Alexander Palace Forum

Books and Films about the Romanovs and Imperial Russia => Books about the Romanovs and Imperial Russia => Topic started by: LisaDavidson on October 05, 2004, 12:14:25 AM

Title: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: LisaDavidson on October 05, 2004, 12:14:25 AM
I have heard from writer Coryne Hall, author of "Little Mother of Russia", who tells me she is hard at work on her next book, entitled "Imperial Dancer: Mathilde Kschessinska and the Romanovs". Coryne says she loves reading this Forum, so I told her I would let all of you know how much she enjoys reading what we write! I would imagine her book will be coming out next year.
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Belochka on October 05, 2004, 01:14:36 AM
Thanks for this welcome news Lisa!

I look forward to Hall's new work.

It was very difficult to rely on Kschessinska's memoirs (Dancing in Petersburg). Too many events were glossed over in her personal account. M. K. always presented herself as an unrealistic glowing light.

A fresh re-appraisal is long overdue! :D
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Greg_King on October 05, 2004, 07:17:02 AM
I agree, Belochka.  I spent 4-5 months seriously research MK for an "Atlantis" article we published, and my perception of her did a complete turn-around in the process.  Her own memoirs-and those of one or two others who encountered her-are virtually the ONLY materials that present her in a positive light-almost everyone else who knew her disliked her intensely, or recalled her sordid reputation.  I worked from some obscure Russian books and a couple of archival sources, but obviously didn't put in the necessary time to really give it a go, so it will be extremely interesting to see what Coryne is able to uncover and how she lays it all out-whether it follows MK's own version of events or probes deeper into her particularly nasty character.

Greg King
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: ChristineM on October 05, 2004, 10:15:07 AM
Dear Greg

In your researches did you come across a particularly unkind reference to Mathilde which identified her as 'that black-eyed, she-devil of the Ballet'?

I was in touch with a Mathilde afficienado some years ago.   He had a marvellous collection of her (and her father's) costumes which he permitted me to touch.   There were other clothes including tiny little hats and a black reticule.   He had dozens of photographs - he kindly gave me a few.   He also had a large collection of billboards and reviews of her performances from all over Europe.

The item which touched me most was a book.   He had discovered this book - falling to pieces its spine broken and covers battered.   He spent years reconstructing it.   I saw it shortly after completion.   His was a completely sympathetic restoration.   The book was entitled - 'The Complete Works of Lermontov'.   This had been presented to Mathilde by Tsar Alexander III on the occasion of her graduation from the Imperial Ballet school - the day of her fateful meeting with the tsarevich - Nicholas Alexandrovich.

tsaria

ps:  Lermontov was of a Scottish background - this gives me particular satisfaction.
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Greg_King on October 06, 2004, 01:50:28 AM
Quote
Dear Greg

In your researches did you come across a particularly unkind reference to Mathilde which identified her as 'that black-eyed, she-devil of the Ballet'?


Close.  My favorite-and most revealing quote about her-comes from Vladimir Teliakovsky, Director of the Imperial Theaters.  He termed her “a morally impudent, cynical and brazen woman of black character, living simultaneously with two Grand Dukes, and not only not concealing the fact, but on the contrary, weaving this ‘art’ into her stinking, cynical wreath of human offal and vice."

God, I love that quote!

Greg King
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Belochka on October 06, 2004, 02:16:01 AM
Ah such poetic wisdom contrasts so vividly against K's pirouettes! ;D

Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: rskkiya on October 06, 2004, 09:14:12 AM
Hello
Well what little ( :(miniscule references :() I have read about MK were from her own perspective and they were rather self effacing & benign --though its rare for anyone to justly judge their previous behaviour or actions without  some prejudice or bias.

R.
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Belochka on October 06, 2004, 11:11:40 PM
Hi rskkiya,

Fundamentally few memoirists are able to present reasonably accurate portrayals about themselves. They have the unfortunate tendancy to either ignore or embellish many facts to temper their involvement, especially if the event is particularily contentious.

To be fair few of us would be willing to describe many of our faults.

The few references I have come across about M. K. have not been particularily favorable either.

Personally I find it more appealing to read other people's impressions who knew K.  to help me find some balance between all the published biographies. :D
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Eurohistory on October 07, 2004, 10:25:51 AM
Coryne is finished with the text of the books.  I have sent her quite a few photos to use in the illustrations section and am very much looking forward to seeing the final product.

Arturo Beéche
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Jane on October 07, 2004, 12:49:48 PM
Quote
He termed her “a morally impudent, cynical and brazen woman of black character, living simultaneously with two Grand Dukes, and not only not concealing the fact, but on the contrary, weaving this ‘art’ into her stinking, cynical wreath of human offal and vice."


Ouch.   :)
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Robert_Hall on October 07, 2004, 01:35:26 PM
Sounds like  my kind of fun party gal !
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: rskkiya on October 07, 2004, 04:23:44 PM
All Hail the Party God Robert Hall!

More incence...your divinity? LOL ;D

Rskkiya
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Eurohistory on October 08, 2004, 04:19:40 AM
Quote



And of course Russian Grand Dukes were such paragons of edifying moral virtue... :-[

Arturo Beéche
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Jane on October 08, 2004, 11:55:46 AM
I was trying to be flippant, but I don't think it worked.  My goodness, Teliakovsky makes MK (sorry, can't be bothered to spell her name out) sound like Agrippina or Messalina.  Certainly the Grand Dukes who were involved with her would disagree--I doubt that they were helpless flies caught in her web.  ;)
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Janet_W. on October 08, 2004, 01:01:48 PM
I know we've discussed Mathilde on another thread, and I was rather dismayed by what I read about her, having only read her own words which of course painted her in an attractive light.

Still, I would like to think that she was a pleasant enough of a mistress for Nicholas, and that their relationship demeaned neither person.

Perhaps, as time went on and Mathilde realized she was to be passed from one man to another, she developed an especially avaricious character. Given that she had a profession other than courtesan, however, and was recognized as being one of the very best dancers in what was considered the ballet capitol of the world, I question why she felt it necessarily to be so greedy and duplicitous.
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: ChristineM on October 08, 2004, 01:29:32 PM
Mathilde Kschessinskaya was a great dancer - she was the first Russian ballerina to execute that mind-boggling gymnastic feat of achieving thirty-two fouttes in her role as Odette/Odile in Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake.   (The Italian, Pierina Legniani was the first).  

However, she was not the greatest. She believed, indeed insisted, she was by virtue of the power bestowed on her by having once been mistress to the man who became Tsar of Russia.   This, added to her relationships with two of his cousins ensured she wielded considerable weight within that hothouse of competiton and envy -  the Imperial Ballet.

The virtuosity and beauty of Vera Trefilova, Anna Pavlova and Tamara Karsavina were unsurpassable.

tsaria
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: LisaDavidson on November 28, 2004, 02:33:45 AM
I just got word that Coryne Hall's new book, "Imperial Dancer" will be released in April 2005. A couple of you asked me to post this information once I got it. I can't wait to read it!
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Sunny on November 28, 2004, 06:17:25 AM
The book stash grows larger  ;) Thanks so much Lisa.

Sunny
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: LisaDavidson on November 28, 2004, 10:19:21 AM
I know! And for those of us (like me!) who must be on a Romanov book budget, it is helpful to be able to plan ahead. I've asked Coryne if her publisher will consider giving us here at the AP Board a discount. If you'd like, I'll also let you know as soon as I get an answer to this!
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Robert_Hall on November 28, 2004, 10:34:22 AM
I gave up the fantasy of a book "budget" years ago. However, I do like Coryne's work and am interested in the subject. BUT- despite being free of VAT, British publications are so expensive now ! [I buy them anyway]
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Sunny on November 28, 2004, 12:01:38 PM
Lisa, much appreciation for your generous effort on our behalf.

Regards,

Sunny
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Laura Mabee on November 28, 2004, 04:50:34 PM
Quote
Lisa, much appreciation for your generous effort on our behalf.

Regards,

Sunny

I agree with Sunny. That is a very generous effort! Thanks Lisa!

I also have a question, what is this book about?
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Belochka on November 28, 2004, 08:30:22 PM
If you are not impatient, prices do drop. Many books are released with a start price carrying a 10-30% reduction from day one.

Is not this book about Kshessinskaya? Hopefully it will be less saccharine than the ballerina's personal memoirs.  
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: LisaDavidson on December 01, 2004, 12:16:24 AM
Coryne is a very professional writer, so I doubt the book would be saccharine.

Some of you asked what she's writing next. She said after working for over three years on this one, she has not decided on her next project yet.
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Nathan_Davis on December 01, 2004, 04:54:36 PM
Thanks very much for the news, Lisa....I am a big fan of  Russian Ballet history and am really looking forward to this book!

Regards,

Nathan
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Eurohistory on December 01, 2004, 09:53:42 PM
Quote
Coryne is a very professional writer, so I doubt the book would be saccharine.

Some of you asked what she's writing next. She said after working for over three years on this one, she has not decided on her next project yet.


Yes she has...she is one of the contributing authors in one of Eurohistory's books to be published in 2005...as are some other people in this forum!  ::)

Arturo Beéche
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Eurohistory on April 08, 2005, 10:47:46 AM
Pleased to announce that Coryne Hall's IMPERIAL DANCER- Mathilde Kschessinska and the Romanovs, her much-awaited next Romanov title is expected to begin selling on April 25 and Coryne Hall will autograph all copies sold through us.

If interested email me privately at: books@eurohistory.com and I can arrange for her to sign a copy for you!

regards,

Arturo Beéche
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Charles on April 08, 2005, 11:50:16 AM
What is Imperial Dancer about?
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Eurohistory on April 08, 2005, 12:37:36 PM
Mathilde Kschessinska and the Romanovs

Arturo Beéche
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Sarai on April 09, 2005, 03:16:41 PM
Quote
What is Imperial Dancer about?


Charles,
Mathilde was a famous ballerina in Russia during Nicholas II's time, and she was also apparently his lover for a brief period of time and before his marriage to Alix.
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Eurohistory on April 21, 2005, 04:57:25 PM
I have been reading Coryne's book on Kchessinska and it is quiet interesting and filled with wonderful information.  I got my copy personally auutographed on Sunday in the UK.  Coryne will be dedicatin books to those of our subscribers who ordered the book.  If you wish to have one signed just email me at books@eurohistory.com

Arturo Beéche
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Laura Mabee on April 21, 2005, 09:45:42 PM
 :o !!
I wish I had the money. What an awesome buy!
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Helen_Azar on April 21, 2005, 10:12:12 PM
Quote
I have been reading Coryne's book on Kchessinska and it is quiet interesting and filled with wonderful information.  I got my copy personally auutographed on Sunday in the UK.  Coryne will be dedicatin books to those of our subscribers who ordered the book.  If you wish to have one signed just email me at books@eurohistory.com

Arturo Beéche


Art, I was wondering if there is any info in this book not found in Mathilde's autobiography (if you had the chance to read that)? Thanks.

Helen


Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Ortino on April 22, 2005, 08:53:29 AM
How much is the book?
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Eurohistory on April 22, 2005, 05:08:02 PM
Helen,

Imperial Dancer" is definitely NOT a re-hash of Dancing in Petersburg.  
The book is the result of 3 years research, with help from people in 11
different countries and 14 public and private archives, just for starters.
Amongst other new material, it includes entries from Nicholas II's
diaries from 1892-94, provided by GARF and never before published in English.  

Her own memoirs were a fantasy,  this is what really happened.  It  takes
the story right up to her death in 1971, including Mathilde's efforts to
contact her relatives in Russia.

Arturo Beéche
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Helen_Azar on April 22, 2005, 05:17:08 PM
Quote
Helen,

Imperial Dancer" is definitely NOT a re-hash of Dancing in Petersburg.  
The book is the result of 3 years research, with help from people in 11
different countries and 14 public and private archives, just for starters.
Amongst other new material, it includes entries from Nicholas II's
diaries from 1892-94, provided by GARF and never before published in English.  

Her own memoirs were a fantasy,  this is what really happened.  It  takes
the story right up to her death in 1971, including Mathilde's efforts to
contact her relatives in Russia.

Arturo Beéche


Thanks, Art!
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Ortino on April 23, 2005, 08:28:55 AM
The book sounds wonderful. Is this book for sale in places like amazon, Alibris etc. or is this exclusively a EuroHistory book?
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: felix on April 23, 2005, 10:33:56 AM
If you want it fast,just get it from  Euro H. its much easier. Thats what I have found. I hate to wait.
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Eurohistory on April 26, 2005, 07:21:34 PM
The book is not really  supposed to be out just yet.  Eurohistory received advanced copies, all of which we had the author, Coryne Hall, autograph.  I believe we have two copie sleft of this advance release.

Arturo Beéche
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Ortino on April 26, 2005, 09:05:21 PM
I believe it comes out (for real) in late September?
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Eurohistory on April 27, 2005, 09:11:31 AM
Not that late....officially the launch is in late May.

Arturo Beeche
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: felix on April 30, 2005, 09:33:52 AM
My book came yesterday morning. It kept me in my seat all night. What I ended being most  interested in was her relationship with other famous Ballarina's. Pavlova,Karsavina,Preobrajenska. It was  fascinating.  
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Ilana on April 30, 2005, 10:53:23 AM
Think it's May in UK and September in US.  
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Annette on April 30, 2005, 11:37:28 AM
Hi

I bought it direct from the Sutton Publishing website last week and it came the next day - www.suttonpublishing.co.uk.

Kind regards.
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Helen_Azar on April 30, 2005, 03:37:56 PM
I just checked, and it is already listed on Amazon too!

Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Ortino on April 30, 2005, 06:07:45 PM
^ Yeah, I ordered it from there. Although if the release date really is September, I might just cancel it and order it from Sutton Publishing. No point waiting for months when I could get it in a few days.
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Eurohistory on May 01, 2005, 11:38:26 AM
Those who ordered signed copies through Eurohistory have already received their copies.

Arturo Beéche
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: felix on May 01, 2005, 12:55:55 PM
It is very nice to have a signed copy. I thank you,and loved the book!
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: sydguy71 on May 13, 2005, 05:28:51 AM
I am half way though this book. It is a great read. So different from Mathilde's own version of events.
have spent most of today getting through it.
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Ilana on May 13, 2005, 12:30:13 PM
Never read Matilde's autobiography, do you think it's required reading before embarking on Coryne's book?
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: sydguy71 on May 13, 2005, 05:51:47 PM
No not at all..........i found it hard to finish, and normally I devour any Romanov book.
This one is a better read by far
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Ilana on May 13, 2005, 09:43:11 PM
Good, on your recommendation, I shall avoid!
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Ortino on May 14, 2005, 08:17:33 AM
I am enjoying this book immensely. I find the writing to be rich and well written, and the information in it extremely interesting. As I have never read anything about M.K. before this, I am enjoying the subject matter in particular.
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Teddy on May 18, 2005, 10:02:09 AM
Art,

Can I get it already by Van Hoogstraten?
Or must I wait till september?

Teddy
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Eurohistory on May 18, 2005, 05:12:29 PM
I am not the distributor fo this book, thus I would not know if van Hoogstraten already have it or not.  They are extremely good about stocking tiles, like Eurohistory.com is as well...I would guess go by their store and check or call them...again they are extremely nice people.

Arturo Beeche
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: anna on May 19, 2005, 12:38:01 AM
The book is already available at BOl.com and Proxis.nl
in the Netherlands.
Got my copy, looks interesting.

Anna
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: koloagirl on September 26, 2005, 08:48:19 PM
 :) :(

Has anyone in the U.S. purchased this book yet?

I ordered it from my local Borders books and was told that it would be in at the latest early September -- I
called them yesterday and they said there were no copies at the distributor so they are re-ordering!!   :-X

Just wondering if my position is unique because I'm way out in the Pacific (even tho' it is still the U.S.!) - or if others in American are having the same problem?  :-/

Janet R.
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Vicki on September 27, 2005, 12:31:57 PM
I purchased a copy from Eurohistory, and it arrived within a few days from the time I ordered it.

My local Borders (I live in Ann Arbor, Michigan) has two copies on the shelves.
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Ilana on October 01, 2005, 12:22:42 PM
Someone kindly purchased this for me as a birthday gift, from Amazon US, but I have not yet received though they purchased it last April .... I guess it just takes time!
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Ortino on October 01, 2005, 12:49:04 PM
The book did not come out in the U.S. until September or so, so that's why.
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: koloagirl on October 07, 2005, 12:42:20 AM
 :(

This book is becoming frustrating -- first I pre-ordered
it at my local Borders back in August, it was to be
published 9/1 and they said in the store mid-Sept.

So this is now, what, 10/6 and they have no idea where it is, it is not in their warehouse, and don't know when they are going to get it in!!!!   :-X

Yikes - Amazon.com here I come I'm afraid!!!

Janet R.
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Eurohistory on October 08, 2005, 11:40:24 AM
Eurohistory has sold copies of this book without a problem sinc eit came out. In fact we sold it before even AMAZON had any blessed copies.

If interested in obtaining one simply email me.

Arturo Beéche
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: leushino on November 26, 2005, 11:28:23 PM
Well... it's been almost two months now and dead silence on this book. It sounds as though it wasn't quite as great a read as was first thought. Is this true?
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Teddy on November 27, 2005, 03:49:03 AM
I tell you, this book is quite wonderful. It tells certain things abouth the Romanovs in the eyes of Mathilda.

Its also have nice pictures. Not many, I think about a thirty, but realy nice.

If you are interressed in the lesser Romanovs, you money is well worth.
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Ilana on November 27, 2005, 04:22:42 PM
Well, I got my "gift" of this book last week, and it was ordered in April, so you can see how slow Amazon is.  I got right into it... Coryne is a wonderful writer.

Art probably would get you a copy a lot quicker!
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Janet_W. on November 27, 2005, 06:21:19 PM
I purchased my copy at Borders, right off the shelf, a few months ago.

It is an extremely intriguing book, especially in view of how Mathilde sugar-coated her life's story in Dancing In St. P, which I have read several times over.

A passage of particular interest for AP members discusses Mathilde's interference in Nicholas's courtship of Alexandra via some manipulative letters to the latter. The letters have not survived--I wouldn't doubt that Alexandra destroyed them--but enough evidence exists to verify their existence.

Apparently it wasn't enough for Mathilde to be wealthy, talented, admired, and powerful . . . she also had to attempt to thwart another woman's happiness.
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Melanie on December 25, 2005, 09:23:48 PM
I just finished this book after getting it as an early Christmas present.  I really liked it.  I liked reading about the Romanovs from a more outside view.  I thought the part about the letters to Alix was interesting too.  She probably figured she had worked hard to land herself a Romanov (and the tsarevich too!) and it was all slipping from her fingers.  Just my opinion...probably off base! :o
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Scott on April 27, 2006, 10:49:42 PM
Read 2/3 of this book on the plane to and from SPB back in September.  Just got around to finishing it this week.  Overall, I found it very interesting and well written.

However, it bothers me a bit that on page 247 it is stated that"n 1942 the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour and America entered the war."  Nobody's perfect, and all books have errors, but things like this always make me wonder how many more errors, of which I'm not aware, are contained in the book.
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Ortino on April 28, 2006, 05:40:13 AM
Quote
Read 2/3 of this book on the plane to and from SPB back in September.  Just got around to finishing it this week.  Overall, I found it very interesting and well written.

However, it bothers me a bit that on page 247 it is stated that"n 1942 the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour and America entered the war."  Nobody's perfect, and all books have errors, but things like this always make me wonder how many more errors, of which I'm not aware, are contained in the book.

I actually never noticed this and now have the same feeling that you do--what other errors have I unintentionally missed? I've always enjoyed and trusted in Hall's works so I'm a tad distraught by this. :-/
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: historylover on October 08, 2006, 08:20:12 PM
I'm reading this beautifully produced book now.  I'm a bit upset by the mistake that's been mentioned as well, but this book is definitely worth reading!  It's certainly well-written (although I notice that the author thanks Theo Aronson and I prefer his writing) and Kchessinska was a very lively and interesting character! 

She is hard to be sympathetic with at times, but I felt very sorry for her because she really loved the Tsar.  Of course he couldn't marry her, but, although the Tsarina was a good wife and mother, I don't think that she was suitable for the position of Empress.  She was taken in by Rasputin and she gave the Tsar wrong advice about being authoritarian at all costs.  I know many people will disagree with this opinion, but I do wonder if Mathilde might have been more suitable in a way?  She certainly seems to have been cleverer.

Lisa
www.webwritereditor.com
www.bookaddiction.blogspot.com
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: LisaDavidson on October 11, 2006, 12:18:46 AM
Quote
Read 2/3 of this book on the plane to and from SPB back in September.  Just got around to finishing it this week.  Overall, I found it very interesting and well written.

However, it bothers me a bit that on page 247 it is stated that"n 1942 the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour and America entered the war."  Nobody's perfect, and all books have errors, but things like this always make me wonder how many more errors, of which I'm not aware, are contained in the book.

I actually never noticed this and now have the same feeling that you do--what other errors have I unintentionally missed? I've always enjoyed and trusted in Hall's works so I'm a tad distraught by this. :-/

It's very difficult to write interesting history as Coryne does and not make a mistake. I think most Americans have an awareness about Pearl Harbor that a British writer might not have. I made several errors in my biographies that are published here on the AP website.

Does my getting Michael A's murder date wrong mean that what I had to say about him is less meaningful? Most people don't think so. At the time I wrote the piece, there was lots of misinformation out there, and unfortunately I used a date from a source that had that fact wrong.

What Hall has to say about MK is far more important than having a date wrong by one year, but this is my opinion.
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Ortino on October 11, 2006, 07:17:34 AM
Quote
Read 2/3 of this book on the plane to and from SPB back in September.  Just got around to finishing it this week.  Overall, I found it very interesting and well written.

However, it bothers me a bit that on page 247 it is stated that"n 1942 the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour and America entered the war."  Nobody's perfect, and all books have errors, but things like this always make me wonder how many more errors, of which I'm not aware, are contained in the book.

I actually never noticed this and now have the same feeling that you do--what other errors have I unintentionally missed? I've always enjoyed and trusted in Hall's works so I'm a tad distraught by this. :-/

It's very difficult to write interesting history as Coryne does and not make a mistake. I think most Americans have an awareness about Pearl Harbor that a British writer might not have. I made several errors in my biographies that are published here on the AP website.

Does my getting Michael A's murder date wrong mean that what I had to say about him is less meaningful? Most people don't think so. At the time I wrote the piece, there was lots of misinformation out there, and unfortunately I used a date from a source that had that fact wrong.

What Hall has to say about MK is far more important than having a date wrong by one year, but this is my opinion.

No, perhaps what is written is not less meaningful, but interpretations of facts do not compare with the facts themselves. If you're going to present something as a fact, do so correctly. It may have just been a typo, but I have difficulty believing that this was due to misinformation. There is no absolutely debate as to when the bombing of Pearl Harbor took place and thereby no reason to get something like this wrong. Also, there are plenty of sources she could have checked if she needed clarification, including the internet.
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Belochka on October 11, 2006, 10:41:32 PM
Did Ms Hall conduct any personal research in Paris and Russia for this book?
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Belochka on October 11, 2006, 11:31:53 PM
I think most Americans have an awareness about Pearl Harbor that a British writer might not have.

There is no absolutely debate as to when the bombing of Pearl Harbor took place and thereby no reason to get something like this wrong. Also, there are plenty of sources she could have checked if she needed clarification, including the internet.

Quite right Ortino. Such an error is inexcusable no matter what nationality they are.

Margarita
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: LisaDavidson on October 12, 2006, 12:55:29 AM
I think most Americans have an awareness about Pearl Harbor that a British writer might not have.

There is no absolutely debate as to when the bombing of Pearl Harbor took place and thereby no reason to get something like this wrong. Also, there are plenty of sources she could have checked if she needed clarification, including the internet.

Quite right Ortino. Such an error is inexcusable no matter what nationality they are.

Margarita


You are both certainly entitled to your opinions. However, this appears to me to be a tempest in a teapot. Coryne Hall works very hard researching her books and is a good writer. That said, nearly everyone I know who writes history makes mistakes. Perhaps you two are among those rare individuals who never make an error and thus feel fully justified being what seems to me to be, so judgemental.

For the rest of us mere mortals, mistakes unfortunately do happen. That you would find such an error - which is most likely a typo that she didn't catch -  "inexcusable" convinces me of one thing. I will really think twice about asking any more of my writer friends to join us here. While they could enrich our discussions enormously, I would not like to see them subjected to such harshness.
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Belochka on October 12, 2006, 05:43:18 AM
I think most Americans have an awareness about Pearl Harbor that a British writer might not have.

There is no absolutely debate as to when the bombing of Pearl Harbor took place and thereby no reason to get something like this wrong. Also, there are plenty of sources she could have checked if she needed clarification, including the internet.

Quite right Ortino. Such an error is inexcusable no matter what nationality they are.

Margarita


You are both certainly entitled to your opinions. However, this appears to me to be a tempest in a teapot. Coryne Hall works very hard researching her books and is a good writer. That said, nearly everyone I know who writes history makes mistakes. Perhaps you two are among those rare individuals who never make an error and thus feel fully justified being what seems to me to be, so judgemental.

For the rest of us mere mortals, mistakes unfortunately do happen. That you would find such an error - which is most likely a typo that she didn't catch -  "inexcusable" convinces me of one thing. I will really think twice about asking any more of my writer friends to join us here. While they could enrich our discussions enormously, I would not like to see them subjected to such harshness.

Lisa I undertood that this is a discussion thread about a specific publication. Are we not able to discuss issues as they are presented by Ms Hall?

What was pointed out here has no relationship regarding your personal association with any author. It is regretable that you are taking this so personally. If Ms Hall does indeed participate here, I would be delighted to hear from her. In fact I would welcome her responses concerning her personal research regarding Alexander III's alleged desire for alcohol to which she amply alluded to in "Little Mother of Russia".

Margarita
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Ortino on October 12, 2006, 07:49:34 AM
I think most Americans have an awareness about Pearl Harbor that a British writer might not have.

There is no absolutely debate as to when the bombing of Pearl Harbor took place and thereby no reason to get something like this wrong. Also, there are plenty of sources she could have checked if she needed clarification, including the internet.

Quite right Ortino. Such an error is inexcusable no matter what nationality they are.

Margarita


You are both certainly entitled to your opinions. However, this appears to me to be a tempest in a teapot. Coryne Hall works very hard researching her books and is a good writer. That said, nearly everyone I know who writes history makes mistakes. Perhaps you two are among those rare individuals who never make an error and thus feel fully justified being what seems to me to be, so judgemental.

For the rest of us mere mortals, mistakes unfortunately do happen. That you would find such an error - which is most likely a typo that she didn't catch -  "inexcusable" convinces me of one thing. I will really think twice about asking any more of my writer friends to join us here. While they could enrich our discussions enormously, I would not like to see them subjected to such harshness.

 I'm sorry that you have taken this so personally Lisa, yet it seems evident to me that you are simply creating excuses. Would you still not question her work if she wrote that Nicholas' coronation was in 1895 instead of 1896? Perhaps it was only a typo as I've already said, but I sense this is going in the direction of other threads, where only select topics can be discussed and authors unable to be criticized openly.
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Belochka on October 12, 2006, 08:48:50 AM
... I think most Americans have an awareness about Pearl Harbor that a British writer might not have.

If we are to accept the logic of this statement, then what about the awareness of British and American authors concerning Russian history?

Margarita
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Ra-Ra-Rasputin on October 12, 2006, 09:30:10 AM
I can assure you, Lisa, British people have a sound awareness of Pearl Harbour.  We're not that ignorant.

Rachel
xx
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Eurohistory on October 12, 2006, 09:36:24 AM
Blasting Coryne's book, ney, slamming it, as some are doing here, for an error on a number goes beyond nit-picking.

Arturo Beéche
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Helen_Azar on October 12, 2006, 10:00:29 AM
While I don't have anything to add about what is being discussed here, I do have a pertinent question. Would it have been ok to critique the book if the author was not a personal friend of the moderator? I know that has been done with other books and was not an issue. I am just trying to get this clear (for myself as well as others): have the rules changed for all the books we discuss, or just for the books authored by the personal friends of the forum owners/moderators, or by the authors who participate here?

For example, I harshly criticised (ney, blasted) several books by Ms. Philippa Gregory in another section. No one made any comments about it and I was able to do it freely. Is it because Ms. Gregory is not a personal friend of the moderators, is it because the moderators agreed with me about Ms. Gregory's work and therefore it was ok, or is it because they just didn't see it and I wasn't allowed to criticise it after all?

Please clarify the rules about book discussions.

Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Marlene on October 12, 2006, 11:03:52 AM
Typos creep into all sorts of books (including mine) -- unfortunately for all, proof readers do not usually look for typos with dates because that is not what they are paid for -- and few publishing houses hire experts to read manuscripts to check for facts.)

And what is wrong with Philippa Gregory's books ... I LOVE HER BOOKS!  She is an extremely talent writer who spins a great yarn. 
While I don't have anything to add about what is being discussed here, I do have a pertinent question. Would it have been ok to critique the book if the author was not a personal friend of the moderator? I know that has been done with other books and was not an issue. I am just trying to get this clear (for myself as well as others): have the rules changed for all the books we discuss, or just for the books authored by the personal friends of the forum owners/moderators, or by the authors who participate here?

For example, I harshly criticised (ney, blasted) several books by Ms. Philippa Gregory in another section. No one made any comments about it and I was able to do it freely. Is it because Ms. Gregory is not a personal friend of the moderators, is it because the moderators agreed with me about Ms. Gregory's work and therefore it was ok, or is it because they just didn't see it and I wasn't allowed to criticise it after all?

Please clarify the rules about book discussions.


Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Ra-Ra-Rasputin on October 12, 2006, 11:10:27 AM
I agree, Marlene, on both counts.

This Pearl Harbour mistake is probably just a simple typo; it happens to us all.  And I love Philippa Gregory!

However, Helen makes a pertinent point, and I would be interested to read an 'official' answer.

On another note, to do with Coryne Hall, I don't much like her work.  I wasn't impressed with 'Little Mother of Russia'- it bored me.  The same with her co written book on Xenia.  They were good efforts, but just not that interesting.  That's why I am yet to read Imperial Dancer, because I know from experience that Coryne's writing style doesn't do much for me.

Rachel
xx
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Ortino on October 12, 2006, 11:37:37 AM
I have nothing against Coryne's works--I enjoyed Little Mother of Russia and Imperial Dancer. In fact, I'm going a paper on the Imperial Russian ballet and using her book quite a bit. Xenia's biography was too disjointed for my taste. However, it does make me anxious when even tiny, entirely correctable mistakes surface. As I've mentoned before, it may have been a typo, but then I begin to wonder whether someone doesn't know their history as well as they seem to, or their manuscripts are not being editted as closely as they should. I've never published anything so I don't pretend to know how the system officially works, but we could find it, why couldn't they?
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: LisaDavidson on October 12, 2006, 01:30:43 PM
Just to clarify a few points. First of all, I do not consider the British people to be ignorant or ill informed. I cannot imagine how anyone would conclude this. (My point, for the record, is that Americans might be more inclined to remember the date of Pearl Harbor because many of us have family members who were there.) Second, Mrs. Hall is at best an acquaintance of mine but nonetheless, based on the harshness and pettiness of the judgements of some of the posters here, I would be far less inclined to invite her or any other writer I know to visit the Forum. I do from time to time invite writers and others to join our discussions. I would love for our discussions to be more interesting and far less petty. I am sure I am not the only person to feel this way. However, as long as we have those who would consider a single typo as "inexcusable", our discussions will be somewhat limited by the people we have here, who must have very thick skins to participate at all.

Lastly, I take exception to the poster who thinks that any personal friendships I may have would in any way impact how this forum is moderated. There is a very good reason why I am not a moderator on the Book Forum. As a writer myself, yes I do stand up for other writers, guilty as charged. If I think someone is being petty, I will say so. But, I would like to point out, this has nothing at all to do with how the Forum is moderated.

If I could be permitted a soapbox for a moment, I would simply ask that instead of being nasty and critical, that if you are feeling that way, you instead take the time to try to create something - anything - that has value and meaning to you. Then , imagine how you would feel if someone talked about your creation the way you speak on this Forum about what others create.
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Helen_Azar on October 12, 2006, 02:41:10 PM
And what is wrong with Philippa Gregory's books ... I LOVE HER BOOKS!  She is an extremely talent writer who spins a great yarn. 


To avoid veering off topic, I am just going to say that Ms. Gregory is a fiction writer, so my feelings about her books are based strictly on personal taste. I can see why people would like her work and I can also see why people would absolutely hate it, and I have expressed my feeling about her books a few times on the Tudor threads, giving my personal reasons why I dislike them immensly. Personal opinion strictly. IMO, non-fiction falls under a very different criteria, but I don't really want to go there at this time. In any case, I only brought it up here to make my point, that's all.



I would simply ask that instead of being nasty and critical, that if you are feeling that way, you instead take the time to try to create something - anything - that has value and meaning to you. Then , imagine how you would feel if someone talked about your creation the way you speak on this Forum about what others create.

Since you brought it up, I am going to climb on my own soap box. To respond to you statements, Lisa, I have and I have been, so I don't have to "imagine" anything. Anyone who has ever attended graduate school would know that this is the way things are in the academic world. You create something which took you several years, you spent most of your time during these years working on it - and I mean 20/7, literally in blood sweat and tears, and you think it's pretty damn good. You present it and it gets completely torn apart. Only then do you start to see the shorcomings of your work. You hate the feeling, but it is all part of your initiation into higher learning. The next time you do better because you know your shortcomings and you have fixed them, but you still get torn apart, albeit less so. The next time you do even better but your work is still criticized. Every time this happens, you are not exactly a happy camper, but you learn and you do better the next time. This is what it is all about. There is no way you should take these critiques personally, even if they really seem to be. If everyone in graduate school took criticism personally, you would have a lot of grad students storming off in a hissy fit every day and never returning. if this were the case, no one would make past his/her Bachelor degree.

Having said this, I realize of course that this forum is not grad school - it does *sort of* attempt to be an academic forum - but of course the criteria here is very different. I am not saying that typos and errors don't happen (of course it depends on the "error"- there are different degrees of "errors" - some are acceptable - others are not). To me this is not about the typo or an error in Ms Hall's book. These things happen. To me this is about something else entirely. Some of us have higher standards for historical works, others among us take it all in stride. Either way is fine as far I am concerned, it's a personal choice on a forum such as this. But to stifle legitimate discussion and/or critique, or even personal opinion, - I don't think it's desirable, even on a privately owned discussion forum...


Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Sarushka on October 12, 2006, 07:07:22 PM
However, it does make me anxious when even tiny, entirely correctable mistakes surface. As I've mentoned before, it may have been a typo, but then I begin to wonder whether someone doesn't know their history as well as they seem to, or their manuscripts are not being editted as closely as they should. I've never published anything so I don't pretend to know how the system officially works, but we could find it, why couldn't they?
I don't think there's anything wrong with that. If you find a glitch in a non-fiction book, you should wonder. But before kicking up a fuss, you should check into the matter to the best of your ability. It's a pretty simple matter to check a sampling of the author's other facts and make sure they line up. If they do, it's likely a typo. Perhaps a rather embarrassing and glaring typo, but a typo nonetheless. I'd be willing to bet that's the case in this instance -- something akin to when Helen_A. wrote "20/7" in her last post when I think she probably meant "24/7". Now, we all know Helen is aware there are 24 hours in a day, and we're probably not going to question her intelligence or her writing ability because of a keyboard slip. As in publishing, there comes a point on this forum when you just can't edit anymore. (Forgive me for singling you out, Helen, but it was too pertinent an example to resist.)

And really, I don't think anyone's blasted or slammed the book in question here. There's nothing wrong with raising a question or two at discovering a mistake in a non-fiction work, or alerting others to the mistake. IMO, the editing department should come under more scrutiny than the author in this case. I can only draw on my own experience, but I can tell you that I was AMAZED at the stuff the copyeditor checked when she read my Anne Sullivan manuscript. In spite of the fact that I'd done years of research on my subject, she caught a small handful of simple "whoopsies" that would have made me feel like a big fat idiot had they gone to press (and yes, they had to do with dates).

For the rest of us mere mortals, mistakes unfortunately do happen. That you would find such an error - which is most likely a typo that she didn't catch -  "inexcusable" convinces me of one thing. I will really think twice about asking any more of my writer friends to join us here. While they could enrich our discussions enormously, I would not like to see them subjected to such harshness.
Sure, mistakes happen. But I think there is more than one meaning to "inexcusable", and we're failing to consider one of them. You could interpret it as "unforgivable" and I agree that's overly harsh. On the other hand, it could simply mean "no excuse for" and I choose to partake of that interpretation in this case. Call me an optimist, but I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that if Ms Hall did appear on this thread, acknowledged the mistake, and apologized *without making any excuses,* we'd all be pretty happy campers. I would further imagine that she's not to happy with the mistake, herself, for the very reason that it is going to make some people question the accuracy of rest of her work. (If an error like the 1942 Pearl Harbor incident slips by in my book, you can be sure I'll be throwing around words like "inexcusable" and "mortification"... and a few other choice phrases. ;) )
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Helen_Azar on October 12, 2006, 07:10:52 PM
I'd be willing to bet that's the case in this instance -- something akin to when Helen_A. wrote "20/7" in her last post when I think she probably meant "24/7". Now, we all know Helen is aware there are 24 hours in a day, and we're probably not going to question her intelligence or her writing ability because of a keyboard slip.

You'd lose the bet  8). In fact, I meant 20/7  - I did get to sleep sometimes - 4 hours per day   ;) :D.

Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Belochka on October 12, 2006, 08:22:40 PM
Since you brought it up, I am going to climb on my own soap box. To respond to you statements, Lisa, I have and I have been, so I don't have to "imagine" anything. Anyone who has ever attended graduate school would know that this is the way things are in the academic world. You create something which took you several years, you spent most of your time during these years working on it - and I mean 20/7, literally in blood sweat and tears, and you think it's pretty damn good. You present it and it gets completely torn apart. Only then do you start to see the shorcomings of your work. You hate the feeling, but it is all part of your initiation into higher learning. The next time you do better because you know your shortcomings and you have fixed them, but you still get torn apart, albeit less so. The next time you do even better but your work is still criticized. Every time this happens, you are not exactly a happy camper, but you learn and you do better the next time. This is what it is all about. There is no way you should take these critiques personally, even if they really seem to be. If everyone in graduate school took criticism personally, you would have a lot of grad students storming off in a hissy fit every day and never returning. if this were the case, no one would make past his/her Bachelor degree.

Having said this, I realize of course that this forum is not grad school - it does *sort of* attempt to be an academic forum - but of course the criteria here is very different. I am not saying that typos and errors don't happen (of course it depends on the "error"- there are different degrees of "errors" - some are acceptable - others are not). To me this is not about the typo or an error in Ms Hall's book. These things happen. To me this is about something else entirely. Some of us have higher standards for historical works, others among us take it all in stride. Either way is fine as far I am concerned, it's a personal choice on a forum such as this. But to stifle legitimate discussion and/or critique, or even personal opinion, - I don't think it's desirable, even on a privately owned discussion forum...



Permit me to briefly stand on my soapbox before I slide off gracefully. At graduate school following years of intense research at the laboratory bench I wrote up a dissertation which I proudly submitted well on time. Within a month I was informed that there were problems with some of the material that I presented, and it was challenged directly by one of the examiners, whose work I had discussed in a manner she was not too pleased to read. Fundamentally, it was my interpretation of her own work, (she was one of few specialists in that field of endeavor in the world at the time) that was in dispite. I stood by my words, but in the end I was instructed to rewrite that chapter. This time I briefly mentioned that particular work as part of a continuing process without fear or favor. There was some compromise, in that on re-writing I was able to admit new material that rendered that contentious work somewhat irrelevant. Time was on my side here. Yes, I was deeply hurt at the time, that my first submission failed, but, after that second opportunity I understood that my final product encouraged me to dig deeper, re-appraise that chapter in a new light, and more importantly strive to construct a better product to satisfy the most crtical examininers. I received a distinction.
 
As a medical scientist it was instilled into me whilst I was in training, that numbers and dates can be indeed be critical, and in a diagnostic scenario there can be little margin for error. Had such an error resulted by my hand, then it would have been perceived as inexcusable.
 
When I entered Law School, again I encountered the importance of dates and numbers. In a forensic scenario, these parameters have meaning to the investigation. As can be imagined the correct notation of timing can be critical in helping to solve a case, based on the evidence before the examiner.
 
Margarita
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Belochka on October 12, 2006, 08:34:50 PM
And really, I don't think anyone's blasted or slammed the book in question here.

Absolutely not. The book was not discussed in totality. The few points raised here cannot be construed as a discussion of the qualties of the entire book.

Sure, mistakes happen. But I think there is more than one meaning to "inexcusable", .....
....(If an error like the 1942 Pearl Harbor incident slips by in my book, you can be sure I'll be throwing around words like "inexcusable" and "mortification"... and a few other choice phrases. ;) )

Exactly! Thank you Sarushka.  :)

Margarita
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Belochka on October 12, 2006, 08:42:24 PM
I'd be willing to bet that's the case in this instance -- something akin to when Helen_A. wrote "20/7" in her last post when I think she probably meant "24/7". Now, we all know Helen is aware there are 24 hours in a day, and we're probably not going to question her intelligence or her writing ability because of a keyboard slip.

You'd lose the bet  8). In fact, I meant 20/7  - I did get to sleep sometimes - 4 hours per day   ;) :D.

A wonderful example which illustrates the meaning of numbers.  ;)

Margarita
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Sarushka on October 12, 2006, 09:57:46 PM
I'd be willing to bet that's the case in this instance -- something akin to when Helen_A. wrote "20/7" in her last post when I think she probably meant "24/7". Now, we all know Helen is aware there are 24 hours in a day, and we're probably not going to question her intelligence or her writing ability because of a keyboard slip.

You'd lose the bet  8). In fact, I meant 20/7  - I did get to sleep sometimes - 4 hours per day   ;) :D.


Hoo hoo -- that's terrific! I briefly considered that possibility but figured what the heck, and took a risk.  Good thing I didn't bet all the cash in my wallet, like I did last week on anther thread! :D
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Eurohistory on October 13, 2006, 08:45:58 AM
It is not a matter of avoiding criticism of someone who may happent to be one's acquaintance or friend.  That is not the case here.  Charlotte Zeepvat is an acquaiintance of mine.  I thinnk highly of her work.  But I am irked to no end by her ridiculos use of the Grand Prince/Princess title, which even according to the Imperial Foreign Minister's diplomatic guide is incorrect.  I also do not accept her take on KR particularly when she has stated that because he had children he was not gay.  People who know very little about human sexuality should not make statements of the kind.

In the past I have disagreed with statements made by other authors, like Greg King, Penny Wilson, Marlen Koenig and yes even Coryne Hall.  All I consider at the very least friends, if not very good acquaintances.

The point here is the way in which criticism is metted out by some of our fellow posters...critisim which goes beyond disagreeing with someone's take and lands into a flat out vendetta style attack and open blasting of someone's efforts to research, write and publish a book.  In years past I described these sort of critics as nothing more than "bitter" rocking chair writers, who can barely write their signature on a check and yet blast away at someone who has undertaken the endeavour to write a full book or an article.  And you know what, the more I see this the more I am convinced that rocking chair authors are safely ensconced in their realm of criticism and will never get off their lazy behind and actually share something positive, illuminating and intersting with the rest of us.

Surely, there will be many in this discussion who are going to reply to my post with vitriol and even a personal attack.  However, as someone who has authored more than 50 articles, authored three books, and coauthored two, somene who has published six books now, I have a stake in this.  I also have developed a rather thick skin when it comes to unkind and uncivil attacks and always mention so to those adventurous people like Coryne Hall, who actually dare to sit down and write more than a ripping of someone else's work.

All in all...books include mistakes.  Yes they do, even mine. Marlene has already accepted the same. We are not perfect.  What makes us different from rocking chair writers is that we dare put our thoughts to paper in a positive manner, that we share with the reading world what we've researched and studied, that we care enough about this topic of ours to publish our findings. And if someone doesn't like it, or takes exception to my words, well tampis, but entre nous I am simply sickened by these personal attacks on hardworking authors which are tinged, in some cases, with faintly covered envy.

There...I've said enough!

Arturo Beéche

PS: To all those of you who emailed and urged that I reply to this, thanks, I share your opinion and here it is posted...enjoy reading and relishishing the avalanche that is about to rain on me.
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Helen_Azar on October 13, 2006, 09:01:49 AM
I am simply sickened by these personal attacks on hardworking authors which are tinged, in some cases, with faintly covered envy.

Hi Art,

I am just curious -  what makes you think that these criticisms are personal? Perhaps our definitions of the term "personal" differ. Thanks!

Helen

P.S.   My definitions of "personal":

*concerning or affecting a particular person and his or her private life and personality

*intimately concerning a person's body or physical being

I would like to hear yours.


Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Eurohistory on October 13, 2006, 10:36:46 AM
When someone comes in here and says that because there was an error on a date therefore her entire workload is not worth reading.  That, to me, is a personal attack - for one mistake this person's work of more than 10 years is therefore thrown into the trash bin.

Coryne is not the only one who has suffered these sort of attacks.  Penny and Greg undergo this vitriol on a regular basis, usually from people who have never written a book, nor can ever muster the knowledge and effort to write a book, much less get it published for the love of God.

And I am speaking about generalities indeed...this is not directed to you or anyone in particular...let blame lay where it falls, but hnestly the level of criticism I see coming from someone of our fellow posters is simply beyond the pale...it is as if Greg, Penny, Coryne can do no right.  I'd love to see what the rocking chair authors can produce, write and publish...simply dying to see what they can do.

And with that enough said...I've got to go and teach three classes today!

Arturo Beéche
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Ortino on October 13, 2006, 11:27:58 AM
When someone comes in here and says that because there was an error on a date therefore her entire workload is not worth reading.  That, to me, is a personal attack - for one mistake this person's work of more than 10 years is therefore thrown into the trash bin.

Coryne is not the only one who has suffered these sort of attacks.  Penny and Greg undergo this vitriol on a regular basis, usually from people who have never written a book, nor can ever muster the knowledge and effort to write a book, much less get it published for the love of God.

And I am speaking about generalities indeed...this is not directed to you or anyone in particular...let blame lay where it falls, but hnestly the level of criticism I see coming from someone of our fellow posters is simply beyond the pale...it is as if Greg, Penny, Coryne can do no right.  I'd love to see what the rocking chair authors can produce, write and publish...simply dying to see what they can do.

And with that enough said...I've got to go and teach three classes today!

Arturo Beéche


Who ever said that that one error made the entire book not worth reading? I never said anything along those lines. I understand that no book is error-free, but I'm sorry if I start to get anxious when obvious mistakes are made. As I've said more than enough times, IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN A TYPO, but I personally find Lisa's excuse to be unacceptable. It is difficult to be misinformed in this case, particularly when so many sources can provide this information. And for the sake of peace, I think we should avoid bringing up FOTR. I personally believe though that there was enough content in there to warrant questioning.
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: LisaDavidson on October 13, 2006, 03:26:57 PM
When someone comes in here and says that because there was an error on a date therefore her entire workload is not worth reading.  That, to me, is a personal attack - for one mistake this person's work of more than 10 years is therefore thrown into the trash bin.

Coryne is not the only one who has suffered these sort of attacks.  Penny and Greg undergo this vitriol on a regular basis, usually from people who have never written a book, nor can ever muster the knowledge and effort to write a book, much less get it published for the love of God.

And I am speaking about generalities indeed...this is not directed to you or anyone in particular...let blame lay where it falls, but hnestly the level of criticism I see coming from someone of our fellow posters is simply beyond the pale...it is as if Greg, Penny, Coryne can do no right.  I'd love to see what the rocking chair authors can produce, write and publish...simply dying to see what they can do.

And with that enough said...I've got to go and teach three classes today!

Arturo Beéche


Who ever said that that one error made the entire book not worth reading? I never said anything along those lines. I understand that no book is error-free, but I'm sorry if I start to get anxious when obvious mistakes are made. As I've said more than enough times, IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN A TYPO, but I personally find Lisa's excuse to be unacceptable. It is difficult to be misinformed in this case, particularly when so many sources can provide this information. And for the sake of peace, I think we should avoid bringing up a published source. I personally believe though that there was enough content in there to warrant questioning.

It is unfortunate that my attempt to explain why there might be an error in Coryne's book is considered by another poster to be "an excuse that is unacceptable". I've got to wonder, since when did it happen that an effort to explain something to another person become an excuse? It obviously was a typo, and one that was not caught before it went to print. I've no idea how this error occured, not being Coryne or her publisher. It is entirely possible that it is not even an error she made. I stand by my tempest in a teapot opinion, but feel that everyone is entitled to their own view, as long as it is clearly understood that Mrs. Hall herself has not offered this "excuse".

And we cannot bring up that other published source because of the reasons Arturo cites in his email. There are some who post here who get unbelievably nasty about any writer who makes any mistake at all. An attempt to place matters in context and one is immediately attacked or falsely accused of favoritism. Because of this lack of moderation and reasonableness, we cannot discuss an entire book. Also because of these lacks, I cannot in good conscience invite writers to participate here. So, the entire effect is to stifle discussion and free expession. It's really sad when you think about it.
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Marlene on October 13, 2006, 04:02:43 PM
Excuse me, Art, but ....

I am practically perfect in every way .... ::)


In all seriousness,  I am tired of the attacks on Coryne.  I have known Coryne probably longer than anyone here.  I read the Dagmar book long before it was a book --I am so happy to see Coryne published after all her hardwork.

No book is perfect ... sometimes it is the fault of the author; in other cases, the proofreader or the editor fails to pick up stuff ...   It could have been the fault of the typsetter  too ...

It is not a matter of avoiding criticism of someone who may happent to be one's acquaintance or friend.  That is not the case here.  Charlotte Zeepvat is an acquaiintance of mine.  I thinnk highly of her work.  But I am irked to no end by her ridiculos use of the Grand Prince/Princess title, which even according to the Imperial Foreign Minister's diplomatic guide is incorrect.  I also do not accept her take on KR particularly when she has stated that because he had children he was not gay.  People who know very little about human sexuality should not make statements of the kind.

In the past I have disagreed with statements made by other authors, like Greg King, Penny Wilson, Marlen Koenig and yes even Coryne Hall.  All I consider at the very least friends, if not very good acquaintances.

The point here is the way in which criticism is metted out by some of our fellow posters...critisim which goes beyond disagreeing with someone's take and lands into a flat out vendetta style attack and open blasting of someone's efforts to research, write and publish a book.  In years past I described these sort of critics as nothing more than "bitter" rocking chair writers, who can barely write their signature on a check and yet blast away at someone who has undertaken the endeavour to write a full book or an article.  And you know what, the more I see this the more I am convinced that rocking chair authors are safely ensconced in their realm of criticism and will never get off their lazy behind and actually share something positive, illuminating and intersting with the rest of us.

Surely, there will be many in this discussion who are going to reply to my post with vitriol and even a personal attack.  However, as someone who has authored more than 50 articles, authored three books, and coauthored two, somene who has published six books now, I have a stake in this.  I also have developed a rather thick skin when it comes to unkind and uncivil attacks and always mention so to those adventurous people like Coryne Hall, who actually dare to sit down and write more than a ripping of someone else's work.

All in all...books include mistakes.  Yes they do, even mine. Marlene has already accepted the same. We are not perfect.  What makes us different from rocking chair writers is that we dare put our thoughts to paper in a positive manner, that we share with the reading world what we've researched and studied, that we care enough about this topic of ours to publish our findings. And if someone doesn't like it, or takes exception to my words, well tampis, but entre nous I am simply sickened by these personal attacks on hardworking authors which are tinged, in some cases, with faintly covered envy.

There...I've said enough!

Arturo Beéche

PS: To all those of you who emailed and urged that I reply to this, thanks, I share your opinion and here it is posted...enjoy reading and relishishing the avalanche that is about to rain on me.
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: imperial angel on April 24, 2009, 12:16:22 AM
I finally got a chance to read this book. It's a great book, with lots of info. Mathilde was really a very interesting woman though rather self centered who lived quite a life. She reminds me a bit of Marie Feordorovna, Nicholas II's mother. I guess that's because Mathilde was a people person and very much into society and she was pragmatic and practical, and lived a long life- the same is true of Nicholas's mother. But her lifestyle  was very different than Marie F who never would have had a lover. Mathilde truly loved Andrei though, and Nicholas too although she was a bit of a social climber, who knew the advantages to being a Grand Duke's mistress, indeed as this bio says she never truly was in love with Grand Duke Sergei M, her second lover ( after Nicholas).  She stuck by Andrei even after the Revolution, married him and they spent years in financial circumstances far from riches and palaces together. Mathilde loved riches, but when she didn't have them, she still was a survivor and had the same attitude towards life. She was a survivor, and reading about how she ran her ballet school to support herself and her son and Andrei no matter what in the last few decades of her life proves the strength she had. Some survivors of the Revolution were forever haunted by it. I'm sure in some ways, she was. But, she proved that long after the riches and palaces were long gone, she still had the same spirit. You have to admire that.
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: historylover on April 25, 2009, 06:29:24 PM
I agree, but there is some suggestion that Mathilde was arms smuggling which was very unethical! What do people think of that?

Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: LisaDavidson on April 26, 2009, 02:25:20 AM
I agree, but there is some suggestion that Mathilde was arms smuggling which was very unethical! What do people think of that?



I think that a suggestion is gossip, and I would be very careful about gossiping without some actual proof. That's what this people thinks. (The people who still will not ask writer friends to post here due to poor behavior of some forum members.)
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: imperial angel on April 27, 2009, 01:15:10 AM
There was  a lot of gossip about the Romanovs and people they knew like Mathilde, during World War I. Alexandra was said to be a German spy and Rasputin's lover, things we know are not true today. Of course Alexandra was targeted not only due to foreign birth, but unpopularity with the country. On the other hand, Mathilde was of Polish descent and grew up in Russia, and was thus not a foreigner, really. But Mathilde was wealthy and associated with the Romanovs, so this could give impetus to gossip. Coryne Hall never says in her book whether or Mathilde actually did this, just mentions the speculation at the time, thus it isn't proven. Alexandra mentioned this gossip- speculation about Mathilde in her letters to Nicholas during World War I as mentioned in Coryne Hall's book, so she seemed to have believed it, of course I doubt Mathilde was one of Alexandra's favorite people. But Alexandra herself was a target of  untrue gossip.
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: historylover on May 02, 2009, 06:39:01 PM

I agree that Coryne mentioned that this was speculation, but she did have some evidence that seemed to back it up, if I remember correctly?  I wonder if this rumour was the reason why the Bolsheviks chose Mathilde's house as their HQ?
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: imperial angel on May 04, 2009, 10:37:00 PM
Coryne Hall mentions that as possibility, that's true- of course, Mathilde was hated anyway as a symbol of the Romanov regime. I didn't look up what her evidence was in the foot notes, or what she might have based it on.
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: historylover on May 13, 2009, 07:56:59 PM
Choosing a house of a former ballerina for their HQ truly indicates how uncultured the Bolsheviks were, I think. 
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: imperial angel on May 17, 2009, 02:49:19 PM
Well, eventually they were more favorable towards some ballet dancers. The Bolsheviks were never going to be favorable towards Mathilde because she was so associated with the Romanovs and had a morgantic Romanov son. But, according to Mathilde's biography, Mathilde's brother Joseph remained in Russia although his circumstaces declined, and had a career in ballet still. However, he of course identified with the Revolution, not the old regime.
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: historylover on May 30, 2009, 07:07:04 PM

It would be interesting to read more about Joseph.

Is Mathilde's autobiography worth reading as well as Corynne's book?
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Alixz on May 31, 2009, 02:11:56 AM
Just my opinion - I have always hesitated to read Mathilde's book as she does come across as self oriented and I was afraid that I would be bored by her love of herself.  I have always felt that she would be very self promoting.

As for Coryne's book, I like her work and I would give it an unbiased chance.  I have Once a Grand Duchess by Hall and Van der Kriste and two other books by Van der Kriste alone.  I like the book where they collaborated much better than the books that Van der Kriste wrote alone.  Coryne Hall adds much to the collaboration.
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: historylover on June 20, 2009, 08:39:31 PM
I'd like to read Mathilde's book and compare it with Corynne's.
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Alixz on June 20, 2009, 08:51:00 PM
Actually that is what I am doing.

I just bought both in paperback.  I have finished Coryne's book and I just started on Mathilde's.  Right now, Mathilde is less interesting and there is less about her relationship with Nicholas than I would have thought.

Coryne has much more on their intimacy and Mathilde is just much more romantic.

However, if either one of them uses the word "lavish" to describe another dinner or supper, I will have to put that word on my list of words we want removed from the dictionary in 2009.
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: LisaDavidson on June 22, 2009, 03:57:44 PM
I'd like to read Mathilde's book and compare it with Corynne's.

Compare how? That seems rather apples and oranges to me. Coryne Hall is a professional writer and biographer, so she can (and is) be much more objective than someone writing an autobiography. If that someone is Ksschenskaya, she clearly had a reason to be less than truthful and objective, although her first person memoirs are doubtless interesting all on their own.

My point is, one out of necessity reads a biography much differently than memoirs.
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Alixz on June 23, 2009, 02:09:00 PM
What I meant by comparing the two books would be to see if Coryne with all of the documents and other memoirs she has had access to would have a different perhaps clearer view of Mathilde's life.

I would have thought that Mathilde would have been overly impressed by herself and overly proud of her affair de coure with Nicholas.  I expected more, "I am wonderful", from Mathilde, but so far that is not the case.

The most interesting part of both books so far is the Revolution and the escape.  Otherwise just listing the ballets and the roles that Mathilde appeared in along with those "lavish" suppers and dinners is a bit boring.
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Anastasia Spalko on July 01, 2009, 02:40:55 PM
Something about Mathilde Kschessinska's personality and affiliation with the Romanovs kind of freaks me out a bit.  I wonder what would have happened if Nicholas had married her instead of Alix.  Would things have ended out differently, or would the Revolutionaries have found something to be upset about and had a revolution anyways?
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Naslednik on July 01, 2009, 03:58:41 PM
About comparing Coryne Hall's book with MK's:  it is fun.  You are right that Coryne gives a lot more info about MK's relationship with N.  But reading Mathilde's book is like looking directly at the moon, rather than through a telescope.  I always feel a direct excitement from her storytelling, particularly her adoring attitude toward N.  And if Mathilde is stretching the truth, I can chalk that up to many human failings, all understandable.

It is funny to read Mathilde's summation of N's character and her experience with him, which she writes in that 'Inevitable' chapter, I think.  She praises her chats with him as some of her most treasured experiences.  Chats?  Over politics?  What was she really trying to say???
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Alixz on July 02, 2009, 09:55:07 AM
Romanov Grand Dukes may have had a dalliance (and some of the dalliances lasted for a lifetime) with their ballerinas, but none ever married them until after the revolution.

Both Nicholas and Mathilde knew that marriage was not possible, but the more I dig and read, the more I think that he was in contact with her in big and small ways over his entire marriage.

Alix may have been the "love of his life" but Mathilde was his "first love" and that always holds a special place in one's heart.

Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Naslednik on July 22, 2009, 06:08:31 PM
Alixz,
I'm interested in what you say about N being in contact with Mathilde in big + small ways over his lifetime.  I agree, but wonder if there is any evidence.  Undoubtedly, he could make eye contact with her when he sat in the first row at the Krasnoe theater (which is mentioned in an autobiog. by a Mariinsky dancer, Anatole Bourmann).

Dancers used to come to the royal box, too, for recognition -- but did adult dancers come, or just the Imperial Ballet school kids?  MK mentions that N+A gave her a serpent brooch on her 10th anniversary recital, but it was delivered by Sergei Michailovich.  I can't figure out if the last time they ever spoke to each other was in 1894, or if he continued to walk backstage, as Tsars had been doing for decades.  Do you know?

I think that it is Coryne Hall who says that Alix forbade N to attend any more Imp. Ballet School recitals, like the one he attended in 1890.  But I seriously doubt that, in fact, I think she was unaware of evidence to the contrary.  Bourmann describes how the Tsar came into class one day unannounced, and then had lunch with them.  It is a moving description.  Nijinsky had gotten into a fight earlier, and had a 'shiner.'  Bourmann said something like 'let it be recorded that there was understanding in his (the Tsar's) eyes as he scanned the black and blue cheek.' (a reference to hemophilia...)  Then N told the 2 combatants that 'they had had their fun' and had to pay the price by not getting any dessert!
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Alixz on July 23, 2009, 08:42:24 AM
N - I can't remember if you said that you have read Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall.  There are many references to Mathilde contacting Nicholas when things didn't go her way in the ballet and even outside of the theater.

Only in one place does she mention that the Tsar asked Mathilde to be in a certain spot so that he could see her as he passed by,but in several other places, she mentions that Mathilde would write to the Tsar to ask him to sort out a problem for her and get her the solution that she wanted.

I haven't finished Dancing in St Petersburg yet.
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: historylover on July 26, 2009, 12:49:22 AM
I'm looking forward to reading 'Dancing in Petersburg'!
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Naslednik on May 17, 2010, 03:45:10 PM
Alixz, Sorry I didn't reply earlier.  Yes, I've read Imperial Dancer, and know all about the letters of MK to the Tsar to request unusual favors (let her dance in 1896 Moscow festivities, have a 10th anniversary recital, using her own costumes, etc.).  And Sergei M. passed information from her to him, but who knows about the other direction.  What would be more interesting (for me) to know is whether or not they were ever even in the same room, or spoke to each other after 1894.  A pretty basic question, and one that MK doesn't make clear in her book.  It is possible that they never did more than pass each other in the theater/royal box.  If Nicholas' mother didn't even want MK to dance in Moscow in 1896, it is possible that he was under a lot of pressure to avoid her.
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: historylover on May 23, 2010, 05:13:33 AM
I would like to know the same things, Naslednik.  I find the tale of the Tsar's relationship with Mathilde
so moving and romantic! I am sure that they were always very special to each other. It is very sad that
the Tsar couldn't have more contact with her after he was married, but it is easy to understand the
Empress's jealousy.

I would also like to know more about Mathilde and Anna Pavlova.
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Constantinople on May 23, 2010, 06:35:22 AM
In one scene of one of the Russian movies on the last days of the Imperial family, there is a scene where the Imperial Family are having a picnic by a river and Nicholas accidentally drops a picture card of the balerina and Alix sees it and storms off and I am sure this is based on a real incident as teh rest of the movie is well researched.
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Janet Ashton on May 23, 2010, 12:34:58 PM
In one scene of one of the Russian movies on the last days of the Imperial family, there is a scene where the Imperial Family are having a picnic by a river and Nicholas accidentally drops a picture card of the balerina and Alix sees it and storms off and I am sure this is based on a real incident as teh rest of the movie is well researched.

The movie is "Romanovy", and while it may have been well-researched, I certainly wouldn't consider it particularly accurate - to me it's just nationalist propaganda, with the addition of the odd invented romance. I may sound harsh, but as I've said here before I do think the story of Nicholas and Mathilde has been hugely romanticized (though certainly not, I should add, by Coryne Hall, whose book is pretty devastatingly realistic in its assessment of the whole situation).  I have never read an account of any such scene anywhere.
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: imperial angel on August 08, 2010, 07:06:54 AM
No, I don't think that any such scene happened. I thought, (but it has been awhile since I read the book, so I have to admit I don't remember specifics), that Imperial Dancer romanticized the Nicholas II/ MK affair a bit, but certainly not to the extent of that scene in Romanovy.
Title: Re: Imperial Dancer by Coryne Hall
Post by: Zella on June 09, 2012, 06:41:08 PM
am just finishing this book.  delightful!  MK's charm, kind heartness and bravura dancing shine thoughout.  what a life!! 

I would be surprised if she and the Tsar didn't have contact through out his life.