So You want to learn about Anna Anderson, the most famous of the scores of women to claim to be Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaievna Romanova?
As someone who has been obsessed with everything relating to Anna Anderson since the late 1980s, I have compiled this list of books for anyone interested in her life and claim.
Some of these are light, easy and fascinating reads, others are for those who wants to penetrate the mystery even further.
The Resurrection of the Romanovs: Anastasia, Anna Anderson, and the World's Greatest Royal Mystery By Greg King and Penny Wilson. The latest and most up to date biography about Anna Anderson. Reveals how Anderson gained a great deal of her knowledge about the Romanovs and how she managed to convince so many people who had known the real Grand Duchess that she was Anastasia. Well researched and well written, the authors convincingly reveal who Anderson was prior to her claim to be the missing Grand Duchess. Fascinating.
A Romanov Fantasy: Life at the Court of Anna Anderson By Frances Welch. Looks at the story of the Anna Anderson and the cast of numerous supporters she had through out her troubled life. This is a touching and at times comical depiction of Anderson's trials and tribulations.
The Romanovs: the Final Chapter This is the ultimate conclusion of Robert K. Massie's classic Nicholas and Alexandra. This is fairly brief yet fascinating account of the how the Romanov's graves were found and unearthed in Siberia in the 1990's. (Published prior to the discovery of the remains of Anastasia and her brother Alexeii a few years later). Also includes a good deal of information relating to how Anna Anderson's claim was proven false.
Anastasia: The Riddle of Anna Anderson This book is the one of the most detailed and well written biographies on Anna Anderson. Yet readers should note that it was published prior to the discovery of the Romanov remains and DNA testing which ultimately disproved her claim to be Anastasia. Kurth details the life of the woman who inspired scores of movies, books and the indeed the legend that Anastasia survived her family's brutal fate.
The File on the Tsar This fascinating and ultimately inaccurate book theorizes that only the Tsar (and maybe his son) were murdered in Ekaterinburg while the Empress and her daughters were sent to the Siberian town of Perm, from there Anastasia supposedly escapes her captors and makes her way out of Russia (a la Anna Anderson or Eugenia Smith). This is a conspiracy theorist dream come true. I recommend it strictly for those who are obsessed with Anna Anderson-there is an entire chapter on her and the authors seemingly believed her claim-although they did not come right out and say that. Published decades before the fall of Communist Russia and the eventual findings of the Romanov remains. Interesting, but completely wrong.
The woman who rose again: By Gleb Botkin. This book published in 1937 details the author's belief that Anna Anderson was Anastasia Romanov- the daughter of the last Russian Tsar. The author had been a playmate of Anastasia's and was the son of the Imperial Physician Yevgeneii Botkin who was killed along with the Romanovs. The author died prior to the DNA testing which ultimately proved Anderson a fraud. The book is only for those who have a penchant for all things Anna Anderson not for the casual reader.
Anastasia, the survivor of Ekaterinburg,. By Harriet von Rathlef-Keilmann. Written in 1929 this book details Rathlef's connection with Anna Anderson. Rathlef helped nurse the ailing Anderson who suffered from tuberculosis of the bone. It was during her time with Anderson one of the most contentious meetings in the Anderson case: between Anderson and the real Anastasia's paternal Aunt, Olga Alexandrovna Romanova. It also contains anecdotes told by Anna to Rathlef, regarding "her" life as the daughter of the Tsar. This book is only for those hardcore Anna Anderson fans owing to the fairly recent discrediting of Anna Anderson's claim with DNA evidence.