Anna Anderson: Resurrecting Anastasia

1920, Berlin. A young woman jumps into a canal, only to be saved by a passing police-man. Her body bears the marks of violence. After a brief stint at a local asylum and months and months of refusals to reveal her true identity,  the troubled young woman begins to claim she is, in fact, the lost Russian Princess Anastasia Romanov. So begins the story of Anna Anderson, the woman that baffled investigators for well over 50 years.

Resurrecting Romanovs book cover
Resurrecting Romanovs book cover by Greg King

When tragedy strikes, the emotional mind would always seek a survivor, in hopes – sometimes dire – that at least one lucky soul was spared the carnage. After the execution of the Russian royal family in Ekaterinburg, the rumors  of survival were ripe. Some, told that the young Grand Duchesses were spirited away to some distant monastery, several Tsarevichs have claimed miraculous survival, while the other rumors that seeped through the borders of new Russia mentioned an escaped Grand Duchess. Greg King’s and Penny Wilson’s book The Ressurection of Romanovs: Anastasia, Anna Anderson and the World’s Greatest Royal Mystery follows the most famous royal claimant of them all.

Before the discovery of the remains of Romanovs in 1991 and their subsequent DNA identification, Anna Anderson’s story was nothing short but a detective. A troubled young woman of unknown origins turned into Grand Duchess Anastasia thanks to skillful manipulation and a staggering number of former Russian courtiers too eager to believe that a daughter of their beloved tsar has survived. Anna Anderson’s claim was as flawed as it was convincing. A young woman of noble bearing, knowing so many details about the court life, yet forgetting so many others…The miraculous side of it is the extent of willingness to believe the claim, that even left Olga Romanov wondering whether she may be denying her bellowed niece her birthright…

Anna Anderson vs. Anastasia Romanov
Anna Anderson vs. Anastasia Romanov

As the tale unravels, the reader comes to understand the extent of trauma that could have caused such doubts about the claimant, and the willingness of some to support her cause. After all, if proven true, the return of the last Grand Duchess could have been sensational… Years after her death, the identification of Romanovs bodies broke the remarkable fairytale. The most famous claimant of them all was identified as a simple Polish factory-worker named Francizska Schanskowská . Yet, how did Anna Anderson food everyone and, most remarkably,  why would she bear another identity till the end of her life? Greg King and Penny Wilson provide the tragic and gripping answers to these questions. So, read on!

Rating: 4,5*

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Anna Anderson: Resurrecting Anastasia

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