Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Peter Bessell and the last of the Romanovs

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It's amazing the things you forget. When I was in my twenties I knew loads of chess opening theory. A few years before that I was a whiz at symbolic logic.

And when I was 11 I could have told you the names of all the Tsars of Russia in their correct order.

Nicholas II, the last of the Tsars, and his family were executed by the Bolsheviks 100 years ago today.

Before the family's remains were found and DNA tested, there were theories that some or all of them had escaped.

When I was a boy I owned a Sunday colour supplement with an article about a man who claimed to be the Tsarevich Alexei.

And I remember that the British MP who took up his case was Peter Bessell, now famous from A Very English Scandal as Jeremy Thorpe's friend and co-conspirator.

A bit of googling shows my memory is correct. Bessell is quoted in Guy Richards 1975 book The Rescue of the Romanovs and here is a Commons written question from 1970.


wolfi said...

Do you remember the fake Anastasia?
A woman who claimed to be her lived in Germany many years and was often mentioned in the yellow press.

Jonathan Calder said...

I do. She was around for many years and there was even a Hollywood film about her.