The Education of a Princess

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I have blogged before, on numerous occasions, abour my effort to get rid of the clutter in my house. I have undertaken a mission of ‘Swedish death cleaning’ to relieve my heirs of the problem of getting rid of my clutter.

So when I come upon a volume that I thought I might want to read some day, I no longer give it a pass. I read it now or get rid of it.

Well, I came upon a damaged volume of ‘The Education of a Princess’, and I decided to read it now. After a few paragraphs it was no longer a conscious choice. I was enthralled as I haven’t been since I first read Armand de Caulaincourt’s ‘With Napoleon in Russis,’ which I have blogged about here, here, and here.

This autobiography of Princess Marie Romanov is a one-of-akind view of history that cannot be found anywhere else. For anyone who wants a true perspective on Russian history, I suggest this is what they call a must-read.

It begins by chronicling the courtly life of the Russian royal family, unchanged for more than 300 years, and it ends in a thriller in which the life of the princess, and her husband and their child, are saved by the kindness of a German officer at the Ukrainian border.

To show you how close Princess Marie was to the currents of history: her brother Michael was among the conspirators who murdered Rasputin. He was banished to the Turkish border, and this saved his life, because it allowed him to escape the Bolshviks, who brutally executed the rest of his family.  He lived on to have an affair with Coco Chanel. Good going Michael!

His sister Marie managed to escape, too, but not without giving us a detailed picture of the last days of the Romanovs.