Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about the Imperial Family and European Royalty => The Yussupovs => Topic started by: Rhon on November 11, 2004, 03:21:09 PM

Title: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Rhon on November 11, 2004, 03:21:09 PM
I just read this book and would like to hear some opinions on it from others who are more informed and knowledgeable about the subject. Is there a general consensus on the credibility of the book?

Thanks,
Rhon
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Valmont on November 11, 2004, 04:44:09 PM
My opinion is that Felix allways tented to exagerate about the wonderfull and glamorous lifestyle he had when he lived in St. Petersburg. To me, he is not a reliable sorce of information.

Arturo Vega-Llausás
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: ashanti01 on November 11, 2004, 09:32:22 PM
I have to agree. It seemed to me Felix wanted to make himself look like the hero in the story and wanted you to read what he wanted you to believe.
At the same time his accounts about his family and thier lifestyle do somewhat fit the image you read about.
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Belochka on November 11, 2004, 09:40:39 PM
This book reads smoothly, and is not complex.  However there was a tendency to gloss over many important details.

He never did mention which course he enrolled in at Oxford U., where he seemed to be involved in numerous extracuricular activities, in fact anything except to study. How he graduated defies comprehension.

Yet he did love animals ... and himself. He never failed to glamorize himself or the life which he lead.



Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Richard_Cullen on November 12, 2004, 02:51:48 AM
I think it is important to set Lost Splendor against Y's previous memoris as there are a number of twist and turns that I am highlighting in my paper on R's murder.

You also should also look at Purishkevich's book about the murder and Lazovert's very short piece about it.  I am afraid my view, based on fact, is that Yusupov is an abject liar, certainly in so far as the murder is concerned and therefore probably about some of the other detail in Lost Splendor.

The French ambassador describes him as being liable to embelish things and you get the over whelming impression he is setting out a fantastic story that wouldn't be lost as part of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

It is enjoyable, but certainly as far as the murder is concerned it is miles from the truth.

Richard
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Annie on November 12, 2004, 09:37:59 AM
While some things may have been exaggerated or changed a bit, overall I love the book and find it a beautiful portrait of pre- Revolutionary Russia. I also like Felix as a person from the way he tells his stories.
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Janet_W. on November 12, 2004, 11:05:58 AM
I've known more than a few people along the lines of Felix. They like to think that they are exciting, special people, and they love being drama queens.

Actually, there's very little in Felix's autobiography that I doubt, because I think he enjoyed creating drama wherever he went. Sure, he was no stranger to hyperbole--but after awhile, your own legend can take over your life, and I think that may have been the case with Felix. Remember that just before Rasputin's murder, Irina wrote Felix from the Crimea that she hoped he wasn't about to do anything stupid? She knew her husband was excitable and that unpredictability was the only predictable aspect of his character.
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Richard_Cullen on November 15, 2004, 03:26:00 AM
Unfortunately I can show he has consistently lied, and the evidence is there for all to see if you wish to compare and contrast events with purishkevich's accounts.  I have to question whether Irina was ever to be involved?  Purishkevich in his diary entry (if you believe it is a diary) of 22 November makes it clear that Y says at their meeting on that date that she will not be there.

This conflicts with her letters - or supposed letters that show she did not pull out until a much later date.

I think Radzinzsky makes the point that Felix plans to make out a story that will engross everyone.  I think he does that but the truth contained in his tale is minimal.

Richard
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Tasha_R on April 27, 2005, 02:08:49 PM
Having executed such a deed as the murder of any man, as horrible as one imagines him to be, I suspect that Felix told the tale he wanted folks to know, and that there were many secrets behind it which he chose not to tell.  One could also hypothesize that he told the tale he wished himself were truth, so as to subdue the inner guilt he must have felt.

I agree, he seems to have left out quite a bit, glossing over things here and there.  I don't doubt that he understood that the consequences of his actions may have directly affected the lives of the Tsar and his family - the very ones he wished to protect - if only after the fact.

Sincere regards,
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Valmont on April 27, 2005, 02:47:16 PM
That is, if he REALLY wanted to protect them, but comming from Felix, I really doubt he was much concerned with anything else that did not involved him. My guess would be that he did it for the Thrill of it and he indeed  told HIS story the way he wanted the world to know it, and basicly that was the reason why GD Dimitri and Felix were not that close in  exile. I think they had agreed not to talk about the murder and GD Dimitry kept his word, but for Felix, it was another change to be under the spotlight....and  shine !!!!

Arturo Vega-Llausás
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Decadence on June 02, 2006, 10:21:33 AM
I recieved this book for my......birthday or christmas sometime (a week between both)
would you recommend I read it?
Not to trust what he says because I dont think I would trust it anyway, maybe just to dive into his enviable trillionaire lifestyle?

I read a quote from Alexandra - The life and times of the last empress of russia I think and it had a quote from the book and it said something like "I [Prince Felix] was looking for the dinner service that Louis XVI gave to Empress Catherine [the great] (I THINK), I found it at the back of one of our many storage houses."

God i love decadence.
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Linnea on June 11, 2006, 12:49:31 PM
When was the book written? In the 1920s?
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Morecambrian on June 11, 2006, 01:54:52 PM
Quote
When was the book written? In the 1920s?
The book was written in the early 1950's and published in 1952 in France as "Avant L'Exil" before being translated by Nicholas Katkov and Anne Green as "Lost Splendor".In 1954 Libarie Plon published the sequel "L'Exil" sadly this has never been translated.
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Linnea on June 11, 2006, 03:31:12 PM
Did he write several books? His memoires were published in German asRasputins Ende. Erinnerungen in the 1920s. Is this the same book as Lost Splendor? Thanks! :)
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: hg123 on June 11, 2006, 05:45:16 PM
No, it are not the same books. Lost Splendor is Felix' autobiography, (but the Rasputin murder of course plays a big part in this as well). "Lost Splendor" consists of two parts, the first about Felix' life in Russia and the second one about his time in exile. The main site here has the first part online. It's a highly entertaining book, IMO, but problematic if you want to know want really happened, since Felix lied or concealed things very often. However, it does give a good feeling about life among the Russian noblemans at this time in general.
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: emeraldeyes on June 11, 2006, 06:50:39 PM
I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book; whatever its shortcomings may be, I think it is an interesting look at life in Russia at the time.  
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Linnea on June 12, 2006, 04:04:32 AM
Quote
No, it are not the same books. Lost Splendor is Felix' autobiography, (but the Rasputin murder of course plays a big part in this as well). "Lost Splendor" consists of two parts, the first about Felix' life in Russia and the second one about his time in exile. The main site here has the first part online. It's a highly entertaining book, IMO, but problematic if you want to know want really happened, since Felix lied or concealed things very often. However, it does give a good feeling about life among the Russian noblemans at this time in general.

Thank you
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Linnea on October 15, 2006, 09:44:57 AM
Is there a difference between "Lost Splendor" and "Lost Splendour" as the first one has about 300 pages and the second one only 250? Thanks.
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Belochka on October 15, 2006, 10:30:48 AM
Is there a difference between "Lost Splendor" and "Lost Splendour" as the first one has about 300 pages and the second one only 250? Thanks.

Same book, but "Lost Splendor is the U.S. spelling while "Lost Splendour" is the British spelling. The size difference may be attributed to printing variation.

Margarita  :)
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: ashdean on October 15, 2006, 11:38:23 AM
When it came to fact & fiction, Felix put them in a cocktail shaker !!!!...However "Lost Splendour" is one of my favourite books & the descriptions of the family..wealth/position are hardly lies..as other witnesses testify...I love it also for the fact it first introduced me to the breathtaking Princess Zenaida..surely one of the most exqusite women of all time....
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Linnea on October 15, 2006, 11:59:46 AM
Is there a difference between "Lost Splendor" and "Lost Splendour" as the first one has about 300 pages and the second one only 250? Thanks.

Same book, but "Lost Splendor is the U.S. spelling while "Lost Splendour" is the British spelling. The size difference may be attributed to printing variation.

Margarita  :)

Thank you. I did order the "ou"-version today but had to notice that the "o" one had 50 pages more, so I thought the text of the ou-version must have been shorted.
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Belochka on October 15, 2006, 10:37:14 PM
Is there a difference between "Lost Splendor" and "Lost Splendour" as the first one has about 300 pages and the second one only 250? Thanks.

Same book, but "Lost Splendor is the U.S. spelling while "Lost Splendour" is the British spelling. The size difference may be attributed to printing variation.

Margarita  :)

Thank you. I did order the "ou"-version today but had to notice that the "o" one had 50 pages more, so I thought the text of the ou-version must have been shorted.

Hi Linnea,

I hope that you shall enjoy reading the memoirs as much as I have. One of my copies is in Russian, which avoids the use of the words "Lost Splendo(u)r.

All the best,

Margarita
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Alixz on January 21, 2007, 06:13:22 PM
I just finished the book about a week ago.

I wondered all the way through if Felix truly saw every person he met as gracious and beautiful and natural etc.  I don't think he had a bad word to say about anyone.  Except Anna Vyrubova, of course. And Alexandra and Rasputin.

I think Feix was doing "damage control" in this book.  He glosses over the homosexuality, proudly claims that Irina was his "soul mate" and then says that she felt the same way about men as friends as opposed to women friends as he did.  ???  Remember in the 1950s homosexuallity was not viewed as it is today.

It does seem as though he got through Oxford without too much hard work or study, and I don't believe that Oxford is all that easy.  A lot of the things that he thought were funny, I find unsettling.  Like taking his dog into England disguised as a baby.

This showed his complete disregard for authority and law.

Of course he had Imperial standing all of his life and since I don't, I guess I wouldn't understand his mind set or that of anyone who was used to getting just about everything they wanted.

As for the murder, when he was writing in 1950, Felix could say what he wanted because the files were sealed and no one else was talking especially Dimitri Pavlovich.

I never liked the representation of Felix and Dimitri in Nicholas & Alexandra the movie, because Massie didn't portray it that way in the book.  I seriously doubt that he and Dimitri sat around smoking hookah and laughing at such a dangerous moment.

I have also read Greg King's book The Murder of Rasputin and Alex DeJong's book The Life and Times of Grigorii Rasputin and I wonder what Felix would have to say about these books if he were alive today.

Felix was both a "legend in his own time" and a "legend in his own mind".  And his legacy lives on in the dislaimer which is now posted on all movies "any similarity to any person living or dead is entirely coincidental".  I always thought that his timely sueing of Paramount Pictures helped save him and Irina from living in poverty.

I bought the book because I wanted to read his own words. (I only hope that nothing was gained or lost in the translation).  Do I believe all of it?  No. 

But pehaps only the spoiled self indulgent son of the richest family in Imperial Russia could plan a murder and execute it with so little thought or regret.  Perhaps not regret killing Rasputin, whom he and many others thought was ruining thier way of life with his interference at the Imperial court, but no regret at the taking of a human life.  Even soldiers in battle have trouble with that.





Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: imperial angel on January 23, 2007, 11:34:31 AM
Nobody should regret killing Rasputin. Yet he did not do it for the essential issues involved, he did because of a desire for fame, and perhaps a certain boredom, because his life was filled with wealth and privilege, but also with emptiness. It was this very emptiness that caused young aristocrats like his own brother to get into duels, and affairs, and pretty much every form of dissipation on the planet. They had money, but n0t much meaning. Felix was familiar with all those things of course, but he wanted to do more. He wanted to do something to make himself stand out even more than he already did. He knew the murder of a man like Rasputin was the ticket. I thought your point was good, although it was not just as a man of his status that he did it, it was as a man of his personality, which was very unique, even for someone of his status. I really should read his memoirs, because I never have.
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Valmont on January 23, 2007, 03:04:59 PM
I do not agree with you on this, I do not think Felix killed Rasputin for fame, he really did not needed to kill anyone to be known by everyone. He was pretty well known everywhere at that time. You have to take for a fact that he was the heir of one (if not the one) of the wealthiest family in europe. His portrait, painted by Serov,  was well known and had been copied several times. He also mentions in "Lost Splendor" how he was easilly recognized by his looks and his mother's jewerly when he was in drag. On the same hand, I do not think he did it just tro kill some time for he had nothing to do...
I believe Felix as many other nobles in Russia (his mother included) thought Rasputin was having a negative influennce on the Empress. They blamed Alix for the general situation the empire was suffering and they all knew Rasputin had  great influence over her. Although they did not know why he had so much power.
In Felix's world everything was based on rank and wealth. He was a Prince, son of the  glamorous and sophisticated  Princess  Zenaida Yussupova  and he lived, or tried to give the impression, he lived larger than life and everything always work in his favor. He felt he was better than most people and if he could not outrank someone he certainly felt superior  because of  his wealth.
Now, try to imagine how he would have felt when he knew that the Empress dissmised his mother in such a humiliating way, when all his mother was doing was for the better of Russia. And all was because of this filthy peasant. A low class social climber could not be higher than the  exquisite Princess and the humiliation his mother  suffered was  because of that dirty peasant's fault.  A humiliation like that  could only be  washed by blood. Remember that in those times  Pride and Honor  played a very important role in society.
I stronlgly believe his motivations were more of revenge for his Mother's Humiliation than fame or the well being of Russia... but I have no proof of this.. just what I think..

Arturo Vega-Llausás
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Belochka on January 23, 2007, 06:19:24 PM
Nobody should regret killing Rasputin.

Killing an innocent man - in cold blood was a deplorable act. It was not a patriotic measure as Felix and Dmitri understood it to be.

To suggest that "nobody should regret his killing" suggests that you fully endorse the murder and those individuals who perpetrated the crime.

Margarita
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: imperial angel on January 24, 2007, 10:57:03 AM
Well, I am not a fan of Rasputin, to put it that way. I think murder is always unfortunate, and this murder actually accomplished little good, and made things worse. I just think in theory, if not in fact, the death of Rasputin was a good thing. Ironically, for all the negative influence he had on the dynasty, it was after he was murdered that things fell apart. That's not what Prince Felix intended. I have never read that other theory Valmont posted, but I find it intriguing. I think there might be something to that, as it really stands apart from other theories I have read. I certainly would never say that Prince Felix thought it he was doing it for the good of Russia.
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Belochka on January 25, 2007, 01:38:00 AM
... My guess would be that he did it for the Thrill of it ...
Arturo Vega-Llausás

There is no documentation that suggests that Felix allegedly murdered Rasputin for a thrill. That suggests that Felix may have acted on the spur of the moment. If he wanted a personal "thrill" such as this one, then why involve others?

I just think in theory, if not in fact, the death of Rasputin was a good thing. Ironically, for all the negative influence he had on the dynasty, it was after he was murdered that things fell apart. That's not what Prince Felix intended. I have never read that other theory Valmont posted, but I find it intriguing. I think there might be something to that, as it really stands apart from other theories I have read. I certainly would never say that Prince Felix thought it he was doing it for the good of Russia.

It would be more accurate to claim that Rasputin was perceived to have a "negative influence." The reality was very different and those who actually met him who were more than aware that he was not the man portrayed by the media, a few outspoken socialist members of the Duma and the gossipers inside the Petrograd salons.

Dmitri himself stated in exile that the motive essentially was considered to be a patriotic act for the good of Russia, effectivelly to strike hard against Nikolai II.

It could be suggested that the motives were multifaceted - but it can never be viewed as a "thrill" ride, simply because too many persons were involved with the crime, including those who were not physically participating on the night.

It was a morally reprehensible crime that only served to hasten the February Uprising.

Margarita
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Valmont on January 25, 2007, 10:29:27 AM
How do you know Felix was not  thrill about killing Rasputing? Irina's letters  asking Felix  why he is so excited days before the murderer might suggest he was. but in fact, we might never know... all we are doing is guessing.... unless we read Felix's diaries and that might never happen.... so, all we can do is speculate..

Arturo Vega-Llausás
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Belochka on January 25, 2007, 07:29:54 PM
How do you know Felix was not  thrill about killing Rasputing? Irina's letters  asking Felix  why he is so excited days before the murderer might suggest he was. but in fact, we might never know... all we are doing is guessing.... unless we read Felix's diaries and that might never happen.... so, all we can do is speculate..

Arturo Vega-Llausás

I have been consulting well over 60 books and documents (mostly Russian) including the police reports of the day and nothing in them lead me to speculate that this was a "thrill" ride. In fact how can you be so sure that Felix was the murderer? There were two other main contenders who could have discharged the fatal shots? Equally one can also speculate what Felix's actual participation was apart from offering the venue, the opportunity and of course the ride to get to the scene where the crime is believed to have been carried out.

Perhaps you might be confusing the idea of eager anticipation of the "necessary act" as against the actual pleasure of the kill itself? There is a difference.

Indeed we will never really know because the two contradictory "memoirs" that we have today are the only available information we have as to how the co-conspirators wanted to ensure that the world would see how they allegedly commissioned the murder.

While Kosorotov's autopsy report and later public statement are all we have to understand the outcome - even this material has become extraordinarily contentious among scholars in Russia today. If anything I believe there were sexual elements to that crime and that the very specific assault on his body was purposefully inflicted not for a "thrill" but as act of intense hate and payback for Rasputin's "perceived" social indiscretions.

Margarita  
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Valmont on January 26, 2007, 10:03:43 AM
Wow.. That is a very interesting theory. It makes a lot of sense indeed...

Arturo Vega-Llausás
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Alixz on February 03, 2007, 10:10:12 AM
I agree with Belochka that no murder is ever justified. (Although, if I went into the "what if" catagory, I would suggest eliminating both Rasputin and Lenin when they were young, before they had any influence on either the Imperial Family or the general public.  For example, kidnap them and take them to other countries where they would be brought up differenty and in different surroundings.  Then we would truly know if we are controlled by nature or nurture.)

Does the "good of the many outweigh the good of the one"?

At that point in the country with the war going badly and the population starving, I think that even the aristocrats finally saw that everything was coming apart.

They had, after all," met" to discuss the course that they should take in order to "save" the dynasaty.  I am not sure that they meant to "save" the country. I think that they believed that saving the dynasty would very simply restore the old order of things and life would get back to "normal".  We have to look at the individual reasons for each member of the Imperial Family wanting change.  What each would gain or lose from a change in the dynasty or the elimination of either Rasputin or Alix.

However, Felix was aware of all of these meetings and Alix not only treated Felix's mother badly, but also Ella and anyone else who tried to talk to Alix about Rasputin and the preceived view of Rasputin by others. So that could have been a reason for the formation of the plan, just as he claimed that the speeches in the Duma by Maklakov and Purishkovich made him think that they "would be diposed to advise and perhaps help" him.

Alix was in dispair by 1915- 1916, over not only the health of Alexis, but also his future role in the dynasty.  She missed Nicholas terribly, although she had actively campainged for his take over of the army and his moving to Stavka.

She had bitten off much more than she could chew.  She thought that she was capable of governing and she turned to Rasputin (as a Man of God) for wisdom and guidance.  Unfortunately, Rasputin was the one playing games for the thrill of it.  He didn't really want power, he just loved playing with other people's lives. (IMHO)

Did Felix truly come up with the plan to kill Rasputin, or did he just "take credit" for it.  Did he truly pull the trigger, or did he just go with the flow of support from the Imperial Family and so take on the mantle of "patriot"?

As for his letters from Irina, I believe that he was "excited" at the idea of the event itself and nervous and even a bit scared.  He may have depersonalized Rasputin from a human being to an idea or representation of the idea of the destruction of the dynasty.  Soldiers in battle do much the same when they are under fire.  They do not see individuals but the ideaology of the enemy as their target.

I actually think that Imperial Angel is seeing Rasputin in this way.  Not as a man, but as a force of evil.  And it is the evil that we would like to kill, not the messenger.

Felix was flamboyant all of his life.  He was a prince and was vastly wealthy.  How do we know if he ever thought of "peasants" as human beings?  He was not introspective or sensitive, except when he worked with Ella in Moscow.  And he claims in his book that this work gratified him, but as we know, he did not dedicate his life to it as Ella did.

So anyway, I read the book with skepticism.  The deeper I got into it, the less I believed Felix's portrayal of his role in the murder and his portrayal of his views on life in general.  I believe that both he and Rasputin had a lot in common when it came to the way they thought about life and lived it.  To both of them it was a "joke".  Both of them did things "just to see what would come of it"  Neither of them wanted nor took responsibility for their actions.  Both were protected by their very different places in the Imperial Family.  And ultimately they both "paid" in different ways for their thoughtlessness and recklessness.

I still think that the major reason for the book was the "self agrandizment of Felix Youssoupov" and a bit of "damage control".  I suppose that someday, someone will uncover more "hidden" diaries or letters or police reports that may help us get to the truth.  But until then (and as always with the Romanovs) all we have is speculation and opinion.

Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: TampaBay on February 03, 2007, 10:47:19 AM

I still think that the major reason for the book was the "self agrandizment of Felix Youssoupov" and a bit of "damage control".  I suppose that someday, someone will uncover more "hidden" diaries or letters or police reports that may help us get to the truth.  But until then (and as always with the Romanovs) all we have is speculation and opinion.


There was also a horrendus amount of money made off this book by Felix and others (publishing company...etc...).  Money (wheter one needs it or not) is a major motivation for many  choices in life (or at least in the USA).

TampaBay
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Belochka on February 03, 2007, 07:09:46 PM
I agree with Belochka that no murder is ever justified.

However, Felix was aware of all of these meetings and Alix not only treated Felix's mother badly, but also Ella and anyone else who tried to talk to Alix about Rasputin and the preceived view of Rasputin by others.

It was far more complex than that. Why not turn the tables around and question why Felix's mother, Zinaida and Ella her sister and a nun acted in the manner they did?

Did Felix truly come up with the plan to kill Rasputin, or did he just "take credit" for it.  Did he truly pull the trigger, or did he just go with the flow of support from the Imperial Family and so take on the mantle of "patriot"?

The answer is Felix did not. I have uncovered unexpected reliable documented evidence that the manner of his death was discussed by others who were contemplating the elimination of Rasputin well before Felix allegedly accepted his "patriotic duty."  

So anyway, I read the book with skepticism.  The deeper I got into it, the less I believed Felix's portrayal of his role in the murder and his portrayal of his views on life in general. 

You are correct in reading that book with a modicum of skepticism. It is readily apparent that self aggrandizement was key to writing about his alleged participation in the crime.

Did Felix discharge the third fatal blow to the head or can he be accused of discharging any weapon at all? We shall never really know but we can make a few educated guesses based on some of the evidence that is presently available. What do I believe? Well that is work in progress ...  ;)

Margarita  :)
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Alixz on February 10, 2007, 10:59:33 AM
Belochka  -  I am interested in your suggestion that we turn the tables and ask why Zinaida and Ella acted the way they did?

I need to know your exact meaning.  Are we talking about their visits to Alix or their tacit acceptance of the crime?  Did Zinaida know of it before?  Did Ella know of it before and as a nun why would she go along?  Wouldn't that be in conflict with her beliefs?

Also, I am sure that Orthodoxy doesn't condone murder, so all of those who participated either in the planning or the execution itself were acting against their religious beliefs and training.

Neither Zinaida nor Ella were in St. Petersburg at the time of the crime.

Is there a thread where we are taking Felix to trial for his role in the murder?  I am sure that would be very enlightening because those of you who practice law present the facts and suppositions so well (as you did in the trial of Nicholas II concerning Bloody Sunday).

Anyway, could you explain in more detail what you would ask were we to "turn the tables"?  What do you think that would bring to light?
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: ashdean on February 11, 2007, 03:08:10 AM
Belochka  -  I am interested in your suggestion that we turn the tables and ask why Zinaida and Ella acted the way they did?

I need to know your exact meaning.  Are we talking about their visits to Alix or their tacit acceptance of the crime?  Did Zinaida know of it before?  Did Ella know of it before and as a nun why would she go along?  Wouldn't that be in conflict with her beliefs?

Also, I am sure that Orthodoxy doesn't condone murder, so all of those who participated either in the planning or the execution itself were acting against their religious beliefs and training.

Neither Zinaida nor Ella were in St. Petersburg at the time of the crime.

Is there a thread where we are taking Felix to trial for his role in the murder?  I am sure that would be very enlightening because those of you who practice law present the facts and suppositions so well (as you did in the trial of Nicholas II concerning Bloody Sunday).

Anyway, could you explain in more detail what you would ask were we to "turn the tables"?  What do you think that would bring to light?
I have no doubt Zenaida (& her husband) had a good idea of what was going to happen.I have said it before..The beautiful Princess came of a long line of aristocrats who had risen to the apex of society & fortune by their  intrigues...her great grandfather was with Tsar Paul the night before his murder...their conivance in the murder of a peasant & the banishment of Alexandra (& whatever other measures it took to keep a Romanov on the throne) was just in the proud Princesses eyes the latest in a series of prestigious interventins by her might family to serve the dynasty/country they loved & as importantly keep their position in the world...
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Alixz on February 11, 2007, 09:33:27 AM
Ashdean - Thank you for your information.

Belochka, I would still like to hear what your meaning was.

I have no doubt that all of those who intrigued were more about preserving their own station in life and cared little which Romanov was on the throne as long as someone was and the Imperial rule continued.  All that is except Marie Pavlovna the elder who wanted her son on the throne.

But if Empress Marie and Grand Duchess Ella, and even Zinaida Youssoupov could make no headway in talking to Alix, then I guess it would then become (in the minds of some) necessary to take drastic action to "remove" what they deemed as a threat to their way of life.

We know that Ella and Zinaida had the most influence on Felix.  Irina (from her letters) seems to have been trying to influence him about something, but even though Felix claims that she was his "soul mate", I don't think her appeals touched that soul.

Also would the crime be considered as heinous if the "Man of God" was not a Siberian peasant?  Would everyone have been as aghast if, say, Phillipe ( one of Alix's first mysticals) have been the target of the the Imperial Family's plotting?

Of course, the murder would have been wrong.  However, the connection to the "peasants' of Russia and that mystical bond between the peasants and their country and the ill treatement of the peasants, gave this whole situation a different spin.  The peasants were delighted that one of their own had made such progress and in Russian mythology, just getting the "ear of the Tsar" would ensure that the peasant was taken care of and his troubles would ease.

I guess that I am trying to ask, would the Imperial Family have plotted against a clean, upstanding. law abiding peasant? (Like the man who brought the sables to the palace and the Tsar in an earlier time?)  Or was the impetus just the very idea that a "common, filthy, criminal" had invaded the palace.

Back to topic (and I am sorry, I go off all the time).  Did Zinaida and Ella actually encourage Felix, or did just hearing them talk about the situation and possible solutions start him on his path?

Or did someone else actually put the plan together without actually finalizing the details and Felix just inserted himself.
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: ashdean on February 12, 2007, 07:53:03 AM
I seem to remember reading (In Radzinskys "The Last Word"?) that Zenaida long before the actual murder..was telling someone that money was no object if Rasputins elimination was the result...
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Lemur on February 14, 2007, 09:50:12 AM
Zinaida was talking down Rasputin long before Felix killed him. There really can't be any question her feelings, and those of Ella, played a role in Felix being involved.
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Valmont on February 14, 2007, 02:40:43 PM



Did Felix discharge the third fatal blow to the head or can he be accused of discharging any weapon at all? We shall never really know but we can make a few educated guesses based on some of the evidence that is presently available. What do I believe? Well that is work in progress ...  ;)

Margarita[/color]  :)

And when do you think you can tell the world what  you think it happened based on the evidence you are studying?
 So far all I have read about the subject from you is that some day you will be able to tell what really happened based on the forensic evidence and that is it. Please, Do not think I am attacking you, it is just that I am interested in the subject and every time you discuss the subject you end up saying the same. It is like to be left with a "To Be Continued" sign....

Arturo Vega-Llausás
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Belochka on February 15, 2007, 09:24:20 PM



Did Felix discharge the third fatal blow to the head or can he be accused of discharging any weapon at all? We shall never really know but we can make a few educated guesses based on some of the evidence that is presently available. What do I believe? Well that is work in progress ...  ;)

Margarita[/color]  :)

And when do you think you can tell the world what  you think it happened based on the evidence you are studying?
 So far all I have read about the subject from you is that some day you will be able to tell what really happened based on the forensic evidence and that is it. Please, Do not think I am attacking you, it is just that I am interested in the subject and every time you discuss the subject you end up saying the same. It is like to be left with a "To Be Continued" sign....

Arturo Vega-Llausás

Hi Arturo,

I am so sorry that you feel so frustrated. I am waiting for Richard C. to commence the Inquest and then I can respond with my findings.

All the best,

Margarita  ;)
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: griffh on February 25, 2007, 03:39:04 PM
When evaluating “Lost Splendor” I feel it is important to understand that Felix was an extremely worldly, exiled aristocrat who, like all of his international class had supplied the entertainment for the late Edwardian era.  The Edwardian era (1901-1914; even though Edward VII had died in 1910, I believe the impulse of the era lived on until WWI) was the antithesis of the Victorian era that had ended in 1901 with the passing of Queen Victoria. 

Edwardian Aristocrats were the “movie stars” of their era and were the object of universal interest among all classes and Felix was right up there at the top of the list as having been voted “The handsomest Young Man In Europe.”  Poems were dedicated to aristocrats, novels were written about them, newspapers commented on their appearance and every aspect of their lives, fashion revolved around their personal choices, their photos were exhibited in shop windows, they were sculpted and painted by the most talented artists of their times, composers created music inspired by them.  They supplied the entertainment and pomp and pageantry of their time.

Then all of this public attention changed with the violent social revolutions that interrupted and followed WWI, which discredited the value of aristocrats and destroyed their prestige and importance.  After WWI the rise of the Cinema supplied the pomp and pageantry of the period and the “Movie Star” took the place in the public’s heart and imagination as objects of adoration.  The aristocrats that managed to survive the holocaust of war and revolution were of little or no interest to the general public who had transferred that esteem to the cinema and stage. 

Those worldly Edwardian aristocrats that did survive, like Felix, were very much like the worldly 18th century French aristocrats who out lived the French Revolution and had survived into the overly pious, highly conservative Victorian era.  Many of these worldly 18th century aristocrats were like George Sand’s grandmother, who loved to scandalize her granddaughter with stories of her sexual exploits as a young woman to challenge and provoke her granddaughter’s Victorian, repressive education.  Just so, Felix had out-lived the highly promiscuous “Edwardian Epoch” and had survived into a highly conservative mid-20th century culture of repression and false piety that in its strict conservatism was almost a mini-Victorian revival. 

It seems to me that Felix’s tone in “Lost Splendor” was much the same as George Sand’s grandmother.  Without apology or shame, Felix exposes his “cross-dressing” adventures and brags about his ability to even catch the eye of the greatest connoisseur of female beauty of the time, Edward VII himself; Felix flaunts his ability to attract attention for his male beauty from the same officers that were enamored with his mother’s beauty (i.e. the officer who was an ardent admirer of his mother’s who threw a bouquet of roses at Felix’s feet); he candidly shares his introduction into the secrets of love by a Argentine hedonist, etc.; details that were meant to shock and provoke his 1950 readers.  They way Felix wrote of these experiences with such cavalier indifference, Felix clearly did not need his reader’s approval or acceptance. 

Equally, when it came to history fact, Felix did not feel any inclination to tell the truth.  I don’t believe that truth was something Felix would ever share with anyone.  I feel that “Lost Splendor” was Felix’s attempt to become the center of attention once again, if only for a brief moment, and that his only duty to his reading public was to entertain them with delightful versions of the truth that would add flavor and zest to a vanished past and were meant, at the same time, to enliven a dull and repressive era that it was Felix’s misfortune to have lived into. 

I am sure that Felix felt no pressure to be any more honest with his reading public than he would have with his own servants.  If Felix said it was “this way” than it was “this way.”  If Felix said it was “that way” then it was “that way.”  I am sure that Felix felt that he did not owe anyone an explanation and that no one, certainly not his reading public, had the right to contradict or challenge his point of view; no matter how many times Felix might decide to change this point of view, past, present or future.   

I believe that the power of persuasion, and not truth, was the only ethic Felix felt compelled by.  I must add that I do find that Felix’s book, “Lost Splendor,” is written in an authentic voice and therefore a valuable contribution for anyone who wishes to imbibe the mental mood of a worldly Russian noble.  It is this mental voice, the tone of the work and not its words, that provides the key to who Felix was and it is this genuine mental tone that makes the book worthwhile.  However having said that and admitting that the book contains the delightful veracity of a bygone aristocratic milieu, at the same time, like Margarita and Richard, I too feel that the work is almost totally devoid of historic credibility. 


Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: TampaBay on March 05, 2007, 07:54:10 PM
BUT WHAT A READ!!!  I re-read Lost Splendor at least once a year! 

TampBay
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: griffh on March 06, 2007, 05:07:42 PM
I totally agree!!!!!!......griffh
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Alixz on March 07, 2007, 08:29:33 AM
griffh - astute insight as always.

Quoting griffh

"I believe that the power of persuasion, and not truth, was the only ethic Felix felt compelled by.  I must add that I do find that Felix’s book, “Lost Splendor,” is written in an authentic voice and therefore a valuable contribution for anyone who wishes to imbibe the mental mood of a worldly Russian noble.  It is this mental voice, the tone of the work and not its words, that provides the key to who Felix was and it is this genuine mental tone that makes the book worthwhile.  However having said that and admitting that the book contains the delightful veracity of a bygone aristocratic milieu, at the same time, like Margarita and Richard, I too feel that the work is almost totally devoid of historic credibility."

However, Felix was a "wealthy Russian noble" who was selfish, vain and morally bankrupt.  I know that were many in the Imperial Family who fit this description, but hopefully not all.

I was appalled by Felix's indifference to law and morality as it applied to everyone else, but him.

Some seem to excuse Felix for this and actually admire the type of life he led.  I think that the actions of nobles like Felix would have much to do with the over throw of the nobility in Russia.  Felix had no sense of "noblesse oblige".

Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: griffh on March 09, 2007, 10:44:29 AM
Alixz, thank you so much for that very important insight.  I meant to qualify my remarks that "worldly Russian Nobles" did not by any means represent all Russian Noble familys.  That is such an important point and thank you again Alixz.  Felix certainly did not represent the majority of Russian noble familys. 

Your point is so important as the revolution and exile worked such terrible havoc on the personal characater of many Russian noble men and a few noble women.  The sorrow,depression and guilt of somehow having survived being hunted down like an animal and slaughtered while having seen family and friends brutually murdered; having had home and loved ones torn from them; and having lost their indentiy and meaning, they often became reckless and very wordly in exile.  But these unfortunate individals never represented the majority of Russian nobles. 

One of my most cherished books is an autographed copy of "Undaunted Exiles," by Eugenia S. Bumgardner.  On the title page she has quoted Landor, "The deliverence that in never hoped, seldom came.  We conquer by hope and trust."  The book clearly documents the refinement, beautiful character, and enduring values of those Russian Noble families and the beauty of the Russian national character as it faced the worst living conditions possible in Constantinople and how they rose above all those obstacles with hope and trust.

You know in all fairness to Felix I think that one of the things that must have made him so appealing to his true friends and family was his constant desire to give constant financial aid the less fortunate exiles and he did this often by sacrificing his own comfort.  Well once again, thank you Alixz for your important point.  Griff   


     
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Alixz on March 09, 2007, 01:56:05 PM
Griffh,

I was not thinking of his exile days when I said that he was selfish.  And you are right, he did give financial aid to others in exile.

Also isn't it interesting that nobles of that time period were so concerned by their youth and beauty that they went too far the other way in trying to preserve the image of it.

Queen Alexandra was said to have used "porcelain" on her face.  Felix used heavy makeup.  And even though she was killed in 1898, (long before Felix needed makeup to preserve his youthful beauty) Empress Elisabeth of Austria was also consumed by her own appearance.

And I am sorry, I just combined two threads.  The story about the makeup is from "Do you realy like Felix?"
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: griffh on March 10, 2007, 11:46:28 AM
Alixz,

It really is a very interesting point about how important appearances were to the aristocracy.  According to one biographer, the Empress Dowager, like her sister Queen Alexandra, also underwent French cosmetic applications to keep herself looking as youthful as possible.  In part, I think that among royals, it was less personal vanity that it was a social obligation to look as attractive as possible for the good of the throne.  I know that when Edward VII became so ill, in the last few years of his life, his doctors injected his cheeks with strawberry juice to give him a ruddy complexion so that no one would know he was ill. 

Also I know that the Edwardian era was in transition and that cosmetics, which has started to re-appear in the 1880's, were in full swing by about 1909 and were a cause of much consternation by the conservative element, just as women smoking in public was causing.  The teens of the early twentieth century were setting up through "shocking innovations" what would become the accepted norm of "every day life" after WWI. 

In Paul Johnson's fascinating and very thorough history, "The Birth of the Modern 1815-1830," he explains how the eighteenth century use of cosmetics among men did not disappear until the 1820's.  He states:

We come to an important historical point, a change which in some ways permanently altered the relationship between the sexes.  Until the second decade of the 19th century, both sexes dressed for display, wearing the richest fabrics and the brightest colors their means afforded.  Both used quantites of of powder, if they had money, and rouge, face cream, and other cosmetics, if they moved in fashionable society.  Jane Austen, in "Persuasion," has Sir Walter Elliot, being a former "beau," not only use "Gowland," himself (it was a lotion made by the cosmetician Mrs. Gowland around 1815) but recommend it to young ladies, including his daughter.  Sir Walter particularly criticized the appearance of naval officers, who were exposed to all types of weather, and censured them for not doing more to improve their complexions.
     
History is such a fascinating thing to study.  I think that Felix's use of cosmetics was certainly inspired by his vanity but it also points to a trend that was beginning amoung men on the outskirts of fashionable society who would become know as "lounge lizzards," and were available at all the smart restaurants and fashionable hotels and were available to society women who wanted to dance all the latest dance steps.  As I have shared in another thread, public dancing became very chic by 1912 with the arrival of the young dancing sensation, Irene and Vernon Castle.  Society starting dancing morning, noon, and night.  All the elegant hotels and restaurants all over the world started to include dance floors and find the best dance orchestras and this passion for dancing lasted all the way through WWI and into the 1920 and 1930's.  Dancing in the afternoon finally began to dissappear after WWII.  Even the Grand Duke Alexander speaks of the effects of the dance craze and the sensation he experienced dancing the tango.  And Queen Marie of Romania remembered as on of her greatest triumphs dancing a "Boston One-Step" with perfection to the amazement of her guests. 

I have gotten a bit off the subject but I guess my point is that this craze for learning the latest dance steps created an enormous market for handsome young men of no means and it is this group in the teens that used cosmetics to enhance their allure and that Felix use of cosmentics, was generated by a similar desire to look desirable and that it was something that was being done by a certain class of men in an era that was all about revolt.  Alixz, as usual here I am wandering all over the place in my attempt to share some points.  Griff   

 
       
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Alixz on March 11, 2007, 11:11:19 PM
Griffh.

Thank you for all of that interesting information.

Dancing, after the waltz was introduced, became a kind of stimulation.  The couples previously had not touched each other except with hands encased in white gloves and then only gently and lightly.  Now dancing became a much closer and more personal thing.  It aroused passions and indignations.

The tango was considered especially scandalous.

Felix's use of makeup was kind of sad.  He was so "beautiful" in his youth to both men and women that he probably just couldn't give up the illusion.  Actually we see that today in many women who just can't give up the illusion and try to look as they did in their own youth.

Felix would have looked "odd" to us in makeup.  Especially in today's world of scruffy bearded celebrities.  My mother's generation would have called Felix a "dandy".
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: griffh on March 19, 2007, 12:50:06 PM
Alixz, just to say I was away for a short holiday on the Easter Seaboard......forgive my silence. 

I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that your mother's generation would have called Feliz a "Dandy."  And I agree with you, it is very sad that Felix used make-up to prolong the illusion of youth.  I think that by WWI he started to look "worn."  He is described as having very dark rings under his eyes, etc.  He reminds me of the middle aged man in "Death In Venice" who resorted to the use of makeup to try and attract the admiration of young men.  But all-things-considered I think there was something about Felix that transcended all his vanity and lack of veracity.  Perhaps it was his passion for life.  Griff
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: imperial angel on March 20, 2007, 10:20:11 AM
I agree he had his obvious bad points, but I too find his passion for life appealing. He could have been bitter in exile, but I don't feel he was. That is what stands out to me about Felix, the last thing you mentioned, that you find appealing.
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: griffh on March 22, 2007, 05:33:48 PM
Imperial Angel

I think you really made a great point, that Felix never became bitter in exile.  You know the other thing I love is the fact that Felix had such an incredible talent for design.  His innovation of black carpets, when he was at Oxford, is just one example of his flair for design.  I think that Felix started the craze in London for black carpets. 

I don't think that Felix incredible sense of taste came from having money, I think it was something independent that spoke to Felix's love of beauty and need to express beauty around himself.  To me Felix probably could have made a very handsome living as a interior decorator if he had so chosen.  Speaking of which, I don't think that his fashion house failed from a lack of design or elegance, as his gowns appear to be very chic, but I think his fashion house failed because he drained the funds in an attempt to maintain a life style that could not be maintained from the income generated by his fashion house. 

You know, the other thing that occurred to me is that I also respect was the code of honor that Felix lived by.  I seem to remember that there was an incident that involved a misdeed by one of his peers; some money (or was it jewelry or something valuable) went missing during a party he was giving.  I seem to remember that instead of reporting the theft he somehow made it clear that whoever the individual was, the man was free to return the amount without any punishment or penatly and after that the money suddenly reappeared.  Do I have that story right? 

I don't think that Felix treated his enemies with that kind of Christain sympathy, epecially enemies that he felt were evil; and that is not met to be a criticism of Felix as we all tend to pull out all the stops when it comes to enemies that threaten our well being.  At the same time, I don't believe that Felix was quick to forgive friends that he felt had betrayed him, and I think that Felix was capable of inflicting a cruel revenge on those who betrayed him. 

I do have to say that I can't forgive Felix for his selfish manipulation of the Grand Duke Dimitri, who was practically defenseless youth when Felix first met him, and I can't help feeling that Felix seriously diminished Dimitri's promise and purpose as a result.  Of course it could be argued that Felix may have diminished Dimitri's life prospects but he ended up saving Dimitri's life by involving him in the assassination of Rasputin. 

Having judged Feiix thus, I still must say that when he was not motivated by lust or malice, Felix appeared to live by a code of honor that protected his friends, family, and his fellow exiles in need.  I suppose my attraction to this flawed individual is that Felix is so very human after all.  The other thing I find so appealing is that, in spite of his flaws, Felix had that wonderful gift of being so very comfortable in his own skin.  Griff 

     
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: scarlett_riviera on March 23, 2007, 04:36:44 AM
Griffh, very well said!!!

I agree, that his "incredible sense of taste" was somehow inborn. (It was like he was born to wear a suit). And I very much like that certain trait of is, it was genuine and would come out of him so naturally. Men these days, who claim to have incredible taste, come off as pretentious (P. Diddy-ish, even Donald Trump-ish), and most tend to overdo it with all their blinging vulgarity. Felix's taste never appeared vulgar to me, even with all the glitter and glamour he poured into creating a gown or picking out furniture for a room (I heard that one of his rooms was exotic in style, like a sultan's). He was bold and fearless when he chose to make a fashion statement, but his true love for art and beauty stopped him from appearing tacky. I guess the overall "effect" had a lot to do with his personality... his confidence shined through, and he could make a drab military uniform look like a classic Armani suit tailored to perfection.
As for the heavy make-up he wore in his later years... well, it's Felix.  ;D

You know, the other thing that occurred to me is that I also respect was the code of honor that Felix lived by. I also respect him for continuing to help those who were in financial trouble despite his own personal loss, and for keeping his family together and doing his best to take care of them.
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Robert_Hall on March 27, 2007, 06:40:57 PM
 Felix by  Linse. From the Christie's sale on 18 April.  Probably painted during his Paris years, for a Russian charity "fancy dress" ball.
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v289/Markhall/Alex-33.jpg)
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Janet_W. on March 27, 2007, 07:17:47 PM
Robert, thank you! And what a very different image that is of Felix as opposed to what we generally see!
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Robert_Hall on March 27, 2007, 07:36:41 PM
 You are quite welcome.
Yes, it is a remarkably handsome portrait.  Unfortunately, for me, the estimate is $60-80 THOUSAND. Painted between the wars apparently.
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: TampaBay on March 27, 2007, 08:24:38 PM
You are quite welcome.
Yes, it is a remarkably handsome portrait.  Unfortunately, for me, the estimate is $60-80 THOUSAND. Painted between the wars apparently.

Sir Robert, Lord Hall,

Have you placed your bid on this exquisite lot???

TampaBay
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Robert_Hall on March 27, 2007, 10:53:27 PM
Right, TB,  It was a difficult choice, but I had to mortgage the summer palace to make the bid.  What is most interesting, to me at least, is that these charity balls in London & Paris were modeled after the famous 1903 ball in St. Petersburg. Felix was too young to have attended that one, but his  parents were there.  With his flair and love of  theatrics, I imagine he just ate these things up !
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: hikaru on March 28, 2007, 10:09:15 AM
Sir Robert,
As far as I understand, such balls took place long before famouse one of 1903.
Just 1903's one was the best.
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Robert_Hall on March 28, 2007, 10:29:13 AM
Yes, they were huge elaborate affairs in New York  and London  before the First World War. The Vanderbilts, Astors and other barons of American capitalism  threw them usually as "fund raisers" for their pet causes.  I think it was the Duchess of Malborough [?] who gave an exceptionally lavish  fancy dress ball in that era. In Russia, the Grand Dukes, especially Vladimir Alexandroviitch  gave  such balls.  If I remember correctly, there was a final costume ball for the tercentannary in 1913, but I do not think much has survived from that affair. It was most likely a repeat of the 1903 event. Felix would most likely have been at that one and it would be wonderful to see  how he dressed for it.
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: hikaru on March 28, 2007, 10:31:27 AM
I have just read in the diary of GD Sergey, that they had similar balls about 1875 year.
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: griffh on March 30, 2007, 09:09:44 AM
What an stunning portrait of Felix, thanks so much Robert.  

I rather think that the fancy dress balls of the 1870-1880s were the continuation of the famous masqued balls that were the rage in Paris in the 1860's and that had been brought into fashion by the Empress Eugenie and Napolean III to imitate the slendour of Louis XII and Marie Antonette famous masqued balls.  The great couture houses which were just coming into existence in the 1860's often designed many of the fancy dress costumes and some of them became quite famous, such as the costume Worth created for Princess de Mercy Argenteau for a famous fancy dress ball in Paris in the late 1880's or early 1890's.  

By some quirk of fate I happened accoss the Princess de Mercy Argenteau's gowns stacked in three piles to the ceiling of a small antique shop in NYC off of 3rd Ave in the East Village.  When I entered the shop my heart nearly stopped as I saw the three mountains of the Princess' exquisite gowns that spanned the late Nineteenth century, along with hundreds of hats and shoes.  Princess de Mercy Argenteau had somehow become stranded in the United States during WWI and a society matron in Florida provided the Princess with a guest house to live in.  The Princess remained there until her death in 1925 and the society matron sealed the guest house and it remained sealed until the owner of the estate was institutionalized.  The entire contents of the cottage were then sold at auction and the owner of the antique store in NYC got everything in the cottage, with the exception of the furnishings, paintings and jewelry, for $1200.  

The antique dealer didn't know anything about the Princess.  I immediately called my friend, Bill Cunningham, who was the fashion correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and who lived in one of the five apts at the top of Carniege Hall and had a incredible collection period costumes which he later published in a book called, "Facades."  He said that he would get a mutual friend to buy the gowns, as I was currently out of funds, but only if the famous Worth costume was among the Princess' gowns which he wanted.  What seemed like a minute later a taxis pulled up outside the little costume shop and Bill jumped out and was as excited by the find as I was.  Apparently the Worth's famous fancy dress costume for Princess de Mercy Argenteau was among her gowns because Bill made the phone call and he talked our mutual friend into buying the entire collection for $500.  Those were the days when $500 was as inaccessable to me as $5,000,000 would have been.  

But I was thrilled that the Princess' gowns were saved as a collection and that Bill got his Worth costume and I got to act as "curator" for the collection and learned a great deal about construction techniques etc.  Unfortunately years later the entire collection of the Princess's gowns dissappeared during a mysterious fire in the building where they were being temporarily stored.  I mourned their loss and to this day I am not all together convinced that they parished in the fire.  Non-the-less the collection was heavily insured along with the other contents that were being stored so my friend profited by the loss.  The thing is that I am sure that I saw some of the Princess' capes years later in a very high end Vintage clothing shop in Soho.  You could not miss the quality of those gowns because they were all made by the finest fashion houses in Europe and just stood out for their exquisite use of color and their unique beauty and by their scale as the Princess, like the young Empress Alexandra, 5' 8" tall.    

Well as usual I did somehow manage to get off the subject yet once again....but life is rich with all of its twists and turns and it is fun to recount some of it's aventures.....Griff
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: griffh on March 30, 2007, 09:11:35 AM
A brief footnote is that the little antique shop was also filled with the Princess's calling cards, stationary, bed linens, and boxes of letters signed, Louis.  Since I owned both Princess de Mercy Argenteau autobiography and her mother, Countesse Louise de Mercy Argenteau's autobiography, I knew that her mother had been the last mistress of Louis Napoleon and had even gone incognito on the train from Paris to Sedan where the Emperor was under arrest after the end of the Franco-Prussian War and during the early months of the Revolution of 1870.  I knew that those letter had to have been part of the Countesse's correspondence with the Emperor.  When I told the shop owner my theory about the boxes of letters he became almost delerious with joy.  My hunch turned out to be right the the antique store owner effectually sold the correspondence at auction for a handsome sum. 

It is just an opinion, but I think that one of the things that separates the wonderful historic balls of Russia from the fancy dress balls of Europe and America was the level of artistry and that wonderful sense of the revival of an authentic past.  The Russian sensibility for accurate historic detail remains unmatched in my mind and I am so grateful that some of the renowned pre-revolutionary Russian couture houses and the gold embroidry makers are gaining greater exposure and appreciation.  Certainly the artistic level of the embroidery arts were as fine as the world famous Irish lace makers.  You can see this highly developed artistry on so many of the historic costumes that were created for the 1903 ball, not to mention the beautifully embroidered court gowns, religious robes and altar cloths. 

Robert I would love to learn more about the 1913 historic ball and it must have been submerged by the outbreak of WWI in 1914, or so one might think.  Griff 

 
 
       

Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Robert_Hall on March 30, 2007, 10:16:34 AM
Griffh, fascinating stories about the gowns, princess and balls.  I have had a few experiences with costume balls in years past myself.  They were fun, but those historical costumes were heavy and hot!
 As for the 1913 balls, I have so far found only brief mentions of it in various bios  & histories.  I did read that the Dowager Empress was at that one, she was ill at the time of the 1903 ball.  As I mentioned, I imagine Felix would have been there as well. It is curious, to think that perhaps the costume he wears in the painting might possibly be the same one he wore at the 1913 ball...
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: griffh on March 30, 2007, 04:20:33 PM
Robert, Yes I agree that the costume in the painting of Felix certainly looks as though it could have been the costume he wore to the 1913 ball, and as you said, I am sure that those historic costumes were extremely heavy and hot.  I know that there was a tradition amoung the great couture houses in Europe that made those heavy and hot presentation gowns for ladies, that they also supplied, gratis, lighter evening gowns that ladies could change into later in the evening after they had made their grand entrance, but I doubt if this rule applied to the great historic balls.   Griff
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: scarlett_riviera on March 31, 2007, 06:49:42 AM
I love that painting. It looks like he gained a bit of weight there!
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Jay on March 31, 2007, 05:03:08 PM
Never get tired of reading that book. Especially the chapters pertaining to his exile. Although I must admit that I don't believe everything Felix elaborates on. Especially Rasputins murder. Still, I feel that the book is a must read for any Yussupov enthusiast.

As for the painting, I have to agree that he looks like he has gained weight.
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Robert_Hall on April 03, 2007, 02:53:13 PM
More of the Yussoupov splendour that was lost- from the upcoming SOTHEBY'S sale-
http://www.sothebys.com/app/live/lot/LotDetail.jsp?live_lot_id=107&sale_number=N08302&go.x=7&go.y=10
 2 plates from their porcelaine factory out of a set of 12. 30-45 THOUSAND A PAIR. [and who would want less than the full set?]  The Yussoupov porcelaine was never sold. It was either for the family or gifts to the IF [I imagine others as well].  They did not  actually manufacture the porcelaine though, they bought  blank pieces from  other high quality sources [Sevres, Meissen perhaps] and had their own artists paint the stuff.. imagine Felix eating his cordon bleu off of this...
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: hikaru on April 03, 2007, 11:44:21 PM
I think that he did not sell it because they did not produce it in 20th century,
it was Nikolay Borisovitch Yusupov's toy (end of 18th century)
But Maybe I am wrong.
Kuskovo Estate Porcelaine Museum has quite a lot of Yusupov porcelain , all is the end of 18th century.
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: scarlett_riviera on April 04, 2007, 03:23:41 AM
Wow, they were really extravagant! Someone should turn Felix's book into a movie or something, his life was really interesting! And almost everyone that appears in his book is interesting, even the servants and that drunken Prince Galitzine! lol!

Ok I'm so going to read it again. ;D
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Robert_Hall on April 04, 2007, 09:54:44 AM
I think you are correct, Hikaru. The porcelain factory [or more apt- studio] was shut down in 1839 and the serf labour dispersed.  NB was director of the Imperial Porcelain factory  until he founded his own in 1814.  Such a limited run  is what  causes the prices of these objects to sky-rocket when they do become available. Still, there was enough to give away  and waste until the end.
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: hikaru on April 04, 2007, 12:18:49 PM
I wish you good luck, Robert, because the quality of Yusupov porcelaine is geniune.
Some people say that sometimes it was better the Imperial ones.
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Robert_Hall on April 04, 2007, 12:23:33 PM
Hikaru, my friend, I could in no way buy these plates! I would need to have the complete set and then search for the rest!  The 12 on ofer are from a 3 volume set of paintings of roses by Redoute. Besides, it would be a very bad investment for some who lives in earthquake country!
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: hikaru on April 04, 2007, 01:57:43 PM
How intresting! I did not think that there are earthquakes in England ::)
But your room (which I saw at the photo with Marie -Antoinnette)  is super!!!
I thought only hurricans (sorry for spel.) hardly ever happen in H....

But you are completely right. Plates does not sound intresting . Tete-a-tete set is much more attractive. ( there are 2 tet-a-tet sets of Yusupov Factory at Kuskovo museum).
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Robert_Hall on April 04, 2007, 02:17:14 PM
Hikaru, I live in San Francisco and spend about  half the year in England as well. But, England does have earthquakes now & then. They happen all over the world actually but most are child's play compared to California quakes!
 And yes, the Yussoupov collections were so vast, it is amazing what has been dispersed and yet so much remains in Russia itself. Much like the Imperial collections themselves.  What shows up in these auctions and museums, galleries & showrooms is just a fraction of what is still in storerooms in St.P  & Moscow, I suspect.
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: hikaru on April 04, 2007, 02:23:31 PM
There are no earthquakes in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Central Russia at all.
So I am no fond of european ones. Thank you for clarification.
But I have experieced a lot of quakes in Japan. I really hate them.

Yes , there are a lot peaces in our antiques in Arbat yet. ;D
But in Russia , Russian Popov or Kuznetsov Porcelaine costs more than Meissen.
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Taksa on May 18, 2007, 01:17:54 PM
I finished  the book a couple of days ago and I really liked it, especcially the part of his childhood and youth.
but I have two questions and I would be very glad if you answer to them.

The first is - what is the real name of his dog? In English it is Gugusse, but in Russian version  at first he is called Clown but later, at the end he is called Punch. why?

The second - as I know - Bebe - is how Felix and Irine called their daughter, right? but why Madam Hoobie *I dont know how to write her name* is called Bebe in Russian version?
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Robert_Hall on May 19, 2007, 01:34:36 AM
Punch is a clown.
I do not understand your second question.
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Taksa on May 19, 2007, 02:46:27 AM
aaaaw...I thought that Punch is a colwn, but...in what language Punch is a clown?

I asked that, as I know, they called "Bebe" their daughter. but in russian book there is nothing said about it and Felix called Madam Hoobie as Bebe *or may be just Bibi??*
argh, my english :-\
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Robert_Hall on May 19, 2007, 02:59:42 AM
"Punch" is a clown in English. Probably most famously  in the "Punch & Judy" genre.[It is a bit difficult to expalin Punch & Judy, but suffice it to say it is a very old comedy routine, very English.
"Bebe" just means baby- a term of endearment, pretty universal, I would think.
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Taksa on May 19, 2007, 03:03:56 AM
in Engish? but I looked it up in the dictionary and I didnt find!! and what is Gasusee or how...?

yes I think that it is something like "baby" but...how is Madam Hoobie called in English version?

 
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Robert_Hall on May 19, 2007, 04:55:21 AM
Punch is just the name of a character in a puppet street theatre, common all over Europe. Just Google Punch & Judy, if you are that curious. Baby is just a common endearment. No big deal. I name one of my cats "Baby" , does not mean I gave birth to the creature.
Gasuesse just sounds like a pet name, probably does not mean anything. Unless someone else has something to offer, I am finished here.
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Taksa on May 19, 2007, 06:24:34 AM
uuuhuh Punch - the name! stupid me)) but  its interesting to know how exactly he called the dog.

I name one of my cats "Baby" , does not mean I gave birth to the creature.
yes-yes. it's of course. I understand it.


thank you and sorry for disturbing.
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Robert_Hall on May 19, 2007, 08:27:39 AM
Taksa- your are not disturbibg. Your questions are honest, and I do not mind answering with what I happen to know. Like you, I am a big Felix fan, so to speak. I do not find him detestable, despicable nor amoral.  Outrageous, niaive, flamboyant, privilaged, generous and kind is more my take on him.
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Taksa on May 20, 2007, 03:14:05 AM
oh thanks)
Ive become his fan suddenly, about  a couple of weeks ago and Ive just read the book and have some questions. no, had. now almost everything is clear to me))

yes-yes. you characterized him very well.
he was very naive, I think.))
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Robert_Hall on May 20, 2007, 03:23:14 AM
Taksa, try to find a book by Greg King- THE MAN WHO KILLED RASPUTIN. I know the title is rather sensational, but that is the publisher's decision. It is more  about Felix himself, I think.There is some very good insight into who Felix really was.
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: scarlett_riviera on May 20, 2007, 03:33:09 AM
Booohoo, I wish there were more modern-day Felixes for me to adore. He truly was an interesting character in history!
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Robert_Hall on May 20, 2007, 03:52:38 AM
Hmmm, S-R, most rich, ambi-sexual, cultured, world-travelers are into the entertainment business now- go to Hollywood! Felix did, after all.
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: scarlett_riviera on May 20, 2007, 04:09:21 AM
Hollywood?? You mean like, uhm, David Beckhamish? I can't think of anyone in Hollywood who has the personality/style/flair of Felix. And I only thought of David Beckham cause he's the best-known metrosexual... oh wait, second to Ryan Seacrest. lol But you know, they're so far from Felix! I guess there will only be one Felix in a million years.

p.s.
sorry if my post did not make any sense. ;D
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Robert_Hall on May 20, 2007, 04:54:08 AM
I knew what you menat, S-R. Yes, Felix  Irina went "Hollywood" in the golden 30's  for a tiny bit. I do not think they really related to it though. As we know, theyb sued a film company and won.  I think they tolerated the NY society crowd, who are always groveling for royalty, exiled or otherwise.
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Taksa on May 20, 2007, 06:57:17 AM
Taksa, try to find a book by Greg King- THE MAN WHO KILLED RASPUTIN. I know the title is rather sensational, but that is the publisher's decision. It is more  about Felix himself, I think.There is some very good insight into who Felix really was.

yeah, Im going to find it somewhere.
and it isnt known where to find Ferrands book, is it? ((
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Robert_Hall on May 20, 2007, 11:04:48 AM
For ferrand's books, contact Arturo at European Royal History Journal. He posts here. I warn you though- they are costly and hard to come by.
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Taksa on May 20, 2007, 01:09:03 PM
oh thank you.
yes I know that it is very difficult to find them. but are they so expensive?
and...what are they famous for? are there exclusive photos or what?
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Alixz on May 20, 2007, 02:49:40 PM
I believe that there are no "Felix's" for general admiration in our time because of the sloppy dress code that everyone has adopted.  In Felix's time, men wore suits most of the time and smoking jackets not t shirts and ragged jeans.  And in Felix's time the "sneaker" or running shoe had not yet been invented so footwear was also more admirable.

Not that I would want to go back to corsets and hot heavy long dresses for women, but a little more refined clothing would be, I think, a good thing in general.
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Robert_Hall on May 20, 2007, 07:01:11 PM
hmmm. well, Felix also wore women's clothes, but that is another story...
As for Ferrand, Toksa, yes, they are mainly photos and genealogical charts. The ones I have, the text, what there is of it, is in French, but easily understood- just names & dates.
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Taksa on May 21, 2007, 09:08:27 AM
hmmm. well, Felix also wore women's clothes, but that is another story...
hahaha that's right! ;D


hm..ok...thanks for the imformation))

and, back to  'Felixes in you times' - Im sooo das that there are no such men nowadays! not just like Felix but like others too. of course some of them were dissolute, over-free and ill-mannered but mostly..their manars and life style...and of course women's dresses...I adore it. that  epoch was wonderful - rather up-to-date with cars, telephones etc but was still like 'those' times...
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Nathan_Davis on July 14, 2010, 12:33:46 AM
Kudos to Robert Hall for recommending the excellent Greg King biography. The book is still generally available in hard and soft cover through sources like Abe Books. "Lost Splendor" is also available in a trade paper edition by Helen Marx Books through Abe Books, Alibris, etc. The former is an excellent reference source and answers some questions that arise in the latter, which is, if nothing else, still a very good read.
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Robert_Hall on July 14, 2010, 12:43:48 AM
Well, Thank you, Nathan.
 I know Greg, but we are not personal friends.,  simply believe in giving credit where it is due.  His books are well researched, especially with Penny Wilson, They are quite a team.
 There are, of course, other books on Felix, but I feel Greg's is a good start.
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Janet Ashton on July 17, 2010, 04:19:18 PM

 I know Greg, but we are not personal friends.,  simply believe in giving credit where it is due.  His books are well researched, especially with Penny Wilson, They are quite a team.
 

I think this may inadvertently give the impression that his solo books are somehow second best, and that's not so. I don't think books like "Court of the last Tsar", "The Duchess of Windsor" or "Season of Splendor" are in any way inferior to "Fate of the Romanovs", for example. The Duchess book is still the best one written on that topic; it is head and shoulders above most of the rest of the nonsense written about that unfortunate woman, and "Court of the last Tsar" is also massively quoted, cited and respected.

I realise what you were saying and I swiveled a bit over replying to it lest it create some misunderstanding, but ultimately felt I should anyway.....
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Robert_Hall on July 17, 2010, 06:20:00 PM
Hi Janet
 I by no means meant to disparage Greg's work, in any field he tackles.
 Gee, I am a loyal  reader of anything he puts out.
 Penny Wilson is an excellent  addition to  his resources. Together they are a formidable team.
 I think I have read  everything he has published, including A season of Splendor [Astor] and  Twilight of Splendor [Victoria]   2 topics I would not normally take interest in.
 As well as a book about Sharon Tate, the title of which escapes me at the moment and it is buried  here in the annex shelves.  That one, I had a personal interest in a I knew one of the victims.
 Oh yes, I would unequivocally   recommend any Greg King title.  Without question.
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: Janet Ashton on July 18, 2010, 07:32:07 AM
Hi Janet
 I by no means meant to disparage Greg's work, in any field he tackles.
 Gee, I am a loyal  reader of anything he puts out.
 Penny Wilson is an excellent  addition to  his resources. Together they are a formidable team.
 I think I have read  everything he has published, including A season of Splendor [Astor] and  Twilight of Splendor [Victoria]   2 topics I would not normally take interest in.
 As well as a book about Sharon Tate, the title of which escapes me at the moment and it is buried  here in the annex shelves.  That one, I had a personal interest in a I knew one of the victims.
 Oh yes, I would unequivocally   recommend any Greg King title.  Without question.

Excellent, Robert - I agree with all you say....:-)
Title: Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
Post by: YH on March 17, 2018, 03:50:15 AM
We have authorised and a re-issue of The Lost Splendour was published December 2017. It comes in Kindle format too.
The Yusupov Heritage (YH)