JULIA P. GELARDI is the author of Born to Rule and In Triumph's Wake. She is an independent historian, currently living in Minnesota with her husband and two daughters.
"Independent historian Gelardi has done her homework, drawing on an impressive array of primary and secondary sources to deliver a joint biography of four women who were part of Russia's imperial dynasty in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. . . . Against the backdrop of a tumultuous period in Russian history, this is really a book about an extended family, with a family's sorrows, joys, squabbles, and scandals, albeit on a very grand scale. . . . this is an absorbing account that will appeal to Russian history buffs and to those who enjoy reading about royals." --Booklist "Relating the drama and tragedy of royal life, Gelardi ably weaves in the extended family ties that connected most European rulers, including Queen Victoria, while also including helpful genealogy charts. Gelardi's narrative framework of the four Romanov women's long lives works well to explain not only the realties of the European courts and alliances but also the unique aspects of the Russian dynasty, which suffered repeated assassination attempts even during the age of splendor, resulting in young Nicholas II's observation of his grandfather's murder, possibly hastening Russia's slide to revolution." --Publishers Weekly (starred review) "Gelardi does an exceptional job of relating the last years of the Romanovs via the formerly underutilized perspectives of the women behind the men. While Orlando Figes's Natasha's Dance: A Cultural History of Russia used Tolstoy's War and Peace as its framework, telling some of the same story, Gelardi offers a more richly detailed account, sure to captivate those with a deep interest in Russian and interrelated European history. Highly recommended." --Library Journal