Download e-book for iPad: An Engineer looks at Russia by Wal Hannington

By Wal Hannington

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The public rejoiced, but within six weeks his parents learned that he suffered from hemophilia, passed on to him by his mother, who had inherited the defective genes through Queen Victoria. This discovery cast a pall over the lives of Nicholas and Alexandra; rather than admit that their only son was prey to such a devastating illness, they kept Alexei’s hemophilia a state secret. His sisters were told, as were a few servants, courtiers, and intimate family members, but most of Russia knew only that their future emperor was frequently unwell.

3 1901. indd 16 11/12/10 6:06:39 AM “ M Y G O D , W H AT A D I S A P P O I N T M E N T ! ” 17 A fanfare of trumpets greeted the procession when it reached the eight- hundred - foot - long Great Palace at Peterhof; within, hundreds of aristocrats and courtiers crowded the elaborately decorated halls, medals shining against broadcloth tunics and jewels scintillating on gowns of silver tissue and velvet. Footmen and chamberlains, adjutants and ladies-in-waiting cleared the way for Princess Marie Golitsyn, the empress’s mistress of the robes, who held the infant on a cushion and carried her along a ribbon of crimson carpet to the cathedral.

For Anastasia, though, there would be no happy ending; her fairy tale went horribly awry, its peaceful promise shattered by war and revolution. In its place arose a new tale that gave resonance to the meaning of her name, in which hope triumphed over despair, and desire transcended brutal reality. There was even a Prince Charming said to have come to Anastasia’s rescue. indd 17 11/12/10 6:06:40 AM 18 THE RESURRECTION OF THE ROMANOVS myth, a modern legend, a new fairy tale that, in its traumas, seemed to encapsulate the turmoil of the twentieth century.

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An Engineer looks at Russia by Wal Hannington


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