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Russian Court Memoirs 1914 -1916

Anon; introduction by Alan Wood

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This book, first published in 1917, provides an insight into life among the upper classes in Russia at a time that was to prove pivotal in world history. The anonymous author was writing from within the intimate circle of the court of Tsar Nicholas II in a period when the country was only months away from a revolution that was to destroy everything for which he stood.

The purpose of this book was to paint a portrait of Russia's royal family, court entourage and metropolitan society during the early years of the First World War and also to lay responsibility for that war squarely at the feet of Germany. Written throughout in a strongly individualistic style, the text expresses the author's often extraordinary views on contemporary political and social events.

The author's firm declaration that 'Russia is not a revolutionary country' and his utterly condescending opinions about the mass of his compatriots show the fatal limitations of the privileged elite of which he was a member. Russian Court Memoirs unwittingly describes the final period of influence of a clique, which through its exclusivity, had become blinded to the realities of life in its own country.

Alan Wood was Senior Lecturer in Russian History at Lancaster University and Convenor of the British Universities Siberian Studies Seminar. Among his numerous publications on Russian and Soviet history are Siberia: Problems and Prospects for Regional Development; Origins of the Russian Revolution; Stalin and Stalinism.


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