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After the Romanovs: Russian Exiles in Paris from the Belle Époque Through Revolution and War

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The assassination by an anarchist of Paul’s brother Sergey in Moscow barely a month later seemed to him a clear act of retaliation, and it confirmed how dangerous life in Russia was becoming for the Romanov family.

From the internationally bestselling author of Four Sisters comes the story of the Russian aristocrats, artists, and intellectuals who sought refuge in Belle Époque Paris. Nicholas also laid the foundation stone of a bridge—Le Pont Alexandre III—in his father Alexander III’s honor.

The 103 third parties who use cookies on this service do so for their purposes of displaying and measuring personalized ads, generating audience insights, and developing and improving products. On being aroused, the grand duke was presented with a bill for five hundred francs, but had no means of paying. By the late nineteenth century, so popular were the wealthy Russians in Paris that they were nicknamed “the Boyars. She also has written extensively on late Imperial Russia, the 1917 Revolution and the Romanov family.

Helen Rappaport has an excellent command of detail and the complexity of her subject and is able to carry the narrative in a very readable fashion while maintaining a level of gravitas that her themes require.Grand Duke Vladimir was as lavish in his tips as his spending, even “adding a number of unmounted gems to the gold coin tossing” at Maxim’s on one occasion.

Nicholas had been firm about setting an example; as he told his mother, “In the end I fear, a whole colony of members of the Russian Imperial Family will be established in Paris with their semi-legitimate and illegitimate wives. Paul and Olga’s subsequent affair resulted in an illegitimate son, Vladimir, born in 1897, and an enormous scandal at the Russian court. Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich, the youngest of the four sons of Alexander II, was by far the most modest and democratic of the Russian grand dukes; his beautiful home at Boulogne-sur-Seine would become, thanks to the charm and social skills of his wife, Olga, Countess von Hohenfelsen, not just a magnet for the most cultured and influential on the French literary, musical, and political circuit but also effectively an “annex” to the Russian embassy in Paris. The fall of the Romanov dynasty in 1917 forced thousands of Russians to flee their homeland with only the clothes on their backs.Aside from Grand Dukes Vladimir and Alexis, Grand Duke Mikhail (Mikhailovich)§ visited regularly with his wife, the Countess Torby; Grand Duke Nikolay Nikolaevich came in 1900 and demanded guards be posted throughout the hotel for his protection. Poignant reading at a historical moment in 2022-2023 as Russians flee from Russia to different parts of the world and keep their lucrative tech jobs to prosperity. He invited her to a tête-à-tête dinner later at Maxim’s, where they ate Beluga caviar and celebrated the Franco-Russian alliance in style.

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