Published: 15/02/2018
ISBN: 9781788034517
Format: Paperback



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The Two Lives of Grand Duke Michael
by Michael Roman

The Two lives of Grand Duke Michael is an imaginative epic novel that uses hard historical fact but which blurs the edges into fiction and challenges the reader to distinguish between the two. Taking place in the first half of 1918, this interplay of a historical drama, a tragic love story, and an account of espionage questions the accepted views of the last of the Tsars in a compelling and entertaining read.

In this, the first comprehensive account, the reader’s interest is drawn to the grand duke, who briefly reigned as the last Tsar of Russia after the abdication of his elder brother, Tsar Nicholas II, in 1917.

The heads of state of Britain and America, Lloyd George and Woodrow Wilson, develop a plan to bring Grand Duke Michael out of Bolshevik Russia and into the UK, to persuade him to head up the proposed World War I Allied invasion of Russia in 1918, and to ultimately be reinstated as the new Tsar of Russia. The two-week journey, covering a 7,000-km round trip, provides high adventure using RR Silver Ghost half tracked car, Russian Royal Yatch, Warship, Seaplane, Royal Train and German Submarine. He is accompanied by his British secretary, Nicholas Johnson, who transports a huge and priceless hoard of Romanov treasures from Russia and buries them in a coastal village in the UK, awaiting retrieval after Michael’s reinstatement to the Russian throne.

However, Michaels heroic attempts to defeat the emergence of Bolshevism, and his subsequent assassination whilst under house arrest in the city of Perm, is a tragic ending to a life which could have changed the world order and avoided millions of deaths in those dark decades to come. Certainly, the powerbase of European dictators, Stalin and Hitler, would have been stillborn.

According to contemporary accounts, Michael was seized from his hotel and bundled into a carriage, along with his secretary, loyal friend and confidant Nicholas Johnson. They were both taken to a clearing in a forest outside of Perm and assassinated.

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Crucially, the only undisputed fact is that their remains have never been found, despite extensive searches in this century by international archaeologists, antiquarians and the Russian government.

The Two Lives of Grand Duke Michael challenges the accepted account and the many unproven assumptions around the grand duke, and paints a much different picture. It details how Michael survived the assassination attempt, and barely alive how he was helped by British Secret Service spy Sidney Reilly of MI6 – the ‘Ace of Spies’. The account goes on to reveal how he was brought into the UK, after respite in Archangel, but suffering a total loss of memory from bullet wounds to his head, where a new life was built for him; he was given a new identity, and closely monitored by MI6 whilst working at Bletchley Park for MI2 during World War II.

The accepted account of his murder at the hands of the Bolsheviks is challenged.


The stage is then set for Michael’s second, and previously unknown life. Under a new identity he has further adventures, engaging in a blissful new love life, and unknowingly, already being married to Natasha Brasova, a Russian Countess, he marries Olga Bystrovia, a senior MI6 spy.

A son is born who becomes the legitimate heir to the Russian Imperial Throne.


The vivid narrative of The Two Lives of Grand Duke Michael uses archives, and the author’s imagination, to construct a credible and exciting story of one of the greatest adventures in history.

The book is fully illustrated, showing the specifications of assets used in the journey, key places of interest and resumes of important political and armed forces leaders of the time, all of which will richly illuminate the reader’s experience

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