Epilogue
Appendix
Notes
Photo Credits
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem