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Russian Royalty

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Books About Russian Royalty

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Book Categories: History, Rus', Tsars, Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, Romanovs, Revolution, Pretenders, Religion, Faberge, Jewels, Palaces, Mongols, DVDs

Russian History

A History of Russia by Nicholas Riasanovsky and Mark Steinberg. Covers the entire span of the country's history, from ancient times to the post-Communist era.

Russia and the Russians: A History by Geoffrey Hosking. Follows the story of Russia from the first emergence of the Slavs in the historical record in the sixth century.


Vladimir the Russian Viking: The Legendary Prince Who Transformed a Nation by Vladimir Volkoff. Biography of Vladimir the Great, ruler of Kievan Rus', who founded the Russian state.

The Kingdom of Rus' by Christian Raffensperger. Deeply integrated with medieval Europe, in the 11th and 12th centuries Rus' was the largest kingdom in Christendom.

Ties of Kinship: Genealogy and Dynastic Marriage in Kyivan Rus' by Christian Raffensperger. An analysis of the dynastic marriages of the descendants of Volodimer (Vladimir I), ruler of the medieval East Slavic state of Kievan Rus. Includes genealogical charts.


Chronicle of the Russian Tsars: The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers of Imperial Russia by David Warnes. Includes lively biographies of all 26 tsars, timelines, family trees, and 229 illustrations, 100 in color.

Secret Lives of the Tsars by Michael Farquhar. Three centuries of autocracy, debauchery, betrayal, murder, and madness from Romanov Russia.

Five Empresses: Court Life in Eighteenth-Century Russia by Evgenii V. Anisimov, translated by Kathleen Carol. About Catherine I, Anna Ioannovna, Anna Leopoldovna, Elizabeth, and Catherine the Great.

Terrible Tsarinas: Five Russian Women in Power by Henri Troyat, translated by Andrea Lyn Secare. From Catherine I to Catherine II.

The Tsar's Happy Occasion: Ritual and Dynasty in the Weddings of Russia's Rulers, 1495-1745 by Russell E. Martin. How royal weddings in early modern Russia reflected and shaped court politics during a time of dramatic change.

A Bride for the Tsar: Bride-Shows and Marriage Politics in Early Modern Russia by Russell E. Martin. From 1505 to 1689, Russia's most beautiful aristocratic maidens took part in bride shows.

Leaders of Russia & the Soviet Union Since 1613 edited by John Trayner and Eric Wilmot. Twenty-five essays on leaders from Michael, the first Romanov, to Vladimir Putin.

Russian Leaders: A Bibliography With Indexes edited by Alexander Dragomiroff.

Tudors, Stuarts & the Russian Tsars: Treasures of the Royal Courts edited by Olga Dmitrieva and Tessa Murdoch. Explores diplomatic, trade and cultural exchanges between the courts of Britain and Russia from Henry VIII to Charles II. Illustrated.

The Monarchy

Russian Monarchy: Representation and Rule by Richard Wortman. Articles on how the Russian monarchy influenced law, representations of family, and concepts of nation and empire.

Visual Texts, Ceremonial Texts, Texts of Exploration by Richard Wortman. The representation of the Russian monarchy in court ceremonials, parades, public festivities, and celebrations.

Succession to the Throne in Early Modern Russia: The Transfer of Power 1450-1725 by Paul Bushkovitch. Argues that the monarch usually designated the eldest son as heir by custom, not by law.

Ivan the Terrible

Ivan the Terrible by Isabel de Madariaga. This biography studies Ivan's policies, his marriages, his atrocities, and his disordered personality, and links them as a coherent whole.

Ivan the Terrible by Robert Payne and Nikita Romanoff. This biography offers abundant details on the life of Ivan IV, including his violent mood swings and his callous cruelty.

Ivan the Terrible: Free to Reward and Free to Punish by Charles J. Halperin. A comprehensive analysis of Ivan's reign that reveals a complex ruler who had much in common with his European contemporaries.

Image & Mythology

The Cult of Ivan the Terrible in Stalinist Russia by Maureen Perrie. Ivan IV, although notorious for his reign of terror, became a national hero in the Soviet Union during the 1940s. This book traces the development of Ivan's positive image.

The Image of Ivan the Terrible in Russian Folklore by Maureen Perrie. Argues that Ivan was portrayed in folklore in a positive light, but this image does not necessarily reflect 16th-century views.

Terror and Greatness: Ivan and Peter as Russian Myths by Kevin M. F. Platt. Ivan IV and Peter the Great have been lionized for great achievements and despised for the violence of their reigns. This book explores representations of the two rulers from the early 19th century to the present.

Children's Books

Ivan the Terrible: Terrifying Tyrant of Russia by Ryan Nagelhout. Biography of the menacing 16th century prince who became the first tsar of Russia. For children ages 9 to 13.

Ivan the Terrible: Tsar of Death by Sean Price. Children's biography from the "Wicked History" series.

Pretenders and Imposters

Pretenders and Popular Monarchism in Early Modern Russia: The False Tsars of the Time of Troubles by Maureen Perrie. Covers the period between 1598 and 1613.

False Tsars by Gyula Szvak and Nicholas V. Riasanovsky. Covers all pretenders to the Russian throne from the Times of Troubles to the end of the 19th century.

Tsars and Pretenders: Boris Godunov and Russia's Time of Troubles by Daniel H. Shubin. About Russia's struggle through a period of weak rulers and civil strife. Boris Godunov governed from the shadows during the 16th century reign of mildly retarded Tsar Feodor Ivanovich and later in his own name, while false princes were put forward by rivals.

Royalty and Religion

Between God and Tsar: Religious Symbolism and the Royal Women of Muscovite Russia by Isolde Thyret. Demonstrates that the wives of the early tsars played complex roles in government, especially during times of crisis.

The Tsar's Foreign Faiths by Paul W. Werth. Toleration and the fate of religious freedom in imperial Russia.

Muslim Resistance to the Tsar by Moshe Gammer.

A Long Walk to Church: A Contemporary History of Russian Orthodoxy by Nathaniel Davis. The history of the Russian Orthodox Church since the revolution.

Documentaries and Movies

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Russia: Land of the Tsars. Two-part documentary from The History Channel. Filmed on location in Russia and filled with commentary from scholars, this is a captivating portrait of a land that has endured centuries of innovation and conflict.

DVDs About Peter the Great
DVDs About Catherine the Great
DVDs About the Last Romanovs

Related Topics

Imperial Jeweler Faberge
European Royalty
The Vikings
The Mongol Empire
World Royal History

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