From Splendor to Revolution by Julia Gelardi

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This sweeping saga recreates the extraordinary opulence and violence of Tsarist Russia as the shadow of revolution fell over the land, and destroyed a way of life for these Imperial women

The early 1850s until the late 1920s marked a turbulent and significant era for Russia. During that time the country underwent a massive transformation, taking it from days of grandeur under the tsars to the chaos of revolution and the beginnings of the Soviet Union.

At the center of all this tumult were four women of the Romanov dynasty. Marie Alexandrovna and Olga Constantinovna were born into the family, Russian Grand Duchesses at birth. Marie Feodorovna and Marie Pavlovna married into the dynasty, the former born a Princess of Denmark, the latter a Duchess of the German duchy of Mecklendburg-Schwerin.

In From Splendor to Revolution, we watch these pampered aristocratic women fight for their lives as the cataclysm of war engulfs them. In a matter of a few short years, they fell from the pinnacle of wealth and power to the depths of danger, poverty, and exile. It is an unforgettable epic story.

About Julia Gelardi

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Julia P. Gelardi is the author of Born to Rule and In Triumph’s Wake. She is an independent historian, currently living in Minnesota with her husband and two daughters.
Published February 15, 2011 by St. Martin's Press. 512 pages
Genres: History, Biographies & Memoirs, Travel. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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and Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, a society hostess known as Miechen who patronized writers such as Elinor Glyn, whose His Hour (1910) reveals an “imperial Russia on the brink.” This era proved the last hurrah for the spectacularly wealthy Romanovs, ushering in dangerous, modern currents such as ...

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Publishers Weekly

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While providing insight into famously doomed Empress Alexandra Romanov, Gelardi (Born to Rule) focuses on four lesser known but indomitable women who achieved glory at the height of czarist Russia’s global power only to witness its fall to revolution.

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Historical Novel Society

Here’s King George of Greece joining his children “bicycling on wet afternoons through the enormous ball-rooms that ran the whole length of the palace!” Or, in England, the “unaffectedly simple” Marie Alexandrovna showing her jewels to guests, who found “the bed, the tables, the chairs were cover...

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The Roanoke Times

Gelardi documents the downfall of Ilyinsky’s ancestors in her latest book, “From Splendor to Revolution.” As with her previous works, Gelardi examines history from the point of view of the main female players, this time four contemporaries of the imperial Russian Romanov family: Olga, who married...

Mar 13 2011 | Read Full Review of From Splendor to Revolution

California Literary Review

and Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna, a German-born noblewoman who married another son of Alexander II, the Grand Duke Vladimir, a stalwart defender of the Romanov dynasty until a spectacular scandal involving his son by Marie Pavlovna shattered his loyalty to Nicholas II.

Mar 15 2011 | Read Full Review of From Splendor to Revolution

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