The Diary of Olga Romanov: Royal Witness to the Russian Revolution

The Diary of Olga Romanov: Royal Witness to the Russian Revolution

Helen Azar / Jan 20, 2020

The Diary of Olga Romanov Royal Witness to the Russian Revolution In August Russia entered the First World War and with it the Imperial family of Tsar Nicholas II was thrust into a conflict from which they would not emerge His eldest child Olga Nikolaevna

  • Title: The Diary of Olga Romanov: Royal Witness to the Russian Revolution
  • Author: Helen Azar
  • ISBN: 9781594161773
  • Page: 384
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In August 1914, Russia entered the First World War, and with it, the Imperial family of Tsar Nicholas II was thrust into a conflict from which they would not emerge His eldest child, Olga Nikolaevna, great granddaughter of Queen Victoria, had begun a diary in 1905 when she was 10 years old and kept writing her thoughts and impressions of day to day life as a Grand DuchessIn August 1914, Russia entered the First World War, and with it, the Imperial family of Tsar Nicholas II was thrust into a conflict from which they would not emerge His eldest child, Olga Nikolaevna, great granddaughter of Queen Victoria, had begun a diary in 1905 when she was 10 years old and kept writing her thoughts and impressions of day to day life as a Grand Duchess until abruptly ending her entries when her father abdicated his throne in March 1917 Held at the State Archives of the Russian Federation in Moscow, Olga s diaries during the wartime period have never been translated into English until this volume At the outset of the war, Olga and her sister, Tatiana, worked as nurses in a military hospital along with their mother, Tsarina Alexandra Olga s younger sisters, Maria and Anastasia, visited their own infirmaries to help raise the morale of the wounded and sick soldiers The strain was indeed great as Olga records her impressions of tending to the officers who had been injured and maimed in the fighting on the Russian front Concerns about her sickly brother, Aleksei abound, as well those for her father who is seen attempting to manage the ongoing war Gregori Rasputin appears in entries too, in an affectionate manner as one would expect of a family friend While the diaries reflect the interests of a young woman, her tone increases in seriousness as the Russian army suffers setbacks, Rasputin is ultimately murdered, and a popular movement against her family begins to grow At the point Olga ends her writing in 1917, the author continues the story by translating letters and impressions from family intimates, such as Anna Vyrubova, as well as the diary kept by Nicholas II himself Finally, once the Imperial family has been put under house arrest by the revolutionaries, observations by Alexander Kerensky, head of the Provisional Government, are provided, these too in English translation for the first time Olga would offer no further personal writings as she and the rest of her family were crowded into a basement of a house in the Urals and shot to death in July 1918.The Diary of Olga Romanov RoyalWitness to the Russian Revolution, translated and introduced by scientist and librarian Helen Azar, and supplemented with additional primary source material, is a remarkable document of a young woman who did not choose to be part of a royal family and never exploited her own position, but lost her life simply because of what her family represented.

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    • ☆ The Diary of Olga Romanov: Royal Witness to the Russian Revolution || ↠ PDF Read by ¸ Helen Azar
      384 Helen Azar
    • thumbnail Title: ☆ The Diary of Olga Romanov: Royal Witness to the Russian Revolution || ↠ PDF Read by ¸ Helen Azar
      Posted by:Helen Azar
      Published :2018-011-15T09:22:29+00:00

    About "Helen Azar"

      • Helen Azar

        Helen Azar is a public librarian specializing in history She grew up in a Russian speaking household and as a child used to translate paragraphs from children s books and magazines for fun.While researching for her first book, Helen visited Russia several times, and as part of the library school academic curriculum worked in the Rare Book Fund at the Museum at Tsarskoe Selo, which holds the imperial book collection, including that of Catherine the Great and the last Tsar Nicholas II.Helen s professional scientific training and a passion for Russian history led to co authoring several articles on the identification of the remains of the last Tsar and his family.Currently Helen works at the Free Library of Philadelphia and is part of a team of librarians that runs popular local history programs.


    1. The five stars are really for the execution of the book as opposed to the actual content of Olga's diaries and letters. Azar provides a vivid translation of the girl's diary entries that gives you a strong sense as to how Olga actually expressed herself, peppering them and her letters with mild (and occasionally funny) slang. It also conveys a better idea of how close Tatiana and Olga were as a pair, as opposed to the usual OTMA assemblage (and incidentally, is there evidence that the four girls [...]

    2. As this was the first of the diaries of the Imperial Daughters to be translated into English and published, I really looked forward to reading it. However, I was greatly disappointed in the book as a whole. The essays at the beginning about Olga’s childhood and the discovery of the Romanov remains were actually the best, most coherent portions of the book. Even then the writing seems more Young Adult in tone and style then being geared for historians or adults. When you get to the actual diary [...]

    3. He amado con locura este libro, es fácil de leer, no es aburrido, y me gusta que tiene pie de página, porque muchas veces mencionan palabras en Ruso y a personas que no me acuerdo o no sé quienes son y sólo tengo que leer abajo para saber.Poco se habla de Olga,la hija más grande del último emperador de Rusia, con este libro pude conocer más de ella,sus intereses, su amor por ayudar y hacer sentir bien a los demás, como dijo uno de sus tutores ''Olga Nikolaevna has a crystal soul.''La úl [...]

    4. A slice of life of the Russian court told from the perspective of Tzar Nicholas's oldest daughter, Olga. Sometimes giddy, at other times grounded in the stark realities of the first world war, it is a firsthand account in the form of a diary that outlines her day to day life and the impact of her changing world. Sweetly innocent, and charmingly devoted to her family, it's an insider's look into the everyday details, filled with Olga's warmth. Seemingly unaffected by her title, yet understanding [...]

    5. Helen Azar has given us a real treat by translating snippets of Olga Romanov’s diary entries and letters. “The Diary of Olga Romanov: Royal Witness to the Russian Revolution” offers insights into the life of Tsar Nicholas II’s eldest daughter and brings her to life. The book also includes diary entries and letters of those who were close to or had contact with the grand duchess.The book begins with a nice 25 page introduction providing some necessary background information. The diary rea [...]

    6. This diary and some letters of a member of the Russian imperial family is well edited and annotated, and the introduction is excellent. I commend Azar for curating the material so well and I'm glad it's been translated into English for the first time. This slim book will add to the sum of scholarly research on imperial Russia.I found some of the excerpts of letters quite intriguing when the subject matter was the events around the country, or serious conversations with wounded soldiers, or conce [...]

    7. Author Helen Azar is a librarian in Philadelphia who has worked at the Rare Book Foundation at the Museum of Tsarskoe Selo in Russia. She has compiled a translation of diary entries of Olga Romanov, the eldest daughter of Nicholas II. The translations encompass the years 1914-1918. Although Olga’s entries stop in March of 1917, entries from other diaries—namely those of Czar Nicholas II and Alexander Kerensky are also included along with letters written by friends and relatives of the royal [...]

    8. I enjoyed reading this account of the Russian Revolution from the eyes of an innocent caught in the middle. The Grand Duchess,Olga Nicholavena Romanov, oldest daughter of Nicholas II, the last tsar of Russia, is shown to be a strong, caring, yet naive. She knows nothing out side of her fishbowl life. She knows only of living in palaces and castles, sleeping on monogrammed sheets, eating gourmet meals, and yet, sleeping on an army cot every night and taking only cold showers. She sees the war fro [...]

    9. A glimpse into a sheltered life filled with family, devotion, duty and such promise. If anything, these diary entries and, especially, letters between Olga and her father shed light on how tragically misunderstood this particular family was in the eyes of the Russian people. So many if only's

    10. Not worth the effort to translate. I have always had a avid interest in her family was very disappointed in what was written. She mostly visited family members and wrote sugary letters to her father.

    11. Here is a wonderful video for the book that my friend Anne Lloyd, a Philadelphia based Romanov artist made. youtube/watch?v=y-iGRY

    12. Interesting and gives a glimpse of what Olga's life was but absolutely pointless, I don't think her diaries should have been published as they bring nothing new about the Tsar family life, the war or the revolution.

    13. I found this very interesting. Loved that is was a mixture of Olga's diary, the Tsars diary, memoirs of friends and family, and letter to friends and family. Perfect for those who have like to read about the Romanovs.

    14. After reading a couple of books on the Romanov daughters I figured that this book would hopefully give a bit more insight into the life of the oldest Romanov daughter. The book started out well with Olga describing everyday life both in her diary and in letters to her father. Some find this boring, I think that's mainly because the concept of keeping a diary is different today than it was back then. I'm guessing back then a diary was more a record of daily events and occurrences, while today a d [...]

    15. Not sure I'm going to finish this. It's very convenient to have this information in English but the book includes less than 50% of Olga's letters and diary entries from Августейшие Сестры Милосердия which seems to have been the main source. It's also full of gaps. Sometimes weeks and months pass between entries. Nothing in the description says this is a book of excerpts instead of Olga's full diary. I said in my review of Azar's Romanov ebook that I would be irritated [...]

    16. Having been intrigued by Russian history for several years now, when I first picked up this book, I thought it would be more narrative in style, using the diary of Olga, oldest daughter of Nicholas II and Alexandra Romanov, to tell the story of what happened to the imperial family. Yet, this was simply, as described in the overleaf of the book, the diary of Olga, translated into English. In addition to the diary of Olga, there are also translations of letters Olga wrote to other friends and fami [...]

    17. Long over due work (the previously untranslated wartime diaries of Olga) finally gifted by the amazingly talented Russianist writer Helen Azar. I have been a Romanov fanatic since age 14, and have always had an "obsessive" special love for Olga. Olga's voice is not only NOT lost in translation (as is so sadly the case in many Russian to English translations i.e. Tolstoy) but Azar brings the voice of this surprisingly modern, beautiful, witty, compassionate, independent-minded kind young woman wh [...]

    18. Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, his wife Alexandra and their five children, the last of the Romanovs, are a fascinating character study. I've been intrigued with them ever since I read Robert Massie's influential tome "Nicholas and Alexandra" in high school. Earlier this fall, I read "The Romanov Sisters" by Helen Rappaport, a British historian. When I saw "The Diary of Olga Romanov" (the oldest sister) on the new book shelves, I picked it up. Unfortunately, Olga and her father (who is quoted extens [...]

    19. After approximately seven years of fascination with this family, I found it hard to believe I could finally have a personal look into their lives via their diaries.I've seen the Faberge eggs made for them up close and personal, I've looked at hundreds of photographs, but I've never felt so involved before.Of course, the entries are repetitive and sometimes dull, but who can complain when you're reading the diary of Olga Romanov? Helen Azar did a wonderful job of compilation, and translating the [...]

    20. Olga Romanova was only 22 years old when her life was snuffed out along with her entire family by Bolsheviks in the bloody aftermath of the Russian Revolution. As a daughter of Tsar Nicholas II she really never got to experience her own life and sadly her death was a result of what family she belonged to not who she was as well. This book is based on her diaries, and some of her letters as well as some other letters and diaries of contemporaries (most notably her father) to help round out her st [...]

    21. ** Books 59 - 2015 **This books to accomplishNew Author Reading Challenge 2015 and Yuk Baca Buku Non Fiksi 2015 2,9 of 5 stars! Seriously, it can be great if the whole books not only the diary of Olga Romanov i Know i read the diary but the way she wrote somehow reminds me of The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank and it kinda boring fuhh >__<However there is still a good parts when there are Nicholas II's diary included in this books. it's better to read The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Liv [...]

    22. An interesting look at the last days of the last Russian Imperial family. This book is mistitled as The Diary of Olga Romanov when there are letters and diary excerpts from others around her. To me, the book seems to be in two parts with the first half full of Olga's diary, letters to her father, and memories from Anna Vyrubova, a lady-in-waiting. The letters and Anna's memories are more interesting and detailed than Olga's simple remarks on having dinner, going to the infirmary, etc. The second [...]

    23. Covering the war years, when reading this you can forget the Romanovs were an elite family, Czars, and remember they were as human as the rest of us, with a father/Czar who loved his children--and chopped down a hell of a lot of trees! You come to realize several things: the Romanovs weren't sitting on tier proverbial fannies during the war; on no, Alexandra & her eldest daughters Olga & Tatiana worked as nurses in a military hospital while Anastasia & Maria visited the infirmaries t [...]

    24. Very disappointing. Not in the author, after all, she is letting us read Olga's diary. But in Olga. It is like reading an appointment book. Had tea. Walked with T. Had a drive. Mama sick. Went to bed. Is this girl a robot?! Where is the emotion?! Russia is in war. Her father is with the troops. Oops, Russia is overthrown. No more Tsar! Family held as prisoners! Are you scared? Are you angry? I don't care that you had tea today or every day!!! The redemption of the book is the great prologue, the [...]

    25. I was really excited to hear about this book because I love the Romanovs and Olga was my favorite before reading this book and after reading it made me love her more. Although she didn't put much feeling and dept into her Diaries, it is still very interesting to read about the Grand Duchess' life during the First World War. Helen Azar also puts some background of what was going on with putting the Tsar's Diary entry and ect. Very nice book I recommend it to those who are interested in the Romano [...]

    26. I've always been fascinated with the family and grand duchesses. Reading this made me feel mor of who they were instead of the royal names they had. Their story is such a sad story, but I loved reading Olgas and Nicholas' entries- it gave me a sense of personally knowing and understanding who they really were as people. Nicholas paints a picture that he's very sentimental with the past- he mentioned he brought photos to Tobolsk to organize and go through so them. He also mentions reading past en [...]

    27. It feels weird rating and reviewing someone's diary.If you're here to get Olga's venting and details about crushes/spats with siblings/anything that we might consider putting in a diary, pay attention to page xvii where Azar reports that these diaries are more akin to a date book. It was interesting to see the routine interspersed with comments about it and to peek into Olga's social life. I almost wish, though, that it had ended where Olga's last entry ended. We know the story. I would like to [...]

    28. Unless you are a Russian history afficiando, you may feel like there are a bunch of inside stories. I only mention that as a warning. The diary lacks the emotional content of Diary of Anne Frank. Olga is shallow and doesn't do much but go to church several times a day. The inclusion of her letters and from the diaries of others adds to the content. You almost begin to feel sorry for the royal family and then the father rails against the Jewish conspiracy. Even though the family feels oppressed b [...]

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