A NEW book details the fascinating history of the Romanov dynasty seen through the lens of the Isle of Wight.

Isle and Empires by Stephan Roman gives a unique insight into the often overlooked role of the Island in the Anglo-Russian relationship.

It is being published by Isle of Wight publishers, Medina Publishing Ltd. in Cowes on July 5 with pre-orders from June.

Stephen said: "I was inspired to write Isle and Empires after visiting St Mildred’s Church in Whippingham and finding the small, almost forgotten, memorial to the last Russian Imperial family, tucked into a side wall of the Battenberg Chapel.

"It was a melancholic and modest tribute to a dynasty which had once ruled the largest land empire in the world.

"It is also a very private memorial from Princess Victoria Mountbatten, who lived in East Cowes, to her murdered sister and family."

Isle and Empires is an exploration of the relationship between Britain and Russia during 300 years of Romanov rule.

The high point of this came in 1909 when the Tsar and his family visited the Island in order to set the seal on what it was hoped would be a century of Anglo-Russian cooperation and peace.

Nine years later, war and revolution had destroyed the Romanov dynasty, and their British royal cousins stood accused of having denied them safety and sanctuary in Britain.

Michael Hunter, curator at Osborne House, said of the book: "It is a wonderful exploration of the connections both Russia and the Romanov family had with Britain and the Isle of Wight.

"The great asset of this book is the combination of the political and the personal with all its stories reaching out from and returning to the Island."

Isle and Empires can be purchased in hardback at a cost of between £17 and £20 from Medina Bookshop in High Street, Cowes, and www.medinapublishing.com.