The Many Deaths of Tsar Nicholas II: Relics, Remains and the Romanovs (Paperback) book cover

The Many Deaths of Tsar Nicholas II

Relics, Remains and the Romanovs

By Wendy Slater

© 2007 – Routledge

208 pages | 9 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9780415427975
pub: 2007-06-21
Hardback: 9780415345163
pub: 2007-06-22
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203536988
pub: 2007-06-26
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How did Nicholas II, Russia’s last Tsar, meet his death? Shot point blank in a bungled execution by radical Bolsheviks in the Urals, Nicholas and his family disappeared from history in the Soviet era. But in the 1970s, a local geologist and a crime fiction writer discovered the location of their clandestine mass grave, and secretly removed three skulls, before reburying them, afraid of the consequences of their find.

Yet the history of Nicholas’ execution and the discovery of his remains are not the only stories connected with the death of the last Tsar. This book recounts the horrific details of his death and the thrilling discovery of the bones, and also investigates the alternative narratives that have grown up around these events. Stories include the contention that the Tsar’s killing was a Jewish plot, in which Nicholas’ severed head was taken to Moscow as proof of his death; tales of would-be survivors of the execution, self-confessed children of the Tsar claiming their true identity; and accounts of miracles performed by Nicholas, who was made a saint by the Russian church in 2000. Not least among these alternative narratives is the romanticization of the Romanovs, epitomized by the numerous photographs of the family released from the Russian archives.


'This book is both a careful retelling of the story of the deaths and rediscovery of Russia's royal family and a series of interesting essays on the myths surrounding them. As such, it is to be thoroughly recommended' - Beryl Williams, University of Sussex, Revolutionary Russia, 2008

Table of Contents

1. Cruel Necessity 2. True Crime 3. The Many Deaths of Nicholas II 4. Gothic Horror 5. False Alexeis 6. Tsar Martyr 7. Family Portraits. Conclusion: Miscalculating History

About the Series

Routledge Studies in the History of Russia and Eastern Europe

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Europe / Russia & the Former Soviet Union
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Archaeology
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General