Based on material from the newly opened Russian archives, this is the first biography of Nicholas Mikhailovich Romanov (1859-1919), the only intellectual in the Russian Imperial Family. This unique study provides insight into the last six decades of tsarist Russia through the experiences of the odd ball member of the clan. An historian and a biologist, the Grand Duke made major contributions in both these fields. A political liberal, he fought tirelessly for reform from within the system. His reformist views made him a pariah within his own family, and contemporary recognition of his accomplishments came more from abroad than at home.
Entering the military, as all Romanovs did, the Grand Duke eventually became hostile toward it and was in fact the only family member ever to formally leave military service. He received honorary doctorates from the Universities of Berlin and Moscow and even won election to the French Academy--one of only two Russians to do so. As the political situation in Russia worsened, he urged the tsar to implement reforms, and he even participated in discussions of a palace coup. Exiled to Vologda after the Communist seizure of power, he was later imprisoned by the police and shot in January 1919.
About the Author:
JAMIE H. COCKFIELD is the Willis Borders Glover Professor of History at Mercer University.