Rubies in the Snow
This is the fictionalised diary of ten-year-old Anastasia, youngest daughter of Nicholas II, Tsar of Russia. In the straightforward style of a young girl each daily entry describes her life, her relationships with her sisters and her younger brother, Alexis. The daily routine hardly changes; Dr Botkin arrives first thing to give the children their daily examination. Cold baths, tea parties, and piano lessons fill every hour, and during play there is the ever-present worry that Alexis, who suffers from haemophilia, might sustain a serious injury, one that may have fatal consequences.
As any ten-year-old might, Anastasia offers her opinions of the adults who dominate her world—Father Vasilev, the children’s confessor, was like, ‘a great black crow’. Rasputin is seen as a smelly old man. The minutiae of their daily lives as well as the dramatic events that overtook the family as the revolution swept all order aside are faithfully documented. The history of this ill-fated family is well documented, having been told many times, but in this little journal, simply told from the point of view of one of the tragic participants, the reader is offered an intimate view of one of the most tragic events in modern history.