Item description for The Romanovs & Mr Gibbes: The Story of the Englishman Who Taught the Children of the Last Tsar by Frances Welch...
Overview Sydney Gibbes was appointed tutor to the children of Tsar Nicholas II in 1908 and lived as one of the family in the royal palace. Drawing on unpublished material, including Gibbes' letters and diaries, this biography tells the tragic Romanov story from the English teacher's point of view.
In 1908, Englishman Sydney Gibbes was appointed tutor to the children of Tsar Nicholas II, and over the next 10 years, he became deeply attached to the Imperial family—and they to him. Here, Frances Welch draws on a wealth of unpublished material to cast new light on the fabled Romanov story, telling it from the tutor's unique point of view. Ultimately, the tragic events of the Russian Revolution devastated Gibbes, turning him into an obsessive Russophile, who was to go to extraordinary lengths to remain faithful to the old order.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.5" Width: 5" Height: 7.25" Weight: 0.3 lbs.
Release Date Feb 1, 2003
Publisher Short Books
ISBN 1904095488 ISBN13 9781904095484
Availability 0 units.
More About Frances Welch
Frances Welch is the author of "The Russian Court at Sea" (2011), "Romanov Fantasy" (2008), and "Sydney Gibbes "(2004). She lives in Suffolk, England.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Romanovs & Mr Gibbes: The Story of the Englishman Who Taught the Children of the Last Tsar?
mildly disappointing... Jan 2, 2008
Was greatly anticipating this read...here it is, an up-close look at someone who spent significant time with the Imperial Family. Finally, an opportunity to get a real glimpse of Olga, Tatiana, Marie, and Anastasia...who else could provide such personal commentary but the one person who spent years tutoring the family?? The promise was there (at least in the title), but the pages never delivered. VERY little at all was mentioned about the daughters, and what little anecdotes offered dealt primarily with Alexei. The most interesting part of the book was his brief description of his confrontation of Anna Anderson, the Anastasia imposter. If you're looking for a biography of the man who tutored the Romanov children...by all means buy this book. If you're looking for personal insight into the Imperial family, don't bother.
The Romanovs Revisted Apr 12, 2007
A very interesting pocket book. A great perspective of the times. For a history buff, a good eye witness biographical account. However, considering the near epic situation of those times and places, the book seems sparse. A noticeable ommission are (the other?) Gibbes' photographs not published in this book. I've seen photographs published elsewhere that were attributed to be taking by Gibbs. A proper mix of these photos and the book would have added much. But still, this book is very much worth reading. For you history buffs, and a complementary account, check out Gilliard's writtings.
Interesting book about an unusual man. Jul 26, 2006
This book doesn't shed any new light on the Romanovs, but it does give new insight into a man who knew them very well. It is a short book, but very informative.
A Pleasant Little Biography Jan 22, 2006
Sydney Gibbes would have been unknown to all except his own family had he not taken the momentous step of going to Russia in the early 1900s. There he sought out work as tutor to the children of various noble families, with indifferent results and gaining a reputation for behavior, which while not all that unusual for the times, definitely raised a few eyebrows (especially his insistence on whipping his students). He strode into history in 1908 when Empress Alexandra Fedorovna needed a tutor to correct her daughters' accents and hired him sight unseen. Gibbes remained with the family for the next ten years through war and revolution, teaching the four Grand Duchesses and then the hemophiliac Tsarevich.
Gibbes doesn't strike the reader as particularly admirable at first. He was definitely a social-climber and not particularly talented as a teacher. His private life was mysterious, involving some mild flirtations with an Englishwoman and some dreams (carefully recorded for posterity by Gibbes himself) which seem classically Freudian.
Gibbes came into his own, and we find reason to respect and like him, with the Russian Revolution of March 1917. As an Englishman he could have easily left Russia and gone home to safety. Instead he chose to remain with the Imperial Family, sharing their captivity in their palace outside Petrograd and then in Tobolsk. He underwent considerable hardship and personal danger, but he was selflessly devoted to the family. Even after he was told to leave by the Bolsheviks who were holding the family in their final prison in Ekaterinburg he remained in the city, walking past the House of Special Purpose and trying to get in for visits. After the family's murder, he assisted the investigators trying to determine what had happened.
After leaving Russia Gibbes lived in China before returning to England. He became an Orthodox priest, adopted a Russian orphan boy, and spent most of the rest of his life in Oxford, maintaining a museum of keepsakes of the family he had served for so long. He was not particularly effective as a priest, but he was sadly missed and fondly remembered after his death, which is a pretty good epitaph for anyone.
This biography makes use primarily of Gibbes'own notes and diary, so that the reader must look elsewhere for historical insight into his life, but nevertheless it does a nice job telling the story of a quiet, somewhat limited man who was a good servant and friend.
historical and fascinating! Sep 7, 2004
I enjoyed this book tremendously! It is a real page turner! It follows the incredible life and circumstances of M r. Gibbes, tutor to the last Russian imperial family until his death. Very precise,well researched,with many new facts and information. It is also beautifully written. Will please all the devotees of the Romanov family,as well as all those who enjoy a great story!