... must have been the story of the Romanov Dynasty in Russia.
I'm currently devouring The Romanovs, 1613-1918 by Simon Sebag Monetfiore and it's spectacular. It has everything you'd expect from Game of Thrones including wars, assassinations, bride shows, dwarves, drunkenness, treachery, debauchery, violence, torture and more dwarves.
What an absolutely horrible nation! The thing that strikes me the most is how difficult it is to rule as an autocrat. You can't trust anyone. You're always a poisoned goblet away from death with any number of courtiers aiming to profit by a shift in power.
I'm currently at the reign of Peter the Great. During one of his campaigns, a portion of his army starved to death as it marched off to attack the Ottomans or the Poles or someone like that. How in the world do you begin a campaign without adequate logistics? They were so organizationally primitive and their communications so poor that they didn't realize they were going to lose thousands to starvation along the way.
Not that it bothered them. Ordinary people were worthless to them. What a mess.
|The Battle of Narva, 1700 - "The Swedes attacked the next day, at two o’clock in the afternoon in a blinding snowstorm. There were 40,000 Russians and only 10,000 Swedes, but Charles’s army charged full tilt at the Russian lines and in half an hour drove them in a panic-stricken rout. Many of the Russians were captured, some were drowned trying to get away across the Narva river and some took the opportunity to murder their officers. The Swedes took the entire Russian artillery train and inflicted more than 8,000 casualties, losing only 700 men of their own."|