CRF Blog

Long they ruled

by David De La Torre

In Long they ruled, The Economist reviews The Romanovs: 1613–1918 by Simon Sebag Montefiore.

Simon Sebag Montefiore’s story starts with the miserable, melancholic Michael, dragged to the smouldering ruins of the Kremlin by feuding boyars who were desperate for unity in the face of defeat by mighty Poland. It features the greats: Peter, manically debauched, and Catherine, the “regicidal, uxoricidal German usurper”; and also dismal failures such as Alexander III, who ruled Russia as a “curmudgeonly landowner”. It concludes with the pathetic Nicholas II, the last tsar, deposed and hurriedly murdered alongside his wife and children … by the Bolsheviks in 1918. His ill-starred reign was redeemed only by the “grace, patience, humour and dignity” which the doomed royal family showed in their captivity. [more]