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Hardcover A Romanov Fantasy: Life at the Court of Anna Anderson Book

ISBN: 0393065774

ISBN13: 9780393065770

A Romanov Fantasy: Life at the Court of Anna Anderson

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Format: Hardcover

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Book Overview

Did the seventeen-year-old Grand Duchess Anastasia survive the massacre of the Russian imperial family in 1918? Over the years, the possibility that the youngest of the tsar s four daughters might... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

can't make up her mind

Firstly i too had a problem with the photos, many of which were shrunk and the contrast was so bad faces turned so black you couldn't see detail. Second problem i had with the book was that although Welsh is telling the story of how Anna Anderson wasn't Anastasia I fell that for the majority of the book she tells the tale as if she were Anastasia and only adds in the truth in the introductory chapters and conclusion, never conflicting the body of her storyline with interjections that - this was simply not true, Anna learned this from here etc. In effect if you were being a selective reader you could gain the opinion that Welsh is supporting Anna's claim. Thirdly, after reading a great deal now on the Romanovs and in particular almost everything that can be read about their incarceration and massacre, I was suprised by some of the details Welsh added. For example Welsh says that the limbs stuck out of the top of the mine the Romanovs were first buried in - while a nice piece of imagery I don't think it can be true. Although the mine was deemed to small after the bodies were thrown in it was because they were not submerged in the water down the bottom, not that they stuck out of the top. This can be proven by the fact that when Yurovsky returned to the mine to get the bodies out they had to be fished out, a man had to go into the mine and untangle them and then they were winched up. Further a grenade was thrown down the mine. Down being the operative word, it is hard to imagine trying to collapse the mine by throwing a grenade if it was so chock-a-block that limbs were sticking out the top, it would almost be suicidal. Interestingly though Welsh also writes about orgies the commander of the Governers house in Toblsk, had with prostitutes in maids costumes, after the Tsar and Tsarina left, I had never read this before and wonder if it is true or Welsh imbelishing again. Overall still a very good (and easy) read and a good biography of Anna Anderson - the person (not the fraud she committed.)

Anna Anderson

The story of Anna Anderson, the woman who claimed to be Grand Duchess Anastasia, has always been fascinating to me. It was revealed through DNA tests that she was a fake years after her death in the 1980s. This book explores the story of the real Anastasia and what happened to her as well as the story of Anna and her hoax. I found it an excellent treatment and very readable. It didn't answer all of the questions I had, such as how Anna managed to get away with her deception for so long and how she fooled so many people, but I doubt that any book could do that. Somethings we will never know. I highly recommend the book to anyone intersted in this period of history.


Welch's well received biography of Anna Anderson (or, to put it more succinctly, the woman who pretended to be the Grand Duchess Anastasia for some sixty years) manages to both inform and entertain without losing focus or academic content. Certainly the author had quite a task ahead of her: rumors and stories abound about the woman that was Anna Anderson, and it must have been quite a feat for Welch to sift through fact and fiction in a world damaged by tabloid headlines. Parts of note were those that literally delved into Anderson's lifestyle - a surprising and often perplexing world filled with grandiose thoughts and incoherent madness. Welch sporadically confuses the reader with endless names of royals and people mixed up in the claim, but those rough patches soon give way to clear narrative. I went into this book thinking I would get the author's opinion or analysis, but alas, she stays staunchly in the middle and there is little to no bias (which to some would be a good thing). Overall, a pleasing piece of work that brings together numerous lives to uncover one life that has, until now, seemed so elusive.

Well written, entertaining guide to the life of an Anastasia Claimant

As a former Anna Anderson supporter, I dreaded reading this book. For over a decade I have studied the claim's Anna Anderson's to be the Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov, and while I no longer believe that she was actually the Grand Duchess I still respect and am fascinated by those individuals who spent years of their lives trying to support and aid this very fragile (mentally and physically) woman. Yet, I was pleasantly surprised by the author's ease of maintaining the dignity of the participants while showing quite accurately the circumstances of Anna Anderson's life. For those unfamiliar with this case the story proves as fantastic as any fictional novel and just as entertaining. For those who are already familiar with Anna Anderson I believe there are enough new tidbits of information that will help to clarify some of the remaining mysteries of this case. Both readable and informative, I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in the mysteries surrounding this most famous of Anastasia claimants.

An Extraordinary Woman And Her Friends

A Romanov Fantasy is the story of the most famous royal pretender of the twentieth century: Franziska Schanzkowska, a Polish peasant woman who claimed to be Grand Duchess Anastasia Nicolaevna, daughter of Tsar Nicholas II, for some 64 years. It is also the story of the many devoted and eternally patient friends who sheltered and supported Franziska, better known as Anna Anderson, throughout that time. Franziska was a highly intelligent woman with a gift for drama. Unfortunately she also seems to have been mentally and emotionally troubled from an early age, so that she was unable to use her abilities positively. Her charm and her ability to pick up information enabled her to pose so successfully that even some of Anastasia's close relatives and former servants and associates were unable to either denounce or accept her. She used her magnetic personality to gather a crowd of supporters who, despite being exasperated by her time and again, seem never to have stopped believing in and trusting her. Frances Welch's biography concentrates primarily on Franziska's life and on the problems her supporters had dealing with her. The crucial last bit of the story, the DNA testing that ultimately proved Franziska was not Anastasia, is barely discussed. While it would be nice to read a fuller biography of Franziska, she was so unaccountable and so bizarre that it would probably not be possible to write one.
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