The White Night of St. Petersburg
Prince Michael Greece Philip, Franklin Of
Atlantic Monthly Press (August 2004)
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In the summer of 1998, Prince Michael of Greece attended a solemn interment ceremony for Tsar Nicholas II and his family, who were murdered eighty years earlier. While there, he noticed a dazzling older woman in the crowd and, curious to know her connection, traveled to Moscow to meet her. Natalya Androssov Iskander Romanov met Prince Michael and revealed the long-buried story of her grandfather, the Grand Duke Nicholas. All record of Nicholas Kostantinovich Romanov was erased from the royal dynasty's official vaults, so Natalya's memories remained the only key to his past. As she speaks, the narrative fades to a snow-filled St. Petersburg morning in November 1860, and there begins the fantastic re-imagining of the rebellious and dashing duke's life. His scandalous affair with the devastatingly beautiful American courtesan Fanny Lear and his implication in a plot to fund revolutionaries by stealing family jewels led the emperor to banish him to the far reaches of the vast Russian empire to avoid tarnishing the family name. From the glittering splendor of Imperial Russia to treks across the barren steppe, The White Night of St. Petersburg brings to life a fascinating and forgotten member of one of history's most legendary families.
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