Rating: **** (4/5)
Published: St. Martin’s Press, 2011
Source: Personal Collection
I have read a number of books about the last imperial couple of Russia, but this one explored the relationship between them more than any other. Referencing their personal letters, it explored their devotion to one another as well as their individual personalities. It explored Alix’s temperament in relation to her invalidism and this was the first time I’ve encountered an author who presented a possible diagnosis of her maladies (porphyria, a genetic condition, exacerbated by her stressful life and inherited from her royal ancestors). It also addressed the curious relationship between her, Anna V., and Nicky and the jealousies that were inflamed. A large portion of the latter half focused on Alix’s letters to Nicky at army headquarters during WWI when she was at her bossiest and most influenced by Rasputin. There was very little about their imprisonment and murders, but their legacy was addressed. It wasn’t the most captivating biography of Nicky and Alix that I have read, but it was an essential piece of the overall cannon.