bookshelves: summer-2012, tbr-busting-2012, slavic, published-1976, one-penny-wonder, paper-read, flufferoonies, hardback
Read from May 28 to 29, 2012
Description: John Kirby was a British secret agent. Olga was the oldest daughter of Czar Nicholas and his Empress, Alexandra. It was 1911. Imperial Russia was already in its death throes, torn between evil manipulators and determined revolutionaries such as Rasputin and Lenin. But still, women in dazzling gowns and men in lavishly decorated uniforms whirled around opulent ballrooms and took drives in splendid carriages. Palaces and villas still gleamed in the sun, winter and summer.
While the storm gathered, John Kirby played tennis with Nicholas, frolicked with Nicholas’ children and floated on the delicious laughter of his radian Olga. But even the aching, unfulfilled happiness they won was not to remain undisturbed. Grand Duchesses are not destined to share their lives with untitled Englishmen. Glorious summer days do not last forever. The memories, however, do linger. And the images so hauntingly painted by R.T. Stevens-the characters ad the world they inhabit-will glow long after the last page of this novel has been turned.
0708935109 (ISBN13: 9780708935101)
The Summer Day is Done
Withdrawn from Berkshire Library
Dedication: To My Wife
Opens up in 1911 – The main station of the Ukranian seaport Nikolayev was more active than usual that morning, a buzz, a bustle, a shouldering of neighbours.
Page 35 (of Yalta): It was on this coast that many of Russia’s most privileged aristocrats had built their great houses or palaces. Somewhere in the vicinity was the enormous estate of the Tsar himself, crowned by the Lividia Palace.
Yalta – A Sunlit Street(painted 1932) by Aristarkh Lentulov (1882-1943)
Ai-Todor Cape, Black Sea (Crimea). It is located about 10 km west of Yalta. Built in 1911 by Architect A. Sherwood on Aurora Cliff. It was a summer retreat for Tsar Nicholas II. MEASUREMENTS: highest tower-45ft, length of base-90ft. Also called “The Castle of Love” or “Lastivchyne Hnizdo”! Survived an earthquake in 1927. Held the 1945 “Big 3” conference. It’s an architectural symbol of the Crimea and an Italian restaurant now.
Page 99 (entering Livadia Palace): He smiled as by his side he heard Alekabhumming the waltz from Tachaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty http://youtu.be/uthSz6nPg2Y
From wiki: The Treaty of Björkö, known as the Treaty of Koivisto in modern Finland, was a secret mutual defense accord signed on July 24, 1905 between Wilhelm II of the German Empire and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia.
Anna Alexandrovna Vyrubova, (16 July 1884 in Moscow — 20 July 1964, Helsinki), was a lady-in-waiting, best friend and confidante to Tsaritsa Alexandra Fyodorovna.
Page 129 (Kirby’s thoughts on Olga) : When she speaks like that, he thought, I could find her on any page in any Jane Austen book. She is as delicious as that.
BOYAR – Russian History. a member of the old nobility of Russia, before Peter the Great made rank dependent on state service. 2. a member of a former privileged class
Alexander Palace, Tsarskoe Selo. Page 316
Page 539 Opening of Book Two – The Four Horsemen: The summer came, smothering Russian with ennervating heat.
A mildly offensive and somewhat feckless meander through the last years of Tsarist Russia. In hard pressed times I would have been frustrated with this long winded romantic approach however the season, weather and circumstances meant it fit the bill.