Married to the Murderer


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I have long been interested in the tragic history of the Romanov dynasty, and the surprisingly important part the simple component of marriage had in influencing the course of history.

(The Romanov story was told so well in Nicholas and Alexandra, by Robert Massie, The movie, with Michael Jayston and Janet Suzman, was superb)

It was a love story, lifelong. The sensitive young Nicholas defied his terrifying father, insisting on marrying his love Alix. Already his character was set. There s a reason that royal marriages in that era were made for policy, not love. If he had wed one of his English second cousins, how different would history have been?

Today Asma Bashir sits in Damascus. She was born Emma, a highly-educated English=Syrian girl, destined to marry for love the son of a despot, to be , only last year, the darling of international fashion and the equal of Queen Rania of Jordan.

There are few commonalities between these historically-separated women, of course. The things their husbands have done and currently do, such as massacring protestors, or routinely torturing children, are not the important parts of of Alix or of Emma/Asma. What matters is their children , of course, It is unlikely that Asma and her children will end up shot, however many of her husband's subject children do.They are innocent after all, and never pulled any triggers, and nobody innocent deserves to die,

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