Claus von Bulow

A Botched Job

The Last Tsar: The Life and Death of Nicholas II


Hodder & Stoughton 405pp £19.95 order from our bookshop

The author clearly has an affinity with his subject: Nicholas II was an incompetent ruler and Mr Radzinsky is an incompetent historian. Before I say another unkind word let me quote from the chapter where he introduces us to Alix of Hesse, the future Tsarina:

‘Hills grown up in forest descended into the misty valley of the Rhine, beloved by Goethe. There lay Darmstadt – at the season of her birth it would have been drowning in flowers, and in the Palace museum hung a Madonna by Hans Holbein.’

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter