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Princess Anna of Georgia, with her children, her sister, Varvara, and others of the royal entourage, were enjoying their usual vacation at their summer home. Though warned by the Russian military of dangerous militants in the area, the group remained until disturbing rumors finally convinced them to leave.
But they had waited too long. While making their final preparations for departure, they were attacked by a band of tribesmen.
Here, in this essay by acclaimed British historian Fitzroy Maclean is the story of the abduction of Princess Anna, her five children, her sister, and their French governess by leader Imam Shamil and members of the Muslim tribes of the Northern Caucasus, a fierce anti-Russian force.