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Covering all pretenders to the Russian throne from the Times of Troubles to the end of the 19th century, this book stops just short of the false Alekseis and false Anastasias of our time. Explaining why some of the pretenders attracted wide social support, which others lacked, the author examines the role of self-fashioning and impersonation in Russian culture. Szvak focuses on three principal "waves" of pretenders: the false Dimitris (all claiming to be Ivan the Terrible's son Dimitri who died in childhood), the false Peters (following the death of Catherine the Great's husband in the palace coup of 1762), and the false Constantines of the 19th century (trying to assume the identity of Nicholas I's older brother Constantine).
Gyula Szvak is the director of the Center for Russian Studies at Eotvos Lorand University of Budapest.
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- ID: 9780880334532
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