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Wednesday 10 September 2008

New Novel Based On The Life of Grand Duchess Elizabeth of Russia

Based on the true story of Queen Victoria's granddaughter, Grand Duchess Elizaveta Feodorovna, "Most Beautiful Princess" follows 'Ella' from her arrival in Russia to marry Grand Duke Serge Alexandrovich, brother of Tsar Alexander III, through to her horrific murder at the hands of the Bolsheviks.

Adored and yet vilified as a German spy; childless, yet loved by children; gentle, yet capable of virtually single-handedly engineering the marriage of her ill-fated sister, Alexandra to Nicholas II, last Tsar of all the Russias; devoted to her difficult husband, yet so often the object of slander and gossip, at first glance her intriguing life seems one of extremes. Yet there is one unchanging thread running through this story - from all the glamour of Royal Courts in the halcyon days of the 19th century monarchies, to the abject poverty of Moscow's slums; she maintained an unchanging determination to bring beauty into the world. Far from being simply a story of an another era, the life of Ella, Grand Duchess Elisabeth Feodorovna speaks directly of so many issues facing the world today. In a life which encountered terrorism, the need for religious tolerance, the bridging of the gap between the rich and the poor, and the joining of the material with the spiritual, Ella's is not only a fascinating historical life but perhaps, more importantly, a template for the future of all our lives.

Although this is a novel, all the characters in the book actually existed and, having already researched and written the biography of Ella, I have ensured that it is grounded in historical accuracy.
Some historical biographers take exception to the fictionalisation of real people - and I completely understand and appreciate that opinion. Over the next few days, however, I shall explain why I chose this genre to present my understanding of the beautiful life of Grand Duchess Elizabeth.

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