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Robert K. Massie
|Born||Robert Kinloch Massie III|
January 5, 1929
Versailles, Kentucky, U.S.
|Died||December 2, 2019 90) (aged|
Irvington, New York, U.S.
|Alma mater|| Yale University |
University of Oxford
Robert Kinloch Massie III (January 5, 1929 – December 2, 2019) was an American journalist and historian. He devoted much of his career to studying and writing about the House of Romanov, Russia's imperial family from 1613 to 1917. Massie was awarded the 1981 Pulitzer Prize for Biography for Peter the Great: His Life and World . He also received awards for his book, Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman (2011).
His book, Nicholas and Alexandra (1967), was adapted as a British film by the same name that was released in 1971. It starred Laurence Olivier, Michael Jayston, and Janet Suzman.
Massie was born in Versailles, Kentucky, to Robert Massie, Jr., an educator, and Molly, née Kimball, an activist for progressive causes. He was raised there and in Nashville, Tennessee. He earned degrees in American studies from Yale University and as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University. He served in the early 1950s as a nuclear targeting officer in the United States Navy, in the period around the Korean War.
Massie worked as a journalist for Collier's and from 1959 to 1962 for Newsweek before taking a position at the Saturday Evening Post . He also taught at Princeton and Tulane universities.
In 1967, after leaving the Saturday Evening Post to concentrate on his historical writing, Massie published his breakthrough book, Nicholas and Alexandra , an authoritative biography of Tsar Nicholas II (1868–1918, reigned 1894–1917) and Alexandra of Hesse (1872–1918), the last Emperor and Empress of Russia. His interest in the Russian imperial house had been inspired by the birth of his son, Robert Kinloch Massie IV, who was born with hemophilia. This hereditary disease also afflicted Nicholas's only son the Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich, heir apparent to the imperial throne.
His book was adapted for a film with the same title, released in 1971 and starring Laurence Olivier and Janet Suzman. It won several Academy Awards and was nominated for others.
Massie and his wife Suzanne chronicled their personal experiences as parents of a hemophiliac child in Journey, published in 1975.They had moved to France, and in the book also discussed differences between the health care systems in the US and France.
In the 1990s, much new information about the Romanovs and Russian governments became accessible following the opening of Russian and Soviet archives after the end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1990. In addition, the remains of the Tsar, his wife, and their children were exhumed from unmarked, hidden forest graves near their execution site. Their identities were confirmed by DNA analysis. Massie conducted additional research based on all this new information and published The Romanovs: The Final Chapter (1995). In 1998 the Romanov family were reinterred after a state funeral in the restored Russian Orthodox cathedral at the Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg, whose traditional name had been restored.
Massie continued to write biographical books on the Russian Imperial family. He won the 1981 Pulitzer Prize for Biography for Peter the Great: His Life and World.
This was the basis of an NBC television network miniseries, Peter the Great (1986), which won three Emmy Awards and starred Maximilian Schell, Laurence Olivier and Vanessa Redgrave.
In 2011 Massie published Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman, about the Tsarina Catherine the Great.It won the 2012 inaugural Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction and the 2012 PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography.
He also published two books on the naval dreadnoughts of the early 20th century: Dreadnought: Britain, Germany, and the coming of the Great War (1991) on the four decades preceding World War Iand Castles of Steel: Britain, Germany, and the Winning of the Great War at Sea (2003) on the role of the ships in the war.
In other activities, from 1987 to 1991, Massie was President of The Authors Guild, and he served as an ex officio council member.While president, he called on authors to boycott any store that refused to carry Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses, which had been threatened by Islamic religious leaders.
Massie was married to Suzanne Rohrbach from 1954 to 1990. They divorced after having a son and two daughters. He later married Deborah Karl in 1992; she was his literary agent. They also had a son and two daughters together. Massie died from complications of Alzheimer's disease on December 2, 2019, at the age of 90.
The House of Romanov was the reigning royal house of Russia from 1613 to 1917.
Alexandra Feodorovna was Empress of Russia as the spouse of Nicholas II—the last ruler of the Russian Empire—from their marriage on 26 November 1894 until his forced abdication on 15 March 1917. Originally Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine at birth, she was given the name and patronymic Alexandra Feodorovna when she converted and was received into the Russian Orthodox Church. She and her immediate family were all killed while in Bolshevik captivity in 1918, during the Russian Revolution. She was later canonized in 2000 in the Russian Orthodox Church as Saint Alexandra the Passion Bearer.
Grand Duchess Tatiana Nikolaevna of Russia was the second daughter of Tsar Nicholas II, the last monarch of Russia, and of Tsarina Alexandra. She was born at the Peterhof, Saint Petersburg.
Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia was the youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II, the last sovereign of Imperial Russia, and his wife, Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna.
Nicholas and Alexandra is a 1971 British biographical film directed by Franklin J. Schaffner and written by James Goldman, based on Robert K. Massie's book of the same name, which is a partial account of the last ruling Russian monarch, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, and his wife, Tsarina Alexandra. It stars Laurence Olivier, Michael Jayston, and Janet Suzman.
Alexei Nikolaevich of the House of Romanov, was the last Tsesarevich and heir apparent to the throne of the Russian Empire. He was the youngest child and only son of Emperor Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra Feodorovna. He was born with haemophilia, which was treated by the faith healer Grigori Rasputin.
Ivan Logginovich Goremykin was a conservative Russian politician who served as Prime Minister in 1906, and from 1914–1916, during World War I. He was the last person to have the civil rank of Active Privy Councillor, 1st class.
Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna of Russia ; Russian: Великая Княжна Мария Николаевна, 26 June [O.S. 14 June] 1899 – 17 July 1918) was the third daughter of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna. Her murder following the Russian Revolution of 1917 resulted in her canonization as a passion bearer by the Russian Orthodox Church.
Nicholas Romanovich Romanov, Prince of Russia was a claimant to the headship of the House of Romanov and president of the Romanov Family Association. Although undoubtedly a descendant of Tsar Nicholas I of Russia, his claimed titles and official membership in the former Imperial House were disputed by those who maintained that his parents' marriage violated the laws of Imperial Russia.
Nicholas and Alexandra: An Intimate Account of the Last of the Romanovs and the Fall of Imperial Russia is a 1967 biography of the last royal family of Russia by historian Robert K. Massie.
Castles of Steel: Britain, Germany, and the Winning of the Great War at Sea is a work of non-fiction by Pulitzer Prize-winner Robert K. Massie. It narrates the major naval actions of the First World War with an emphasis on those of the United Kingdom and Imperial Germany. The term "castles of steel" was coined by the British First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill in reference to the large number of the Royal Navy's battleships he saw at Spithead in 1914.
Princess Helen of Serbia and Yugoslavia was a Serbian princess, the daughter of King Peter I of Yugoslavia and his wife Princess Zorka of Montenegro. She was the elder sister of George, Crown Prince of Serbia and King Alexander I of Yugoslavia. Helen was also a niece of Anastasia of Montenegro, wife of Grand Duke Nicholas Nikolaevich of Russia, and of Milica of Montenegro, wife of Grand Duke Peter Nicolaievich of Russia, the women who introduced Grigori Rasputin to Tsarina Alexandra.
Duchess Marie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin was born Marie Alexandrine Elisabeth Eleonore of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, daughter of Grand Duke Frederick Francis II of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Princess Augusta Reuss of Köstritz. A prominent hostess in St Petersburg following her marriage to the Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich of Russia, she was known as the grandest of the grand duchesses and had an open rivalry with her sister-in-law the Empress Maria Feodorovna.
Pierre Gilliard was a Swiss academic and author, best known as the French language tutor to the five children of Emperor Nicholas II of Russia from 1905 to 1918. In 1921, after the Russian Revolution of 1917, he published a memoir, Thirteen Years at the Russian Court, about his time with the family. In his memoirs, Gilliard described Tsarina Alexandra's torment over her son's haemophilia and her faith in the ability of starets Grigori Rasputin to heal the boy.
The Romanov Tercentenary Egg is a jewelled Easter egg made under the supervision of the Russian jeweller Peter Carl Fabergé in 1913, for Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. It was presented by Nicolas II as an Easter gift to his wife, the Tsaritsa Alexandra Fyodorovna. It is currently held in the Kremlin Armoury Museum in Moscow.
A coronary occlusion is the partial or complete obstruction of blood flow in a coronary artery. This condition may cause a heart attack.
Peter the Great: His Life and World is a 1980 work written by Robert K. Massie. The book won the 1981 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography. The book chronicles the life of Peter I of Russia, and is divided into five parts: "Old Muscovy", "The Great Embassy", "The Great Northern War", "On the European Stage", and "The New Russia".
Nicholas II or Nikolai II Alexandrovich Romanov, known in the Russian Orthodox Church as Saint Nicholas the Passion-Bearer, was the last Emperor of All Russia, ruling from 1 November 1894 until his forced abdication on 15 March 1917. His reign saw the fall of the Russian Empire from one of the foremost great powers of the world to economic and military collapse. His memory was reviled by Soviet historians as a weak and incompetent leader whose decisions led to military defeats and the deaths of millions of his subjects. By contrast Anglo-Russian historian Nikolai Tolstoy, leader of the International Monarchist League, says, "There were many bad things about the Czar's regime, but he inherited an autocracy and his acts are now being seen in perspective and in comparison to the terrible crimes committed by the Soviets."
Vasily Vasilyevich Yakovlev was a Russian old Bolshevik revolutionary and politician. He participated in the October Revolution of 1917; transferred former Russian Emperor Nicholas II and his family to Yekaterinburg, where they were later killed; rose to become a commander in the Red Army during the Russian Civil War; fled to China after being captured by the White Army, where he became a government advisor; and returned to the Soviet Union in 1928, where he was eventually arrested and executed. Yakovlev was portrayed by the actor Ian Holm in the 1971 film Nicholas and Alexandra.
Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna of Russia was the eldest child of the last Tsar of the Russian Empire, Emperor Nicholas II, and of Empress Alexandra of Russia.