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NICHOLAS II: The Last Tsar
Bibliophile price: £3.50
The tragic life of Tsar Nicholas and his Romanov wife and children has long haunted the world's imagination. He ruled one sixth of the earth's land area, representing a regime that lasted 300 years. Blamed for the killing of demonstrators, for pogroms and for mass imprisonments, his death nevertheless shocked the world. But intimates knew a different Nicholas - shy and gentle, well-meaning, pious, devoted to his country and his family, and doing his best amid circumstances that would have overwhelmed many a more able ruler. But maddening faults are revealed too like indecisiveness, lack of vision, refusal to learn from mistakes, and a regrettable inability to confront difficult people or issues. He stood at the fault line between old and new and acted in a way he thought reasonable. His life of playing tennis, swimming, having picnics and an impossible luxury world was about to vanish. Covers his travels, apprenticeship, monarchy, consecration, society, soldiery, court and camp, war and revolution, Duma 1906, the heir, exile and martyrdom. 246pp in paperback.

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