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Twilight of the Romanovs

A Photographic Odyssey Across Imperial Russia

Philipp Blom, Veronica Buckley


This book offers a vivid image of Russia in the last years of the Romanov dynasty


Twilight of the Romanovs opens a door onto the world of pre-revolutionary Russia in original photographs taken during the last decades of Romanov rule. These are snapshots of a vanished world and include many remarkable colour images created using an early three-colour-plate technique which bring the remote past to life with an especially vivid jolt.

The Russian Empire was soon to be destroyed and rendered unrecognizable. Yet these images reveal a surprising continuity: despite the subsequent cataclysm, faces, postures, buildings and landscapes still resonate with those who see them a century and more later.

The Russian Empire was torn between a rural population living almost medieval lives and the industrial and social change in the cities. The Tsar’s gigantic realm struggled with modernity and with its own internal contradictions between Asia and Europe; faith and science; ethnic divisions; and the divergent interests of the aristocracy, the middle classes, the urban workers and the rural poor. This continent of contradictions was captured by authors from Tolstoy to Chekhov, from Gogol to Gorky and Bely.

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'I have never seen a more beautiful book on the tragic dynasty of the Romanovs and the Imperial Russia they ruled over … this book is the nearest thing we have to a time machine to this period … this book is very much a thing of beauty'

'A rare treat to be able to see century-old images in colour … everyone should find something of interest'
Amateur Photographer

Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Size: 29.0 x 24.0 cm

Extent: 248 pp

Illustrations: 360

Publication date: 4 March 2013

ISBN: 9780500516683

Contents List

The Extent of the Empire • Introduction: Images of a Vanished World • St Petersburg • The Northwest • The West • The Southwest • Central Asia • The Far East • Siberia • The Urals • Moscow & Environs

About the Author

Among Philipp Blom’s other books are To Have and to Hold: An Intimate History of Collectors and Collecting, Encyclopédie, The Vertigo Years: Change and Culture in the West, 1900–1914 and A Wicked Company.

Veronica Buckley has contributed to numerous essay anthologies, travel books and The Times. She is the author of Queen Christina: The Restless Life of a European Eccentric and Madame de Maintenon.

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