Taking advantage of material unavailable until the fall of the Soviet Union, Erickson portrays Alexandra's story as a closely observed, enthrallingly documented, progressive psychological retreat from reality.
The lives of the Romanovs were full of color and drama, but the personal life of Alexandra has remained enigmatic. Under Erickson's masterful scrutiny the full dimensions of the Empresses' singular psychology are revealed: her childhood bereavement, her long struggle to attain her romantic goal of marriage to Nicholas, the anguish of her pathological shyness, her struggles with her in-laws, her false pregnancy, her increasing eccentricities and loss of self as she became more preoccupied with matters of faith, and her increasing dependence on a series of occult mentors, the most notorious of whom was Rasputin. With meticulous care, long practiced skill, and generous imagination, Erickson crafts a character who lives and breathes.
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At times, Erickson sacrifices historical accuracy for drama, e.g., when she attempts to elicit sympathy by saying that Alexandra looked middle-aged at 33, although that was not rare for a mother of four in pre-revolutionary Russia.| Read Full Review of Alexandra: The Last Tsarina
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