Title: The House of Special Purpose
Author: Colin Falconer
As an avid fan of Russian history, I am always on the lookout for more books about it, especially books involving the Romanovs. It is well known that the Romanovs were taken into custody during the revolution, ostensibly for their own protection, and that they were eventually executed. What remains a mystery is what happened to them during those months of captivity. This book is an answer to that question.
Based on eyewitness accounts, this book fills in the blanks of what the Romanovs experienced during their months of imprisonment in the little house in Ekaterinburg. The family was treated decently at first, believing the rumors that plans were in the works to save them and spirit them out of the country. They were allowed outside, and while not exactly treated as royalty, they were not treated like despots who were getting their due (how the Bolsheviks envisioned them.)
When the Bolsheviks took over, things changed. The treatment worsened, and they were treated almost as if they were criminals such as rapists and murderers. The bathroom door was removed, forcing the girls to have zero privacy. That was just one of the many indignities the family was forced to suffer. Conditions continue to worsen the longer the Reds are in charge of the Romanov’s imprisonment. The executions are covered in more detail than I have found in other histories of this event.
Overall, Falconer does a wonderful job of putting you in the house with the Romanovs. You feel the dread and indignation they must have felt. This is the best history of the final days of the Romanovs I have found so far. He obviously did his homework on this book. With all the books I’ve read involving the Russian royal family, I am no longer easily impressed. The author has managed to impress me. I give this one 5/5 pages. I highly recommend this one for anyone with any interest in history.