Ivan the TerribleIsabel de Madariaga

Ivan the Terrible

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Ivan the Terrible by Isabel de Madariaga Book Summary

“This significant biography of the 16th-century Russian czar…is likely to become the definitive work on Ivan for some time” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).
One of the most important figures in Russian history, Ivan IV Vasilyevich has remained among the most neglected. The country’s first Tsar, he is notorious for pioneering a policy of unrestrained terror—and for killing his own son. In Ivan the Terrible, Russian historian Isabel de Madariaga presents the first comprehensive biography of Ivan from birth to death, shedding light on his policies, his marriages, his atrocities, and his disordered personality.

Situating Ivan within the Russian political developments of the sixteenth century, de Madariaga also offers revealing comparisons with English, Spanish, and other European courts of the time. The biography includes a new account of the role of astrology and magic at Ivan’s court and provides fresh insights into his foreign policy.
Addressing the controversies that have paralyzed western scholarship as well as the challenges of authentication—since much of Ivan’s archive was destroyed by fire in 1626—de Madariaga seeks to present Russia as viewed from within Russia rather than from abroad. The result is an enlightening work that captures the full tragedy of Ivan’s reign.

Ivan the Terrible (Isabel de Madariaga) Book Reviews

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