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Download The Romanovs: 1613–1918 Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Romanovs: 1613–1918, by Simon Sebag Montefiore Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Simon Sebag Montefiore Narrator: Simon Russell Beale Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The Romanovs were the most successful dynasty of modern times, ruling a sixth of the world’s surface for three centuries. How did one family turn a war-ruined principality into the world’s greatest empire? And how did they lose it all?

This is the intimate story of twenty tsars and tsarinas, some touched by genius, some by madness, but all inspired by holy autocracy and imperial ambition. Simon Sebag Montefiore’s gripping chronicle reveals their secret world of unlimited power and ruthless empire building, overshadowed by palace conspiracy, family rivalries, sexual decadence and wild extravagance, with a global cast of adventurers, courtesans, revolutionaries, and poets, from Ivan the Terrible to Tolstoy and Pushkin, to Bismarck, Lincoln, Queen Victoria, and Lenin.

To rule Russia was both an imperial-sacred mission and poisoned chalice: six of the last twelve tsars were murdered. Peter the Great tortured his own son to death while making Russia an empire, and dominated his court with a dining club notable for compulsory drunkenness, naked dwarfs, and fancy dress. Catherine the Great overthrew her own husband (who was murdered soon afterward), enjoyed affairs with a series of young male favorites, conquered Ukraine and fascinated Europe. Paul I was strangled by courtiers backed by his own son, Alexander I, who in turn faced Napoleon’s invasion and the burning of Moscow, then went on to take Paris. Alexander II liberated the serfs, survived five assassination attempts and wrote perhaps the most explicit love letters ever composed by a ruler. The Romanovs climaxes with a fresh, unforgettable portrayal of Nicholas II and Alexandra, the rise and murder of Rasputin, war and revolution—and the harrowing massacre of the entire family.

Dazzlingly entertaining and beautifully written from start to finish, The Romanovs brings these monarchs—male and female, great and flawed, their families and courts—blazingly to life. Drawing on new archival research, Montefiore delivers an enthralling epic of triumph and tragedy, love and murder, encompassing the seminal years 1812, 1914, and 1917, that is both a universal study of power and a portrait of empire that helps define Russia today.

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Quotes & Awards

  • The Romanovs is like twenty gripping novels in one.”

    Sunday Express (London)

  • “The book is a marvellous read and the last third, from fin de siècle to revolutionary cataclysm, is dazzling…The pages on Nicholas and Alexandra are perhaps the best ever.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Epic history on the grandest scale…A story of conspiracy, drunken coups, assassination, torture…Game of Thrones seems like the proverbial vicar’s tea party in comparison…[An] excellent account.”

    Financial Times (London)

  • “Spellbinding…Montefiore’s novelistic gift of drawing vivid characters with a few choice words never fails him.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Paints an unforgettable portrait of characters fascinating and charismatic, odd and odious.”

    Washington Post

  • “Skillfully interweaves the personal with the political…Montefiore is the perfect author for a book of the ambition and scope of The RomanovsThe Romanovs is old-fashioned narrative history at its colorful and unpretentious best.”

    Sydney Morning Herald

  • “A compelling combination of literary flair, narrative drive, solid research, and psychological insight.”

    Literary Review

  • “Polished, lively, informed….Montefiore is an accomplished storyteller, and what might have been a plodding succession of reigns reads instead like a novel…An achievement of the first rank.”

    Dallas Morning News

  • “Simon Russell Beale provides an outstanding narration of the Romanov dynasty’s 300-plus years. His British accent gives an academic air to this story of power, lust, more lust, and even more lust, torture, piety, ambition, intrigue, deceit, betrayal, and all the elements of history that make the story of mankind so completely fascinating. Beale reads this exceptionally well-written text with pacing and inflections that are nearly perfect. He is able from the very beginning to grab listeners, bring them in, and keep them wanting more. He gives Russian words a British pronunciation, which may grate on those who know Russian but will in no way detract from a sublime performance for most.”


  • A New York Times Bestseller
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