CZARS AND CZARINAS OF RUSSIA by Tamara Talbot Rice

CZARS AND CZARINAS OF RUSSIA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

After Finding Out About the Early Russians, older readers can move on to Czars and Czarinas, a fine historical successor written with similar penetration and easygoing familiarity. Mrs. Rice reveals the Russian royal families in their idiosyncratic splendor--well-intentioned and misguided, brutal and tender, fervent and weak-willed. Peter's daughter Elizabeth is particularly well scrutinized, opposing the rightful successors with calculating restraint, masterminding a marriage for the heir, an education for his son. Chronological movement supports meaningful interpretation and establishes transitions missing from the Horizon Russia under the Czars. A judicious selection (justifiable within the context) prevents the frequency of intense, emotional despots from degenerating into a series of repellent sadistic episodes. The earliest revolutionaries--Stenka Razin and Pugachev--appear but discussion of nineteenth century opposition (Bazarov-type radicals, Nihilists) is skimpy and inadequate for pre-Revolutionary developments. Less dramatic (and amusing) than the Horizon, it is nevertheless more comprehensive for historical insights, less reliant on personal sensationalism.

Pub Date: May 27th, 1968
Publisher: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard