Posts Tagged With: Russian history

Book Review: Lost Roses

1914: Tensions are rising; war is in the air. It is during this uncertain time in history that Lost Roses, written by Martha Hall Kelly, begins. Despite the simmering unrest swirling through Europe, Eliza Ferriday, a New York socialite, travels to St. Petersburg, Russia to visit with her friends, Sofya and Luna Streshnayva, cousins of Tsar Nicholas II. All seems to be going well until, more than 1,500 miles away, something horrible happens, sending shock waves throughout Europe.

On 28 June 1914, in Sarajevo, Bosnia, Archduke Franz Ferdinand—heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire—and his wife Sophie are assassinated by a Serbian nationalist desperate to end Austro-Hungarian rule of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Austria-Hungary is incensed and wants to strike back. However, because Russia is an ally of Serbia, Austria-Hungary appeals to Kaiser Wilhelm II, who on 5 July 1914, pledges Germany’s support. After securing this agreement, Austria-Hungary issues an ultimatum to Serbia. In response, Serbia mobilizes its army and asks Russia for assistance. Then, on 28 July 1914, exactly one month after the Archduke’s murder, Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia, and the tenuous peace between Europe’s countries collapses. Within a week, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Russia, and Serbia are pitted against Austria-Hungary and Germany. World War I has begun.

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Book Review: We Shall See the Sky Sparkling

All families have black sheep in their lines—those people who flout society’s expectations and live life on their own terms. During my genealogical research, I have found several ancestors whom would be classified as black sheep; however, I doubt that any of our kin lived their lives with as much determination and passion as Susana Aikin’s heroine in her novel, We Shall See the Sun Sparkling.

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Yaroslav I of Kiev

On this day, 20 February, 1054, Yaroslav I “The Wise” of Kiev died. He was my two-times 30th great-grandfather through his grandson Philippe I and through his grandson Hugh.

Yaroslav was the son of Vladimir “The Great” and his third wife, Rogneda of Polotsk. As a youth, Yaroslav was sent by his father to rule the northern lands near Rostov. In 1010, Yaroslav served Novgorod as vice-regent.

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