The Romanov Fantasy

Life at the Court of Anna Anderson

by Frances Welch

  • Published: 01 Feb 2007
  • Price: £14.99
  • Format: Hardback
  • Extent: 304p
  • ISBN: 9781904977715
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Did the 17-year-old Anastasia survive the massacre of the Russian Royal family in 1917? Over the years, the possibility that she, the youngest of the Tsar’s four daughters, might have escaped, and the universal longing to salvage some thread of hope from the tragedy, has provided a rich spawning ground for claimants.

This story is centred on the best-known of those claimants, Anna Anderson, and the bizarre coterie of supporters who assembled around her – a motley group of doomed souls, the ‘Romanov pilgrims’, who risked life and limb, and often all their savings, in a devoted attempt to will the Tsar and his family back to life.

But who was Anna Anderson – and how did she manage to convince so many people that she was the real Anastasia? A Romanov Fantasy is a compelling, eerie and frequently hilarious study of discipleship, snobbery and life after death.

“A total and unexpected delight.” – Roger Lewis, Daily Express

“A compact and gripping biography, written with such a fine mixture of sympathy and humorous detachment that it is a delight to read.” – Noonie Minogue, The Tablet

“A romantic and thrilling story, brilliantly and sympathetically told.” – Daily Express

“Frances Welch plots this tragicomic mess of self-deception with the humour and sympathy of her delightful first book The Romanovs and Mr Gibbes.” – Daily Telegraph

“Wonderful pensketches of dispossessed Russian courtiers.” – The Guardian

About Frances Welch

Frances Welch has written for the Sunday Telegraph, Granta, The Spectator and the Financial Times. She is co-author of Memories of Revolution: Russian Women Remember (Routledge, 1993), The Romanov & Mr Gibbes (Short Books, 2003) and A Romanov Fantasy: Life at the Court of Anna Anderson (Short Books, 2007) She is married to the writer Craig Brown, and has two children. She lives in Aldeburgh, Suffolk.