Alexander Palace Forum

Books and Films about the Romanovs and Imperial Russia => Books about the Romanovs and Imperial Russia => Topic started by: Angie_H on September 25, 2004, 01:14:48 PM

Title: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Angie_H on September 25, 2004, 01:14:48 PM
I posted this topic in books, but I also wanted to put it here. This book is making me so PO'd!!!! It's like the author just accepted all the untrue statements made about Alix and accepted them as fact!  Jane said it best on the other board when she said the author was sycophantic. This book in my opinion is nothing but one big pity party for Ducky. Yes she had a hard life, but please! Show some objectivity!!!!
The author had the audacity to state that yes, Alix loved Nicky but there were more reasons as to why she accepted his proposal,  that she didn't like being made 2nd lady of the land in Hesse once Ernie married Ducky.
I find that statement to go against everything I read about Alix. She was so shy and only performed court functions because she had to, that she disliked being around strangers. I would think she would have been grateful for Ducky coming so Ducky could perform those functions and she would not.
The author makes the stupid statement that Ducky and Ernie were the only grandchildren of QV's to marry 1st cousins. Uh, what about Irene of Hesse and Heinrich of Prussia? They first cousins too.
The author raves on and on about how beautiful Ducky was, even more beautiful than Alix or Ella. Um, I DON'T THINK SO!! In my opinion Ducky was good looking. Not pretty or beautiful. Something about her eyes just makes me think she is good looking and that is it. Before all the turmoil and heartache took their tolls on them Alix and Ella in my opinion were the 2 most beautiful princesses for their generation.
I am so glad I got this book from the library and didn't buy it! I don't think I am going to bother finishing it. I also got Maria Pavlovna (the youngers) memoirs. I think I will start that.
I do feel some sympathy for Ducky. She was pressured into her marriage to Ernie by her family, (her mother was the only one against wasn't she?). And when she finally found the person she loved and married she was penalized for some time for it.
Sorry if I was ranting but that book is totally trashy and I would only recommend someone getting it to use to put under a table leg to make the table less wobbly.
Angie
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: RomanovFan on September 25, 2004, 02:05:10 PM
Quote
The author makes the stupid statement that Ducky and Ernie were the only grandchildren of QV's to marry 1st cousins. Uh, what about Irene of Hesse and Heinrich of Prussia? They first cousins too.
 


Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were first cousins too, weren't they? ... I know this is a little off the subject, but I read in one of many bios written about QV that SHE proposed to Prince Albert, not the other way around, since she was queen of England then. True?
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: LisaDavidson on September 25, 2004, 03:35:13 PM
The fact of the matter is, Alix didn't like losing her position as first lady of Hesse. That doesn't mean she wasn't shy or interested in her brother's happiness - she was just always position conscious. I agree that Sullivan comes off very biased, but that doesn't mean some of his points aren't valid. Fact is the Edinburgh girls were regarded as the great beauties of the day, and Ella the lovliest of the Hessian girls. This was just the prevailing opinion of the times.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: grandduchessella on September 25, 2004, 08:14:23 PM
Quote
The fact of the matter is, Alix didn't like losing her position as first lady of Hesse. That doesn't mean she wasn't shy or interested in her brother's happiness - she was just always position conscious. I agree that Sullivan comes off very biased, but that doesn't mean some of his points aren't valid. Fact is the Edinburgh girls were regarded as the great beauties of the day, and Ella the lovliest of the Hessian girls. This was just the prevailing opinion of the times.
j

As much as this confounds me, it is apparently true. I have collected a lot of original articles from the day, including ones dealing with beauty/fashions/marital prospects of various princesses. The Edinburgh daughters are mentioned quite frequently for their beauty (esp Missy, natch) and Alix was never in one of the ones I read. In articles from the early 1900s Beatrice was remarked as being the most beautiful of the 4. Ella was mentioned in a couple, but she was already married by the time a lot of them were published. Standards of beauty change from time to time, especially, I think, in regards to what is considered most important when making the decision (ex complexion, coloring, etc). We can change so much about our appearance nowadays--dye your hair (w/o being a trollop!), colored contacts, makeup. Back then I think those things meant more with people's coloring esp being mentioned in a lot of the stories about beauty. Nowadays those qualities aren't so prized because they're so easily altered. There are some like Missy (when she was young) and Queen Alexandra who will be considered beautiful no matter what the era, while others may be considered such at the time and it leaves us shaking our heads now and others we may consider more handsome than beautiful. I never saw Ducky's appeal as a beauty, just one to be admired for her bearing, etc...She apparently did have beautiful eyes though. As for the book, I liked parts of it since it was a more detailed exploration of Ducky's life but it did have a lot of factual errors and a decidedly biased slant which could set a lot of people off--esp as Ducky tends to be a more polarizing figure.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Angie_H on September 25, 2004, 09:46:48 PM
I think Missy was very pretty, but something about Ducky's eyes as she grew older just throws me off. Yes Victoria did propose to Alfred but I think that all had to do with rank.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: princessalice on September 27, 2004, 04:08:52 PM
i think also i have been told by several folks that the FATAL PASSION book has some glaring mistakes.  i have it myself and never really liked it much....and, i never thought Ducky to be very beautiful, as many articles and books would say.....
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Annie on September 27, 2004, 05:18:38 PM
I don't think she was pretty at all, she looked kind of stuffy and mean to me. I felt sorry for Alix when she came to Hesse and put a wedge between her and Ernie.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Jane on September 27, 2004, 05:47:39 PM
It's always been my belief, formed from reading numerous accounts of both women, that Alix and Ducky probably shared many of the same character traits, even if they, if they could , would undoubtedly disagree.  They were both fairly stubborn and uncompromising women.  Both were capable of igniting deep loyalty among their closest loved ones.  Both were very conscious of their respective positions.  Both could be quite supercilious.  By the same token, both could be quite generous.  (And both were beautiful, in my opinion, but that is neither here nor there).  Neither one was a saint, and both were often misunderstood by others.  Most of all, they seemed to not understand each other at all.    

Ducky was not successful as Grand Duchess of Hesse.  Being prodded into an unwanted marriage clearly caused her to chafe against the restrictions imposed on her.  She and Ernst Ludwig simply were not compatible.  I think it took a great deal of courage, on both of their parts, to accept that fact and decide upon divorce at a time when divorce was supremely scandalous and nearly unheard of among royalty.  Compounding that undoubtedly difficult decision was the presence of their child.  

I suppose that one might be able to argue that Ducky's actions simply show that she was more selfish than Alix, etc.  On the other hand, one can say that she was willing to grasp for happiness.  I know I don't find the post-Revolution, imperial pretensions of Ducky and Kirill very attractive; however, life in exile must have been harrowing in many ways.





Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: ashanti01 on October 22, 2004, 08:29:57 PM
Ducky I find as one of the most intresting family member outside the Romanovs, next to Queen Alexandra

She was pretty ( at least in one of the photos I saw) in her own way, although she wasn't as lovely as Alix and Ella in thier prime.

She accepted to scandle in order to search for happiness in another mans arms. I may not respect what she and Krill did after the revolution, but I do have to give her credit for daring to go against the rules and regulations of her time for a chance at happiness.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on May 02, 2006, 11:34:42 AM
I enjoyed reading this thread, especially Jane's post which I mostly agree with. This book is at least a biography of her, although perhaps not the best one. I think the author could have done better, but since it was only the second bio of her, it was harder to shape a biography with no tradition. Of course it has some errors, but in general I am just happy someone did a biography of Ducky. She was someone who, apparently you either love or hate. Perhaps because of this is the reason this bio has had this reception, not that I'm defending the book. Ducky to me was someone who lived her life with truth, and never cared for sham. And this always inspires people to take sides, because it's our social lies that make life bearable sometimes, so we don't have to face the truth. Ducky in exile was perhaps not at her best, she wanted to support Kyril, and do something with her life, both noble, but her husband's ''court'' was a bit of a farce. I think Ducky was a beauty, although not a conventional one. I love any photo of her. I guess I'm one of those people who is defintely a fan of Ducky.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: TampaBay on May 03, 2006, 06:28:54 AM
Quote
Quote from: LisaDavidson  link=1096132488/0#2 date=1096144513
The fact of the matter is, Alix didn't like losing her position as first lady of Hesse. That doesn't mean she wasn't shy or interested in her brother's happiness - she was just always position conscious. I agree that Sullivan comes off very biased, but that doesn't mean some of his points aren't valid. Fact is the Edinburgh girls were regarded as the great beauties of the day, and Ella the lovliest of the Hessian girls. This was just the prevailing opinion of the times.
j

As much as this confounds me, it is apparently true. I have collected a lot of original articles from the day, including ones dealing with beauty/fashions/marital prospects of various princesses. The Edinburgh daughters are mentioned quite frequently for their beauty (esp Missy, natch) and Alix was never in one of the ones I read. In articles from the early 1900s Beatrice was remarked as being the most beautiful of the 4. Ella was mentioned in a couple, but she was already married by the time a lot of them were published. Standards of beauty change from time to time, especially, I think, in regards to what is considered most important when making the decision (ex complexion, coloring, etc). We can change so much about our appearance nowadays--dye your hair (w/o being a trollop!), colored contacts, makeup. Back then I think those things meant more with people's coloring esp being mentioned in a lot of the stories about beauty. Nowadays those qualities aren't so prized because they're so easily altered. There are some like Missy (when she was young) and Queen Alexandra who will be considered beautiful no matter what the era, while others may be considered such at the time and it leaves us shaking our heads now and others we may consider more handsome than beautiful. I never saw Ducky's appeal as a beauty, just one to be admired for her bearing, etc...She apparently did have beautiful eyes though. As for the book, I liked parts of it since it was a more detailed exploration of Ducky's life but it did have a lot of factual errors and a decidedly biased slant which could set a lot of people off--esp as Ducky tends to be a more polarizing figure.

Beauty was marked and judged by one's complexion.  This is not a parameter today becuase if you have a poor complexion, you buy a bottle of Estee Lauder and slap it on.

TampaBay
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on May 03, 2006, 09:01:37 AM
True; the standards of beauty change. I can see why Ducky was thought a beauty back then, but not so much today, although I find her very beautiful, no matter what the era.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: aussiechick12 on May 04, 2006, 03:51:18 AM
This topic has been very interesting to read as I am actually reading the book at the moment. As I haven't read anything on Ducky before, and don't know any much about her apart from what I've been told in the book, I've taken all the information that I have read about her to be true.
Are there any other books I can read about her to compare? I have found her very interesting and from what I have read, to be one of my favourite Royal women during this time period. The one thing I don't like about the book is that it hardly mentions her other sisters and brother very much. Is it because there isn't much information on them?
I am definatley going to continue with this book, as I am nearly finsihed the first section and am enjoying it. Let you know what I think of it when I'm finished!

Emma
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on May 04, 2006, 10:09:36 AM
Yes, do let us know what you think. There is much information about her sisters, and some biographies cover her brother-his death was rather sketchy. Missy of Roumania is a well known sister of Ducky, and there are two biographies of her. There is also another biography about Ducky, it is a older book, apparently just a basic biography, although I have not read it actually- but I would- it would be good for comparison. She is one of my favourite royal women ever, Ducky. Some people do not think so well of her, but I think you should just study her more carefully if all you see is her faults at first.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Laura_ on May 04, 2006, 02:29:16 PM
first of all there are more than 2  biographies on her sister Queen Marie of Romania!!

another book about Ducky would be of course Princess Victoria Melita ,Grand Duchess Cyril of Russia   by John Van der Kiste :)
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: bookworm857158367 on May 04, 2006, 07:18:55 PM
I reread this book recently and still find it annoying. The author describes everyone as "beautiful" or "handsome," etc. As a writer I find his style really annoying.  I do like Ducky, though, which is why I bought it in the first place. I wish someone would write a better biography of her. There must be a lot of untapped material about her daughters, her life in France, etc. I admire Ducky's spirit and her guts. She refused to stay in an intolerable situation with Ernest and reached out for the man she really did want. Unfortunately, he wasn't worthy of her.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on May 05, 2006, 08:29:32 AM
Yes, I agree about Ducky. I think someday there might be a better biography of her, if the biographer can be objective, and yet not critical. She seems to inspire either a great deal of admiration, or dislike. I suppose that makes it hard to write a biography of her, if you feel either way about it. Ducky wasn't perfect, but she deserves a fair biography, not one that either makes her sound like a saint, or one that just covers the basic facts of her life. I am sure there are many biographies of Missy. I have read two full length ones in English, and also a book where she is included in English.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Linnea on July 28, 2006, 09:38:26 AM
Is Van Der Kiste´s book on Ducky worth reading? Or is it as "bad" as this one by Sullivan?
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: grandduchessella on July 28, 2006, 03:55:33 PM
It's worth reading as a standard bio. It's more a 'just the facts, ma'am' kind of book than a in-depth biography. His books are kind of dry this way but I like them for gaining a basic understanding of the subject's life. You want get any analysis or real narrative though.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on July 28, 2006, 08:31:43 PM
You got into the crust of the Van Der Kiste books. Nice read but strictly 101 (basic) on the subject.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Guinastasia on July 29, 2006, 01:00:38 AM
I hope I'm not going to be stoned, but I have never liked Ducky.  Yes, I feel for her, and I think she had a rough life, but for some reason, I just cannot warm to her.

It's funny, because her sister, Marie of Roumania, is one of my all time favorites, and she and Ducky were very close.  I don't know, I can't explain it.

Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eddie_uk on July 29, 2006, 03:47:00 AM
I think Ducky was rather complex and I agree I find her quite difficult to take to. I think she  had a lot of her mother in her?! I think she became very bitter in later life blaming her grandmother etc!

I really like John Van Der Kistes books even if they are just basic, their are so many tit bits!! I particularly liked "Edward VIIs children"  :) hes written so many too, I take my hat of to him.  :D
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Ilana on July 29, 2006, 12:58:35 PM
Agreed about John VDK... he and I have discussed this and he definitely fills a niche.  You get your start with him... and he write beautifully, in my opinion, then you go on to more detail of what interests you....
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on July 30, 2006, 09:31:19 AM
Yes I agree...You start out with Van Der Kiste but you do not stay with him. In the end, you outgrow him...Unlike someone like John Rohl, whose books on Willy I cannot praise more.  ;)
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: grandduchessella on July 30, 2006, 04:23:19 PM
Absolutely. I have almost all of JVDK's books--I don't have the ones on subjects that don't interest me. They were amongst some of the very first ones I read and I loved the photos in them. He provides more than in other biographies. It's just as Ilana said--you start out with them and then move on to the more in-depth ones. They are great for gaining basic knowledge of a subject.

And I love Rohl's! I finally got a hold of a library copy of his first volume.  :)

And as for guinastasia's view--I feel the same way. I'm interested in Ducky but not emotionally invested in her or in her romance with Kyril, which normally would have many of the elements I love in a tale. I find her rather hard despite her passionate temperament. I much prefer Missy and Bee.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on July 30, 2006, 07:03:24 PM
I agree I like Baby Bee the best as she turned out to be such a lost treasure ! More to come I think...Well I guess Ducky was someone made to be in a tragedy (sad and misguided woman), but I couldn't but felt for her misfortunates.  :(
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: TampaBay on July 31, 2006, 06:22:10 AM
I think the key to understanding Ducky (which I do not) is understanding her mother.  A good indepth Pakula/Massie type bio needs to be written on GD Marie.  Her letters need to be published.  I think then much insight into Duckt will be gained.

TampaBay
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eddie_uk on July 31, 2006, 07:20:02 AM
I agree TB! a biography on Marie Coburg would be fascinating, love to learn more about her final years. And I love Vickys comment on how she "loved being No.1"!!! ;D

Also agree, JVKs books do indeed give a flavour of the subject! I like them a lot :)
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on July 31, 2006, 08:48:24 AM
Indeed ! I am lucky to have heard a few of Marie Coburg's letters read up both publically and privately by researcher John Wimbles. They are great !  ;)
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Bach on July 31, 2006, 11:23:37 AM
I never thought very much of Ducky to begin with, and after reading this book, I thought even less of her.  He whole life seemed to be a justification for taking exactly what she wanted and not caring who she hurt to get it.  As long as everyone lived by Ducky's rules, everything was "ducky."

She wasn't up to the responsibility of being the consort of a reigning Grand Duke, and long before fissures appeared in the marriage she was acting out inappropriately.  I felt sorry for the citizens of Hesse-Darmstadt who welcomed her; they must have been bewildered at her behaviour.

She was a granddaughter of Victoria: she knew well what an arranged marriage was, what its limitations were, and what the responsibilities are regarding power and position.  She seems to have enjoyed the perquisites of position and money without wanting to engage in its responsibilities.

I find it interesting that the author "outs" both of her H's as homosexuals in this book; while Ernst is likely to have been gay, there is no evidence other than the bitter musings of Ducky herself to support a presumption that Kyril was a practicing homosexual.  However, the estrangement of the couple after such a build-up of turgid love and star-crossed lovers-defying-social-mores required a particularly henious "crime" to end it - hence, the scrapings of scandal tossed in for dessert.

While standards of beauty change, I also find the book's glorification of Ducky as simply too, too gorgeous as similar contemporary reports of the alleged beauty of, say, Paris Hilton. 

She does not strike me as an admirable person, nor a woman of inner or outer beauty.  I actually paid for this book, but the bookseller did allow me to exchange it; otherwise, I might be even more irritated.  There are so many others in these respective Royal families who understood honor and dignity, and are worthy of admiration, that I cannot believe ink was spilled on behalf of this one individual.

And finally - exactly what was "fatal" about her "passion?"  Her family survived the Revolution, unlike so many other families.  Her daughter by Ernst died young but that had nothing to do with Ducky.  More turgidity and purple prose...the author clearly never heard of "more matter with less art."
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Guinastasia on July 31, 2006, 03:07:34 PM
Perhaps because Ducky comes off as being rather cold and stuck up.  Missy, on the other hand, may have been conceited as all get out, yet she was always very outgoing, and theatrical, and she really did care about others, and she was extremely generous.

As for Ducky being a beauty-no.  Bach, I'm with you that the book was pretty much a white-wash.  Missy was the beauty in the family, not Ducky.

Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on July 31, 2006, 08:53:43 PM
I think Ducky looked better in real life than in photos. (remember how Vicky (Kaiserin Friedrich) praised her looks as oppose to the more photogenic Alix and Ella). I think she was quite tragic by nature (like the Bontes). As a sensative woman, she was pushed into a marriage she did not desire (like Missy). unfortunately Ducky refused to accept and lower her expectattions and instread chose to fight ("the fighting grand duchess"). If that kind of attitude made her being disliked, so be it. As a person, she was not bad at all. I guess Ducky was always artistic and felt misunderstood and under appreciated. The only ones who made provisions for her were Marie Coburg and Missy.  ::)
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Laura_ on August 01, 2006, 01:47:23 AM
I think Ducky looked better in real life than in photos. (remember how Vicky (Kaiserin Friedrich) praised her looks as oppose to the more photogenic Alix and Ella). I think she was quite tragic by nature (like the Bontes). As a sensative woman, she was pushed into a marriage she did not desire (like Missy). unfortunately Ducky refused to accept and lower her expectattions and instread chose to fight ("the fighting grand duchess"). If that kind of attitude made her being disliked, so be it. As a person, she was not bad at all. I guess Ducky was always artistic and felt misunderstood and under appreciated. The only ones who made provisions for her were Marie Coburg and Missy.  ::)

finally!!! a post i can totally agree with ...this is exactly what i feel :) :)
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 01, 2006, 02:40:37 AM
Glad you agree... ;)
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: TampaBay on August 01, 2006, 09:20:55 PM
I think the key to understanding Ducky (which I do not) is understanding her mother.  A good indepth Pakula/Massie type bio needs to be written on GD Marie.  Her letters need to be published.  I think then much insight into Duckt will be gained.

TampaBay

I will say it one more time:

I think the key to understanding Ducky (which I do not) is understanding her mother.  A good indepth Pakula/Massie type bio needs to be written on GD Marie.  Her letters need to be published.  I think then much insight into Ducky mayl be gained.

IMO Ducky was her mother's daughter!!!!

TampaBay

Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 01, 2006, 09:24:35 PM
Indeed ! If any publisher wants to published them they shall be done. Those of us who were luvky enough to know what is in the letters would definitely agree.  ;)
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Ilana on August 02, 2006, 12:05:16 PM
I have been privileged to hear readings of Marie Coburg's letters to Missy ... and they give a completely different impression of Marie than most of us have gotten.  She is a woman with a sense of humor, the ridiculous and lots more compassion than you might think....

I really enjoyed them and the context the reader, a lovely gentleman named John Wimbles, put them in.... and hope that someday they will be published.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: grandduchessella on August 02, 2006, 04:25:49 PM
It was said once on the Forum that Mr Wimbles was working on a bio of GD Marie but I guess that's not happening now? What a shame. Some of the letters quoted in different articles, such as those on Baby Bee, really do show a different side of Marie. Also, I have an article on Jenny Churchill which quotes some from Marie and her tone is warm and friendly, when we picture her being so brusque. I think her letters much just be a treasure. One can only hope that someone, if not Mr Wimbles, might take it on. Perhaps our own Ilana now that her VMH book is just about done?  ;)
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 02, 2006, 08:56:18 PM
I think it will take quite a while for that to happen. Mr. Wimbles has taken over 10 years of his life to work those letters in Romania and researched it (both photos and info). it would not be easy for Ilana to just go and do it. Missy was Mr. Wimbles's favourite as VMH was to Ilana. I think she should have a much derserved rest after such hard work and personal issues. I shall be looking forward to her book...with anticipated pleasure !  ;)
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Ilana on August 04, 2006, 12:52:27 PM
Thanks, Courtney, but as Eric rightly says, this is John's baby and it would be wonderful to see them!
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: grandduchessella on August 04, 2006, 03:42:26 PM
I didn't mean to take anything away from Mr Wimbles--I thought it had been posted once that he had abandoned the book.  :-\ I have read some of his articles and really enjoy them so I would eagerly await any possible book he would do.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 04, 2006, 09:19:07 PM
Well...He is still looking for a publisher and far from abandoning ship at this point (in fact he still goes periodically to Romania for info...).
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Ena on August 13, 2006, 07:09:23 PM
I agree TB! a biography on Marie Coburg would be fascinating, love to learn more about her final years. And I love Vickys comment on how she "loved being No.1"!!! ;D
I so agree with you - and with you TB!  I've said this before, but I am totally fascinated with Marie Coburg.  I read what Wimbles wrote in The Grand Duchesses, but it left me wanting so much more. 

A lot of people don't like her, and I can see why, but I have a lot of understanding and empathy for her situation; warts and all.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 13, 2006, 09:55:58 PM
Indeed ! The more you read about Marie Coburg, the more you want to know more... ;)
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: TampaBay on August 14, 2006, 08:13:35 PM
It is time to take up a collection of $$$ so GD Ella can research and write a book.  I will donate my services for free!

TampaBay
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 14, 2006, 08:23:20 PM
Interesting thought. I think we are all researchers for books...maybe we can pool a research fund ???  ???
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: grandduchessella on August 14, 2006, 10:14:18 PM
Many thanks for the kind thoughts as always, TB.  :-*
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 14, 2006, 10:25:26 PM
Wonder what the book is about ??? ???
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: TampaBay on August 15, 2006, 05:53:15 AM
Wonder what the book is about ??? ???

GD Marie of Coburg of course; what else would it be about????   Maybe Michen?

TampaBay
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: grandduchessella on August 15, 2006, 11:31:26 AM
I'm not writing one--TB is just always nice enough to suggest I'm actually smart enough to do so.  :)
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Ilana on August 15, 2006, 12:35:14 PM
Yo, Courtney, take it from me, it's not smarts, but guts.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: TampaBay on August 15, 2006, 08:41:48 PM
Yo, Courtney, take it from me, it's not smarts, but guts.

Smarts...Guts....GD Ella has more than enough for all concerned!  I cannot wait until the children get into middle school....then the book....A Tale of Two Sisters in Law... The Story of Michen and Marie!!! ... The Russain who goes to Germany and German who comes to Russia!!!

Even Massie and Pakula together could not dream up a better concept for a book!!!  ;D ;D ;D

TampaBay
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: grandduchessella on August 15, 2006, 09:31:16 PM
Well, the jury may be out on smarts and guts.  ;) However, I really like the book idea, TB!  :)
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 15, 2006, 10:48:07 PM
Before you get too happy about the idea. It would cost a lot of time and effort (not to mention travelling costs) to get things started. Also the many hours spent looking at tons of papers at archievs. Ilana and I had been there. So guts is very important.  :P
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: grandduchessella on August 15, 2006, 11:07:57 PM
I have no intention of writing it--so therefore am not getting happy over it. As long as I have young children and a husband frequently away from home, I am housebound. I was merely saying that it would make a great book--hopefully someone will write such a book someday. We have several talented writers around--maybe it will happen someday.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 15, 2006, 11:12:05 PM
No I am just saying that some people getting too excited about writing of a book...It is also hard work ( I am doing the research now...). Just a retro on the whole idea.  :P
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: grandduchessella on August 15, 2006, 11:25:22 PM
Ah, I see. Still, hopefully a book on one or both of the women will be written sometime. There seems to be a little bit more interest in non-NAOTMAA royals lately and these 2 would be fertile territory since no individual biographies exist of either and their personalities and lives certainly contain enough to sustain one.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 16, 2006, 03:40:51 AM
Well there is Ilana's VMH + other sisters book, a Konstantovich Family book and and Ella book coming out soon. Open your wallets or purses guys & gals ... ;)
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: grandduchessella on August 16, 2006, 09:41:14 AM
I already have--I have the Constantinovichi book. Ilana's I've been looking forward to ever since word surfaced on the Forum many moons ago. The Warwick book will be a buy as well.  :)
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 16, 2006, 07:16:49 PM
Coming out very soon this fall...I will be there with my credit card... ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on August 29, 2006, 12:47:24 PM
Ducky is hard to understand, but she was tragic by nature if not in the sense she didn't survive the revolution. She was beautiful, in off beat way, and perhaps by the standards of another age than ours, and perhaps more in real life too. I think she was sensitive and didn't try to be something that she wasn't, she suffered more because of her sensitvity. She knew she wasn't the right wife for Ernest, nor the right figure to be Grand Duchess of Hesse. She mighr not have fulfilled her role well, but if she knew it wasn't right for her and got out of it. You have to applaud that. Despite being royalty, she was not the type to tolerate an arranged marriage, perhaps because she was sensitive, so she fought her way out of it. That's a bit like Princess Diana in a way.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 29, 2006, 07:19:56 PM
She was in a stronger positionr than Diana. Ducky was born royal and had good royal connections and in the end got accepted into Russia eventually. Diana was only a "populist Princess" (Like Caroline of Brunswick).
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 29, 2006, 08:02:08 PM
Much like Grace Kelley ?
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 30, 2006, 02:31:33 AM
Yes Diana and Grace were like outsiders. That's why they got along so well.

Ducky was more of a fighter. She knew Ernie since childhood and liked him...but that did not make him husband material for her. When things got wrong, Marie Coburg stood firmly at her corner (everntually got a priest to marry her to Kyrill).  ;)
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on August 30, 2006, 08:41:37 AM
Yes, I don't think Ducky and Diana had that much in common as personalities. I was only remarking that the way they got out of their marriages was perhaps a bit similar, if that. Both sought of fought their way out of their marriages as it were, royal marriages that didn't suit them, and had been largely arranged. Apart from that, they had little in common.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 30, 2006, 09:01:54 AM
Ducky already had marriage in mind when she got togather with Kyrill, while Diana played around. A bit like Luise of Tuscany...Her main saving grace was her charity work. It saved her from being another Jackie O.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on August 30, 2006, 01:05:33 PM
Yes, that is a difference about the marriages of Ducky and Diana. Princess Diana was not another Jackie O because she wanted to reach out to people and not just concern herself with the jetset life that she could have, you are right.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 30, 2006, 01:20:22 PM
Jackie was a mature, cultured woman who's identify was carved in marble by the assasination of her husband.  She could do nothing to change that. Essentially, she was very private and certainly not a "jet-setter". Her "causes" were more cultural and unheralded [museums, theatre, litterature] I think she was in a class of her own. No comparison to Diana, Grace, Wallis and partcularly VM  who all sought "recognition" of some sort.
 Whereas VM married first for duty and second for "love" Jackie's  marriages were the opposite. First for "love" and second for "duty", i.e. security for herself and her children.
Even her death was a classy affair, conducted in private [despite heavy media coverage] and with great dignity.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on August 30, 2006, 05:31:01 PM
I admit I don't know that much about Jackie. I just think Victoria Melita was interesting, a strong brave woman who stood up for what she wanted, and didn't care what it took to get out of situitations that weren't right for her, like her first marriage. And as for Princess Diana, she was someone who used her own suffering in her life and especially marriage and transformed that into empathy for others through her charity work. Now we should get back to Victoria Melita.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 30, 2006, 08:39:59 PM
I think Jackie married for security and love of luxury. Her shopping sprees in New York was legendary. She did join the "jet set" ( the set with Biana Jagger, Liz taylor , Andy Wahol, Lisa Menellii) in New York and the "horsey set" in New England. However one must remember Jackie was born poor (the money came from her mother's second marriage), and marrying rich is her only ticket up. Read more books on the life of Jack it will help to understand her complex personality well. Although one must admire her keeping the secrets...and reponsible for creating the myth of Camelot.

Back to Ducky. She was born rich (her mother's aponage included an income for her, so she wasn't strapping for cash like Jackie or Diana) and had an indepedent thought (unlike women at that time. She entered a marriage in good faith (though with some misgivings) but found out that they were very different. It would have been unthinkable for her to live a lie and she bravely faced hostility in divorce (where Ernie got most of the sympathy) and remarriage (condemation from relatives and exile). She could bear anything but a lie, and when she found out that Kyrilled had strayed...it finished her off (can't face their life togather was based on a lie).
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: TampaBay on August 31, 2006, 05:21:02 AM

She could bear anything but a lie, and when she found out that Kyrilled had strayed...it finished her off (can't face their life togather was based on a lie).

Are we sure that is what happened?

TampaBay
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 31, 2006, 10:25:56 AM
According from sources Ducky heard something like that...after the incident, Missy wrote "she began to die by inches...She was the most unforgiving of all.". According to Missy's daughter Ileana, Baby Bee was the most logical and less sentimental. It must be pretty intense for a brave lady like Ducky to lose the will to live...
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on August 31, 2006, 10:46:40 AM
I don't think that Ducky would be affected by something that was trivial in her second marriage so strongly, although she did take things seriously, of course. To her, straying, which other royal women accepted as part of arranged, royal marriages, was to her inacceptable. She would have taken this as seriously as we know she took this issue although we don't know what it was about. Kyril wasn't doing anything that would have bothered most royal wives, and it makes sense that that is what he must have done, based on all we know and Ducky's reaction to it.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 31, 2006, 10:51:45 AM
Although I do not have a great deal of sympathy for any of the Romanovs, I can understand why she was so upset about such a thing. Consider what she put herself through to marry the guy. Then staying with him through the revolution and exile. I would be regally annoyed as well.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on August 31, 2006, 11:52:21 AM
Yes, one can understand how she felt. She was a passionate person, amd had strong feelings about things, and had gone through much to be with Kyril, and one can't blame her.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 31, 2006, 08:43:37 PM
Indeed ! That why I like her. She loves strongly and hate wiuth as much force (in sentiment she was quite similar to Alicky). It is a case of 2 person (Ducky & Alicky) both with strong likes and dislikes that couldn't stand each other. However having said that, they did got along fine when she was Ernie's wife. It was Ducky's divorce and remarriage that drove them appart. I think it is due to taking sides in a dispute.  :(
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: ilyala on September 02, 2006, 12:56:39 AM
i'm sorry but i can see many differences between alix and ducky. and i certainly prefer ducky out of the two of them. you never hear of ducky interfearing in Hesse's business with ernie, she did her duty as kyrill's wife without pushing him, just supporting him. she was a serious person, yes, but not depressed as alix. she suffered just as much but stood up and faced it all instead of endlessly lamenting about how her life sucks.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Robert_Hall on September 02, 2006, 01:33:24 AM
Yes, Alexandra was a neurotic mess compared to VM, who was self confident, determined and  rather successful in her endeavours.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 02, 2006, 10:29:07 AM
Yet Ducky also had her frustrations and took to long rides on horseback. Her reputation as a susscessful woman was scoffed at in Berlin, where she was viewed as trouble.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: ilyala on September 03, 2006, 12:25:02 AM
i'm not talking about how she was viewed. i'm talking about how she was, or how i think she was since i've never met her personally. but the facts speak for themselves: she had a louzy marriage and she dealed with it and she faced all the stones thrown at her when she divorced. yes, it was ugly, but she did the right thing and she had the guts to do it. it took a long time for her marriage to kyrill to be recognized by she stood by it and maintained her decision because she knew that was the right thing for her (and even taking in consideration her last dissappointment i still think the long years of happy marriage were worth it). the revolution came, she was stripped penniless but she stood by her husband and children and they overcame all that and, yes, i believe that ducky's strength of character had an important role in how the family came out of the whole thing. her husband decided to play tsar - i'm sure she must have realized how useless it was since there was no chance of any tsar ever again in russia - she stood by him and she was a great support to him, rather than continuously nagging him and everyone around her 'oh dear, my daughter died in 1903, remember?  oh dear, i had to face a divorce and years of misery, why can't anyone sympthize with me?' etc. etc. insert sobs
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: TampaBay on September 03, 2006, 07:51:43 AM
Yet Ducky also had her frustrations and took to long rides on horseback. Her reputation as a susscessful woman was scoffed at in Berlin, where she was viewed as trouble.

Funny you should say this because both Vicky and Willy thought very highly of Ducky.

TampaBay
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 03, 2006, 10:04:32 AM
Yes...Ducky was all that but what did that led her, When it was reveiled to her that Kyrill had someone on the side, she instantly crumbled. Her strength was the love she had for KyrilL (Missy once said that her sister was attracted to lost causes). When that ended she couldn't forgive him (for treating her thus) and herself (for standing by him). Ducky struggled a few more years for the love of her children...It was tragic !  :'( I need a good cry too...That cad Kyrill...However had Ducky turn othe other cheek, her life may have ended less tragic. She was indeed "the most unforgiving of us all".

As for her repuation, When Sandra had her affair during the war, Marie Coburg was afraid that it might get to Berlin ( she said ALL her daughters reputation was hardly spotless and being dragged through the mud). When Missy protests, her mother said she knew of ALL her affairs and where they happen.Thanks to Charley "The Brat", Missy was notorious...
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eddie_uk on September 03, 2006, 12:39:22 PM
Its interesting, of all Queen Victorias grandchildren Ducky is the only one I know of who criticised her grandmother in later life. I know she blamed her for her first marriage but I always felt that was a bit much!!
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: TampaBay on September 03, 2006, 12:45:26 PM
When Missy protests, her mother said she knew of ALL her affairs and where they happen.Thanks to Charley "The Brat", Missy was notorious...

Missy would have been notorious even if Charley never existed.

TampaBay

P.S. Which is why Missy is my favorite Royal of all time!!!
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eddie_uk on September 03, 2006, 01:01:02 PM
Yes Charly was a very devious wasn't she!! I think she was jealous of Missy!! She obviously was not a happy person.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: TampaBay on September 03, 2006, 01:23:07 PM
Ducky "worked" her life away to create a perfect world on her terms she could live in.

Missy "worked" her life away creating a perfect life on her terms she could live with.

I think my above statment says much about the difference between the two sisters' outlook and the way they approached their obstacles.

TampaBay
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 03, 2006, 09:10:57 PM
Ducky didn't critize her grandmother for pushing her into the marriage with Ernie. She went in with the best of intentions. They were competable as friends, chums and even holding a party togather (their parties in Darmstadt were known to be fun and innovative). However unlike Ernie, Ducky also had a serious side that was passionate and needed to be respond in kind. Happy-go-lucky Ernie just did not have the depth for his wife's idealistic longings for a grand passion. Certainly Ernie was artistic, but he was more appreciate of the forms than an originator of the substance. So Ducky kept hoping for something from Ernie that he wasn't able to respond. It created a kind of frustration that took a toll in their marriage.  :(
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: ilyala on September 04, 2006, 01:17:38 AM
Yes...Ducky was all that but what did that led her, When it was reveiled to her that Kyrill had someone on the side, she instantly crumbled. Her strength was the love she had for KyrilL (Missy once said that her sister was attracted to lost causes). When that ended she couldn't forgive him (for treating her thus) and herself (for standing by him). Ducky struggled a few more years for the love of her children...It was tragic !  :'( I need a good cry too...That cad Kyrill...However had Ducky turn othe other cheek, her life may have ended less tragic. She was indeed "the most unforgiving of us all".

well, i am of the (maybe unusual) opinion that in the end it was all worth it. it ended badly but she had 20some years of happy marriage. ok, so it ended badly but had she not married kyrill (and even stayed with ernie) she would have had 20 some years of misery. because she was not one to actually accept and feel good in a bad situation. so, 20 years of misery against 20 years of happiness and a  few months of misery... sorry, i still think she made the right choice.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 04, 2006, 02:50:38 AM
Well..YOU are not Ducky...Anyway if she was that tolerant, she could have lived a quiet life with Ernie. No she most certainly regretted it, as she went through so much and end up with that. It broke her fragile heart. Ducky was the kind of person who could not live with the least imperfection and injustice (Read Missy's memoirs again, it described Ducky so perfectly...even when she was a child). :(
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: ilyala on September 05, 2006, 01:30:37 AM
i know. but loving is losing is better than not loving at all. personal opinion.

it's like, you have the chance to travel a lot or you can stay hidden in your house all your life. yes, if you travel and you have a car crash and you die you might say 'yeah it would have been better had i been in the house now' but had you been in the house you would have just stayed there and waited to die (at a much later age, obviously). if you think it's best to do nothing but live longer, it's your personal opinion, but i think that if you've done nothign you haven't lived at all.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 05, 2006, 02:35:42 AM
Well...It really depends. Ducky is the kind of person who questions everything. In her mind, when she found out about the affair. It could trigger the thoughts like was it true love with Kyrill, if so it shouldn't have ended up like this right ? If it is not, why am I holding on to it ? It bring back the times where they loved and worked togather. That unfortunate episode made the perfect life they had togather into a mockery. It may have been failure all along just she didn't found out before...Poor Ducky may have been tortured by such thoughts. It made her lost interest in her life and their quest as Emperor & Empress of Russia in exile. It suddenlt dawned on her that nothing is real... :'(
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: TampaBay on September 05, 2006, 05:25:27 AM
There were rumors that Kyril's affair was not with a woman.

TampaBay
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 05, 2006, 10:35:17 AM
I think that certainly would have finished Ducky off. To be married to two queens... >:(
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on September 05, 2006, 10:51:38 AM
Ducky was someone to admire in my view. She never occupied a position as exalted as Tsarina of Russia, but if she had it might have caused her difficulties. She was said not to relate people well in Hesse- Darmstadst, when she was the wife of Ernest. This might have been a product of her unhappy marriage at the time, or it could have been her personality. Alexandra did not relate well to people in Russia, because of her personality and this caused her reputation to suffer. Bith women were also very rigid and stubborn; what they wanted they got. And this caused Alexandra difficulties in Russia especially in politics. Ducky I think was more stable; I don't think there would have been any Rasputin. But I am not sure Ducky would have made a good consort. Like Alexandra, she might have been better in private life, supporting her husband as she did in exile shows that. Alexandra I don't think could have been as much a support for Nicholas. Ducky had strength and conviction, but sometimes these things are hard to understand.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 05, 2006, 09:58:51 PM
I think Ducky was more open about herself and although that lay herself open for criticsm, it also bought her quite a few admirers. Alicky was the same although less transparent in her dealings. Once her mother-in-law said "I do wish Alicky would open up to me, she talked about anything under the sun but herself." It was noted that Alicky did not ont like Dagmar's domineering ways, but she would kept the resentment in her heart and did not open to resolve the problem. Ducky was different. Once Ducky heard that Dimitri harboured ambitions to take the throne (the other contender was Kyrill), she approached him and told him that she will kill him if he does. Direct, honest and to the point was Ducky's way. While Alicky was not... ;)
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on September 06, 2006, 08:27:25 AM
I do think Ducky was more out in the open and more direct, true. She faced issues in the daylight, and didn't care if she affronted people in the process. She wasn't shy, and one of the things I admire about her is that she took things head on, never carrying what it took. She was perhaps also more aware of the consequences of things or wanted to be more aware. Alexandra was shy, and didn't know how to face things head on. Alexandra though might actually have had more charm in the traditional princess sense than Ducky. Ducky was so direct, amd so honest. Alexandra fit more with the traditional idea of royal wife in that era.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 06, 2006, 11:36:40 AM
The problem with Alicky was that she was ambitious and thought highly of her own abilities (Vicky saw through her in her letters to Sophie and predicted diaster when she became Empress...all came true alas !). Ducky was loyal to her man and helped her any way she can. However she was not ambitious herself (unlike her mother-in-law Michen who really was) and happy to play a supporting role.  ;)
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on September 06, 2006, 03:31:13 PM
yes, all true! Alexandra did think highly of herself, and may not have always been realistic. I think Alexandra is easier to understand though. Ducky was so uncoventional, I think that's why sometimes people don't like her.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 06, 2006, 09:01:31 PM
I tend to disagree. Ducky was the easier of the two to understand. She told you if she doesn't like you in your face. Too honest for her own good really. Alicky was more evasive and tried to mask her dislike with civilities (both Missy and Dagmar were recipiants of such tactics), which never really succeeded.  :(
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on September 10, 2006, 06:22:31 PM
Yes, Ducky was easier to understand.I think Alexandra might have seemed easier to understand on the surface though.But both women were sometimes misunderstood by their contemporaries, and by history after that. But Ducky was very direct, very honest although not uncomplicated.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Robert_Hall on September 10, 2006, 08:29:55 PM
We are understanding that both women had personal agendas ? Alix was a paranoid control freak by today's  street physch. standards, whereas VM was just a proud woman holding her own.
 I honestly do not think that VM went into her 2nd marriage to depose Alix at all, it just happened that they crossed roads. As history happens, without their control, VM had to pick up the pieces of Alixs' disaster.
AND, try to salvage a bit of Romanov dignity.
Too sad she found  that her spouse  let her down for whatever reason.  Here she shows herself as uncompromising as Alix, does she not?
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: ilyala on September 11, 2006, 01:29:53 AM
We are understanding that both women had personal agendas ? Alix was a paranoid control freak by today's  street physch. standards, whereas VM was just a proud woman holding her own.
 I honestly do not think that VM went into her 2nd marriage to depose Alix at all, it just happened that they crossed roads. As history happens, without their control, VM had to pick up the pieces of Alixs' disaster.
AND, try to salvage a bit of Romanov dignity.
Too sad she found  that her spouse  let her down for whatever reason.  Here she shows herself as uncompromising as Alix, does she not?


i don't know what your view is on cheating but when you create a huge scandal by a divorce to marry the one you love, you sacrifice whatever public image you have for a marriage that you know will be hard to recognize (they were first cousins, they were forbidden to marry), then you spend your life being your husband's moral support, it's kind of hard to realize that he didn't feel the same for you. that he doesn't think you're his world the way you think he is yours. i personally would never forgive a cheating partner and i can understand why she couldn't.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 11, 2006, 02:29:44 AM
To Ducky it was the utimate betrayal. For such a proud woman to admit defeat, this is substantial.  :'(
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Robert_Hall on September 11, 2006, 05:14:26 AM
Cheating ? For heaven's sakes, these are Romanovs !  Simply cheating was not the problem here I suspect.  People make mistakes, are forgiven and life moves on. Betrayal must have been a more serious insult than  some toss in the whatever.  After all, VM was pretty sophisticated herself, and as has been mentioned, subject of scandal herself. I suppose we will never know just what it was that alienated her affections, but it had to be more than mere infidelity. After all, they remained married until their respective deaths. And, as far as I know, their children remained devoted to both of them.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on September 11, 2006, 08:23:02 AM
I think in many ways Victoria Melita and Empress Alexandra were different women; both seem to inspire extremes of reaction, that's one thing they have in common. I think Ducky did show herself to be like Alexandra in her reaction to Kyril's betrayl, which we are not sure exactly what that was. But it is understandable in view of what she went through for him, and to be his wife. She was the kind of person who might take infidelity harder than the average royal wife of her era. Most women of the Imperial Family or Royalty would have not said anything, or done anything. Ducky proved herself uncoventional in getting out of her first marriage for the reasons she did, and then marrying again- perhaps that is true here as well.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 11, 2006, 09:52:16 PM
It is worth noting Missy's portrait of her sister in her memoirs. Ducky was a complex character, one does rebels against injustice but also prone to lose causes. However that also couples with a high standard of love and fidelity. The marriage with Ernie failed not because of the-boys on the side thing, but mostly because Ernie cannot return the burning love and the desire to share souls aspect in a marriage. In this aspect, she was in unsion with Alicky (Who wrote to her husband "I love you...those words have my life in them" kind of mentality). Ernie's happy-go-lucky mentality was not competable to Ducky's grande Passion. She gave up after her marriage near the end of the century. With Kyrill she did have high hopes. The co-partnership and commadrary appealed to the idealistic Ducky. They shared their ups and downs in life togather. Suddenly to have discovered that she was not enough woman for him (or man depending on which version you hear) must have been desvesating to someone who is strong, but also sensative like Ducky. To her there is no question of forgive or forget. All or nothing... :(
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: ilyala on September 12, 2006, 01:34:36 AM
Cheating ? For heaven's sakes, these are Romanovs !  Simply cheating was not the problem here I suspect.  People make mistakes, are forgiven and life moves on. Betrayal must have been a more serious insult than  some toss in the whatever.  After all, VM was pretty sophisticated herself, and as has been mentioned, subject of scandal herself. I suppose we will never know just what it was that alienated her affections, but it had to be more than mere infidelity. After all, they remained married until their respective deaths. And, as far as I know, their children remained devoted to both of them.

victoria was a source of scandal but every scandal she caused, she did due to her love for kyril. by cheating on her he pretty much let her know she did it all for someone who was not worth it. and while what she did was scandalous for her times, i for one do not blame her one bit and don't think would have done anything different. cause i don't think there's anything wrong with divorce and it's better than settling in a marriage of convenience and having dozens of lovers, the way royals did for centuries.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 12, 2006, 02:36:30 AM
Yes Ducky did loved and adored him (Kyrill)...But she was very led down by him as well.  :'(
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on September 12, 2006, 10:30:09 AM
You are correct Eric_ Lowe when you say that the grand passion of Ducky's that was so evident in her marriage and courtship with Grand Duke Kyril, was what she wanted in her first marriage. And that more than some of the other reasons cited ( Ernest's infidility, and that it was an arranged marriage, they were different personalities, she was in love with Kyril, and that she wasn't happy in Hesse), is perhaps the true intellectual reason, if not the practical one that she got out of her first marriage. I coudn't have said it better. Ducky was not only the fighting Grand Duchess, but she was also very passionate.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 12, 2006, 11:02:23 AM
Indeed ! That was the reason why she took Kyrill's betrayal so badly...She thought her relationship with her husband was perfect. It was cruel for her to find out... :(
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on September 12, 2006, 11:12:01 AM
She did everything right in her estimation, and then it went wrong- a fatal passion indeed.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 12, 2006, 11:18:49 AM
Yes...love and loyalty cannot be gained but given voluntarily.  :(
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on September 12, 2006, 11:24:04 AM
Yes, and I think she thought they could be gained, or perhaps worked for, and in that way gained.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 12, 2006, 11:25:22 AM
Kyrill abused her trust...Ducky just cannot take it.  :(
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on September 12, 2006, 11:27:32 AM
That broke her, realizing she had tried so hard, worked to gain what she had, and that never made any difference. It was gone anyway, very gone. We will never know what he did, but we know her reaction.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 12, 2006, 11:29:02 AM
It must have been pretty bad... >:(
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on September 12, 2006, 11:31:54 AM
Yes, although more conventional royal wives might have dealt with it differently.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 12, 2006, 11:33:15 AM
That was why her mother fret about Ducky more than her other daughters.  :(
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on September 12, 2006, 11:35:12 AM
Yes- Ducky was not like other royal women of that era.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 12, 2006, 11:37:00 AM
She was one of a kind...
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on September 12, 2006, 12:35:53 PM
She was! And that's what makes her so interesting to debate, and to learn about things from her life.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 12, 2006, 09:03:56 PM
I think her life is pretty much an open book...Whereas Kyrill's is not... >:(
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on September 13, 2006, 08:19:06 AM
It is harder to know about him. We do have to remember that Ducky found happiness with him for a while, and did much to be with him, that caused her trouble. She thought he was worth it, then at least.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 13, 2006, 09:32:08 PM
Ducky thought that they were soulmates and life partners. Is was until later she found out that he had kept some secrets from her and thus the partnership had dissolved. She cannot live with this failure.  :(
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on September 14, 2006, 10:39:16 AM
Exactly- and perhaps she felt that it reflected on her that she had done so much for him, and he betrayed her. She estimated him one way, but he was another.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 14, 2006, 09:33:05 PM
Hard to say...Times change and people change too. Missy was more philosophical about these things but Ducky remain insistant on these virtures and did not want to lower them... :(
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on September 18, 2006, 12:18:59 PM
Right; sometimes it is best to look from a distance, and be philosophical, rather than confront people or problems in conflict. Life isn't as black and white as Ducky saw it; it has more infinte shades of grey. Her tragedy was, she never distanced herself, and look philosophically at things.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 19, 2006, 01:44:23 AM
True...But Ducky was set in her ways and cannot change. Steadfastness could be a virture but also a heavy load.  :(
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on September 20, 2006, 08:39:40 AM
It was, and it is. I think we all should take the time to try to get around the things in life that trap us, without taking them so seriously that it causes us pain. Ducky didn't understand that, or maybe coudn't change herself.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 20, 2006, 11:11:08 PM
That was her tragedy...If only she was more like Missy.  :P
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on September 21, 2006, 10:21:54 AM
Yes.. but I like Ducky as Ducky, even if that caused her pain.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 21, 2006, 11:36:32 AM
She was not easy on herself...I admired her but do not want to be like her (so unforgiving and hard).  :(
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on September 21, 2006, 12:15:31 PM
Me as well; we can't be unforgiving and hard, because that gets to be impossible on ourselves, and others as well.That is well illustrated by Ducky's life.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 21, 2006, 09:01:52 PM
I often wondered if Ducky gave Ernie any thoughts years after they divorce ?
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on September 22, 2006, 09:10:35 AM
I don't know, I think she largely left him behind her as a part of the past she didn't wish to remember. That's just my view.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 22, 2006, 12:33:16 PM
Yes...A mistake.  >:(
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on September 25, 2006, 08:37:39 AM
Well, both of them were interesting people. Perhaps there are even similarities you could estabilish between them in personality, or temprament. But they were never meant to be married, as it was thought at the time. They both were bound to get on each other's nerves.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 25, 2006, 10:54:48 AM
With hindsight yes...However both of them did make a go at marriage in the begining and was well suited. Yet the easy-going nature of Ernie and the serious and passionate depth of Ducky clashed almost immediately. Ducky had wanted to mold Ernie into her hero, but he wanted to play the clown instead... :(
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on September 25, 2006, 11:35:31 AM
Indeed. At the time, some saw their unconventional/ artistic natures as perhaps meaning their marriage woud be successful; as it turned out, it was not so.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 25, 2006, 08:34:12 PM
Ernie was just not the material that the passionate Ducky can place her dreams on. She admit this in a letter to Missy "I am partly to blame (for the failure of the marriage) as I kept hoping for somethin (in Ernie) that wasn't there." :(
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on September 26, 2006, 10:39:30 AM
So it was not just the wishes of the family, and especially their mutual grandmother, Queen Victoria, that started the marriage? That's the most common reason given for their marriage. Ducky was rather young then, and naive, so I can see this. She wasn't sure what she wanted then, although later she became sure, actually very sure.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 26, 2006, 10:55:20 AM
QV and the others only saw the exterior competability of the couple but not their inner natures. Ducky knew that something was wrong, but cannot tell as she wasn't sure what it was.  ???
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on September 26, 2006, 11:29:50 AM
I agree, the people making the match didn't look deeper. Perhaps Ducky's essential nature was hard to see when she was that young. And most royal matches were made on exteriors, that was nothing new, but merely the way it was done. I am not sure what Ducky knew, or didn't know then, it is a mystery.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 26, 2006, 07:01:56 PM
True, when she saw how miserable Ducky and Ernie were, QV decided to give up match-making altogather.  >:(
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on September 27, 2006, 08:53:20 AM
Well, that might have been a good idea, although Queen Victoria certainly meant well. ;)
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 27, 2006, 10:44:07 AM
Yes...But she thought she knew best...but she didn't... :(
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on September 27, 2006, 11:56:14 AM
Queen Victoria did know about many things; she was a great ruler, yet this marriage was no match made in heaven. Some of the matches she made were though, were they not? So she had something of a knack. ;)
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Robert_Hall on September 27, 2006, 12:10:00 PM
I do not know that Victoria was so much a "great ruler"  but perhaps rather a "great survivor". Remember, she did not actually "rule", her governments did. And for long periods, she isolateed herself from  even them. I think that may be where her own poor judgement in matchmaking comes in. She wanted things to work to her satisfaction, not caring about the feelings or desires of those she controled.
Her well-known dislike of VM comes, imo, from jealousy. i.e. VM brought brightness and colour to the black and white court at Windsor. Victoria HATED to be upstaged!
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 27, 2006, 10:47:52 PM
You mean QV hated her own granddaughter ???
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on September 28, 2006, 10:59:08 AM
No, I don't think he meant that.I think their relationship when she was younger was good, with Victoria Melita. I think as she got to be older, Victoria Melita was harder to understand, and put off people. She didn't care or didn't realize it. As for Queen Victoria, she always tried to understand her grand children, even though at times it was hard. Every matchmaker usually makes a mistake, and the marriage of Victoria Melita and Ernest was defintely Queen Victoria's. But Marie Louise of Schleswig-Holstein's marriage to Aribert of Anhalt was more of a disaster, and I don't think Queen Victoria arranged that one.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 28, 2006, 12:11:38 PM
Kaiser Bill fixed Mary Loo wit Aribet...

Ducky was full of appreciation of the life at Windsor and Grandmama a year before her death and their divorce... ;)
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on October 02, 2006, 12:28:55 PM
Interesting.. Victoria Melita I think had a fairly good relationship with her grandmother. She was named after her was she not, although I am not sure her name suited her. Perhaps that is why she was known as Ducky-a family nickname.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 02, 2006, 09:56:29 PM
Ducky was born in Malta (hense the Melita), and this plus her Russian inheritance may play a part in her character.  :-[
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on October 03, 2006, 11:22:31 AM
Yes, it may well have. I have always thought she had a temprament more akin to those of her Romanov relatives than those of her English ones.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 03, 2006, 10:15:17 PM
So does Missy...It gave them as excuse to be unconventional.  ;)
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on October 04, 2006, 08:41:11 AM
It did give them an excuse to be uncoventional, although were not they that way nevertheless? I think they just plain were uncoventional. Of course, it is true that many of the Imperial Family were uncoventional, and it was considered normal.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 04, 2006, 11:49:58 AM
They were not and the sisters were way ahead of their time.  ;)
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on October 04, 2006, 05:02:48 PM
Both of them were ahead of their time and seem very modern--what they would have done in later times. ;)
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 04, 2006, 08:47:56 PM
Yes, especially Missy...She would have been a CEO today.  :P
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on October 05, 2006, 10:57:41 AM
I think so. Indeed, Marie of Roumania filled the role she was born and married into well. But she would have filled many roles well, as she had that ability to grab people- basically, she had charisma. That has got to be essential in any important position and she had it. She also had the abiliity to make people relate, or in another era, she would have used her ability to relate to people.  Ducky was perhaps more worth while to know, but Marie of Roumania was much easier to know. ;)
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 05, 2006, 10:07:14 PM
Missy loved society and generally had good PR with many people (except cousin Willy, Onkel Karol & Auntie Liz). Ducky was more artistic and most likely become an artist (perhaps like her Aunt Louise of Argyll).  ;)
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on October 06, 2006, 09:09:40 AM
Yes, they had very different personalities. Both could have contributed in various ways to the world, in another era, or as they did so obviously well, in their own. Missy was simply more most people's type of person, while Ducky was not, and on the surface might have seemed much more difficult than she actually was. But of course, she was difficult.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 06, 2006, 10:24:29 PM
True they were differnt, but Missy & Ducky were very close and understood each other prefectly.  ;)
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on October 09, 2006, 08:50:25 AM
They did understamd each other perfectly..I guess it is either shared blood and background or opposites attract. ;)
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 09, 2006, 09:32:54 PM
Indeed...They complement each other. The letters they wrote each other were very intimate...
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on October 10, 2006, 11:41:03 AM
It is always nice to see that among siblings. :)
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 11, 2006, 03:51:58 AM
Unlike Baby Bee & Sandra...???
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on October 11, 2006, 08:47:46 AM
Yes, I know. Well intentioned people sometimes don't get along with their siblings, but Sandra was just difficult anyway.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 12, 2006, 04:15:01 AM
Sandra was greedy and Bee was independent and "wilful" (according to Marie Coburg).
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on October 12, 2006, 10:59:53 AM
Well, between the two, I like Baby Bee better. I have never read much about her life, but I think she was a bit better than Sandra,etc.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 13, 2006, 02:56:22 AM
Yes I like Baby Bee too...She actually looked more like Ducky as shre grew older.  :o
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on October 13, 2006, 09:09:50 AM
I think so as well. She was rather round cheeked in youth,etc, but she did come to look quite stunning later. I am glad you pointed out that later in life Baby Bee and Sandra looked alike.That is true!!
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 15, 2006, 09:08:12 PM
No...Baby looked like Ducky when she became old. The roundness became more angular. Sandra reamined puffy till old age.  :(
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on October 16, 2006, 12:09:52 PM
I have never seen that many photos of an older Baby Bee. But I can see some resemblance, even if it is not strong in early photos as well. But it may not have blossomed until she got older, in full flower.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 16, 2006, 08:23:18 PM
There is one in my latest book "imperial Images" and others in Ricardo Mateos's books (In Spanish) on the Orleans family.  ::)
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on October 17, 2006, 08:07:35 AM
I have never heard of Imperial Images-could you tell me more about that book? Victoria Melita and her sister may have looked alike in later life, but were different personalities.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 18, 2006, 05:01:29 AM
Do drop me a private email and I will tell more. Have been accused of promoting books even though I was only telling others what book I enjoyed reading... :(
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: princessalice on November 11, 2006, 03:26:34 PM
i had this book also, but sold it on Ebay as it, too, angered me....there were too many untrue statements, things history could have easily proven wrong!  my dear friend, Art Beeche, who is the editor and publisher of the European Royal History Journal, told me about many of the inconsistencies.  there is no excuse for getting historical facts incorrect in any publication.  this book was very sloppily written......
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: imperial angel on November 12, 2006, 07:55:50 PM
That seems to be the consensus. I am glad there is a biography of her, though, and that we get to read her story in fairly dramatic terms as it was lived. But, it might be nice if someone would do a better biography of her, even though that might be some years down the line, as this one wasn't published that many years ago.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 12, 2006, 10:42:58 PM
Well...We can always wait & hope.  ;)
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Sissi on April 30, 2007, 01:56:39 PM
Some pictures of Ducky and relatives....

(http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e160/kedvesem/ducky2.jpg)

(http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e160/kedvesem/edimburggirls-1.jpg)

(http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e160/kedvesem/duckyssisteres.jpg)

(http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e160/kedvesem/edinburghfamilywgeorgie18890aj.jpg)
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Sissi on April 30, 2007, 02:04:08 PM
Missy and Ducky

(http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e160/kedvesem/MissyDucky.jpg)
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: XJaseyRaeX on May 01, 2007, 04:27:01 PM
i wonder how missy must have felt looking younger than Ducky...in my opinion a few years younger ::)
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Laura_ on May 01, 2007, 04:31:11 PM
is that Beatrice in the first pic?
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on May 01, 2007, 08:35:46 PM
Yes "Baby Bee".  ;D
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: PrinceEddy1864 on May 02, 2007, 02:58:37 PM
Some pictures of Ducky and relatives....

(http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e160/kedvesem/ducky2.jpg)



This one comes from Missy's albums which are still available online. Just go to the bottom and click "view contents of the album".
http://speccoll.library.kent.edu/women/marie.html (http://speccoll.library.kent.edu/women/marie.html)

if anyone is interested.  :)

Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on May 02, 2007, 08:27:43 PM
The photo was taken in Coburg at the time after Bee returned from the trip to Egypt. Ena and Princess Henry of battenberg also went along.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Mandie, the Gothic Empress on May 04, 2007, 10:48:48 AM


(http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e160/kedvesem/duckyssisteres.jpg)


I love this pic, toooo cute! :D
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: grandduchessella on May 04, 2007, 07:19:28 PM
The photo was taken in Coburg at the time after Bee returned from the trip to Egypt. Ena and Princess Henry of battenberg also went along.

A dealer was selling Ena's photo albums of that trip once and the descriptions sounded great. Unfortunately, I don't have $25,000.  :P Still, would've killed to see the pictures--Ena, Baby Bee, Leo Battenberg (in love with Bee), Beatrice, etc....in casual settings rather than posed photos.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on May 04, 2007, 11:24:06 PM
Yes...I have seen that and bought some stuff from that dealer.  ;)
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: grandduchessella on May 04, 2007, 11:43:39 PM
I bought some items in the past but a lot of stuff is way overpriced--postcards that go on ebay $25-75 going for minimum $250 and up to several hundreds of dollars. If I ever win the lottery though I'm going after that album.  ;)
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on May 04, 2007, 11:46:59 PM
Indeed ! Yes. A lot of good stuff though. I just bought things vital to my next book...Others I try to avoid the temptation.  ::)
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Marlene on May 18, 2007, 09:37:35 AM


which dealer?

Sometimes, postcards are soooooo overpriced on Ebay.  I just won a lovely card of Victoria Schaumburg-Lippe (Prussia) - looking rather pretty.    Paid 19 Euros for it/

 
I bought some items in the past but a lot of stuff is way overpriced--postcards that go on ebay $25-75 going for minimum $250 and up to several hundreds of dollars. If I ever win the lottery though I'm going after that album.  ;)
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on May 20, 2007, 01:20:41 AM
Yes indeed ! I got my best stuff during my trips to Europe.  ;) but harder and harder to find good stuff on the cheapside.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on July 10, 2007, 08:43:41 PM
Just got the new issue of Royalty Digest (Ted Rosvall's). Inside there is a insightful article by John Wimbles on the subject of Ducky's divorce from Ernie. Quite nicely written. Didn't know that Ducky was chums with her cousin Marie Louise (married to Aribet of Anhalt). Interesting how the cousins fates were similar...in a way.  ::)
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Granduca Anton on July 11, 2007, 07:14:12 PM
It would be great to see this photo-album! If anyone here has a spare £ 12,500, here's the place to buy it (and maybe share the piccies with us  :D)
www.farahardupre.co.uk (http://www.farahardupre.co.uk)

VICTORIA EUGENIA
(1887-1969, née Princess Ena of Battenberg, only daughter of Princess Beatrice and Henry of Battenberg, and wife of Alfonso XIII, King of Spain 1886-1 Fabulous album of original unpublished photo’s personally annotated by the young Princess, beginning at Rosnau, July 1901, while in mourning for her grandmother Queen Victoria, with images of herself and her brother Maurice but also Princess Beatrice of Edinburgh/Saxe-Coburg (Bee), charming photos of members of the Royal family of 1901 in their swimming costumes and with their dogs. Then she is at Schonberg and the images show the staff and her aunt Marie, next she visits Osborne Cottage again with informal photos of her brother Leo (a haemophiliac), scenes then move to Villa Cynnos with all of the Battenburg children, Osborne House, then London for the Coronation of King Edward VII with some of the Indian attendants. At the bottom of the page is a faded photo of the future Queen Mary with Leopold of Battenburg in the garden of Buckingham Palace, then photos taken at Farnborough Hill including the ex-Empress Eugenie who the Princess was named after - her Godmother. The annotations then describe the period from August to September 1902, with pictures of Alexandra (Saxe Coburg/Edinburgh) with her cousin Toria (Helena Victoria, daughter of Princess Helena), there are extremely rare images of the drawing room and library windows of Osborne Cottage and an unusual picture of Albert Cottage.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Granduca Anton on July 11, 2007, 07:15:47 PM
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There are photos of the Connaught Princesses - Patsy and Daisy, and Alice of Battenburg, future mother of Prince Philip, followed by more images of the royals at play. Unusual images of Leo (a haemophiliac) in his wheelchair with his nurse, and of Prince Andrew of Greece & Alice of Battenburg, his fiancee, with a kitten (they were married later that year in Darmstadt). Princess Beatrice is shown walking towards Lambeth Palace to meet the Archbishop, further Royal photos include Alice of Albany holding up a dog, Leo with his tutor Mr Smith in Kensington Gardens, Ena future Queen of Spain asleep, Marie Louise, Drino of Battenburg (the nickname of the future Queen's brother) on the Aurora.. The Princesses Beatrice & Ena, Kyril, Grand Duke of Russia, and Princess Sandra (born Alexandra of Edinburgh) are on a page with images of Princess Beatrice at Osborne Cottage and the young Princess Beatrice of Saxe Coburg/Edinburgh with her cousin Leo of Battenburg. For the next thirty-three pages we have photo’s charting Ena’s 5 month trip through Egypt. The journey begins on board the Muldavia with pictures of the crew and other of the ship’s residents, “Leo caught by the wind” showing him as a young man, holding onto a pole pulling himself back from a large gust of wind. The pictures then turn to interesting stopovers on the long journey, the first being various pictures of Marseilles, the fountain, the triumphal arch and Chateau’s. “Bee and Mama walking to see de la grande” shows her mother and Bee walking a long promenade before heading up a large hill. Then the party arrives in Cairo for Christmas at the Jhezireh Palace, with pictures of the Palace, the gardens, “Leo at the citadel”, the streets of Cairo, baggage camels, ‘“Fatty” in the Bazaar’, the El Azhar. At this point the party head for the country and we see scenes of the Tombs of the Kalips, the sphinx, “Mama getting on a camel”, Bee on a camel, a group photo’s taken at the entrance of the Temple of the Sphinx. The group travel up the Nile on board the Ferouz, lunching at the village of Lahun, then onto Assyut to visit the tombs, meeting “The Coast Guard Camel Corp”, “Leo & Mr Stenhouse at the temple of Alydos” and some fantastic views taken from the temples. Bisharins fighting at Dendera, the temple of Alydos, Dendeca, Karnak with some fantastic early photographs of hyroglyphs and recently excavated remains. Many images of local workers discovering artefacts, as well as more personal photo’s such as “Leo looking out of his cabin window”. They move on to the excavations at the Plain of Thebes, and it is here that we see the first pictures of Mr CARTER (Howard, 1874-1939, Painter and Archaeologist, Discoverer of the Tomb of Tutankhamun) on full length on his horse and in various social poses, we see him at the Tomb of Kings, with more pictures of the Ramaseum and their arrival at Assouan. There are scenes around Kom Omba, one photo titled “Bee and Mr Carter” shows her and Carter from behind walking around one of the historical sights. There are many pictures of the excavations and Temples of Amada and Abu Simbell. Next to the palace at Khartoum we have Bee with Lord Edward Cecil, Lady Wingate, Slatin PASHA (Slatin Rudolf Carl, Freiherr von, 1857–1932, Austrian adventurer in British and Egyptian service) and the Sirdar. There are many very interesting images of Slatin Pashar (including ones showing him in front of his house and in his garden), and the Sirdar with the party. The group are pictured visiting the battlefield of Xerreri & a landing stage by the Nile,. Other images include Major Phipps, a donkey taking a sand bath, the Palace stables, Omdurman, an impressive 9 horse escort for Lord Linden, ‘The Whistling Coon Race’. There is then a colourful menu from The Rowdy House, listing a starter of Crocodile farci, followed by game schnitzel, Pigeon and black pudding. There are more photographs of the streets in Khartoum, the Pyramids of Meroe, a group photo of the party taken at the Abuseir rock, “Lady Williams and Bee ‘Cartouching’”, Assuan, the Cataract Hotel, the Dam, ‘Leo at Kalabashen’, their view from their hotel, several pictures of Bazaar’s, a Sheik tower, the Fort, the ‘Ibis’. There follows a trip to the desert of Kossên with the escort and the full party, Bee, Mama and herself on camels with images of an oasis, Lord William Cecil (in one he is in front of his tent), the Wells of Hammamat, the green valley near Kossên, inside the mosque, the beach, a minneret, Bee with a baby camel, their camp. Finally there are two pictures taken at the railway station titled “Waiting for the train to start” and “Good-bye!”. This is followed by pictures taken aboard the Oceana on their journey home, stopping en route for a visit to their Edinburgh/Saxe Coburg cousins.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Granduca Anton on July 11, 2007, 07:16:34 PM
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The pictures in this part include a glorious photo of Grand Duchess Victoria Melita (‘Ducky’) with her sister Alexandra (Sandra), baby Bee and Aunt Marie (1854-1920) in the gardens of the chateau Fabion, followed by several of the family, as well as some lesser Romanovs. Returning to London in July 1904 there is a fine image of Leo in his wheelchair, after another attack, and his brother Drino having fun with Sir Stephen. Then in August off for another trip to Bagnoles/De/L’oine with the Connaught sisters and Ena Queen of Spain. On September 5th they go off to Southampton, at this time the future Queen was already falling in love with Alfonso King of Spain, the album ends at Didlington, roy. 4to, pp. 61, over 500 images varying in size, mainly 3½” x 3½”, through 6” x 3½”, to 8” x 6”, 1901-04 Album frayed at edges of binding and coming away, some photos faded to varying degrees, internally fine. A truly loveley collection of original images.
The future Queen of Spain said of her time in Egypy that it was the most wonderful I have ever had and if Grandmama had been alive she would never have let us go. A truly lovely collection of original images.
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on July 12, 2007, 08:19:15 PM
I have seen tha albulm personally...the bad thing about it is that the photos are very small... :(
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: grandduchessella on July 12, 2007, 08:47:21 PM
It would be great to see this photo-album! If anyone here has a spare £ 12,500, here's the place to buy it (and maybe share the piccies with us  :D)
www.farahardupre.co.uk (http://www.farahardupre.co.uk)


Yes, we talked about it a little on the previous page. Drool-worthy, hm?  :) There was also an album of similar photos that belonged to Louise Connaught--casual photos as well as formals--that was sold (not by this seller) not too long ago.  :)
Title: Re: A Fatal Passion: The Story of Victoria Melita
Post by: Eric_Lowe on July 12, 2007, 09:20:44 PM
Well the seller still has some photos from the Patsy Connaught collection... :P