Frances Welch

A Reason for Incest

The Crime of Olga Arbyelina

By

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There are few images more beguiling than that of the gilded White Russian reduced to beggary by the Revolution. Some of the stories are tragic. One need only think of Natasha Romanov, the wife of the Tsar’s brother, dying alone and penniless in a Parisian charity hospital. Other images are less dramatic but just as poignant: Prince Felix Yussupov, down to his last kopek, consumed with impotent rage after coming across his family’s sequestered treasures in a Sotheby’s catalogue.

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