The Russian Great Reforms of the 1860s were the last major modernizing effort by the Romanov dynasty. From 1855 to 1861, Grand Duchess Elena, born Princess Charlotte of Württemberg (1807-1873), acted as the spokeswoman for the reform-minded circles of Russian society, bringing before her nephew Emperor Alexander II a group of civic-minded experts who formed the core of the committee that prepared the greatest and most complex of the reforms, the abolition of serfdom in Russia. The Grand Duchess’s involvement in these crucial events in Russian history highlights the considerable influence aristocratic women had in Russian society, quite unlike women of the same class and status in Western Europe. A study of the Grand Duchess Elena of Russia offers a new understanding of Russian and international events of the time, the Romanovs’ role in them, the degree of autonomy enjoyed by high-born women in Russia and the ways in which new ideas gained ground in the nineteenth-century Russian empire. Based on abundant and largely unused archival sources, published documents and literature of the period in French, Russian, German, Italian and English, this is the first book about Grand Duchess Elena and it expertly interweaves the story of a woman’s life with that of Imperial Russian high politics.
"A stunning follow-up to the best-seller Angelology. . . Part historical novel, fantasy, love story, thriller, and mystery. . . It's a must-read." —Booklist (starred review) A New York Times bestseller and global sensation, Angelology unfurled a brilliant tapestry of myth and biblical lore on our present-day world and plunged two star-crossed heroes into an ancient battle against mankind’s greatest enemy: the fatally attractive angel-human hybrids known as the Nephilim. With Angelopolis, the conflict deepens into an inferno of danger and passion unbound. A decade has passed since Verlaine saw Evangeline alight from the Brooklyn Bridge, the sight of her new wings a betrayal that haunts him still. Now an elite angel hunter for the Society of Angelology, he pursues his mission with single-minded devotion: to capture, imprison, and eliminate her kind. But when Evangeline suddenly appears on a twilit Paris street, Verlaine finds her nature to be unlike any of the other creatures he so mercilessly pursues, casting him into a spiral of doubt and confusion that only grows when she is abducted before his eyes by a creature who has topped the society’s most-wanted list for more than a century. The ensuing chase drives Verlaine and his fellow angelologists from the shadows of the Eiffel Tower to the palaces of St. Petersburg and deep into the provinces of Siberia and the Black Sea coast, where the truth of Evangeline’s origins—as well as forces that could restore or annihilate them all—lie in wait. Conceived against an astonishing fresh tableau of history and science, Angelopolis plumbs Russia’s imperial past, modern genetics, and ancient depictions of that most potent angelic appearance—the Annunciation of Gabriel—in a high-octane tale of abduction, treasure seeking, and divine warfare as the fate of humanity once again hangs in the balance.
Home of the helmet hairdo and congressional comb-over, Washington, D.C., is a hotbed of fashion faux pas. If anyone should know, it’s “Crimes of Fashion” columnist Lacey Smithsonian. She dishes out advice to the scandal-scorched and clothing-clueless, doing her part to change this town—one fashion victim at a time.... SHAWL TALE Washington, D.C., fashion reporter Lacey Smithsonian has always believed clothes can be magical, but she’s never thought they can be cursed. Until now. Lacey’s best friend, Stella, is finally getting married, and at her bachelorette party, fellow bridesmaid—and fortune-teller—Marie Largesse arrives with a stunning Russian shawl. A shawl, Marie warns, that can either bless or curse the wearer. When a party crasher who mocks the shawl is found dead the next day, the other guests fear the curse has been unleashed. But Lacey has her doubts, and she must employ all her Extra-Fashionary Perception to capture a villain who has vowed that nobody at this wedding will live happily ever after….
Ann Hood’s historical fantasy series comes to a thrilling end with a trip to early 20th century Russia! In the final book of the Treasure Chest, Maisie and Felix find themselves in Russia with the Romanov family. This epic series is full of time travel and mystery that piques readers’ interests, delights teachers and librarians, and celebrates some of the great historical figures of the past. Every Treasure Chest book features a biography of the featured historical figure along with Ann’s Favorite Facts from her research!
Soon to be a major motion picture starring Kristin Scott Thomas (The English Patient), directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky (The Counterfeiters) Drawing from decades of work, travel, and research in Russia, Robert Alexander re-creates the tragic, perennially fascinating story of the final days of Nicholas and Alexandra Romanov as seen through the eyes of their young kitchen boy, Leonka. Now an ancient Russian immigrant, Leonka claims to be the last living witness to the Romanovs’ brutal murders and sets down the dark secrets of his past with the imperial family. Does he hold the key to the many questions surrounding the family’s murder? Historically vivid and compelling, The Kitchen Boy is also a touching portrait of a loving family that was in many ways similar, yet so different, from any other. "Ingenious...Keeps readers guessing through the final pages." —USA Today
Prosaics, the Play of Culture and Social Identities
Author: Professor Katya Mandoki
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
Katya Mandoki advances in this book the thesis that it is not only possible but crucial to open up the field of aesthetics (traditionally confined to the study of art and beauty) toward the richness and complexity of everyday life. She argues that in every process of communication, whether face to face or through the media, fashion, and political propaganda, there is always an excess beyond the informative and functional value of a message. This excess is the aesthetic. Following Huizinga's view of play as an ingredient of any social environment, Mandoki explores how various cultural practices are in fact forms of playing since, for the author, aesthetics and play are Siamese twins. One of the unique contributions of this book is the elaboration and application of a semiotic model for the simultaneous analysis of social interactions in the four registers, namely visual, auditory, verbal and body language, to detect the aesthetic strategies deployed in specific situations. She argues that since the presentation of the self is targeted towards participants' sensibilities, aesthetics plays a key role in these modes of exchange. Consequently, the author updates important debates in this field to clear the way for a socio-aesthetic inquiry through contexts such as the family, school, medical, artistic or religious traditions from which social identities emerge.