Books: Broad Russian Nature

THE ROMANOVS—William Gerhardi—Putnam ($5).

William Gerhardi, a polyglot Englishman who was born in Russia, has written novels, short stories, a play, a critical biography of Chekhov. He is perhaps most widely known for his novel The Polyglots. Last week he added to his list a long (484-page), glittering, malicious, at times staggeringly funny history of the Romanov dynasty. Subtitled Evocation of the Past as a Mirror for the Present, it is a profuse record of peculiarly dizzy people in a peculiarly dizzy part of the world.

When the Romanovs 'came to the throne 300 years...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!