Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Anastasia: The Last Grand Duchess by Carolyn Meyer - Review by Carlyn


The Royal Diaries Series is a fictional diary series about real royal women from history. I have been collecting the books since I was a teenager and I finally have the whole collection. I have one book left to read from the series.

Anastasia (1901-1918) was the youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas of Russia and his wife, Alexandra Feodorovna . Her family is best known for being the last royal family of Russia before communism took over. Anastasia and her family were murdered by the Bolsheviks. After their deaths, there were rumours that Anastasia had somehow escaped from the execution.  Many women came forward to say that they were the missing Grand Duchess. However, DNA testing has proven that none of the women are Anastasia and testing on the remains has proven that Anastasia did die with her family.
The real Anastasia 
The book chronicles Anastasia’s life before her family’s demise. The diary starts off in happier times describing Anastasia daily life. Anastasia hates studying and would rather take photographs and go sledding. She has four other siblings Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Alexei. Her mother and sisters think that she’s immature and unladylike but her dad likes that part of her.
The Romanovs
Anastasia and her siblings inherited Hemophilia from their mother which is a rare blood disease that causes heavy bleeding when injured. While Anastasia and her sisters had some symptoms of hemophilia, their brother Alexei had a rare form of the disease. In the diary, Anastasia describes how Alexei would develop big bruises after hurting himself and how his joints would hurt. The diary also mentions Gregory Rasputin, a holy man who helps to calm Alexei when he is hurt. Anastasia doesn’t like Father Gregory because of his dirty appearance and strange aura but she respects him for her mother’s sake. Her mother believes he’s a miracle worker and relies on his judgment. Rasputin’s influence over the Queen is unpopular among the people but the Queen ignores it.
I felt a bit sad when reading the book as I knew what was going to happen to Anastasia. It was sad reading about her hopes for the future, how one day she’ll wear her hair up and have suitors. Anastasia was an innocent child who was ignorant of the political upheaval that was going on around her. The Russian people were starving from a famine and there was the First World War. It left a lot of jaded resentful people.

I wonder what would have if the Romanovs had lived. I think Anastasia would have probably become a flapper because she was a spirited person. She probably would have married someone high born too. If the Romanovs had survived they might have lived in exile or if they remained in power, it would be a constitutional monarchy. I think Anastasia’s brother would have died young because he was always in poor health. Russia would certainly be different from the Russia today. I don’t know for the better or worse, it would just be different. 


  1. This was one in the Royal Diary series I did read if memory serves. I was fascinated with Anastasia's story, likely fueled by my love of the animated film. :)

    1. I was enchanted with Anastasia after I watch the animated movie too.


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