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Most Beautiful Princess - Grand Duchess Elizabeth of Russia

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Location: Yorkshire, England

Most Beautiful Princess - Grand Duchess Elizabeth of Russia

Post by Christina » Thu November 6th, 2008, 2:10 pm

May I please introduce my novel - Most Beautiful Princess - based on the life of Queen Victoria's granddaughter, the remarkable Grand Duchess Elizabeth of Russia?


When I first 'discovered' Grand Duchess Elizabeth, I was so amazed by her life, and more amazed that she seemed little more than a footnote in history. Although her statue now stands above the door of Westminster Abbey, very few people seem to have heard of her. Described as 'the most beautiful princess in Europe', 'Ella' - as she was known in the family - went against the wishes of her grandmother, Queen Victoria, to marry the brother of Tsar Alexander III. Her husband was an extremely difficult man, highly-strung and very unpopular and the marriage was the subject of a great deal of gossip, which persists to this day. It was Ella who, virtually single-handedly, engineered the marriage of her sister, Alix - the ill-fated Tsarina Alexandra - to Tsar Nicholas II. When Ella's husband was blown to pieces by an anarchist's bomb, she literally picked up his remains in her own hands, before going to visit his killer to offer him forgiveness and discover what had driven him to such an act. From then on, she disbanded her court, gave away her jewels, palaces, clothes etc. etc. and built a hospital and convent in a Moscow slum district, where she personally tended the most abject patients. Although revered as a saint by the people, her German origins led her to be accused of being a spy during World War I, and her Romanov background would ultimately lead to her terrible death at the hands of revolutionaries...Through all of this, Ella never wavered in her determination to bring beauty into the world.
I originally wrote her life as a biography (which was short listed for the 2003 UK Biographers' Club Award) but I felt I was more able to capture the true essence of this remarkable woman (and her many relations) through the genre of historical fiction. Many people object to turning real historical characters into fictional characters, but I decided, after a great deal of thought, that it was possible to remain totally true to the historical facts (there are no fictional characters in this story) while having greater scope to express the feeling, psychology etc. etc. of these people, who mean a very great deal to me
I would love to discuss this book and other literature surrounding the family of Queen Victoria, as well as the whole idea of putting real people into the genre of historical fiction, if anyone would be interested. :) .

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Post by love_uk » Sun August 30th, 2009, 6:54 pm

Christina, she does sound fascinating! Will be looking for your book. Is the title the same in the US? :)

My test of a good novel is dreading to begin the last chapter. ~Thomas Helm

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