Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about the Imperial Family and European Royalty => Servants, Friends and Retainers => Topic started by: anna on February 05, 2004, 04:26:31 PM

Title: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: anna on February 05, 2004, 04:26:31 PM
I would like to know more about Anna Vyrubova. Was she really so innocent as she looked like? Was she in love with the Tsar?
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: JamesHogland on February 10, 2004, 01:45:28 AM
According to Edvard Radzinsky, Anna was not in love with Nicholas but with Alexandra. However, since this was very unacceptable at that time and knowing how Alexandra would feel if this became know, Anna, being a very clever woman, pretended she had a crush on Nicholas. Alexander and the tsar thought this all too cute and doted on Anna. Alexandra made her a close friend, although she complained to Nicholas that Anna was too cloyingly close at times, Thus Anna achieved what she wanted, to be close to Alexandra. If this is true the poor woman must have had to watch herself very closely and act against all instincts to keep her true
feelings from being discovered.   Many regarded her as a rather simple minded, ditzy sort of woman, but as Radzinsky points out, she managed to fool both the provisional government and the Bolsheviks into believing she knew nothing. They let her go in the end and she died in poverty in Finland.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: BobAtchison on February 10, 2004, 04:02:21 PM
I think what many of us forget when we read the consistantly negative press on Anna is that she was a daughter of the nobility and raised in wealth and comfort.  She was not an middle class girl who managed to weasle her way into the family.  She was not a starry-eyed girl in love with the fairy-tale life of a palace.  Anna had been in palaces all her life and she was an official Lady-in-Waiting.

Nichoals and Alexandra considered her as a fifth daughter.  I do not believe the lesbian angle because Anna Vyrubova had the reputation of flirting with many of the officers in the Imperial Guard.  She replayed the 'footsie game' with other men besides Nicholas.  Her reputation among the guards was as a woman looking for a husband.

After her annulment she continued as a virgin.  She had a horrible train accident that made her a partial invalid.

She was emotional and theatrical at times, spoiled and jealous of her access to the family.  Perhaps she wasn't bright and witty and she was unfashionably chubby.  Some of the people who criticized her the most were actually two-faced people who played up to her and predended to be her friends before the revolution.  Felix is a good example.

During the revolution she was very badly mistreated badly in prison.  A medical examination proved her to be a virgin, and such she stayed for the rest of her life.  She took private vows and became a nun in Finland, though she continued to live at home and wear street clothes.  Until her death she was devoted to the Imperial family and their memory.

Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Greg_King on February 11, 2004, 02:38:46 AM
One of these I've been curious about lately is Anna's first marriage to Alexander Vyrubov.  Anna's book gives one side of the issue, but looking at Elizabeth Naryshkin-Kuryakin, you have a number of assertions.

“I never could understand,” wrote Princess Naryshkin-Kuryakin, “what had persuaded her to take this step for apparently she had never felt the slightest affection for him.”  She asserts that the marriage quickly failed, as Anna was unwilling to abandon her long hours spent with the Imperial Family, nor even allow her new husband to share her bed; when Vyrubov complained that his wife was neglecting him, she fled to the house of her parents, and immediately began to spread malicious rumors that her husband “had lost his reason in consequence of his excitement at the battle of Tsushima,” and was impotent, as Naryshkin-Kuryakin says.

It looks as if Anna successfully played on the Empress’s sympathy and feelings of guilt over the union, and soon a Court official informed Vyrubov that Alexandra wished him to grant his wife an immediate divorce.  The young lieutenant, recalled Princess Naryshkin-Kuryakin, “was very much grieved; in fact, he wept, but gradually began to realize that a happy life with Anna had become impossible and so decided to release her from the ties which bound her to him.”

What to me makes this more believable is that after the marriage was annulled, Alexander Vyrubov married again, this time quite happily, and fathered two children before his premature death just before the Revolution.  So it is unlikely he was impotent, though possible he was an recovered.  But Naryshkin-Kuryakin's views on the marriage seem to me to probably be correct.  I wonder if there are any opinions on this?

Greg King
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: 3710 on February 11, 2004, 07:43:50 AM
Greg, do we really care about Vyrubov's sexual performance? And do you really trust St.Petersburg gossip regarding his marriage? What did they NOT said about this marriage?There is a Russian saying ''ia so svechoi ne stoial'' meaning I was not holding light by their bedside. So true in this case.
I do not remember reading anything even slightly symphathetic about Anna Vyrubova anywhere (Radzinsky, perhaps, but he is not a contemporary). Can you think of anything?
Thanks
Galina
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Greg_King on February 11, 2004, 10:11:35 AM
Well, as a matter of historical interest, yes, I care, because it is a question of history.  She gives one version, and here you have a contradictory version.  And that's part of what interests me about history in general and the Romanovs in particular-little details, finding out information, digging deeper.

I'd have to say that I would not characterize Princess Elizabeth Naryshkin-Kuryakin, who was Alexandra's Ober-Gofmeisterina, or Mistress of the Robes and First Lady of State (or most senior Lady in Waiting) as "St.Petersburg gossip."  She was there, knew Anna and Alexander Vyrubov very well, was one of the most senior members of the Imperial Court, and the most senior member of Alexandra's Personal Suite.  As such, her words carry weight, and I don't think can easily be dismissed.  She may be wrong on the issue, but I think it is important, as a historical question, to examine the issue.

So, to me, this has nothing to do with being sympathetic or not to Anna.  Historically, you have to separate personalities from issues, and this person-with two starkly different versions of a major event that informed her life and her closeness to the Empress-is a key one when looking at one of the most intimate witnesses to the lives of the Imperial Family.

Greg King
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Silja on February 11, 2004, 03:00:31 PM
Hey Greg, you are not THE Greg King, are you?

Regards,
Silja
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: anna on February 11, 2004, 04:12:01 PM
Silja,

You better believe it, it's THE KING.

Anna  ;)
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Silja on February 11, 2004, 04:22:05 PM
Hi anna,

I see. How interesting  :)
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: BobAtchison on February 11, 2004, 08:01:23 PM
Greg:

Madame Naryishkina believed Alexandra was a German spy - can you believe that?  Since reading this I have always wondered about her.  She was closer to the Empress than almost anyone and sh really things this is true?

Isn't it true that she claims to have been a good friend of Kerensky and was very happy to help him out and inform on the family after the Revolution?  Why Alexandra continued to care for this woman I don't know.

Bob
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Greg_King on February 12, 2004, 12:27:22 AM
Bob:

I am not sure where Princess Naryshkin-Kuryakina claimed that Alix was a German spy.  Certainly not in her book:

"Although her closest relatives-among them her own brother-were fighting on the German side, she regarded herself as absolutely Russian.  It would be nothing but calumny to accuse her of sympathy with the enemy!"(page 211)

She mentions a plot, not involving the Empress, involving possible negotiations for a separate peace and, indeed, Protopopov had himself undertaken a number of such feelers in 1916.  This is an historically gray area, because there is nothing to indicate that Nicholas approved of this, but on the other hand he knew of it and did nothing to stop it (I wrote a huge article about this about a year ago, and can cite the sources if anyone is interested).  But the Princess herself never in her book, at least that I can see, accuses the Empress of German sympathies.  If she did make such a remark, I'd be interested in knowing about it!
 
As to Kerensky: Her book makes it rather clear (pages 222-24) that she first met him when he came to the Alexander Palace after the Revolution.  She-like the other members of the Imperial Court, Entourage, and Household-was questioned by the Provisional Government's Commission, but I wouldn't consider testifying before them (under orders) as being an indication that she "informed" on the Imperial Family-Anna Vyrubova did the same thing.  Again, if she made some further comment about this I'd be very interested in hearing about it!

Greg King
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: 3710 on February 12, 2004, 10:03:20 AM
Greg, I am not  being intimidated with Naryshkina's titles! :) Gossip she was. Everything regarding intimate relationship of other people sounds like gossip. And so many prominent people of this time wrote complete rubbish in their memories. Amusing to read - yes, final words of wisdom- no.  Most of them were very jealous of Vyrubova's closeness to the Family and considered themselves far more suitable for such position. So why would they be fare to a poor woman? The marriage did not work out (as Rasputin predicted...) - that's the only fact we know for sure.
Galina
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Janet_Ashton on February 12, 2004, 02:07:49 PM
I respectfully disagree, Galina - I don't think that interest in someone's intimate life is gossip per se. Perhaps it just shows that Narishkine-Kourakine was close to one of the parties in the drama (Vyrubov) and indignant that his side of the story had been misrepresented? After all, it must have had a devastating affect on his life.

I am interested in your view that the memoirs of many at court at this time contained gossip and inaccuracies - can you think of any specific instances of this in the case of Narishkine-Kouryakine? -  Or of anyone else, for that matter? - and, since I am inclined to agree with you on this general point, how, as a matter of personal interest to me, do you go about establishing who lied..?

Thanks...

Janet

Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: 3710 on February 14, 2004, 04:51:41 AM
Dear Janet
it depends of what we call 'gossip'. For me - saying something you can't possibly know for sure regarding other people  (such as Anna's feelings and her husband's sexual abilities). I can't see how Naryshkina could have had any personal knowledge of both (unless....) I do not have all my Romanov books by hand, but what to do with Lili Dahn mentioning   Vyrubov's wife beating as a well known fact in the society? She was just as close to Alexandra's circle as Naryshkina. I am sure I have read something about Vyrubov's sexual pervertions somewhere, as well. Gossip is not a bad thing as such, it 's a flavour of the time, but it is difficult to base judgements on it.
I have found another passage on Anna :Alexandra pushed Anna into loveless marriage, telling her it was her duty to have  a husband...The man, Alexander Vyrubov .. was mentally disturbed. The marriage soon fell apart- Anna discovered that her husband was disturbed. He was also importent and could not consumate the marriage'' written by... Greg King in Last Tsarina! And no refferal to sources.  
But I did not mean to make a big issue of it, just a passing comment, it is not an important subject.
Sorry to be a bore!
Galina
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Janet_Ashton on February 14, 2004, 11:06:04 AM
Hi Galina
     Thanks for getting back all the same! - I like to talk about sources and tease things out.

Narishkina and Lili do agree substantially actually: both assert that Anna had no desire to marry Vyrubov and that the marriage was a  complete failure. I don't think either claim to know what specifically went on within it : these allegations were Anna's (in her book as well as reported in Naryshkina's). Obviously she'd know, but the fact that other sources, including also Marie Bariatinsky as well as Naryshkina, take a more benevolent view of her husband's character raise the possibility that she lied or exaggerated to get out of the marriage. I don't think his sexual performance is an  important point.....:-)

Janet
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: BobAtchison on February 14, 2004, 11:12:20 AM
Greg:

On page 224 of "Under Three Tsars" by Elizabeth Narishkin-Kurakin -

"March 28th - The papers found on Anna Vyrubova are said to be very compromising as they refer to espionage and a separate peace.  If that is to be proved true, it would mean high treason and call for the utmost punishment.  We know now that a plot of this nature really was afoot, and that the guilty participation of the Empress in trying to secure a separate peace, thus commiting treason against Russia, has been definitely proved.  She was indignant at Kerenski's order's, and talked senselessly all night.  She cannot understand anything, and has been screaming for an hour until she is hoarse.  Very tiring"

Of course neither Anna or Alexandra committed treason against Russia.  It's obvious she is talking about the death penalty for Anna.  She hated Anna, many people did.

Regarding Kerensky and Madame Narishkina:

"History's Turning Point" by Kerensky page 157

"But it was from the faithfull old lady-in-waiting Elizabeth Alekseyevna Naryskina ("Zizi") that I learned the most revealing facts.  She had known and loved the Tsar, whom she always called "Niki" from his birth.  She attributed a great deal of his insecure and shifty nature to the environment of his formative years and to the heavy hand of his stern father. Alexander III, she told me, had crushed the will of the sensitive elsest son, making him insincere, secretive, and even treacherous.  But it was the Tsarina whom she blamed most of all.... (he now goes on to relate lots of inside gossip she told him, who needs such friends!).

On page 331 he relates more things she told him.

Obviously she went out of her way to fill Kerensky in on lots of private things about the family, she didn't have to do this.

I have read elsewhere that it was claimed Kerensky and her were friends - I still have to find that.

Bob
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Janet_Ashton on February 14, 2004, 11:39:49 AM
Kerensky, in all fairness, is hardly noted for the accuracy of his "voluminous and medacious" memoirs - even allowing for the fallibility of human memory! He elaborates and builds on stories between versions, and his most "interesting" hint is that Narishkina implied to him that Alexei was General Orlov's son (I'm writing here from memory so can't cite unfortunately...)

Janet
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Almedingen on February 14, 2004, 01:27:04 PM
Does anyone know what the inside of Anna Vyrubova's house looks like today?  What kind of state is it in?  Has it been changed since she lived there?

Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: BobAtchison on February 14, 2004, 02:10:39 PM
Janet - I wouldn't be surprized if "Zizi" hadn't told him that.  She certainly seems to have been quite a gossip!

Bob
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Greg_King on February 14, 2004, 06:05:00 PM
Bob-

That'll teach me to completely read through!

However, I do see a problem here.  The earlier passage I cited in which the Princess says that "it would be nothing but calumny to accuse her of sympathy with the enemy" stands in direct contradiction to what she wrote on page 224.  The difference between the two might be important: the passage referring to tge Empress's innocence from p. 211 is from the Princess's written account-i.e.-written by her at the time she sat down and wrote her memoirs.  Whereas the passage on p. 224 is taken, as she notes, directly from her diary that she kept during the first weeks of the Revolution.  So her passage that you quote from p. 224 might only reflect her feelings on March 28, 1917-the time she wrote that particular entry.  It doesn't make much sense otherwise to have that passage and for her earlier to have gone to great pains to say that AF wasn't guilty of treason!

But in reading carefully, it seems that what the Princess is saying in her diary is not that the Empress was pro-German in her sympathies but rather she is speaking about negotiations for a separate peace-when she speaks of "treason against Russia" and "the guilty participation of the Empress" she is clearly referring to this plot, not to Alix being a German spy or what have you.

This seems to me at least to be an important distinction, because as I posted earlier there was actually a concerted effort, undertaken by Protopopov, to try to work out some kind of separate peace-and as I said Nicholas certainly knew of this and did nothing about it.  So it's possible that the Princess is referring to Alix in relation to this plot-at least it seems likely to me.  This plot was fairly well-known and became-I think-one of the moving forces behind Buchanan's involvement with those plotting a coup against Nicholas.

As for Kerensky's memoirs: I'd second what Janet says, but then I also don't see anything here that condemns the Princess as informing on N and AF any more than did anyone else to whom he spoke or who was interviewed by the Provisional Government Commission.

But I suppose I come back to my main point about Anna's marriage.  Unless the Princess can be shown to be completely unreliable on everything, which I don't think she can be-then her version of events about Anna's marriage has to be considered and weighed as an alternative.  To me, simply because someone says one thing untrue it doesn't invalidate everything else they say-as with all witnesses you then have to be cautious and weigh evidence, in much the same way as looking at the testimony of the Bolsheviks about the murder in Ekaterinburg they clearly lie in some places in accounts and not in others, and it doesn't completely dismiss the remainder of their accounts.

I'm completely open to more thoughts as this is still to me a contradiction regarding Alexander Vyrubov, and though it's unlikely to be able now to establish any kind of fact, as with any question of history where there are contradictory claims it seems to call for further exploration.

Greg King
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: BobAtchison on February 15, 2004, 11:02:27 AM
Greg:

"Zizi" obviously went out of her way to tell Kerensky everything she had on her mind about Nicholas and Alexandra - she didn't have to, but she seems to have eagerly and with great relish shared all the rumours and gossip she had heard over the years about them.  Along with this she threw in her personal observations on their character.  Who does she think she was helping?  It seems to me she was just a gossip who was willing to talk to ANYBODY, she was trying to gain favor with Kerensky and new powers-that-be, that she was bragging about her valuable 'insight' on why the revolution occured (I told you so!), or else she was trying to get revenge on Nicholas and Alexandra.

Bob
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Janet_Ashton on February 15, 2004, 12:31:48 PM
Bob
   You could well be right - perhaps Narishkina DID tell Kerensky that story; but considering the source I'd still be cautious....I should add of course that all K. mentions is some terrible secret/sin connected with the birth of the Heir - it's my inference that he means Orlov was the father, because he apparently knew about haemophilia (the real big secret) at the time of writing, and makes a big fuss over how the birth is connected with about the most secret dealings of the Empress. It's perfectly possible that if NK did say something about a secret to him all she was talking about was haemophilia and concomitant issues - and that he put his own spin on this, having heard the Orlov story from elsewhere - difficult to say, because he changed the story between the two versions I've read anyway, one leaving it perfectly possible that he simply meant haemophilia, and the other later version adding more salacious hints.

I have the general feeling that "Zizi" was exasperated by Nicholas and Alexandra, though I've seen plenty to indicate that she was also very maternal towards the Empress. Certainly she was ready to assume that Sukhomlinov remained in office mainly because his destructive wife "had access to the Empress" through Anna's salons. This is demonstrably not the case; Alix from the evidence of her own letters loathed Mme. Sukhomlinova and blamed her for the old man's problems; so if she supported him (up to a point) her reasons for doing so were not based on unfair patronage. However, it's easy to see how a close member of the household might have made that assumption, given whom A. chose to associate with, and it was one shared by both Benckendorff  - who wrote that S.'s dismissal was accompanied by "fantastic domestic dramas" - and Gilliard, who interpreted Nicholas's removal of the old man and the other unpopular ministers as evidence of Nicholas's ability to "resist his wife", which I don't think it was. Gilliard, remember, also saw Nicholas's 1916 Duma visit as a sign of resistance to the Empress, although once again her letters indicate that she was fully in accord with that move and in fact urged Nicholas to do it.

As for the spying assumptions - again, NK seems to have jumped to conclusions and repented at leisure  - but since we don't know WHAT she'd seen by way of evidence that something was going on, it's perhaps saying too much to accuse her of gossiping?

Janet
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: insight on February 15, 2004, 05:31:48 PM
Does Bob or anyone else know if Orlov had any children of his own?

I realize this is a bit off topic, but I've seen several photographs of Alexei with two friends (who appear to be brothers). The boys are all shown in their military uniforms. Can anyone identify the two other boys for me?

Thank you
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: ptitchka on February 16, 2004, 01:21:34 PM
Dear 'Insight' --

In regards to the two boys with Alexei - it depends on what time period the photograph was taken.  They could either have been the two sons of Andrei Derevenko, Sergei and Alexei, or the two military cadets that the Tsarevich befriended during the war, Evgeny Makarov and Vasya Ageev.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Forum Admin on February 16, 2004, 01:44:17 PM
It could also be several of the young men training to be sailors on board the Standardt, who Vyroubova often photographed playing with Alexei.  Also, Alexei often played with children of the local nobility or Governor in Yalta and Sebastapol. If we could see the actual picture in question it would probably be easy to determine who they are.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Janet_Ashton on February 16, 2004, 05:33:56 PM
Orlov had two sons at least - Ivan and Aleksei. They were rather older than the Tsesarevich (thus not the boys in the photographs), and were serving officers in World War One. I can do some more digging to find out whether there's any information on what happened to them later.....

Janet
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: insight on February 16, 2004, 07:48:38 PM
Thank you to all for the replies.

It must be the two cadets (Evgeny and Vasya) in white uniforms...and they would be around the time of the war.

No need to dig any further Janet (just curious). Thank you for offering though.

Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarai on February 17, 2004, 07:04:22 AM
With regards to Anna Vyrubova, I recall reading somewhere about a period when Alexandra was very hostile and seemingly even jealous of Anna, calling her a cow and worse, and generally insulting her severely in several letters to Nicholas. I find it interesting that she could experience this jealousy towards her friend, and how it seemed to appear out of the blue in her letters. Yet it seemed to pass and eventually they were as close as ever. Any ideas as to what brought on this sudden but temporary hostility towards Anna? I assume it's because Nicholas must have spent a lot of time with Anna - all innocent, of course - but this somehow must have irked Alix, as Anna was probably the only other woman aside from relatives that Nicholas was around the most, simply due to the fact that she was so close to the family. I find it amusing nevertheless that Alix could have considered this woman enough of a possible competition to be jealous of her. This also makes Alix seem all the more "only human" and real to me, as all women experience this emotion at one time or another regardless of rank.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: 3710 on February 17, 2004, 10:52:38 AM
On the subject of validity of Naryshkina's book. Gleb Botkin mentions in passing that it was very badly received in Russian emigree circles when first published. I suppose they are if not experts, but at least witnesses and their opinion counts for something.
And I came across several aristocratic emigrants replying to the question if they knew Kerensky: ''Kerensky? I would not WISH to know him''. Bob is so right - Naryshkina tried TOO hard.
It is a well know piece of gossip that Alexei was Orlov's son. There was some sort of 'suspicious' friendship going on between Alexandra and Orlov. And then he died suddenly. Some think poisoned on Tsar's orders! (In the style : the  Duke of Edinburg plotting to kill Diana) More gossip anyone?
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Janet_Ashton on February 17, 2004, 01:52:24 PM
Gilliard's memoirs were also badly recieved I recall - I guess anyone close to the imperial family who spilled the beans was seen as a traitor in some manner? - In Giliard's case, publishing a book caused an enormous rift with his former colleague Sidney Gibbes.

Janet
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Janet_Ashton on February 17, 2004, 01:54:53 PM
And yes - of course, you're right - the Orlov nonsense WAS well-known - which is exactly the point - IF Kerensky was implying this in his memoirs, he could have heard it from anyone.

Janet
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Helen_Azar on February 18, 2004, 07:48:51 PM
I believe that when "historical facts" get passed on from one source to another, very often in the end no one is really sure where the original "facts" came from and what they were really based on.  This is clearly seen in the retelling of many historical events, but especially when it comes to personal details about historical personalities...  Depending on who tells the story, the same person can either be an angel or a villain as well as everything in between. For an example, many books on Rasputin portray him as an evil corrupt man, however, there are a few books out there that treat him sympathetically, to a point where you almost start to sympathize with him and understand the Imperial family's attachment to him . The real Rasputin was probably something in between these two drastic views... Just like all human beings, he had a complicated and multi-faceted character, not all evil and not all good. I think the same can be said of Anna Vyrubova.... One author, I forget who, once said that "the truth about someone lies somewhere in between the descriptions by his friends and his enemies"... I think this is very true. Nothing in history is really a "fact", it's a combination of different opinions which hopefully can be deciphered into something more objective, but will never be completely objective. If you think about it, all of history is nothing more than various sources of gossip or opinions, put into print and accepted as facts... As we all well know, you can talk to ten different eye witnesses to an event and you will end up with ten different events. Everyone has their own side to the story and we must learn to take everything claimed to be a fact with a grain of salt, and try to get enough independent information to figure out what is closest to the truth.  
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Janet Whitcomb on February 18, 2004, 08:32:08 PM
This is all quite fascinating! Anya has been a continual figure of speculation, and it's difficult--impossible--to know the truth . . . or, more likely, the various truths.

The basic facts have been that she was sentimental, overweight, and ill-considered by many who knew of her. All of this would make a person such as Alexandra sympathetic.  In reading her correspondence to Nicholas it appears that at one point--maybe more--she overstepped her bounds, perhaps simply through overemotionalism, perhaps through other behavior--and Nicholas and Alexandra backed off, at least a bit. But anyone who has ever been single knows that married friends often contrive to make matches, and Alexandra undoubtedly wanted to see her friend happily married--as she was--as well as put to rest any gossip that might swirl around an unmarried woman attached to their family. Whether Anya was attracted to Nicholas, or to Alexandra--or both--is impossible to know, but possible, since she probably felt a level of frustration.  But ultimately--despite being their "Big Baby"--she felt a part of their family, and revered their memory. Anya was no dunce, and she may have been clever to the point of sneaky at times, but I think the bottom line was that her heart and devotion was clearly with the Romanovs, and that for better and for worse they were "stuck" with her!
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Janet Whitcomb on February 18, 2004, 08:37:44 PM
Sorry for the ungrammatical and word-repetitive entry above. I hit the "post" button when I meant to review it!

And another thought . . . imagine if, one hundred years from now, our own friends (and relationships with these friends) should be subjected to the kind of scrutiny and speculation we offer here!   ::)
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Janet Whitcomb on February 19, 2004, 08:28:57 PM
This is quite unrelated to Anna's home, but are you related to the author who wrote of her own experiences during the Revolution?
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Almedingen on February 19, 2004, 10:21:38 PM
No, I'm not related to Edith Martha Almedingen the author.  I have enjoyed her books Tomorrow Will Come, Too Early Lilac, etc. so much that I decided to use her name on this site.

Check out her books if you get a chance.  You might really enjoy them too.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: BobAtchison on February 21, 2004, 10:22:03 AM
Hi Janet:

I finally got a copy of "The Speckled Domes" and I am sure the book is a fake - at least in parts.

I read the part on Rasputin - he mentiones that Rasputin was anti-Jew and wanted them all expelled from Russia.  Rasputin was actually pro-Jew and this was one of the reasons he was killed.  His secretary was Jewish and he appears to have taken large sums of money from Jewish leaders to make their case to the Tsar and Tsarina - which seems to have worked.  The report of the tea-party sounds too much like a Khlysty orgy in a novel - I don't believe it.

In the description of the meeting of Alexandra it just doesn't make sense.  Although Tatiana is said to have been the tallest of the daughters she was not 'tall' as described.  She and the Empress were short.  Also there are many other things that sound like they were we just made up from bits and pieces in magazines and other books.

Bob
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: David on February 24, 2004, 08:18:32 PM
Greg King- read 2 of your books-excellant job!
Ive read many many books on the Imperial family and guess what> theres not a very high opinion of Anna V to be found anywhere. I think the best compliment I read about her was that her mother was stylish and brilliant. I wonder if we would still remember her so negatively if she hadnt played such an integral part in the whole Rasputin debacle. I think it was Paleologue who offered such a biting and accurate description of her. But the observant diplomat also noted that no other royal favorite ever extracted less perks from her benefactor. Anna might not have wanted expensive jewelry or wads of gatekeeper cash, but she did obsess on the access she had to the family. I think Alix enjoyed it too. Finally she had a Madame Lamballe to play two hand with! But as close as they were, Alix still pulled rank when Anna worked her nerves. Tnis led to the tantrums and sulking scenes that Alix refers to in her letters to Nicholas. In the end though, lets not forget that Anna didnt betray her friend. Too bad Alix hadnt hooked up with Lili Dehn earlier.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: meg kees on March 29, 2004, 09:43:02 PM
I will be on a Baltic cruise in June and have arranged a private tour of St Petersburg for two days.  Of course I have requested a visit to the Alexander Palace and  I did ask about Vyrubova's house.  I was told it is used for weddings, so it might be possible to tour inside.  I just bought my first digital camera and plan to take  a zillion photos.  
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: BobAtchison on March 30, 2004, 08:12:32 AM
I hope you will come back and write a long story with your pictures for us!

Bob
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Arleen Ristau on March 30, 2004, 09:10:37 AM
How did Anna's house get saved in the first place?  What size is it, I can't tell by the outline on the website, I would love to know what rooms were used for what, etc.  To me this is as memorable as the Alexander Palace itself, it was Alexandra's "haven".  Thanks!
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Janet Whitcomb on March 30, 2004, 02:09:51 PM
A belated thank you, Almedingen . . .  Actually, I came across her book, Tomorrow Will Come, several decades ago, and I was so impressed by her writing and moved by all that she had experienced and recorded, I wanted very much to write her a letter of appreciation.  So, I was very disheartened to learn that she had died just a few years previous.  But she continues to be one of my favorite writers from this period.

Like others, I am also interested in Anna Vyrubova's home, and sorry that it was not pointed out to our tour in 1991.  Meg Kees, I think we all look forward to seeing whatever photos you can take; as Arleen points out, it was an "epicenter" of that time!
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Arleen Ristau on April 01, 2004, 12:44:16 PM
Thank you so much for the picture.  Where exactly does it lie in reference to the Palace....right wing...left wing...across the street right in back of the palace????  Where.  Everyone just says a hundred yards and are there other buildings around it??  I've seen a very vague map but nothing is labeled for Alexander Palace most of it is labeled for Catherine Palace and its buildings.  Thank you.....
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: BobAtchison on April 01, 2004, 12:59:35 PM
As you are heading up towards the Catherine Palace "Anna's House" is on your left - just outside the gates of the AP - I think it's only like 300 ft or so from the gate to her front door.

Bob
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Arleen Ristau on April 01, 2004, 02:43:11 PM
Thanks Bob, Now all I have to do is find out exactly where the "gates" are.  The only map I have is pretty worthless....thanks by the way for the house diagram on the website.  Anna's part of the website started my craze to KNOW everything about her and her house.  Time Machine opened my whole world up and answered a 30 year quest made totally alone, and I thank you for it!!  ..Arleen
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: BobAtchison on April 01, 2004, 03:38:32 PM
If you are facing the collonade of the palace the Imperial wing during Nicholas's reign was on the left.  The main gate of the palace faced Palace Street to the left of this wing.  I hope that helps.

Bob
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Janet Whitcomb on April 01, 2004, 03:56:11 PM
Now I understand why the Grand Duchesses found it such a treat to visit at Anna at her "little" home.  It does have its charms, doesn't it?  (But wear your warmest clothing and thickest socks in wintertime!) Many thanks to the Forum Administrator for posting the photo!
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Arleen on April 01, 2004, 03:58:16 PM
Thanks Bob....I've got it now......why they were actually so close they could run back and forth like next door neighbors.....How did Anna actually GET that house??  I reread the website on it and it sort of suggests that she lived there when married??  They were renting it for the equivalent of $1900. a month.....or did Alexandra arrange it all so her best friend could live so close by....then....why not in the palace itsself??  (She stayed there at times, and was arrested there...)  I'll try to cool it with the questions.....I've got a million of them on all of the subjects....Arleen
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarai on April 01, 2004, 08:47:10 PM
Arleen,
You don't have to "cool it" with your questions. I think they are quite interesting. And besides, we are all here to learn and ask as many questions as we want about this, one of our favourite subjects. Please keep posting as many questions as you want as we are eager to both help you with answers and learn from them as well!  :)
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Joanna on April 09, 2004, 11:44:48 PM
There is a detailed map on a St. Petersburg site http://www.infoservices.com/stpete/map/push640.html. Anna Vyrubova's house is indicated as "House of Teppere de Fergusson". On the Yale site of Anna's photographs there are many taken on the porch and one especially with Alexandra and her daughters probably about 1910 shows the angle with the building across the side street. It was incredible to stand where the porch was and that building in the background. Also in the video Last Days Of The Last Tsar there is a recreation of Alexandra visiting Anna's house. It is about 20 minutes into the film.
Joanna
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Louise on April 10, 2004, 08:45:29 AM
Hi Joanna. Would you be as kind as to post the link to the Yale site.

Thanks

Louise
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Joanna on April 10, 2004, 10:39:23 PM
The Zinaida Hippius papers at the University of Illinois
http://web.library.uiuc.edu/ahx/ead/ua/1520021/1520021series4.html
has an essay entitled "Ania's Little House".
"Malen'kii Anin domik" (Ania's Little House), an essay on Anna Vyrubova, undated. Later published in Zhivye litsa (Living Faces), Prague, 1925
Has anyone read this or has a translation?

Joanna
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: elisa_1872 on April 18, 2004, 10:50:44 AM
Thanks so much for posting the photo of the house! Its so wonderful to see it!!!

Did anyone visit Anna's grave in Hietaniemi cemetary?
I've seen a photo on the A.Palace website, but was very interested into whether anyone had gone. It would be such a moving experience+

Elisa

Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: elisa_1872 on April 18, 2004, 10:53:35 AM
Im also very interested in the places Anna lived in, in Finland in her later life, does anyone know more about them?

Elisa :)
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: borgia on April 20, 2004, 07:15:14 PM
I beleive,that writer Henry James said that every story has a free spirit.Some one very involved with the action;but outside it.I think that Anna Vyrubova was the Romanovs free spirit.Very much a part of  their world,but not quite ,a complete member.She mightve  have     stayed with the family;right up to the end;but, before the going got really rough,she  got packing.And    she  could have been sought out ,and killed for her involvement ;  but, she lived to be an old woman. And for all of her adventures,she remained alone. And maybe thats  a down side of being a free spirit.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: JM on April 20, 2004, 07:17:53 PM
I'm certain that Anna would've stayed with the family until the end, if she had been allowed to.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Janet_W. on April 20, 2004, 10:57:50 PM
I think she may have hung in there, too.

Good luck with your exam de espanol!
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: jackie3 on April 21, 2004, 12:42:27 PM
Quote
Finally she had a Madame Lamballe to play two hand with!


I've always thought Anna V. was a lot like the Princess Lamballe. Both were thought of as not too bright, looked down by other aristocrats for their closeness to the monarch, accused of debauchery (Mme. Lamballe was accused of being Marie Antionette's lover, Anna V and Rapsutin), both gave up their lives basically to serve their queen/empress (Lamballe never remarried even though she was beautiful, Anna V. seperated herself from her husband and re-attached herself to the IF), both never betrayed or deserted their mistress (Lamballe refused to take the loyaty oath to the Republic and was rewarded by being torn apart by the mob and her decaptitated head and torn out heart -seperately- paraded under Marie Antoinette's window). If Anna V. could have shared the family's fate in the Ipatiev House I think she would have, her life afterwards was one of quietness, faith and non-fame seeking. I wonder if Alix who admired Marie Antoinette and had a picture of her in the Mauve Boudoir saw the similarities as well?
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: BobAtchison on April 21, 2004, 01:32:55 PM
The Lamballe comparison is very apt I think.

There is a book I have "Eva Peron, the Myths of a Woman ", who discusses how powerful women are usually turned into either Madonnas or whores by men.  The idea of the dominiant woman is a powerful negative image for most men.  Also, the dominant wife, weak husband frightens men because it feminizes the male partner.  In the book "Citizens" on the French Revolution you can also read how public opinion, rumour and the press turned Marie Antoinette into a monster.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: JM on April 21, 2004, 05:27:39 PM
I agree with the comparison of Vyrubova and Lamballe. Antionette and Lamballe became friends partly because Marie was a foreigner and didn't relate well to the traditional court. Many people were jealous. This especially reminds me of Alix and Anna.

Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Thierry on April 22, 2004, 04:28:20 AM
I do not fully agree with that comparison :

1. Mme de Lamballe was of royal rank and married a prince of royal rank. Not Anna. Both had been ill-married.
2. Alexandra Feodorovna was a very private person, who loved her husband and had very few trusted friends, not like Marie-Antoinette who despised her husband, was always surrounded by her coterie and led a very lavish and public life.
3. Anna died after Alexandra and Mme Lamballe before Marie-Antoinette, and not in the same way, fortunately for Anna. But both have been loyal to their Queen / Empress to the end.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: JM on April 22, 2004, 05:18:33 PM
I disagree with you. Marie Antionette did lead a lavish life unlike Alexandra. However, Antionette rejected traditonal court life and instead led her own private, albeit decadent life. I recall that her mother wrote her reprimanding her for things like yawning or laughing during ceremonies. Alix also led a private, though less lavish life. Lamballe was part of Antionette's inner-circle. Sort of like Vyrubova being part of Alix's close circle of friends.

The big point is that both Lamballe and Vyrubova were loyal, not especially liked, not too bright, and their presence caused jealousy and gossip. Therefore, I believe it is a fair comparison.

Antionette is nothing like Alix however.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Antonio_P.Caballer on April 22, 2004, 07:03:17 PM
Quote
2. Alexandra Feodorovna was a very private person, who loved her husband and had very few trusted friends, not like Marie-Antoinette who despised her husband, was always surrounded by her coterie and led a very lavish and public life.


Hello Thierry,

I´m sorry to say that do not fully agree with you. Anna and Lamballe my have had had different social status but both  shared very similar(not equal) circumstances.
I don´t know where did you read that Marie despised her husband but i´ve read a least five works on the Queen and she gave many proofs of the respect she felt for her husband. Many times, risking their lifes, Antoinetta watched Louis endless doubts when action was required and never uttered a word. She only would need to say: Let´s go, come on. The respect for her husband prevented her to do it an his decissions eventually worsened their possibilities of escape.
We shouldn´t fall in the topic of the frivolous French Queen.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Joanna on April 25, 2004, 12:13:02 AM
Hi Elisa !

On the thread What Got You Interested In The Romanovs, Katia wrote this incredible information for us! "...Anna lived in Helsinki (our capital city) from 1940 and she died there in 1964. She and her friend and servant Vera owned a little two-room apartment there and also a little villa in Järvenpää near Helsinki where Anna loved to relax and paint and draw cards to send her friends on religious holidays..."

I had seen the site of Komarovo (Uusikyla): former cottage of Anna Vyrubova:

and I have never been able to idenitfy if this was her home after the revolution or prior as it is located in the Russian Karelian isthmus. From the letters of Alexandra in Fuhrmann's book she wrote of Anna's visits to her parents house in Terioki. I am wondering if this is the Taneyevs cottage.

Joanna
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Joanna on May 06, 2004, 08:08:47 PM
In posting the finding aid for Anna's albums at Yale, I came across again the reference to "House of Anna Vyrubova 1934". It is in the Loose Photographs category - Series II Box 8 Folder 113.  There is a photo of Anna's house in Album 3 if I remember and that one would have been pre 1917. Has anyone seen this 1934 photograph? Or enquired with Yale for a copy ?

Joanna
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Forum Admin on May 07, 2004, 09:40:42 AM
The photograph I posted above is a pre-1917 photo from the Beineke collection.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Joanna on May 15, 2004, 10:17:25 PM
Further to my post on the Komarovo cottage of Anna Vyrubova, I have found another photo of this. It is in Terioki and I understand now that Anna lived here until fleeing Vyborg prior to 1941 when this area was overtaken by the Russians. Her mother had died in Vyborg in 1937 and I am now of the belief that this dacha was the Taneyev's that Alexandra wrote of in her correspondence to Nicholas throughout 1915-1917 in her references of Anna visiting her family's home at Terioki.

http://terijoki.spb.ru/trk_showpic.php3?dir=history/ollinpaa&img=olp-15.jpg

Matilda Kshesinskaya had also a dacha here and I am wondering if this is where she fled to at the start of the revolution:

http://terijoki.spb.ru/trk_showpic.php3?dir=history/ollinpaa&img=olp-14.jpg

Along with the artists Repin and Serov in Terioki, here was also the "Harp" palace built by the architect Baranovski who designed the Yeliseev shop opposite the Anichkov palace in St. Petersburg. The Yeliseev is still operating in Moscow! Does anyone know if it is in St. Petersburg?

http://terijoki.spb.ru/history/templ.php?page=arpha_en&lang=en

Joanna
 

Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Jekaterina on May 25, 2004, 03:41:03 PM
Hi everyone!

I haven´t been inside Anna´s house, but I can show a photo that I took when I was in Tsarskoe Selo last time.

I was so happy when I find the house and understood that it was the right one!!

Jekaterina


(http://w1.191.telia.com/~u19113378/annashouse.jpg)
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: JM on May 25, 2004, 04:40:56 PM
Thanks for the picture, Jekaterina.

Did you manage to peek in the windows? I've always wanted to do that.

:o
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Antonio_P.Caballer on May 25, 2004, 05:21:16 PM
I did just that JM. I saw the main entrance-drawing room. It was decorated for a wedding, as it´s the present use of the building(i was told that). There was no trace of Anna´s things and if i remember well i think the ceiling had a beautiful neoclassical painting...
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Arleen on May 25, 2004, 05:22:49 PM
Jekaterina the picture is much appreciated....I always wondered what color Anyas little house was, this is the first picture I have seen in color!!  Many thanks.    Arleen
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Jekaterina on May 25, 2004, 06:19:23 PM
Hi!

JM: Unfortunately I was there with a very stiff person (when I had walked slowly around in Alexander Palace for two hours he went out from there...  Not the same interest that I had...), so I didn´t sneak around so much, I was just happy to have found it. I had a very good book about ALL buildings in Tsarskoe Selo that I used when I walked around.

Arleen: I´m glad that I could make you happy!! I just want to go back there...

Jekaterina
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Joanna on May 25, 2004, 07:52:26 PM
Many many thanks Jekaterina ! I adore to see your photo as it compliments what I am gathering for my research! And many many thanks Antonio for your peeking! When you say the main entrance drawing room was that view from the door or what window? Can you describe any colors or doors or fireplaces? Any little thing you remember will be adored!!!!

Joanna
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Antonio_P.Caballer on May 25, 2004, 08:11:28 PM
Well, I just looked inside for a moment. I wish i could remember more. The room i saw was that with the front door and the two windows on each side. My first thought was that the room was (to modern standards) huge. High ceilings and so on. Icannot remember the fireplaces, but suppose they were there...There were a lot of chairs and flowers, for a wedding or some ceremony had just taken place, and had a very polished parquet floor. As people was going out i ran to the right side door to see if a could have some glimpse of the interior, but i did not dare to go in.
It would have been too much, imagine me with the camera trying to make my way inside through the crowd of people invited to the wedding!!
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: David_Newell on May 31, 2004, 05:47:59 AM
Oh the Harp Palace wasn't it delightfull, really a fairy tale palace.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: NAAOTMA on July 15, 2004, 05:18:43 PM
Jekaterina,

Could you please let us know what the good book was on Tsarkoe Selo, and how you found it and bought it? Thanks in advance!   Melissa K.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Helen_Azar on July 20, 2004, 05:25:13 PM
Anya's house has always been yellow. Today her house is used to register marriages, births and a place to conduct civil marriages. When you enter the house it is from the back door there is coat check, the wallpaper hasn't been changed and upstairs in what I imagine was Anya's bedroom there is a bridal salon.


Quote
Does anyone know what the inside of Anna Vyrubova's house looks like today?  What kind of state is it in?  Has it been changed since she lived there?


Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Joanna on July 20, 2004, 08:20:43 PM
OH MON DIEU many many thanks Helen for this fascinating description of Anna's house  :)

I have been curious for a long time of Anna's bedroom location. When you say of upstairs, was it the front windows facing the street? Do you remember the layout? Where were the stairs that you ascended to reach the first floor? Can you describe the color of the wallpaper?

Many many thanks
Joanna
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Helen_Azar on July 23, 2004, 07:37:54 AM
Joanna,

As you enter from the back door, you walk through a rather long dark hallway. Half way the stairs are located and, if I remember correctly, there is a sort of short but winding staircase. The window to this room, again, trying to remember, faces the front looking over at the Catherine Palace ...... I was told that the wall paper is the original. No money to change it and no one really cares but it looks great! And Anya's bedroom walls, accroding to  the woman who runs it, to her knowledge, the room has never been redone, and it looks that way...

Quote
OH MON DIEU many many thanks Helen for this fascinating description of Anna's house  :)

I have been curious for a long time of Anna's bedroom location. When you say of upstairs, was it the front windows facing the street? Do you remember the layout? Where were the stairs that you ascended to reach the first floor? Can you describe the color of the wallpaper?

Many many thanks
Joanna

Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: ChristineM on July 23, 2004, 08:15:50 AM
What I remember of the interiors of Anna Vyroubova's houses were two very tall mirrors.   They looked like heavy cheval mirrors, only they did not swivel and were fixed to the walls.     They must be about six plus feet tall and approximately two and a half wide.   The mirrors are contained inside  heavy, simply carved (?)  mahogany frames.    If I recall correctly they had an 'Empire' influence and my guess is they were contemporary with the house.  

I think there may have been fireplaces in the two main downstairs rooms, but I have no clear mental pictures of them.  

The low privet hedge which enclosed the small garden to the front when Anna Vyroubova lived there has gone.  

As said above, the house now functions as a palace of weddings and has been rendered to have no atmosphere of 'a home'.  

It was summer when I visited the house.   It was warm, so there was no need to retire to a hot bath and a warming glass of cherry brandy!   There was no way of telling if they have now introduced a damp-proof course.

tsaria  
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Joanna on July 23, 2004, 08:15:03 PM
OH WOW many many thanks Helen and Tsaria! I am enthralled with your descriptions! These are so incredible for me to have for my research!

Again my many many thanks for your kindness!
Joanna
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Joanna on September 14, 2004, 07:35:23 PM
Quote
There is a detailed map on a St. Petersburg site http://www.infoservices.com/stpete/map/push640.html. Anna Vyrubova's house is indicated as "House of Teppere de Fergusson".

I have been curious for a long time of the reference to Teppere de Fergusson and have found from a tourist's album of 2001 this photo of a sign at Anna's house identifying Teppere's association with Pushkin. This would be the reason why the Soviets, although denying that Anna's house had survived to foreign visitors, wished to preserve its historical connection to Pushkin.



Joanna
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Arleen on September 18, 2004, 04:28:27 PM
Joanna, I do believe you have hit the nail on the head of this matter!  This is the first rational reason I've heard as to why the Soviets kept Anna's little house intact.  How I wish someone could take some pictures of the details of this house on one of their trips to the area.  I am as much interested in her house as the two palaces.     Arleen
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: ChristineM on September 18, 2004, 04:53:09 PM
Dear Joanna and Arleen

I have often noticed this bronze plaque outside Anna Vyroubova's house and have to confess I virtually ignored it.   This is all the worse since Fergus(s)on is undoubtedly of Scottish origin.

I think you are quite right in your conjecture Joanna.   Additionally there is the conjunction of its proximity to Alexander Pushkin's dacha.   This may also have had some bearing on its survival.

tsaria

Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Karentje on October 17, 2004, 06:43:24 AM
Hi everyone

Anna Vyrubova has got me confused. She's usually portrayed as a rather silly and not overly bright woman. However, Radzinsky describes her as being shrewd and cunning, and only playing at being dumb to safeguard her position at court and later - when she was questioned by the bolsheviks - to protect herself and the imperial family. He also seems to think that she may have been in love with Alix. I don't know what to make of her. I'm only a newbie ;) so I thought I'd ask what more knowledgeable people think of Anna and Radzinsky's views regarding her. If anyone can give me tips as to reading material that may help me decide on this for myself, I'd be very grateful too.

Karentje
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: LisaDavidson on October 17, 2004, 01:12:27 PM
Karentje: Welcome to this Forum.

I think that Radzinsky is a wonderful dramatist in any language, but a questionable historian. I don't think there is any evidence of lesbianism in Alexandra's relationship with any of her friends. It is fairly obvious from reading her letters and diaries that she remained in a passionate heterosexual relationship with her husband throughout her life.

As to who Anya was, there are of course, many sources. Have you read her memoirs or any of the many books written about Nicholas and Alexandra? I'm of the opinion she's sly as a fox.

Alexandra reminds me of George W. Bush - she cannot bear to have anyone who disagrees with her around her. It's a silly insecurity thing, IMHO. It made her prey to those like Anya, who clearly was Rasputin's creature.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Karentje on October 17, 2004, 01:35:35 PM
Hi Lisa

So far I've read Robert K Massie's book 'Nicolas and Alexandra', two of Radzinsky's books ('The last tsar', 'Rasputin'), 'Michael and Natasha' (I forget who wrote it) and I've just started 'The fall of the Romanovs'. I got interested in Alexandra through books about Queen Victoria, her children (ex. Princess Alice) and her grandchildren, so I got the more 'basic' facts in those books and I became really fascinated - inescapably :D - with all of the Romanovs.
I must say that I've learned a lot also just reading the threads here on the forum. I didn't know there were so many people out there that are also interested in (mostly nineteenth-century) royalty. How wonderful to know I'm not alone  ;)
I had no doubts about Alix's sexuality, she and Nicky obviously had a really great marriage and I tend to agree with you that Anya was very sly indeed.

Thanks for welcoming me by the way :)
It's great to be here 8)
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Arleen on October 17, 2004, 04:27:37 PM
LOVE the remark about George Bush, I am with you Lisa!  
Somehow Anya has always intrigued me even more than Alexandra. I have always been overly interrested in her little yellow house for some reason that I don't quite understand and want to visit it as much as the AP.  After 20 years I still "wonder" about her, most of the time she seems like a stupid toady person and then I get this hint that she really might have run the show!  Know what I mean??  One thing I do love about her was her loyalty to N&A.... and her big horsey face pleases me.         ..Arleen
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: LisaDavidson on October 17, 2004, 09:20:31 PM
That's exactly the impression I have of Anya! She rules Alexandra, Alexandra rules Nicholas, Nicholas rules Russia - at least in Vyrubova's mind.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Belochka on October 17, 2004, 10:09:42 PM
Count Witte in his memoirs @ p 530 characterized Anya V. in this way:

... a typical, stupid Petersburg lady, who also happened to be ugly and shapelss, like a blob of dough, a young woman who happened to be in love with the Empress, at whom she would gaze with ardent, honeymoon eyes and sigh.



Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: ChristineM on October 18, 2004, 06:37:17 AM
In one way Anya Vyroubova seems to me to have nothing more than a BIG baby.   For years she exploited Alexandra Feodorovna's inate compassion.   Then, when she was stricken with measles (which I know was potentially a very serious illness in the early 20th century) she selfishly had the poor Empress running backwards and forwards the entire length of the Alexander Palace, to care for her, constantly demanding her attention - nobody else was good enough for Anya.  

Did she think for one moment of Alexandra's own worries and fears - her husband 'missing', her own children very sick - one of them living with the constant possiblity of an agonising death, and an entire nation at war abroad and, at home, collapsing around her - with her carrying most of the blame?  Added to this she was probably still silently mourning the death of Rasputin - the man on whom, however misguidedly, she pinned all her hopes for the survival of her child.   Then, of course, there was the issue of her own health.    

No.   Anya Vyroubova only really ever cared for one person - Anya Vyroubova.

In her deposition during her captivity in the Peter and Paul Fortress, she seems to have lost all sense of loyalty to the ones she professed to love and who had loved and cared for her - the Imperial Family.

Perhaps it was selective memory.   Perhaps she was protecting her own skin, but I must say this all has left a very bad taste for me in so far as Anya Vyroubova is concerned.

tsaria
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: tian79 on October 18, 2004, 07:28:14 AM
I think the way Anna takes distance from Rasputin in her memoirs proves she wasn't silly.

"Count Witte in his memoirs @ p 530 characterized Anya V. in this way:

... a typical, stupid Petersburg lady, who also happened to be ugly and shapelss, like a blob of dough, a young woman who happened to be in love with the Empress, at whom she would gaze with ardent, honeymoon eyes and sigh."

I think Witte was a bit cruel.  At least this picture proves otherwise. The magic of corset  ;)

http://www.viikkosavo.fi/pdf/200433/11VISA110900.pdf
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Belochka on October 18, 2004, 10:49:39 PM
Quote
Anya Vyroubova only really ever cared for one person - Anya Vyroubova. tsaria


Hi tsaria,

I'm inclined to agree with you. She does come across as immature, shallow and selfish, yet she was smart enough to know how to play on Alexandra's sympathies.

According to the Grand Duchess Marie (Ref: Education of a Princess @ p 222), her blind devotion towards Rasputin commanded little respect.

The French Ambassador Maurice Paleologue described her rather colorfully:

... What a curious person Madame Anna Alexandrovna Vyrubova is ! ... She is course and heavy built ... limpid eyes devoid of expression ... She dresses with a thoroughly provincial plainess and is devout, but unintelligent.  

... The favorite description of her is that she is an intiguer. ...To account for her position and importance in the imperial palace perhaps it is enough to refer to her personal devotion to the Empress, the devotion of a sevile and inferior being to a royal lady who is always ailing, weighed down by her own power, a lady who is prey to all sorts of terrors and feels that some horrible fate is for ever hanging over her.


(Ref: An Ambassador's Memoirs vol. 1, pp 228-31).

It does appear that practically all who encountered Anya, were unable to express anything more redeeming. ::)  



Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: pushkina on October 19, 2004, 07:58:21 AM
Quote
In one way Anya Vyroubova seems to me to have nothing more than a BIG baby.   For years she exploited Alexandra Feodorovna's inate compassion.   Then, when she was stricken with measles (which I know was potentially a very serious illness in the early 20th century) she selfishly had the poor Empress running backwards and forwards the entire length of the Alexander Palace, to care for her, constantly demanding her attention - nobody else was good enough for Anya.  


thank you tsaria for so perfectly putting your finger on anna vyrubova's life of being a selfish baby. you got it on the money!

for the life of me, i have never understood how such an unequal person as anna ends up the best friend of the empress. she was everything that everyone has said and more: slow, dimwitted,ponderous, spoiled, self-pitying, more than a little stupid, off wth the fairies.  i can imagine that whining was in her element. she was immature and i don't think that she was even that loyal a friend, in the end.

i read somewhere that she was in love with alix but that she was also in love with nicky and that alix knew  and put up with it because, after all "poor baby"was never going to have "that kind of life"

how exhausting she must have been to be around! but then there is the image of anna being the key to rasputin's way into the palace.  how that pride of place must have made her even more impossible!  almost like a child who has been given a small duty to perform as a sign of growing up; anna made things happen for her friend alix and her Friend, R.

i've always thought of anna as the perfect mascot for what happens when one does not educate a girl carefully and profoundly: deeper thoughts to question those around, selective reasoning, the skills of discernment and judicious weighing were foreign to her.  she had been educated to duty and reposnsibility to do what one was told, to blindly accept what one is told, that faith provides concrete answers, that one ornamental value is unquestionable.

alix needed a better friend, someone who could cajole her out of some of her obstinacies, not encourage her for more.  anna was never going to be that friend.

in modern parlance, there seem to have been self-esteem issues happening there: neither anna nor alix really had a healthy self-esteem in balance with other personality parts.

alix, as an intellegent woman would have needed intellegent friends to talk to, to discuss the world and her work.  anna knew nothing, except what alix told her.  it just seems to me to be such a sad friendship, bereft of the great things that good girlfriends can do for each other.

personally, i have so very little respect for anna, i am rarely even curious about her fate.


Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Johnny on October 22, 2004, 09:01:14 AM
In her memoirs Anna writes that during her prosecution in 1918 she was asked by the judges whether Alexandra was so dependent on Anna that she could not live without her. And Anna was supposed to have said:" Why should a happily married wife and mother not be able to live without me." That's what she says in her memoirs. In the original transcript of the court session, however, she is quoted to have said: "That is true! [The Empress] could not live without me.
I, too, feel she was as sly as a fox. I also tend to agree with Radzinsky that she was in love with the Empress. BTW, Radzinsky never suggests that this sexual passion was mutual. Alexandra was not aware of this side of Anna's passion. She was too puritanical for it. Anna knew too that the best she could do was to be a simple friend with ALix. Was she selfish? Oh, yes! Was she nasty? Yes! But that makes her all too interesting. If I wrote a play about the events of the time she would be a main character in it. I find her as colorful as Rasputin.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Janet_W. on October 22, 2004, 11:41:04 AM
Could it be that Anna was both silly and shrewd . . . and, moreover, not quite the evil vampire that people are painting her to be?

We have before us a lumpish, rather socially inept person who was "rescued" by Alexandra, then "matched" to a man who was not in love with her.  (The matter of that marriage should initiate another thread.) Alexandra then rescues her again, and Anna finds her niche as Friend of the Empress. But Anna is now suspended in status limbo--she's married but not married, an adult in years but an adolescent in temperment, accused of being a truly "initimate" friend of the Tsarina . . . and of going after the Tsar as well! The others around Alexandra find her silly and annoying. And eventually, as with many such friendships, Anna's welcome even wears thin with the Tsarina, who complains about her in letters to her husband.

I continue to maintain that Anna had a immature and incomplete personality, exacerbated and supported by Alexandra's need to nuture, all the moreso when Alexandra's matchmaking proved disatrous. Anna has been called both stupid and sly, but I don't find it incongruent that both traits could have been present . . . a young klutzy woman, not adept in social repartee, and ignored by the handsome and eligible young men of her elevated class, becomes an outsider--just the sort of person that Alexandra was drawn to--and learns that by continuing to be the outsider, she will secure (or so she thought) the perpetual empathy and attention of the Empress. There are many, many spoiled children/adults out there who have used a similar modus operandi!

So, what is the motivation for Anna to mature? None! She continues to be the "big baby," and when it finally begins to grate on Alexandra, Anna has little to fall back on except her own immature behavior--the whining and so forth.

Of course, her connection to Rasputin--and her little house, where all could discreetly meet--was her trump card in the relationship. So this aspect did call into play her tendency--as all spoiled, immature children learn to do--to manipulate.

As for Anna's sexuality, certainly it was stunted. And therefore I don't think it improbable that she had, at various times, "crushes" on both Alexandra and Nicholas. But I completely doubt that either went beyond her own imagination and the peevish behavior prompted by her sexual frustrations.

Once Anna was imprisoned, however, things certainly turned upside down for her. And at this point I think she began to develop some character. I realize that some people have read the transcript of her interrogation and found it to be incriminating. I read it and gained some new respect for her. The situation had to have been terrifying, and now--no longer the coddled "sixth child"-- she was literally fighting for her life. Perhaps if I reread the transcript I will find passages that indicate otherwise, but so far I have only found evidence of a woman who is speaking the truth, as she knows it, about herself and the family she has lived with.

Anna's biography I find sentimental and occasionally disingenuous, but overall I think her love for the Empress went to another level once she realized what she had lost, and that she most sincerely mourned the loss of her surrogate family . . . much as a spoiled child, now no longer coddled, realizes--too late--just how little he/she appreciated that cushioned existence.

Yes, Anna had her agendas. (And who among us does not?!) But they were not the agendas of an astute, nefarious woman . . . just those of a meddling individual of tremendous social, emotional, and sexual immaturity.  And alas, it appears that Alexandra was her unwitting "enabler."
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Karentje on October 22, 2004, 11:58:21 AM
I think that's very insightful of you Janet! You certainly do have a way of explaining clearly issues that are complicated and ambiguous.
Thanks for sharing your opinion on Anya.

Karentje
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarai on October 22, 2004, 12:58:06 PM
Although I don't think particularly highly of Anna, I actually admire Alexandra for willing to have friends like her who were "unequal." However, I do realize that Anna was a noblewoman, and so Alexandra wasn't exactly making friends with someone that was too unequal. There was nobody of equal rank, except the Dowager Empress, that could have been her friend, since she was the highest lady in the land. She didn't like high society ladies, so she naturally gravitated towards those who were more in the middle. Alexandra herself said that she demanded complete devotion and submission from her friends if she was going to reveal her true self to them, and a lot of people weren't willing to truly do that. However, Anna was, and thus gained Alexandra's trust and friendship.

I agree that if Alexandra's best friend had been a woman who was more emotionally mature and intelligent than Anna, it would have been better for the Tsarina, but then again, I don't think she would have wanted that type of friend. As a shy woman, she probably felt most at ease with those she perceived to be weaker than herself, and was intimidated by strong personalities. As was mentioned before, she was also of the type who chose her friends from amongst those who would not oppose her and who went along with everything she said. Anyone who would have given her advice to the contrary would not have been looked upon as a friend, as it happened with people who tried to give her advice against Rasputin and were summarily dismissed from her presence.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: ChristineM on October 22, 2004, 04:22:04 PM
Something we are overlooking on this thread and that is Anya's attitude to Sonia Orbeliani.   Had it not been for this poor woman's illness, Anya Vyroubova would never have enjoyed her position at court.   Remember the nasty,  upleasant references Anya made about this poor, sick, dying, young woman.  

It shows the mettle of Alexandra Feodorovna that SHE never forgot Sonia, remaining her constant, caring friend right to the end.

tsaria
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Janet_W. on October 22, 2004, 05:45:40 PM
Tsaria, can you post those references Anna made to Sonia? Or, were they in Anna's book?
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: pushkina on October 23, 2004, 04:46:19 AM
i've always had a feeling that anya was "in love" with nicky too: another way to be just like alix!  i seem to remember that she was often flirty and petulant in his presence and demanded his attention, eventually peeving alix enough to interfere in their friendship.

i mention it because when i read it, it resonated with me as i once had a similar set of events play out in my life.

really, alix must have either had the constitution of a saint or  was very lonely to put up with anya.

Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Johnny on October 24, 2004, 12:16:04 PM
Janet,
I think you are right on the money. Very observant and convincing of you.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Joanna on October 24, 2004, 08:14:39 PM
Further to my post on the Maple Room, there is also in 'The Sacred demon, Rasputin and women' by Rene Fulop-Miller, Leipzig, 1927, a photograph of Anna's house. I am assuming this would have been a current photo c1920's rather than prior to the revolution. You can see clearly the railings that surrounded the property and to the left where the entry gate to the front porch is, there appears to be an inverted v. Can anyone identify what this design represented or is it possibly a generic style of gate?

http://ldn-knigi.lib.ru/R/Foto/Rasputin/B27_28.jpg

Joanna
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Antonio_P.Caballer on October 24, 2004, 08:27:09 PM
Thanks Joanna for the link :)

I would swear that it´s nothing significative but only the average design of a fence.

This book have a couple of rare photos, as, in you´re same link, a photo of the Empress Corner drawing room at the Winter palace. Notice how the frame of Princess Alice´s portrait is hunging empty. Unlike that of Alexandra´s father, Alice´s portrait was horribly damaged during the looting of the palace.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Joanna on October 24, 2004, 08:48:25 PM
Hi Antonio,

There is also a rare photograph of Anna's sister Alexandra that I was stunned to find!

Another photo is of Alexandra sitting in front of the piano in the Mauve Room. I am curious how Rene obtained this one although the facial part looks retouched or more probably a result of the technology then in copying original photographs. I had thought that although the palaces opened to tourists after the revolution and postcards of the interiors were produced to propagate the soviet view against the Romanovs, that the actual albums were closed in the archives. How did Rene obtain this one. Also as Rene most probably took some of these photographs i.e. Maple and Winter Palace Rooms c1920's, are there others that never made it into the book especially of the interior of the Alexander Palace and where are they located. For it is common to take many photos hoping that one or two will be perfect for publication!

Joanna
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Lisa on November 01, 2004, 04:11:53 AM
Don't forget that, first, Alix considered Anna as her 6th child, then she call her "the Cow"...
I think Alix like Anna as a little child which with she could talk ( about religion in particularly)... Then Alix realised that Anna was not the intelligent woman she thought (cf the "love story" with Nicholas) and Alix kept her distance from Anna (and called her the cow!) without left her.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Alexander on November 01, 2004, 10:53:31 AM
Hi Joanna,
               My name is Alexander from Scotland and I am new to the discussion board.  I was very interested to read the quote from Katia as to where Anna V lived in Finland. My wife and I plan to visit Helsinki at some point in the future and would be fascinated to see Anna's two homes from the outside. So my question is do you know the actual addresses of them or how I could find out assuming they still exist.  Many Thanks for your help.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Katia on November 01, 2004, 01:53:56 PM
Hi Alexander,
Anna Vyrubova's apartment in Helsinki is located at 29 Topelius Street. The house is still there! I've read that Anna's two-room apartment had a separate entrance. You'll find it easily.
Anna did spend time in a cottage in Järvenpää, not far from Helsinki, but I have no idea if the cottage is still there. I doubt it.
Anna's grave (with her maiden name Taneeva) can be found at Hietaniemi orthodoxy cemetery in Helsinki.

Would you like to see portraits of the imperial family? There are some  russian restaurants in Helsinki with the portraits on the walls. If you like russian food, go to restaurants like Saslik, Troika or Romanov!
Hope you enjoy your visit!
Katia
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Katia on November 01, 2004, 01:56:51 PM
Alexander, Topelius Street is "Topeliuksenkatu" in finnish, so you can find it from the city maps! Not far from the city center and can be reached by buses (nr 39 for example) or by tram with a little walk!
Katia
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Alexander on November 01, 2004, 02:02:45 PM
Katia,

        Many many thanks for your quick reply- much appreciated.  Alexander
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Katia on November 01, 2004, 02:08:44 PM
You are welcome!
Katia
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: BobAtchison on November 02, 2004, 05:26:24 PM
Joanna:

Alexandra had the famous portrait of Nicholas by Serov in that room in the Winter Palace.  I recently saw a picture from immediately after the taking of the palace with the painting all sliced up and lying against a piece of furniture.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: felix on November 03, 2004, 11:19:37 AM
 Anna V. was not what Radzinsky said she was. She  loved the Empress more than the Czar.  Like Sophie Buxhoeveden  dont believe  what you read. They cant back up there claims.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: griffh on November 03, 2004, 01:05:28 PM
I think that sometimes we suffer more from a lack of understanding the atmosphere of palace life than we do when we try to understand the people who lived in that atmosphere.  Certainly Anna Vyrubova is a clear example of trying to unlock a complex and often contradictory woman who appears to continue to elude our search for her character.  Rheta Childe Dorr interviewed Anna just after she was released from the Fortress of Peter and Paul and this American newspaper woman has a different perspective on Anna.    

Rita interviewed Anna in 1918, shortly after her release from the prison hospital and while she was still living, under constant surviellance, in her sister's home.  Her sister's husband, it will be remembered was Princess Paley's son by her first marriage and therefore the step-son of the Grand Duke Paul.

Rita Childe Dorr says, of Anna:

"How I met this woman, how she came to talk confidentially with me, where I saw her and when, are not to be written just now.  They could not be published without injuring a number of people, perhaps, including Madame Virubova herself.  I saw and talked with her soon after her release from the prison hospital.  She was still drawn and haggard from the hardships and the terror of her experiences in Peter and Paul, and she was in the depth of despondency over the plight of her friend the Czarina.  She is a very pretty woman, this alleged Borgia-Jezebel.  She has an abundance of brown hair and her eyes are large and deeply blue.  Her features are regular, and her mouth curves like a child's....Madame Virubova is a patrician by birth, and before she was born, and long before Rasputin appeared in Tsarskoye Selo, her family was attached to the court.  The father and grandfather of Virubova were court officials, confidential secretaries to the emperors of their times.  Both her parents are living and I have met them both.  They are highly educated and unmistakably well bred.  They are not rich people, but they live in a very beautiful apartment in an exclusive quarter of Petrograd...

"Was Rasputin as bad as they say he was?"  I asked.

"He couldn't have been," she answered.  "But he may have been more or less licentious.  Unfortunately you find men, even in holy orders, who are weak in certain ways.  I can only answer positively for myself and the Empress.  The charge that either of us ever had any personal relation with Rasputin wa a foul slander.  "Oh," she cried, with a sudden flame dyeing her white cheeks, "how easy, very easy, it is to say that kind of thing about a woman..."

"Was he a German agent?  Was he part of the political intrigue that threatened a separate peace for Russia?"

Anna Virubova was silent for a long minute.  She seemed to be pondering.  the she spoke, and her eyes were as candid as a child's.  "Truely, I do not know.  Certainly I did not believe it in Rasputin's lifetime, but now--I do not know.  This much I do know, that it was difficult, very difficult, at the Russian court, to avoid being drawn inot political intrigues.  You know, of course, what a court is like."

"No," I said, "I don't know anything about a court.  Tell me what it is like."

"There is only one word in English to describe it," replied Mme. Virubova.  "That word is 'rotten.'  A court is made up of numberless little cliques, each one with its endless gossip, its whisperings, its secrets and its plots, big and small.  There is nothing too big or too small for these cliques to concern themselves with.  They plot international policital changes, and the plot private murders.  They plot to ruin the mind and the morals of an Emperor, and the plot to break up the friendship between two women.  They plot to raise this one to power and they plot to bring about the fall of another.  They plot in peace and they plot in war.  The person who lives at court and is not drawn into some of these plots is an exception to the rule...."

I think it is interesting to hear Anna's reasoning as she searches for answers to Rita's questions.  I think that two women talking together opens up more possiblities for understanding who Anna's was.  
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Karentje on November 04, 2004, 01:56:54 PM
thanks Riffh for your contribution to this topic, it's very interesting I must say!
Do you have the complete article Rita Childe wrote, do you know if she ever wrote more about anna?
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Arleen on November 04, 2004, 01:57:39 PM
Can you post it Bob, or is it for your book?  I can't wait for your book I know it will be simply wonderful!!!       ..Arleen
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: griffh on November 04, 2004, 11:32:29 PM
Karentje,

I know that Rita Child Dorr's view of Anna is so different from most of the things we read about her but the thing that is so interesting is that Rita is interviewing Anna from an American point of view and is trying to figure out if she is calculating ane deceitful or if she is someone who is a victim of character assassination.  

But to answer your question, Rita Child Dorr wrote a book and her interview with Anna covers three chapters.  The name of the book "Inside The Russian Revolution."  By the way, I was mistaken about the date of her interview with Anna.  It was 1917 and not 1918.  

Rita also went to Moscow and interview the Grand Duchess Elizabeth at her Mary and Martha Convent, just months before Elizabeth was arrested.  However, even then Rita explains that Ella is "almost the last remaining member of the royal family left in complete freedom in the empire.  

I thought that it was very interesting that Anna could accept that fact that Rasputin was licentious without finding that reason enough to have dropped him.  Her remarks are supportive of Alexandra's awareness of Rasputin's licentious behavior without allowing it to sway her devotion to his healing ability.  

Anna also mentions something that I never heard anyone speak of before and that was the aggressive onslot of medical advise that was coming from the Romanoff family prior to the appearance of Rasputin, advise that was causing untold dispair and confusion for Alexandra.   Anna states, "The child had a rare disease, one which the doctors have never been able to cure...In addition to this the boy developed tuberculosis of the hip.  It seemed impossible that he could live to grow up.  He was a dear child, always, beautiful, clever, and lovable.  Even had less hung on his life than succession to the throne it would have been hard to give him up.  Each one of his successive illness racked the Empress with such terror and anguish that her mind almost gave away.  For a long time she was so melancholy that she had to live in seclusion under the care of nurses.  It was not so much assassins that she feared.  It was that the child should die of the maladies that afflicted him.  And, in addition to all this daily and hourly anxiety and pain she suffered, the poor Empress was torn this way and that by the grand dukes and all the members of the court circle.  Each one had a remedy or a treatment they wanted applied to the child.  There were always new doctors, new treatments, new operations in the air.  The Empress was criticized bitterly because she wouldn't try them all.  The Empress Dowager---well---."  

That is such an interesting insight, isn't it?  It doesn't tell us too much more about Anna, however.      

Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarai on November 05, 2004, 07:19:39 AM
Quote
Anna also mentions something that I never hear anyone speak of before and that was the aggressive onslot of medical advise that was coming from the Romanoff family prior to the appearance of Rasputin, advise that was causing untold dispair and confusion for Alexandra.


Reading that quote is indeed interesting, because I was under the impression that Alexei's illness was generally kept secret even from the family. I thought only a very select few even from within the family knew of the nature of the disease, yet Anna writes that "the poor Empress was torn this way and that by the grand dukes and all the members of the court circle." The only thing I can think of is perhaps they just knew the child was sick with something and offered their advice, unaware of the exact malady.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: griffh on November 05, 2004, 12:56:35 PM
Sarai,

I was under the same impression until I started reading Sergei Mironenko's, "Life Long Passion."  

Apparently, the little Tsarevich, born July 30, 1904, had his first attack on September 8, 1904 which lasted until September 11 (I never realized that it meant the Alexandra really only had one short month and a few days of uninhibited joy with her new little boy).  

On September 10, 1904, the day before the attack ended, Nikolasha came to for lunch with the family at Peterhof, (another thing I never realized, I always thought the little boy's first attack was at Alexander Palace).  After lunch Nikolasha and Nicky went on a walk together in a wind storm that was strong enough to whip up the ocean.  As the attack had not abated until the following day, Nicholas must have still been gravely concerned and it is very possible that they talked about Alexis on that walk.  The weather was almost symbolic of the agony and despair that must have filled Peterhof.

The Grand Duchess Marie writes that even the Grand Duke Serge's home in Moscow was filled with melancholy.  She says that, "My uncle and aunt undoubtedly knew already that the child was born suffering and that from his birth he carried in him the seeds of an incurable illness, haemophilia..."  On September 15 Nicholas had to leave Alexandra for a week or so and she sent a photo he had not seen before of "Baby Sweet" and one of his little gloves and a shoe.  

The day after he leaves, on September 16, 1904, Alexandra writes that she has asked to drive with the Empress Dowager but is worried how she will manage to nurse her little boy and fit the carriage ride in.  

I am sure the Empress Dowager must have known as this was still the era in which Nicky and his mother were still closely connected and a time during which she was still guiding him on some policy decisions as the diary entries show.  

I think that the secret was kept from the court but perhaps not from the immediate family.  I don't really know, it is just a conjecture.  I am sure that Alexandra's sister knew almost immediately, and actually we know that is true with Ella as her niece has already documented this.  

Another thing that makes me sure that most of the Romanovs must have known is perhaps implied by Xenia's diary entry on February 13, 1904, six months before Alexis is born, about seeing Nicky and Alix at church in St. Petersberg after hearing about the death of Alix's haemophilic nephew.  Xenia says, "Alix was in tears, having just received the news of the death of her little nephew, Irene's youngest son.  He had the terrible illness of the English family (haemophilia).  Not long ago, the poor little thing fell and bumped his head, from that time on he was ill the whole time, and fromthe beginning there was no hope of him recovering. It's [simply awful, and the poor parents."

This occured when Alexandra was three months pregnant with Alexis, so the "English disease" was already something the whole Romanov family were aware of.  I am sure that this event created a great deal of morbid fear that made its rounds in the family even before Alexis's birth.        

Oh I just wanted to add a note of apology for my spelling and for my typing goofs.....




 
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarai on November 05, 2004, 03:31:27 PM
griffh,
Thank you for your post. It was very interesting and clear, and I enjoyed reading it. Don't worry, you have wonderful spelling! :)
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: rskkiya on November 05, 2004, 04:15:15 PM
Just curious
Is it possible that she was a bit "retarded/mentally chalenged or just "slow?"  

Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: BobAtchison on November 05, 2004, 04:29:54 PM
Dear Arlene!!!

No, it's not for the book sionce we are just focusing on the AP and this happened at the Winter Palace.  I will look for it and see if it's possible to reproduce it here (copyright issues).

Bob
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Belochka on November 05, 2004, 09:30:24 PM
Hi rskkiya,

Your curiosity mave have some validity.

Her behavior was most unusual.  ::)
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: griffh on November 06, 2004, 03:35:23 PM
Rskkiya I agree with Belochka that you have come up with a great point.  She certainly is slow in understanding how her actions compromised the Imperial family, who she called "my best friends on earth."  I looked up young Prince Yousopoff's impression of her at the weekly Saturday evenning dance parties that Anna parents held, (her father, Taneiev, was at the time Secretary of State).  Felix describes the parties as very large and very enjoyable and he says that it was always problematic trying to find a dancing partner for Anna as she was stout and without charm.  He says that she lacked intelligence but was crafty and sly and that no one in their circle would have imagined at that time that she would become the intimate friend of the Czarina.    He also says that Anna was, "not worthy of the friendship shown her by the Czarina.  No doubt her attachment to the Czarina was sincere, but it was far from being disinterested.  It was that of a servile and intriguing woman whom she did her utmost to isolate from those who would have been her friends by making her distrust them."

We know from this discussion the distain the French Ambassador had for her and he records on March 22, 1917 (the day Anna was removed to the Fortress of Peter and Paul) that Alexandra's response to Anna's departure "had not affected her, at any rate in the way that might have been expected.  After all her passionate and jealous attachment to her, she hs suddenly made her responsible for all the evils which have overtaken the Russian imperial family."  

Even though Alexandra will soften her attitude toward Anna in Tobolsk, she does continue to warn Anna not to compromise the family by talking with people who may not be trustworthy, or something to that extent.  

What I get from all of this is that both Felix and Alexandra, who had such opposing points of view, both agree on one thing; that Anna's slowness or lack of intelligence hurt the imperial family and betrayed their friendship.  

I am sort of a chronological nut case as I order things first according to dates and then I try to reason from the unfolding and intersection of events.  I don't think very easily in terms of themes so that is why my answers are sort of labored.  It is just the way I think.  I so love having the opportunity to speak with others about a life-time fascination of mine, Russian history.  I would love to get ahold of the court calander from 1894 to 1917 and get a sense of the daily activity of the family and their interaction with others.  Well anyway this is such an honor being able to share ideas with others who are equally devoted to Russian history....griff      
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: rskkiya on November 06, 2004, 05:31:56 PM
    Thank you all for your kind responsed to my suggestion about Anna Vyrubova. I don't really know enough about the poor woman to be able to say whether she was a schemer or a fool but I do think that she was at best -dull- and at worst -selfish- ...
   Its her seeming cluelessness that makes me think that she may have had some "special educational needs" but I doubt that it was a severe condition (I have no scholarship or evidence for any of this speculation :-X)  I don't even know how slow people at that time might have been taught or taken care of!

Any ideas?
rskkiya
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: borgia on November 08, 2004, 08:18:47 PM
 This may come across as a ramble.I read this as a story in one of the many histories of the Ramonovs.  It may have been mentioned elsewhere on the message board.And please,correct if wrong.  Anna,after having been rescued from a train wreck,by an army soldier,wanted the mans superior officer to promote him to a higher rank.The officer told Anna that this could not be done. The soldier could be   rewarded for his  help   ,but not promoted.Anna,furious at being refused,  used her  friendship with the royal family, to work  at doing what she could,to damage the officers career in revenge.I dont think that Anna was shrewd or clever or manipulative.But I do  think that she was foolish,  innocent ,emotional , dangerous.That she thought ,she had  a power,that she really didnt.Alot of hangers on to people, who do have power  are  I think, like that.And I think that Anna was a hanger on.     She got a place in life that she  wasnt suited for.Confident to the Queen Bee.And she enjoyed that  place .After the fall of the Romanovs,she probaly was not thought of as any threat,but  a harmless lady  flunky,and set free.Its   interesting ,and sad ,that Anna was set free, to live to be an elderly lady,while so many others died.Others who were not as close to the Romanovs, as Anna was,or thought she was.And while she may not have lived a happy life,she lived.She had some kind of strange karma working for her.      
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: rskkiya on November 08, 2004, 08:38:55 PM
Borgia

   I am not familiar with the "soldier" story that you refere to -  A. V. was in a train wreck from which Rasputin's "powers" supposedly saved her... but I am unaware of any other incidents.

rskkiya
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: borgia on November 08, 2004, 10:20:47 PM
   Not  at all sure,but it may have been Count Grabbe            who was the officer who refused Anna.I honestly dont remember where I came across the story.I  had read that  Anna thought  Rasputin helped heal her after the train  wreck ,and that may have helped put him in good  graces with Alexandra.The soldier was at the scene of the wreck and got Anna out of the train.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: rskkiya on November 11, 2004, 10:34:12 AM
Quote
Just curious
Is it possible that she was a bit "retarded/mentally chalenged or just "slow?"  



Were there any tests at that time to examine for this possibility? Just what sort of education did Anna V have? Would they have even recognized terms such as "retardation" in that environment?

gods blood -- I am full of questions today!

rskkiya
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Oblate48 on November 19, 2004, 02:08:14 PM
Does anyone have any idea about Anya Vyrubova's monetary situation other then the usual? In her book she briefly mentions money matters saying:

"For a long time after my first formal service as maid of honor, with the usual salary, I received from her Majesty literally nothing at all. From my parents I had the income from my dowry, four hundred rubles a month, a sum entirely inadequate to pay the running expenses of my small establishment with its three absolutely indispensable servants, and at the same time to dress myself properly as a member of the Court circle.Count Fredericks, Minister of the Court, had pointed out to her that it was scarcely proper that the Empress's best friend and confidante should wear made-over gowns and go home from the palace on foot at midnight because she had no money for cabs, the Empress began to relent a little. At first her change of attitude took the form of useful gifts bestowed at Christmas and Easter, dress patterns, furs, gloves, and the like. Finally one day she asked me to discuss with her the whole subject of my expenses. Making me sit down with pencil and paper, she commanded me to set forth a complete budget of my monthly expenditures, exactly what I paid for food, service, light, fire, and clothing. The domestic budget, apart from my small income, came to two hundred and seventy rubles a month, and at the orders of the Empress I was thereafter furnished monthly with the exact sum of two hundred and seventy rubles. It never occurred to her to name the amount in round numbers of three hundred rubles. Nor did it occur to me except as a matter of faint amusement. Of course I was often embarrassed for money even after I became possessed of this regular income, and even later when it was augmented by two thousand rubles a year for rent, and it often wrung my heart to have to say no to appeals for money. I knew that I appeared selfish and hard."

I have little knowledge about Russian money during the 1900's ( or now) does anyone know if this was an extravegent amount of money to spend? Also I have read in certain books that Russian high nobility often thought Anya had no business being near the Empress because she always looked like a provincial wearing fake jewelry and cheap clothes... Any enligtenment from anyone?
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Forum Admin on November 20, 2004, 09:28:27 AM
One Ruble 1905-1910 era had the approximate value of $10-12 today.
So she had about $2700-3,000 a month to live on. Then another $20,000 a year in rent. Not an extravagent lifestyle, but comfortable.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Robert_Hall on November 20, 2004, 09:37:44 AM
The rent- was that for the Tsarkoe Slo house or did she also maintain an apartment in the city ?
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Oblate48 on November 20, 2004, 01:03:39 PM
Quote
One Ruble 1905-1910 era had the approximate value of $10-12 today.
So she had about $2700-3,000 a month to live on. Then another $20,000 a year in rent. Not an extravagent lifestyle, but comfortable.


Thank you! However in todays money on top of that 2700-3000 a month from the Empress...  she says she also had $400 rubles a month from her dowry, which would bring her full monthly income in todays money to around $7000 a month on top of the $20,000 a year for rent for her house in Tsarskoe Selo...That seems like a tidy little sum IMHO.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Oblate48 on November 20, 2004, 01:22:09 PM
To be honest Anya Vyrubova has always fascinated me. She is one of my favorite characters in the drama that played out during the reign of the last Romanov Tsar. I think its because she was a key observer to the entire situation and probably was provy to a great deal during her friendship with Alexandra . I think my opinion would be that Vyrubova certainly did not fully understand the consequences her words and actions could have. I don't think that Vyrubova was very stupid. Rather I think she was young, naive, and placed too much hope that things could never change. I'm sure in her mind the Romanov's would remain in power forever and nothing could uproot them. I think she had a zealous religious attitude which allowed her to believe nothing truly horrible could happen to NAOTMAA. I read her book, "Memories of the Russian Court" and it cemented my belief that she was not stupid. She seems to me to be at least fairly intelligent. If one judged Vyrubova as stupid then you would have to condemn N&A as stupid as well. Because Nicholas certainly made many screw-ups during his reign. It was because he was a clumbsy politician, not educated in how the Empire should be run and, like Anya, had a belief that the Romanov's were divinely chosen to rule and nothing could uproot them. It wasn't till much later that N&A and Vyrubova began to realize that thier actions could have fatal consequences. I'm not sure about the others but i think at least by the time she was imprisoned did Vyrubova begin to see that things would not fix themselves up. However of one thing I am certain: ( IMO) Vyrubova wasn't stupid. Was she naive, selfish, clumbsy? Most likely yes.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Forum Admin on November 20, 2004, 01:44:35 PM
Actually Harald, no, my equivalent was based on approximate PURCHASING power, what one ruble then would buy in terms of goods and services. I believe that your equivalency is a bit overstated.  I used a 1905 currency exchange rate to compute rubles to US$, then went to a well researched purchasing power valuation for US$ for 1905 vs 2000. I stand behind my estimate.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Forum Admin on November 20, 2004, 02:33:51 PM
I think it quite EASY to maintain a house and servants on $7000 a MONTH Harald, especially given the much lower wages servants were paid. Why is there some fallacy by using the 1905 exchange rate between dollars and rubles? The purchasing power is the same...that makes no sense to me.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Forum Admin on November 20, 2004, 02:52:52 PM
You can't compare the price of a servant in 2004. Wages are substantially higher today than in 1905. Electicity and telephones were substantially higher in relative terms in 1905 than today. Bell charged 250 rubles a year for a telephone in 1905...Purchasing power is the most widely used and generally accepted way to convey currency valuations in different eras. I majored in economics in university...
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Joanna on November 30, 2004, 09:00:40 PM
From Nikolai's site, here is a painting of Anna's house from the time of Tepper de Ferguson c1815 (when cliquing on the link delete: narod.yandex.ru/100.xhmtl?)

http://geglov2.narod.ru/jpg/Langre/P1000048.jpg

Joanna
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Martyn on December 12, 2004, 07:32:15 AM
It seems to me from what I have read in this thread that the tragedy in all of this is that Alix seemingly had so little opportunity to invest her trust and friendship in worthy recipients.
To all intents and purposes, it would appear that it was not wisely invested in Anna; it is such a great shame that Alix was unable to find someone else who might have given her loyalty and support in a more emotionally developed and intelligent way - she was so obviously in need of it.......
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: RichC on December 12, 2004, 01:00:37 PM
I do not believe that Anna V. was "stupid".  Hey, she got away from the clutches of the Bolsheviks -- after having been imprisoned -- how many of her ilk can claim that?  And, I just don't believe the idea that the Bolsheviks let her go because she was so stupid they thought she was harmless.  Why would Maxim Gorki become friendly with someone who was supposedly so dumb -- or even mentally handicapped?

Also, it's hard for me to give credence to anything Felix says about Anna, or any other topic.  Talk about a crafty, self-serving schemer!  (I believe that Felix was closer to Anna than he claims  -- look at all those pix of him in her personal photo albums at Yale.)

Anna, like many people, liked being close to power.  Once she met the Tsarina, she figured out pretty fast what made her tick, and she knew what to say and do to endear herself to Alexandra.

Also, in her pictures, I don't see an "ugly" woman; fat, yes, but not ugly.  If you want to see an "ugly" woman, check out Eleanor Roosevelt (I'm a great admirer of ER BTW)  Too bad for Anna they didn't have liposuction in those days.  
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: rskkiya on December 12, 2004, 03:32:01 PM
RichC
    You make some very good points about Anna V!
While I do wonder about her actual IQ and I would not be too surprised to find that she may have been a bit "slow" -(a less p.c. term would be a bit "mentally retarded")- but it is interesting to consider how many people ridiculed her as "fat or ugly" as if those were inportant aspects of friendship or  of value  -- after all, who would complain that Witte or Stolypin were too fat to make worthy administrators!
   Fashion is perpetually changing - a generous curvy body is charming in one year, while later it's a gamine figure that is wanted.  Anna V. was said to have a "russian beauty" a plush figure, a moon face with big lips and eyes -- maybe not great by todays standards but at the turn of the century -- fine!

    Nevertheless, whether she was pretty or plain is not the topic...It's "was she clever or dim?" :D

rskkiya
Title: Who is Robert D. Brewster?
Post by: Laura Mabee on January 08, 2005, 05:49:43 PM
Who is this guy?
In the Yale library collection of albums, the person who gave the albums to Yale was Robert D. Brewster. Who is he, and how did he get ahold of the albums?

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v616/Romanov/Forums/Untitled-1.jpg)
Title: Re: Who is Robert D. Brewster?
Post by: felix on January 09, 2005, 08:50:50 AM
Robert Brewster knew A.V.'s brother Sergei in N.Y.C. He became interested in the Romanovs after seeing  "Rasputin and the Empress". Brewster went to see Anna in Finland.  After afew days she agreed to sell him the albums. He kept them for 14 years and then gave them to Yale. See "The Romanov Family Album" page 25.   F.
Title: Re: Who is Robert D. Brewster?
Post by: Laura Mabee on January 20, 2005, 01:08:25 PM
 ;D
Thank you for answering my question ^^
Sorry it took me so long to reply  :-[
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: samcr on February 21, 2005, 10:22:32 AM
I think she was silly but sly, and that she loved being  near to " Power" she new how to play the game, and she did it very well.
people like that can be quite  dangerous , because she may come across dim and silly, but there was more to her than that.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: rskkiya on February 21, 2005, 10:45:57 AM
A very good point...It is possible that Anna was  "playing the fool" to survive!
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: duchella on May 02, 2005, 04:11:59 PM
I agree most with Sarai's assessment of the situation, but thought I'd add a few random thoughts.

We (in our new century and democratic lives) may just not be able to appreciate the world in which there existed an absolute monarch and the court around him.  Anna needed to survive in that world and used what resources she had to succeed.  I call being an intimate with the IF as a form of success.

Anna strikes me as having at most, a mediocre mind, but  zero charm.  She wasn't attractive to people in her own right, so she sought to mirror the needed qualities in the people she admired.  She  gained access to the IF because she told them what they wanted to hear, waited on them, cared (or pretended to) care for them.

It was not unusual for people to deify the IF and she didn't mind making it her life's work - because she didn't have the guts or the brains to do anything else.  

I think that she saw a niche that she could fill.

I believe that A. probably didn't have many of these toadies and that is why she put up with Anna.  A. didn't put up with people who weren't "yes" men, so that is why Anna was kept around.  The Empress certainly made some digs at Anna's expense in her letters to N - which I read in the Lifelong Passion book - and found her tiresome.  I think that Anna would have found another, more fulfilling life for herself, if she was smarter, but I don't think she could have been really dumb. :-/

When the Revolution came, she may well have been both scared and saddened/horified by what had happened to the IF and did what she had to, to survive.  Wouldn't any one of us done the same?
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: La_Mashka on May 20, 2005, 05:39:31 PM
Wow


Bravo to everyone for such insightful comments!!!


To be honest with you, I dont know where I stand on this subject.

On one hand I consider her sly, since she managed to acquire and maintain for a very long time the confidence and "devotion" of the most important woman in the country. As someone said, it is hard for us to imagine what life was like with an absolut monarch in power, but I bet being his wife's "best friend" was a VERY IMPORTANT position, especially for someone like Anya.

Then again, on the other hand I think she wasnt too bright, since she gained little by being in this position. Her house was very small, and I remember reading the Tsar complained about it being extremelly cold during the winter. You would imagine someone being as close to the Tsarina as she was would be able to at least get a house with proper heating. Also, although she was favoured by the empress, she didn't use this to her advantage (obtaining benefits from others in court) by "helping" them out with the Tsarina...

As many have said, I do believe she was very pampered by the Tsarina in the beginning, and she live the "good life" without having to work for it... in a way.

Still, what type of person is happy with living his/her life as a sidekick??  I simply cannot get that

And I cannot understand how she managed to survived, when most others were killed.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Anastasia_R on June 17, 2005, 07:30:55 PM
I'm not very far into both of Radzinsky's books(THE RASPUTIN FILE,THE LAST TSAR),but Radzinsky's portrayal of Anya does make her sound "sly,secretive,cunning..."etc.LoL,I agree on the Bush idea!I seriously doubt she was in love w/ the Tsarina,I just think they were very close friends(BFFS,almost!!;)),but she has me a little confuzed too.But I think she's just sly.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Anastasia_R on June 17, 2005, 07:43:46 PM
Radzinsky also says after a full"10 years after her divorce...she was still a virgin!"(Edvard Radzinsky,THE RASPUTIN FILE,pge 92).I also doubt that she was in love w/ the Tsarina,as I said in another post,and that she had some royal genes in her.Maybe the reason why she stuck around Tsarina Alexandra was because she was lonely?That's my theory,at least.I'm not quite sure,I'm not an expert when it comes to Anya Vyrubova.I don't think she took advantage of her position,despite my belief that she was a sly woman,and I don't think she was an idiot-I think Anya was a very smart woman.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Anastasia_R on June 17, 2005, 07:48:30 PM
It looks like a very nice home,for some reason it reminds me of my friends' home up north....I'd like to go there!
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: koloagirl on June 22, 2005, 09:43:42 PM
 :)

Am I the only one that wishes that there was some type of published work on Anna Vyrubova?  Other than the "Memories of the Russian Court"?

What happened to all the correspondence that must have transpired between her and the IF?  Did she keep a diary?  Did she burn papers during the revolution?

After all - no matter what you think of her -- she was the only one in the unique position of being a
de facto family member to the IF and with them almost to the end.

And as noted before - she wasn't just a middle class girl being a social climber - she belonged to the nobility.
And regardless of her motives - she was a loyal friend to the Empress and stayed loyal to the IF memory all of her life.  She didn't  try to "cash in" on her friendship - at least not that I can see.

Smart or shrewd?  Jury is still out IMHO.

Janet R.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: karl on June 27, 2005, 09:41:12 AM
anja was surely not silly - she survived!

but: i know she came from petrograd and lived with her father. are there other relatives of her known?

karl
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Annie on September 21, 2005, 04:25:46 PM
Quote
I do not believe that Anna V. was "stupid".  Hey, she got away from the clutches of the Bolsheviks -- after having been imprisoned -- how many of her ilk can claim that?


She escaped them several times, hiding out in safe houses, sometimes in squalid conditions, before she finally escaped to Finland in late 1920. I recommend everyone interested in her read her book, it totally changed my mind about her in a postive way. It was like getting to know someone I had misjudged.


[qoute]Also, it's hard for me to give credence to anything Felix says about Anna, or any other topic.  Talk about a crafty, self-serving schemer!  (I believe that Felix was closer to Anna than he claims  -- look at all those pix of him in her personal photo albums at Yale.)[/quote]

Ha, I noticed that too and found it hilarious. For all his putdowns and denials of her, her photo albums sure show a different story! It appears he was close to her and her siblings, and probably never really fell out until Felix killed Rasputin.

Quote
Originally posted by Kolagirl

What happened to all the correspondence that must have transpired between her and the IF?  Did she keep a diary?  Did she burn papers during the revolution?


She burned all her journals as Kerensky invaded her room. She did remember enough to write her book, though.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: catt.sydney on November 10, 2005, 11:46:38 PM
Quote




She burned all her journals as Kerensky invaded her room. She did remember enough to write her book, though.


I had read that this book was actually written by someone other than Anya Tanyeva... As she became a religious recluse when in exile - she never commented on it. Am I mistaken? Is this a myth?

I long for clarification!  ???

catt
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Annie on November 11, 2005, 12:31:37 PM
Quote

I had read that this book was actually written by someone other than Anya Tanyeva... As she became a religious recluse when in exile - she never commented on it. Am I mistaken? Is this a myth?

I long for clarification!  ???

catt


She wrote this book, and a second, less popular one, before she became a nun.

If you read her book, you would know that no one else could have known and described all that she did, including her many imprisionments. She had to have remembered it. At one point she had taken up with Maxim Gorky who encouraged her to write her memoirs.

The book was published in 1923, and she would not give away the exact escape route she had used, since it was still being used by refugees at that time.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: ladyamythyst69 on December 01, 2005, 05:11:04 PM
When I look at the friendship between Alexandra and Anna I see TWO emotionally needy women.

Alexandra knew she needed someone "all to herself", her compassionate/morbid side attracted her to people who were suffering and rather pathetic - in this type of relationship Alexandra was sure to feel secure & feel that she was running the show. She probably loved the expressions of love and gratitude she earned by "rescuing" such needy people. You can't forget that although Alexandra was the Tsarina, she constantly felt thwarted in her wishes. Neither the family, the nobles nor the court were interested in humoring her - in fact they actively disliked her - she could find no companion or refuge amongst their ranks. And essentially most of her life was not her own - it was ordered by the courtiers who are interested in serving the DYNASTY not the individual (look at the current Prince of Wales & his "diary of engagements" which is booked a year in advance.) Royal people often have very little control over their own lives - despite the fact that they are supposedly running the country. I think the emotional boost from an adoring Anna who was totally absorbed in Alexandra's needs would have easily become very important to Alexandra. Anna also provided a buffer between Alexandra and the people around her that she felt hated her. It was hard to get close to Alexandra with Anna guarding the door so to speak.

On Anna's side, I think she was an emotionally immature person who managed to fill a void in the life of the Empress. She did this initially by being ill and needy. Then when she was well, she kept the relationship going by being constantly available to Alexandra, and by her unquestioning devotion to her. I do think she was manipulative. She realized that her hold over Alexandra was based on Alexandra's need to have someone to "care for" -  someone who would not wish to be independent. You can see this in Alexandra's letters about Anna, even when she is wearing a bit thin, Alexandra still takes the view that Anna needs to be humored and coddled. Rather like a spoiled baby. It gets annoying to deal with this person, but in a way, you realize that you have created your own monster and that she (Anna) has nothing but you (Alexandra) so you are hesitant to abandon her. Anna definately played on Alexandra's guilt this way.

So I don't think Anna was "silly" except in the sense of being an annoying, useless seeming person who had nothing exceptional to recomend her. I do think she was "shrewd" in the way she played the Empress in order to keep her position in the family. But it was the same sort of shrewdness that spoiled children have in knowing how to get their way. I don't think she was an evil genius.

Sorry for the long reply!
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Janet_W. on December 01, 2005, 06:19:08 PM
Ladyamythyst69, I think you've made some exceptionally shrewd observations!  ;)
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: amelia on December 19, 2005, 04:58:41 PM
I  have a book, written by Anna in French - JOURNAL SECRET DE ANNA VIROUBOVA.
It is in a form of diary and not very flattering towards the IF.  This book is mentioned in Robert Massie' Nicholas and Alexandra.

When I got it, a few years ago, I was so shocked with what she writes, that I doubted if it was really hers, but then RM mentiones it in his book.

Amelia
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Georgiy on December 19, 2005, 05:33:21 PM
I think it is a fake book along the line of that other fake one supposedly written by a lady-in-waiting: Martha Mouchanow (sp?)

Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Lemur on December 24, 2005, 08:48:24 PM
Her journals were burned during the March revolution.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: cimbrio on December 25, 2005, 05:37:30 AM
Hi! I'm not a great fan of Anna Vyrubova, I've just never fel attracted to her story, but I just found out something which I found interesting... but since I have never read anything on her, you experts on her may know it aklready, that Anna Alexandrovna Tanneyeva Virubova was a desvcendant of the noble family Galitsyn. Two of her distant female cousins married two Romanov Princes, sons of Grand Duke Alexander (Sandro) and his wife, ksenia Alexandrovna. Her grandfather was a Tolstoy (could she be related to Lev Tolstoy then?), and she was also related to other noble families like the Trubetzkoys, the Stroganovs... I suppose that through a link of the Narishkins she was also related to the Romanov through Peter the Great's mother...
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: imperial angel on January 24, 2006, 11:16:38 AM
Anna Vryubova was someone who may not have been quite on Alexandra's level, but sometimes friendship of equals isn't always what works. They understood each other, and I don't think they damaged each other much, so that is positive. I don't think the relationship was a bad one, because obviously it did them both some good. As for being slow, I woudn't say she was; she may not have been intellectual like Alexandra, but that doesn't make her slow. I think she was of average intelligence, or perhaps a bit below. She wasn't intellectual, but does that make her silly-no?

She may have been a bit naive or she may have lacked much common sense, it seems to me that the reason she flourished in later life, was perhaps because she could have gained one or both. Some people learn only through life. She wasn't silly, but as I stated could have been lacking a bit in the common sense or wisdom department. As for being shrewd, she was never cunning if that is what anybody means. She knew what she got, but she didn't manipulate that. She was knowing, but not so much that you can describe her as cunning, manipulative,etc. She was a complicated person to some, but simple to others-perhaps a bit of a chameleon. And she was a bit plump, not the definition of modern beauty but that doesn't impact her personality.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: KarlandZita on March 07, 2006, 04:30:43 AM
There are a lot of pictures where we can see Ana Vyrubova photographed with only one or two Grand Duchesses.
But, I don't remember to have ever seen any pictures of her with all the girls together.
And you ?
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarushka on March 07, 2006, 08:34:19 AM
This is purported to be the only known photograph of OTMA, Vyrubova, and Alix, and Marie Fyodorovna.

(http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/women.jpg)
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Margarita Markovna on March 07, 2006, 01:32:26 PM
Great picture, Sarushka!

(http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a262/margaritamarkovna/Romanov%20Photos/otmaaswimming.jpg)

I'm not sure if that's Anna V in there, because I'm not so good at IDing her, but it seems to me that she's in the middle of the children.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarushka on March 07, 2006, 02:00:01 PM
Quote
I'm not sure if that's Anna V in there, because I'm not so good at IDing her, but it seems to me that she's in the middle of the children.

I'm not an expert, either, but I agree with you, Ritka
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: otmafan on March 07, 2006, 07:55:33 PM
Quote
Great picture, Sarushka!

(http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a262/margaritamarkovna/Romanov%20Photos/otmaaswimming.jpg)

I'm not sure if that's Anna V in there, because I'm not so good at IDing her, but it seems to me that she's in the middle of the children.


An adorable picture indeed Ritka. Anya is definitely behind Alexei.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: KarlandZita on March 11, 2006, 07:07:03 AM
Yes, Alexei is in Ana Vyrubova's arms. It's a lovely pic of all the children with her !
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: clockworkgirl21 on March 17, 2006, 08:10:47 PM
Can't forget this one. (http://www.livadia.org/mashka/images/OTMAFamilyTennis.jpg)
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarushka on March 17, 2006, 09:36:29 PM
(http://img73.imageshack.us/img73/3397/girlswithcousinandanna8xq2tb.th.jpg) (http://img73.imageshack.us/my.php?image=girlswithcousinandanna8xq2tb.jpg)
(http://img73.imageshack.us/img73/2200/tatianaannamashkaolga2da6866zi.th.jpg) (http://img73.imageshack.us/my.php?image=tatianaannamashkaolga2da6866zi.jpg)
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: aussiechick12 on March 17, 2006, 09:44:28 PM
Wow, thanks Sarushka, I hadn't seen the last one you posted. It's great!  :D

Emma
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: KarlandZita on March 21, 2006, 05:50:08 AM
I have read on a book - but I don't remember where -that OTMA, in particulary the big pair, were not always kind with their mother's best friend. Between them, the girls surnamed her "the fat cow".
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarushka on March 21, 2006, 08:08:39 AM
Quote
I have read on a book - but I don't remember where -that OTMA, in particulary the big pair, were not always kind with their mother's best friend. Between them, the girls surnamed her "the fat cow".

That's interesting. I'd never heard that. Alix often referred to Anya as "the cow" in her letters to Nicky prior to Vyrubova's railway accident, but I'd not heard that the nickname originated with the Big Pair. If you remember where you read that info, please let us know!
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Margarita Markovna on March 21, 2006, 12:45:30 PM
I've only ever heard that that was what Nicky and Alix called her.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: clockworkgirl21 on March 21, 2006, 02:02:39 PM
Wow. Alix calling Anya a "cow?" Even as a silly nick name, which I'm sure it was with Alix, that still sounds a little harsh. But I could see OTMA maybe calling Anya names behind her back. Anya reminds me of one of my mom's friends who I'm not really that fond of. But I quit calling her names when I got older.  ::)
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarushka on March 21, 2006, 03:10:16 PM
A subtle clarification: to my knowledge, Alix only referred to Anya as "the cow" in her private letters to Nicholas -- never to Anya's face. I think it had to do with the apparent crush Anya had on Nicky, and the mooning way she looked up to him.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: imperial angel on March 22, 2006, 08:55:49 AM
I am not sure whether otma liked Anna Vyrubova or not, but they no doubt accepted her, as she was always around. Perhaps they had  bad nicknames for her, but this wasn't of them. It came from their parents, and I am sure they never called her that to her face. ;)
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: KarlandZita on March 26, 2006, 09:13:35 AM
Quote
Quote from: KarlandZita  link=1141723843/0#13 date=1142941808
I have read on a book - but I don't remember where -that OTMA, in particulary the big pair, were not always kind with their mother's best friend. Between them, the girls surnamed her "the fat cow".
That's interesting. I'd never heard that. Alix often referred to Anya as "the cow" in her letters to Nicky prior to Vyrubova's railway accident, but I'd not heard that the nickname originated with the Big Pair. If you remember where you read that info, please let us know!

It's from the biography of Nicolas II by Henry Troyat. In his book, chapter X, he explain that the Imperial Children called Ana Vyrubova "the cow" between them. But, I suppose they used this nickname in her back and not to her face.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: imperial angel on March 27, 2006, 08:13:05 AM
I have never read this book, so this is new information for me about otma calling Anna ( behind her back) the cow. They probably picked it up from their parents.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: KarlandZita on April 09, 2006, 11:35:41 AM

(http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i221/pastroyals/OTMA/anaotmaa.jpg)


Tatiana, Olga, Anastasia and Alexei with Ana on beach.

Not all of OTMA but probably Marie took this photo.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarushka on April 22, 2006, 03:47:21 PM
More, more more!
(http://img413.imageshack.us/img413/7352/annaolyalittlepair4gq.th.jpg) (http://img413.imageshack.us/my.php?image=annaolyalittlepair4gq.jpg) (http://img413.imageshack.us/img413/4435/annaotmayalta7yr.th.jpg) (http://img413.imageshack.us/my.php?image=annaotmayalta7yr.jpg) (http://img413.imageshack.us/img413/391/anyaotmasuits5hx.th.jpg) (http://img413.imageshack.us/my.php?image=anyaotmasuits5hx.jpg)
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Mie on June 22, 2006, 01:27:06 PM
I actually have heard it too that Alix called her cow ... I do not remember where it was but prbably in one of those books where they are trying to solve was Anna really what se seem to be or did she belong to somekind of plot with Rasputin etc. I¨m not sure but I think I remember that the author was astonished by it WHY Alix called her as a cow even they were friends and probaply made own conclusion of it  ::)
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: marina on June 22, 2006, 06:50:14 PM
(http://img88.imageshack.us/img88/5660/18dl9207ik.th.jpg) (http://img88.imageshack.us/my.php?image=18dl9207ik.jpg)
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: imperial angel on June 28, 2006, 12:23:42 PM
Thanks for that lovely picture you posted Karlandzita of otma in their white dresses and hats. The information about Anna Vyrubova being called the cow is in many books, although it usually says that it is Nicholas and Alexandra who refered to her as this privately, not otma.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: KarlandZita on July 29, 2006, 08:22:35 AM
Thanks for that lovely picture you posted Karlandzita of otma in their white dresses and hats. The information about Anna Vyrubova being called the cow is in many books, although it usually says that it is Nicholas and Alexandra who refered to her as this privately, not otma.

Henri Troyat written in his biography of Nicholas II, that the Imperial children, and thus OTMA, called also Ana Vyrubova "the cow" behind her back. But it does not specify which to start to call her thus, if they were the Tsar and Tsarina or their children.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: marina on August 01, 2006, 05:23:17 PM
Maybe I'm wrong but I can't imagine the tsar calling a woman "a cow". But Alexandra used this term; I read it in this book (by Troyat).
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: imperial angel on August 22, 2006, 06:19:42 PM
I guess I should read that Troyat book, because otherwise I only have an understanding from other sources.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: KarlandZita on August 26, 2006, 10:13:09 AM
Ana Vyrubova with Tsar Nicholas and Anastasia :

(http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i221/pastroyals/OTMA/ananickyanastasia.jpg)


(http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i221/pastroyals/OTMA/anaolgaalix.jpg)
Ana, Alix and Olga posing together
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: carkuczyn on August 26, 2006, 05:12:10 PM
my question is pertaining to ana vyrubova's place with the royal family.  when i see pictures of her with the emperor, empress, or their children, i am really turned off.  to me she looks like a pitifully needy child.  at best, i see a desperate social climber.  how did she ever work her way into such a position of influence?
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: David_Pritchard on August 27, 2006, 12:43:18 AM
I think that you have missed the most important aspect of the relationship, namely that it was unequal and fully in the control of the Empress. What mattered was not what Anna Vyrubova thought she was as a friend or what she was in reallity, but what the Empress thought that Anna Vyrubova was to Her.

Anna Vyrubova could of course have been a true friend, social climber(to a certain comfort level) and a sycophant. My own opinion is that she was all of these things because the circumstances (the will of the Empress) allowed for all of these aspects in the relationship.

One might be wiser to ask what the Empress Aleksandra got from the relationship with Anna Vyrubova, namely a confidant outside of the higher social circles (not likely to gossip to the grand ducal and princely families), a person with middle class values not unlike the Empress herself, and a validating friend who strongly believes in religious mystery and spends unusual amounts of time praying, crossing, lighting candles to icons, etc. In many ways, someone not unlike herself.

David

Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: carkuczyn on August 27, 2006, 02:50:36 AM
i see, david.  very interesting.  so you think that the empress had middle class values?  how could one be the granddaughter of the queen or england and still have middle class values?  but i do notice that the empress did appear to be very quaint and provincial in her interests and habits.   i would like to read more about ana vyrubova.  i have heard and read little bits here and there.  i do remember reading that the empress was quite condescending to her on more than one occasion....calling her "fat cow" and such.  are there any books more about ana and her relationship with the empress?
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarushka on August 27, 2006, 08:25:19 AM
how could one be the granddaughter of the queen or england and still have middle class values? 
I believe Alexandra's values and attitudes were much *more* middle class than the average empress of her time. Remember, Hesse was not the most prestigious duchy in Germany, and certainly not the richest. Royally speaking, her surroundings were considerably less opulent than many of her relatives'.

Quote
i do remember reading that the empress was quite condescending to her on more than one occasion....calling her "fat cow" and such.
It's true that Alexandra refers to Anna as "the cow" in her private letters to Nicholas, but I've not yet found evidence that the empress used the nickname with her friend face-to-face. It may have been an inside joke, so to speak, used privately among the family.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: imperial angel on August 28, 2006, 08:48:20 AM
Anne Vyrubova might seem rather a sinister figure at first, and there are aspects of her friendship with the Empress that give some people pause. Anna was not a glamourous figure, of the type you might usually associate with royalty for one reason or another, but she was a true friend to the Empress and like her in many ways. Alexandra was a very home loving type and got from her English relatives and perhaps German ones too a comfortable, ''middle class'' way. Queen Victoria was like that as well. Anna played many roles in the friendship with doubt, but to see her as anything less than a true, if not very glamourous friend to the Empress is wrong.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: KarlandZita on September 02, 2006, 10:27:54 AM
Ana Vyrubova and one of the Tsar's daughters, the Grand Duchess Olga, taking part in a picnic in the open air :

(http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i221/pastroyals/OTMA/anapicnic.jpg)
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Suzie on September 14, 2006, 01:43:37 PM
I just always wondered why Anna V. was never called in to identify AA. I would think she would have been the closest to the family and should have been able to recognize her. I have a cousin who I had not seen in years that I knew a a child and when I saw her even though she had been ill  and lost losts of weight, changed her hair style and color, I knew her right away.

Suzie
(newbie)
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: amelia on September 14, 2006, 03:04:05 PM
Suzie,

I always asked myself the same question and the only reason I see , is that she was by then a recluse and maybe not very mobile and ill.

Amelia
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Suzie on September 15, 2006, 09:52:05 AM
She could have looked at a picture maybe? I just find it odd that she never got involved in the discussion at all. (Perhaps a wise move on her part?) ???
Suzie
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Eddie_uk on September 15, 2006, 10:42:26 AM
Interesting question :). I have heard that the reason Anna was not called in was because of her connections to Rasputin! If you ask me that is just an excuse. She wasn´t asked because she, more than anyone, would have busted AA for the fraud that she was!!!! :)

I think Anna must have taken an interest in the story but probably believing that AA was a fraud it never went any further....
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Belochka on September 16, 2006, 06:39:11 AM
I agree with you Eddieboy.

I wonder whether her entry into the monastic order in Helsinki had anything to do with this omission? 

Margarita
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Eddie_uk on September 16, 2006, 01:23:41 PM
Thank you Belochka, yes that is an interesting point! :) I would be interested to learn more about this monastic order Anna entered....
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: lababoc on September 21, 2006, 08:17:16 AM
plus I do not think the russian  governement would give Vyrubova permission  to go or to be visited/interviewed by anyone ... . or to admit the possibility of any survivors or they knew  for sure there was NO survivors
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Eddie_uk on September 21, 2006, 08:32:33 AM


I wonder whether her entry into the monastic order in Helsinki had anything to do with this omission? 


I have been thinking about this and the possible reasons Anna may have had for entering such a place.

I know it sounds a little corny but do you think it was a form of escapism for her?? She had suffered badly and the world she had known was pretty much over. Along with many of the peoples lives that she loved...:(
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Belochka on September 22, 2006, 07:03:24 AM


I wonder whether her entry into the monastic order in Helsinki had anything to do with this omission? 


I have been thinking about this and the possible reasons Anna may have had for entering such a place.

I know it sounds a little corny but do you think it was a form of escapism for her?? She had suffered badly and the world she had known was pretty much over. Along with many of the peoples lives that she loved...:(

An excellent question! Somhow I am inclined to agree with you, that Anna V. was effectively escaping everyday society. She lived within the monastic walls for 44 years accepting the name, Mariya. After escaping with her mother to Helsinki, it would have been difficult to start a new life following the trauma of her incarceration, and knowing that her co-dependent luxurious lifestyle was no more. She was not physically fit as you are aware, and had few personal attributes that would have permitted her to become an active member in a foreign society.

It would not be unrealistic to believe that the Russian monastery offered her not just the solace of a religious environment, but it also would have given her protection away from the prying curiosity of the general public.

Margarita 
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Annie on September 22, 2006, 10:43:47 AM
Yes the reason given by Tatiana Botkin, big AA supporter (and probably info feeder, along with her brother Gleb) was that she was  a 'disciple of Rasputin' and they thought that would hurt the case in the emigre' community where Rasputin was hated. I personally believe the real reason was that she knew too much and was perhaps closer to the family than anyone left alive, having lived practically as a member of the family from the time AN was a baby.

She really could have blown AA's cover- but then, as happened with Olga A. and Gilliard, the AA camp would have to brand her a 'liiar' and  a greedy moneygrabber. However, since she had become a nun, she was not exactly a good candidate to get up on a witness stand and accuse of such things. This is why I believe they didn't ask her, and why her nun status was a factor.

According to her bio on this site, AV didn't become a nun until early in WWII when the Russians took control of the part of Finland she was living in, and she feared there may still be a death order on her head. She fled to the convent for safety and ended up taking her vows in secret. I think she became a nun not only for that reason, but because she was a very deeply spiritual person, and had had many strange incidents occur that saved her life (I could list at least four) where she must have believed God saved her and meant for her to live, so as she got older this religious devotion increased. Also, as others have mentioned, she was not popular with the emigre' community (many blamed her for contributing to the downfall of the gov't because of her closeness to Rasputin and helping him use his influence on Alexandra) and she had never been a social butterfly anyway (which is probably why she and Alexandra got along so well)

But it is strange no one asked her to ID AA, and it does seem like her supporters didn't want to because they knew she could tell, which makes me even more sure most of her supporters (especially the Botkins) knew she was a fraud.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Eddie_uk on September 23, 2006, 02:17:12 AM
Thank you Bel, I didn't realise that AV's mother escaped with her, it is nice to know that at least Anna had some support.  Must have been awful for her!!

Annie, I completely agree, Anna more than any other person would have been the best person to identify AA as the Grand Duchess Anastasia. In my opinion the fact that she was never asked speaks volumes!!! 
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Annie on September 23, 2006, 10:56:36 AM
Thank you Bel, I didn't realise that AV's mother escaped with her, it is nice to know that at least Anna had some support.  Must have been awful for her!!

Anna's book tells of some very interesting and very frightening situations she found herself in from the time of the revolution until she was able to escape with her mother in Dec. 1920. She was imprisoned by both Kerensky and the Bolsheviks, and narrowly escaped being taken to her execution when she happened upon a group of her father's old friends who helped her avoid her captor. This was only one episode in her long and often scary time in Russia those last three years. Once she finally reached Finland in a half sinking boat in icy water in 1920, she at first came to live with her sister Sana, who had gotten out earlier with much of her personal wealth intact. The father died of a heart attack in 1918, no doubt stressed by the events, I don't know what became of the brother, Sergei. In her 1923 book, Anna refused to give any locations or details of the escape route she used, explaining it was still being used by some and she wanted to protect the secret.

Quote
Annie, I completely agree, Anna more than any other person would have been the best person to identify AA as the Grand Duchess Anastasia. In my opinion the fact that she was never asked speaks volumes!!! 

Yes it does!
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Belochka on September 24, 2006, 02:16:38 AM
Annie, I completely agree, Anna more than any other person would have been the best person to identify AA as the Grand Duchess Anastasia. In my opinion the fact that she was never asked speaks volumes!!! 

Yes it does!

There is another way to view Anna V.'s "ommission" to participate in the identification. Since she was attached to the monastic order, her testimony on oath would have carried significant weight.

Margarita
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: lababoc on September 24, 2006, 05:59:56 AM
I cannot help thinking what the  did the russians   officials think of AA affair....they knew  there were  no survivors ...
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: TampaBay on September 24, 2006, 09:15:58 AM
Did they really know?  There is so much contradictory testimony that with exception of the people/guards actualy there until the very end (maybe two people at hte most), who knew the whole truth?  Does anyone know the whole truth now?

TampaBay
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Eddie_uk on September 25, 2006, 05:21:04 AM

Anna's book tells of some very interesting and very frightening situations she found herself in from the time of the revolution until she was able to escape with her mother in Dec. 1920. She was imprisoned by both Kerensky and the Bolsheviks, and narrowly escaped being taken to her execution when she happened upon a group of her father's old friends who helped her avoid her captor.  In her 1923 book, Anna refused to give any locations or details of the escape route she used, explaining it was still being used by some and she wanted to protect the secret.


Amazing!!  :o :o I really must read it.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Belochka on September 26, 2006, 12:51:58 AM
Did they really know?  There is so much contradictory testimony that with exception of the people/guards actualy there until the very end (maybe two people at hte most), who knew the whole truth?  Does anyone know the whole truth now?

TampaBay

Science revealed the truth -> AA was a fraud.

How AA and her associates chose to present their presumption is of no concern to Russian history.

Margarita
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: stacey on October 04, 2006, 12:50:36 AM
Yes, I think the "believers" in Anna Anderson would have kept her away from Anna V. at all costs. She most definitely would have recognized GD Anastasia--and she would have been equally quick to spot an imposter. She knew all the members of Nicholas and Alix's family extremely well and she had been with them almost til the last. She would have instantly recognized any of the girls--or Alexei, for that matter.

And I agree that her status as a nun was a big factor too. It's one thing to put plain old Mme. Vyrubova on the stand and when she says that AA is an imposter, you call her either an idiot or a liar. But if you put Sister Mariya on the stand (I wonder if she took that name in memory of GD Maria??) and call her a bald-faced liar...well, that wouldn't have looked very nice, to say the least!

And I do wonder if she didn't turn to the monastic life as a refuge. She always had been devoutly religious--one of the things that Empress Alexandra liked about her--and she was all alone in the world. Not just alone, but exiled from her homeland, separated from her past and her friends, her whole way of life was gone...I feel truly sorry for her. She must have been pitifully lonely and frightened, and it seems very consistent with her character that she would have taken--literal!--refuge in religion. I hope it brought her comfort and some kind of peace.

However, as someone said, I think she did take her religious vows in private--and isn't it true that she did not actually live in a convent/monastery but in her own home??

I don't know a whole lot about Eastern Orthodoxy--can someone explain how that differs from a "regular" nun who lives in a convent with other sisters?? This is very interesting!  :)
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Guinastasia on October 07, 2006, 08:50:37 PM
I still think that Anna Anderson was so deluded that she personally DID believe that she was the Grand Duchess.  Or if she didn't at first, I think when she got older, she surely did.

Also, IIRC, the Botkins made themselves out to be much closer to the Tsar's family than they had been, in fact.  That might have been another reason-Anya V would have exposed THEM as well!
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: amelia on October 09, 2006, 08:51:04 AM
I agree completely with you - the Botkins were not close at all with the Imperial children.  I  just finished reading Aux temps des tsars, and all was very formal. The two or three times Gleb and Tatiana Botkin met the imperial children was in a very formal way. I don't understand why Gleb Botkin became an "expert" on AA when he really did not know Anastasia at all.

Amelia
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Eddie_uk on October 10, 2006, 02:48:56 PM
I don't understand why Gleb Botkin became an "expert" on AA when he really did not know Anastasia at all.

Amelia

Yes good point Amelia! With all respect to Gleb (though he doesn't deserve much because of his awful behaviour towards Grand Duchess Xenia!!!) I think he had his own axe to grind!!
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: ChristineM on October 10, 2006, 03:13:49 PM
Grand Duchess Ella Feodorovna's acceptance of Holy Orders did not make her forego opportunities to mix with family and friends.

I would disagree the reason Anna Vyroubova failed to get involved in the AA debate was because she new this woman to be an imposter.   I am afraid, for me, this is a spurious argument.   

Difficult though it may be to put myself in her position, I think had I been her, I would have been absolutely determined to meet this woman who pretended to be the daughter of her dearest friend, and Empress.   For no other reason, but to refute AA's assertions and for the sake of the memory of Grand Duchess Anastasia, her parents, brother and sisters.

tsaria
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Annie on October 10, 2006, 09:07:09 PM
Annie, I completely agree, Anna more than any other person would have been the best person to identify AA as the Grand Duchess Anastasia. In my opinion the fact that she was never asked speaks volumes!!! 

Yes it does!

There is another way to view Anna V.'s "ommission" to participate in the identification. Since she was attached to the monastic order, her testimony on oath would have carried significant weight.

Margarita

Oh yes, I've said that all along. Kind of hard to brand her a 'liar' or 'greedy moneygrabber paid off by the family' like they did to poor Olga A. and Gilliard ;) (though, of course, Olga had no money, and Ernie, who allegedly funded Gilliard, was dead before the trial began) They couldn't discredit her so they couldn't take a chance on her denial- which surely would have come, and the supporters knew it and feared it.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: ALEXEI_P on October 10, 2006, 11:11:43 PM
I received the following  e-mail from PK in July, regarding why AV did  not get involved (and was not asked to) in the AA case.
*******************************************************************************************************
Alexei,

Thank you for this & it's the right question to ask. Many have
wondered why Viroubova never became involved in the "Anastasia" story, but here's what I know: During her long exile in Finland, she took no part (nor was she invited to take part) in anything to do with Russian emigre politics.
Generally, she was considered a pariah by Russians in exile, who blamed
her,rightly or wrongly, for the scandal of Rasputin and the disasters that
followed. She was trusted by almost no one. The "Anna Anderson"
faction were anxious for her *not* to meet the claimant, on the correct
assumption that if she acknowledged AA no one would believe her. The *anti* AA
faction wanted her out of the way for the same reason: if she denied the
identity no one would believe her. It would have been impossible for her, in
Russian eyes, to make any sort of statement that wasn't doubted and held in
suspicion, and it was thought best to leave her out of it.

In 1957, when the Tsarina's other intimate friend, Lili Dehn, met AA in
Germany and acknowledged her as Anastasia, no one believed her, either.
Lili wrote to Viroubova (they were cousins) to say that Anastasia was
alive, and had a short letter back which said only: "Grand Duchess Olga
Alexandrovna [the Tsar's sister] tells me this is not Anastasia. That
is enough for me." A very strange reply, as V. was not close to Olga A.
in any sense.

That's all I know about it, unfortunately

Best,
pk
*******************************************************************************************************
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: ChristineM on October 11, 2006, 05:29:02 AM
Alexei P's explanation makes most sense.

tsaria
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Eddie_uk on October 11, 2006, 12:01:15 PM

Lili wrote to Viroubova (they were cousins) to say that Anastasia was
alive, and had a short letter back which said only: "Grand Duchess Olga
Alexandrovna [the Tsar's sister] tells me this is not Anastasia. That
is enough for me." A very strange reply, as V. was not close to Olga A.
in any sense.


hmm, that doesn't really wash with me. Surely the REAL Grand Duchess Anastasia would have wanted to meet Anna considering their closesness. Lets not forget if she was REAL she would have been more interested at being excepted by the few loved ones remaining than discussing coded bank accounts (sorry no ref to hand) etc etc and other such nonsense. :)

Anyway, I don't see whats strange about that or why it mattered whether AV was close to Olga or not. They both loved Anastasia.

I don't know what the relationship been AV and Olga was, but if it was not at all close as you suggest than the fact that they were communicating regarding AA perhaps reveals AVs interest in the whole sorry saga and her belief in what proved to be accurate :). I presume AV took Olgas belief as proof enough...
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Lemur on October 11, 2006, 12:50:11 PM
I presume AV took Olgas belief as proof enough...

If only everyone could have accepted the same we wouldn't have this mess still being bandied about to this day.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Lemur on October 11, 2006, 01:08:30 PM
Rasputin called her "Annuska", is this a Siberian nickname?
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Eddie_uk on October 11, 2006, 02:37:39 PM
I know Lemur, even without all the other evidence, the fact that Grand Duchess Olga did not recognise AA as her own neice says it all really :) Poor Olga... :'(
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Penny_Wilson on October 11, 2006, 03:08:55 PM

...Generally, she was considered a pariah by Russians in exile, who blamed
her,rightly or wrongly, for the scandal of Rasputin and the disasters that
followed...

Best,
pk

In Staatsarchiv Darmstadt, there are letters from Queen Louise of Sweden to Prince Ludwig reflecting exactly this.

~Penny
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarushka on October 12, 2006, 08:20:14 AM
Rasputin called her "Annuska", is this a Siberian nickname?
It's a Russian diminuative form of Anna. There are many diminuative forms is Russian, depending on the relationship between the two people using them. Kind of like Joseph, Joe, and Joey in English. Annushka is very familiar/intimate form of Anna.  Here's the progression from formal to intimate: Anna, Anya, Anyuta, Anechka, Annushka. I believe the IF called Anna Vyrubova "Anya". Rasputin was perhaps fond of tender nicknames in general -- he called his daughter Maria by the diminuative "Marochka", I believe.

Here's an article on Russian names:
http://members.tripod.com/~kimmel/writing/russiannames.html (http://members.tripod.com/~kimmel/writing/russiannames.html)

And here's a chart of female diminuatives:
http://www.meighan.net/alexander/Chapter13.htm (http://www.meighan.net/alexander/Chapter13.htm)
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Lemur on October 12, 2006, 09:13:09 AM
Very interesting links, thank you. It's funny how most of the names are lengthened as nicknames, while in America the main point of nicknames seems to be to shorten a long name!
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: ChristineM on October 13, 2006, 04:54:29 AM
In the early 90s I bought a book in Leningrad which, among others, contained the deposition given by Annia Vyroubova whilst a prisoner in the Fortress, after her removal from the Alexander Palace.  Of course she was fighting to save her own life, but she was prepared to save herself at the expensive of Nicholas and Alexandra.

I was appalled by what I read.   She denied close association with the Imperial Family.   She said nothing in their support - quite the contrary.   She was a classic case of 'who needs enemies with a friend like that'.   This was the same family who, despite their own fears and very real problems, had cared for her so lovingly only a matter of days previously, running to her bedside and catering to her every whim while she faked desperate illness with measles.   Never forget, Alexandra Feodorovna was caring for her own children, particularly her son whose life was constantly in jeopardy, while in constant fear for her husband's life and the security of her family and herself and under seige in her own home.   And still this dreadful woman expected undiluted attention.   The reason I write 'faked' is because, almost as soon as she was dragged from her sick bed, she somehow found the strength to actively begin to disassociate herself with those who had so recently, selflessly cared for her.   All the time Alexandra believed her friend's life was in danger, while this same friend was perfectly willing to sacrfice her friend, and Empress, to save her own skin.

Throughout her relationship with the Empress, Annia Vyroubova was a constant whinge.   She complained about everything.   Most especially, she complained about having no money and not receiving a salary.   Meanwhile Alexandra believed that to pay Vyroubova a salary would imply she was not a true friend - a perfect;y obvious conclusion.   Afterall, how can one pay for friendship?   There were plenty of people who would have happily 'paid' to find themselves in Vyroubova's trusted postion.   I think we can safely say, Vyroubova was pretty well looked after all through the years she attached herself to the Imperial Family.   Vyroubova certainly was not short of cash.   I have often wondered where she found the money to build a hospital and a church - even in those days, this required enormous sums.   

The first encounter between Alexandra Feodorvona and Annia Vyroubova came about when the latter was fatally 'ill'.   That seemed to set the trend for the rest of their relationship.   Somehow Vyroubova seemed either to make, or encourage, the Empress to believe that she was the guilty person in furthering the abortive marriage to Vyroubov.   I wonder how much of her story of abuse at his hands was true.   She certainly turned that episode to her own advantage.   Then there was the silly, childlike competition  over Alexander Orlov and finally the, for Annia, almost catastrophic episode while she was holidaying with Nicholas and Alexandra at Livadia.   What happened then has never really been confirmed, but the conclusion can only be that Vyroubova got rather too familiar with Nicholas.

Finally there was the strange relationship between Vyroubova, Maria - Rasputin's daughter - and her husband which involved enormous sums of money - collected to aid the Imperial Family during their imprisonment, which continually, mysteriously, disappeared.

We would not be writing about Annia Vyroubova here had it not been for her 'friendship' with Alexandra Feodorovna.   She would not even have been a footnote in history.   She was both silly and shrewd.    In the beginning, she certainly was shrewd enough to recognise the vacuum created by the desperate illness of Sonia Orbeliani, to walk straight into her shoes, even while that poor woman was still alive, and position herself to her own advantage.   She was always shrewd enough to know just how far she could go before the Empress would be have been forced to permanently reject her.   She revelled in, and exploited their friendship.   She used it to build a powerbase for herself - eg. Rasputin.    She was too silly to recognise their friendship for what it really was - a matter of trust.   She failed to recognise the privilege and the true, almost unquestioning devotion which Alexandra and her entire family expended on her.   It was very much a one-way friendship so far as Annia Vyroubova was concerend.   She never offered real support.   I don't think she even began to understand the complex character which was her 'friend' the Empress.   She probably had the intelligence to do so, but was so wrapped up in herself, she never tried.   In the end, she was even ready to sacrifice her 'friend' and Empress, Alexandra Feodorovna, her Emperor and their delightful family -  to save herself.... some 'friend'.

In my opinion she was an appalling creature.   Her friendship with Alexandra Feodorovna tells me much more about the paucity of Alexandra's life and position and that poor woman's desperate lonlieness, as well as, certainly in the case of her choice of Annia Vyroubova as a confidente, her lack of judgement.

tsaria   
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Lemur on October 14, 2006, 09:48:17 AM
Those interrogations were done by the Kerensky regime, not the Bolsheviks.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: LisaDavidson on October 14, 2006, 11:48:44 AM
Would it be possible to publish the transcripts of the interrogations on the AP site?  I don't know if there is a copyright problem or not, but I for one would love to read them. It sounds to me as though in the end AV was an opportunist and nothing more. I, too, feel very badly for the Empress that her "friend" proved false.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: ChristineM on October 14, 2006, 03:36:06 PM
I would dearly love to give details of the book which contained transcripts of the interrogations of Annia Vyroubova.   I bought it in Leningrad in the early 90s - just at the time that such publications were being made publicly available for the first time.   

Unfortunately, I loaned this book to a woman.   Having asked her on a number of occasions to kindly return it, I have never seen it since.   Indeed the last time I asked, for the first time, she denied all knowledge of ever having seen it.   This is an ongoing regret.   I cannot remember its title and have been unable to replace it.   Indeed, it almost certainly will have been long out of print.   Perhaps Lemur can shed some light on it.   Have I learned by this mistake?    No.   I still lend books, but try to be a bit more discriminating to whom I lend them.

Suffice to say, it left me with a very negative opinion of the character - Annia Vyroubova.   She was, in my opinion, an utter opportunist.

tsaria
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Annie on October 14, 2006, 05:21:23 PM
Eduard Radzinsky's book "The Rasputin File" has a lot of her interrogation in it. I know he isn't well liked around here, but I think what he put was the real stuff, can't be sure though.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: LisaDavidson on October 16, 2006, 12:30:05 AM
I am so embarrassed!  :-[ The problem with how big our site is - it's very easy to forget what's on it! We have the AV interrogation already!

It's located at www.alexanderpalace.com/palace/annainter.html

My apologies to Christine and the group. I know it's not getting your book back, but at least the interrogation is there.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: imperial angel on October 16, 2006, 12:04:12 PM
Anna Vyrubova has never been a particular fasacination of mine; but I think she is often more negatively portayed than portayed well. She wasn's glamourous, sophisticated, nor clever. These were qualities that many thought she should have, just to be friends with the Empress.  Because she didn't have these qualities, her image suffered.

I think at times, that Anna could be a bit selfish, yes, but I think she cared about Alexandra even if it may not have been the most perfect relationship. They obviously found some understanding, whatever Anna's essential character may have been. Alexandra would not have kept someone around who she felt was using her, no matter now lonely she was. Nor would most intelligent people. Alexandra certainly did make mistakes, but I am not sure her friendship with Anna was of those. It's easy to say so, but it is harder to look at the realities. Alexandra and Anna got some happiness and understanding out of their association. As well, both were misunderstood people then and now. Whatever Anna was really like, or what we could say about her we should remember that Alexandra saw something in her, and Alexandra was't as foolish as we may think in more personal matters, vs. the political.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Lemur on October 17, 2006, 09:04:59 AM
I used to really dislike her, but the more I read and find out the more I respect her. A lot of the claims of her dimwittedness came from those trying to discredit her, like Felix Y., since she had already portrayed him in a negative light in her book, he did the same to her in his!
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: imperial angel on October 17, 2006, 12:15:38 PM
I think as you find more about Anna Vyrubova, you realize that she wasn't as one sided as she is often portayed. She wasn't perfect, but she was a rather complex woman, and sometimes you have to apply yourself to find the truth of her life out. I think the more you read about her, the more you see that. Of course those who tried to discredit her, and they used what they could. I do know that it is rather easy to discredit anybody if you wish; it is harder to attempt to understand them. That's more true of Anna V than many people, though.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Lemur on October 26, 2006, 02:00:57 PM
I wanted to mention, in reading her book, she explained how she got the money to start the hospital. It was a personal injury settlement from the 1915 train crash that crippled her for life.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: LisaDavidson on October 26, 2006, 05:25:50 PM
I wanted to mention, in reading her book, she explained how she got the money to start the hospital. It was a personal injury settlement from the 1915 train crash that crippled her for life.

I agree she was complex and interesting but I cannot think her anything but an opportunist after reading her interrogation.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: imperial angel on October 27, 2006, 09:08:08 AM
I ought to read that, I think I have seen parts of it. This is true, that it does not portray Anna V. in a good light. It makes her look like an opportunist, whether she was one or not. I think she might have been in some ways, once she got the position of Alexandra's friend. It would have been only human to let it go to your head.  But, I don't think that's why she tried to get Alexandra's friendship to begin with.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarushka on October 27, 2006, 09:12:47 AM
I'm interested to know which portions of the interrogation most lead you to believe Anna Vyrubova was an opportunist.

What's most striking to me is that the committee seems bent on proving many rumors we now know to be false. For example:
- Rasputin, Vyrubova, and Alexandra held immense political sway in the appointing of ministers
- Rasputin & Vyrubova were in collusion
- Rasputin was  Khlysty
- Rasputin visited the AP daily

Admittedly, I noticed that Anna denied just about everything they asked her, and was most vague about her relationship to the IF. To me, that proves her a coward more than an opportunist. Still, she'd just been released from a rather ugly stint in prison -- can you really blame her for trying to appear as innocent as possible? Absent of tone, it's very hard for me to decide if she was protecting the IF or denying them. I'm actually surprised by how very little focus there was on the empress and particularly the emperor. At any rate, I don't see that anything she said reflected badly on them. Generally, I'm struck by how much the conversation revolved around Rasputin and politics. The committee members seem predisposed to believe that Vyrubova and Rasputin were essentially trying to run the government, and anyone who's read The Complete Wartime Correspondence knows that's bunk. The committee is taking for granted their assumption that Vyrubova had a great influence at court. I seriously question whether that assumption is accurate. She was certainly a go-between for the empress and Rasputin, but I don't think Vyrubova ever had a significant effect on Alexandra's thoughts and actions.

It seems to me that if Vyrubova was truly an opportunist, she wouldn't have kept up such a faithful correspondence with the IF in exile. She surely would have known by that time that nothing good or useful could come of association with a deposed monarch. IMO, Vyrubova may not have been an ideal friend, but she did have genuine affection for Alexandra and her family.

Incidentally, the link Lisa posted didn't work for me. I found the interrogation here:
http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/interAnna.html (http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/interAnna.html)
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: imperial angel on October 27, 2006, 09:54:43 AM
I tend to agree with that view of Anna. She was indeed no perfect friend, but she wasn't your worst enemy either as a friend. She had genuine affection for Alexandra and her family, without doubt in my mind. She did indeed care, although she got way too wrapped up on Rasputin, for instance. I think it was a case of rumour more than substance with her and Rasputin, like Alexandra and the German spy rumours. Anna certainly caused rumors, as did Rasputin. Anna might have been totally absorbed in him, but as well, she may not have had that much political substance.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Lemur on October 27, 2006, 10:57:14 AM
I don't think it's really fair to judge her by that interrogation, after all she was being tortured and was very afraid. She may have said things that she normally wouldn't have, or didn't even mean.  I agree with Sarushka that Kerensky and his people were convinced she was some kind of devious character who had plotted with Rasputin to oust the government and take over, and this was not true. In her book she also tells of how she met other people in prisons she was in who asked her where her secret stash of weapons was at so they could go get them and dislodge the Bolsheviks. They didn't believe her when she told them there were no weapons and that she and Rasputin were not making a move to take over Russia.The rumors were so strong they had become fact to some and she was never able to shake her rep though it was outrageous.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: imperial angel on October 27, 2006, 11:27:30 AM
I agree that she may have said things she did not mean, and people should never be judged by statements they made when they are at their worst, because they don't reflect accuratly on a person often enough. That was a bad sitiuation foe Anna. I think she was way too much involved with Rasputin, and believing him, but she wanted to help Alexandra and got lured in, I suppose. The issue of Alexandra and Rasputin is more understandble, in that she needed a saviour for her son. Anna should have avoided Rasputin, but she was not to blame for the rumors. Both she and Alexandra were the victims of rumours, and whatever they did could not shake that.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Lemur on October 27, 2006, 02:23:46 PM
I don't know if you knew about this, but a big reason for her devotion to Rasputin was that he had saved her life too, much as he had Alexei's, so it was something like the way Alexandra felt about him. Of course she was a supporter of his anyway, but she became even more so after he saved her life, even calling him 'His Divine Grace.' It was after that (1915) that she began helping him with his government connections. The fact that he had, as he bragged "raised Annushka from the dead" may or may not have had something  to do with it, but I am assuming it did.

It happened in early 1915 when she was terribly injured in a train wreck (the same one she got the settlement money from) The hospital and doctors had determined she was dying and had no chance of survival and didn't even want to waste time treating her, but when Rasputin arrived and 'healed' her, she improved immediately, waking up from death's door and being fine, all except her badly broken legs, which had been crushed, but he announced after bringing her 'back' that 'she will live but remain a cripple.' She had to use crutches after that.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarushka on October 27, 2006, 03:15:18 PM
Another interesting tidbit I've picked up in the interrogation is how Vyrubova refused to commit to any subjective definitions, such as "often" or "close." She was willing to say that she traveled for a full month each year with the IF, or that she went twice a week to see Rasputin in Petersburg, but never says outright that they were "close" or saw each other "often". To me, that shows a certain amount of shrewd intelligence. Rather than say what they wanted her to, she fed the committee objective facts whenever possible, and forced them to draw their own conclusions about her relationships with Rasputin and the Romanovs. Vyrubova didn't let her interrogators corner her if she could help it.

IMO, Vyrubova grew up quite a bit during the years between her accident and her arrest.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: LisaDavidson on October 29, 2006, 12:35:33 AM
I'm interested to know which portions of the interrogation most lead you to believe Anna Vyrubova was an opportunist.

What's most striking to me is that the committee seems bent on proving many rumors we now know to be false. For example:
- Rasputin, Vyrubova, and Alexandra held immense political sway in the appointing of ministers
- Rasputin & Vyrubova were in collusion
- Rasputin was  Khlysty
- Rasputin visited the AP daily

Admittedly, I noticed that Anna denied just about everything they asked her, and was most vague about her relationship to the IF. To me, that proves her a coward more than an opportunist. Still, she'd just been released from a rather ugly stint in prison -- can you really blame her for trying to appear as innocent as possible? Absent of tone, it's very hard for me to decide if she was protecting the IF or denying them. I'm actually surprised by how very little focus there was on the empress and particularly the emperor. At any rate, I don't see that anything she said reflected badly on them. Generally, I'm struck by how much the conversation revolved around Rasputin and politics. The committee members seem predisposed to believe that Vyrubova and Rasputin were essentially trying to run the government, and anyone who's read The Complete Wartime Correspondence knows that's bunk. The committee is taking for granted their assumption that Vyrubova had a great influence at court. I seriously question whether that assumption is accurate. She was certainly a go-between for the empress and Rasputin, but I don't think Vyrubova ever had a significant effect on Alexandra's thoughts and actions.

It seems to me that if Vyrubova was truly an opportunist, she wouldn't have kept up such a faithful correspondence with the IF in exile. She surely would have known by that time that nothing good or useful could come of association with a deposed monarch. IMO, Vyrubova may not have been an ideal friend, but she did have genuine affection for Alexandra and her family.

Incidentally, the link Lisa posted didn't work for me. I found the interrogation here:
http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/interAnna.html (http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/interAnna.html)

I'm sorry I posted the link to the interrogation incorrectly.

Here is a definition of opportunist:

One who takes advantage of any opportunity to achieve an end, often with no regard for principles or consequences.

AV was, as far as the Empress was concerned, her best friend in Russia. When her own children were ill, and Russia falling apart with the February Revolution, Alexandra nursed her friend with care and devotion. While they were in Tobolsk, Alexandra literally gave this woman the rope to hang her and her family by passing on money and information.

And yet, if one reads the interrogation, one gets the impression that AV was very put upon by the Imperial Family. AFAIK, it was never a crime to be the friend of the Empress. AV was not being interrogated by the Bolsheviks, after all. She could have, if she was in fact a loyal friend, said to these men, we were friends and we had nothing to do with politics. But, she didn't.

When I read this document, I felt so sorry for Alexandra. I'm sure she had no idea how AV was portraying her "friendship" to the Provisional Government. Had she known, I'm sure she would have been devastated. As it was, she died believing this woman was her friend. I hope AV had the decency to be ashamed of herself.

As to comments that she was merely cowardly, please consider how frightened Alexandra must have been during her captivity and remember how many of her friends she betrayed. Oh, wait, she didn't betray anyone. But, people still say very nasty things about her and defend AV. I guess I don't understand that part.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarushka on October 29, 2006, 08:14:31 PM
I can understand why you feel that way, but I still choose to take a slightly more lenient view of Vyrubova (for the time being, at least).

I did say that she grew up a bit during the war years, but I think AV was still a relatively immature person, particularly for a grown woman. She may have been an opportunist, but I don't view her as the plotting, conniving sort. I think she took whatever came her way and ran with it, giving no regard to future consequences. Judging by the way AV generally fussed and carried on about any number of things (her health, her infatutation with Nicholas, her work at the lazaret, etc, etc.) it seems to me that she was very much interested in being the center of attention. I think she was also somewhat thoughtless. In May of 1917, being a friend to the empress was not exactly a crime, but it sure wasn't a popular position to be in. Perhaps that's why AV downplayed her association with the IF. However, she did not completely deny them. She readily admitted her intimacy, and told the committee they visited with each other often. She was only reluctant to admit being “the closest” person to the imperial family, and could not come up with any one incident that precipitated her intimate relationship with the empress:

PRES.  You do not deny that these last times your intimacy with the imperial family, particularly with the empress, was quite close?

V. No, certainly I do not deny it.

[snip]
PRES. Had you been, finally, the closest person to the Emperor's family?

V. Close...what do you mean? They called me to come often, and so I went.

PRES. And they also went to visit you?

V. Yes, they came often.

PRES. What was the factual cause which created your closeness?

V. I do not know. We took singing lessons together. Her voice was deep while mine was shrill; they went together therefore. Later, we took drawing lessons, we sewed together, as all of the ladies there did. We read together...


IMO, Anna’s biggest sin is of omission, but I agree that Alexandra still would have been upset by her friend's testimony. Anna essentially acted like a middle school kid who doesn't have the gumption to stick up for her not-so-popular best friend when confronted with the new "in-crowd". It was childish and hurtful, but I don't believe it was premeditated.  Her continued correspondence with the IF in exile still proves to me that she had an interest in her friends despite their eventual uselessness from an opportunist's point of view. The exact nature of that interest will likely always be something of a mystery. She could have sent those gifts and letters for any number of reasons: guilt, friendship, or even a naive hope that the IF would one day be restored to power.

You're right that Alexandra didn't betray anyone during her captivity. But I think that only illustrates my point about Vyrubova's cowardice. Both women faced terrifying ordeals, but only one turned tail and ran, so to speak. Being brave and true doesn't signify an absence of fear - on the contrary, brave people feel the fear and yet don't let it overtake their actions. Anna Vyrubova was a chicken. Alexandra was not.

I don't tend to partake in Alexandra-bashing festivals, but we ought to keep in mind some of the things Alix wrote about Anna behind Anna's back. Alix's name-calling and complaining isn't really in the same sphere as AV's testimony, but it does level the playing field just a little. This was never a perfect friendship, from either side. If it hadn't been for Anna's train accident, I believe Alexandra would have let the relationship quietly disintegrate entirely. 

My overall opinion of AV is mixed. I think she was a complicated and in some ways stunted person. Many of the things Alexandra said about her were probably true -- IMO she was "spoiled" and "badly brought up." However, I don't believe she consistently and consciously used Alexandra's friendship for her own betterment. I don't doubt that AV did use the relationship to her advantage from time to time, but I do still believe that the basis for her relationship with Alexandra was a genuine affection for Alexandra and her family on some level. If she was simply using the IF, she might have done well to make an effort to be less irritating!  ;) I also think AV was a person of weak character, and I have a suspicion, based on the way Alexandra wrote about her friend, that Alexandra was well aware of at least some of Anna's limitations. All this makes me wonder if, given their long history fraught with annoyance, devotion, interdependence, and tiffs, whether Alexandra would have been surprised by Anna's testimony. Disappointed and hurt, certainly, but surprised? I have my doubts...

The bottom line for me is this: In a crisis, Alexandra could be counted on. Based on this testimony, one can't say the same for AV. But no matter what her motives were in this case, I don't think we're in a position to judge whether this episode completely negates the value of their friendship. Some people could forgive a transgression like that, and others couldn't. Who knows for certain what Alexandra would have done, had she known?
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: LisaDavidson on October 29, 2006, 11:43:30 PM
I like your analysis. I am sure that immaturity played a part in AV's behavior during the Revolution.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Lemur on October 30, 2006, 09:48:05 AM
Quote
Anna essentially acted like a middle school kid who doesn't have the gumption to stick up for her not-so-popular best friend

Oh very good analogy!

I still don't see that AV 'betrayed' Alexandra, and I do feel sorry for them both.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarushka on October 30, 2006, 09:59:55 AM
Thank you, Lisa & Lemur. :)

This is  slightly off-topic, but I think it could shed some light on the nature of the relationship:
Does anyone know how Anna Vyrubova referred to the tsarina when they were together? In her memoirs, it's always "Alexandra Feodorovna" or "the empress," but that strikes me as too formal for two supposed best friends sitting around in the Mauve Rooom having a chat. I know the empress was in the habit of using diminuative nicknames for her friends, but how would Anya have addressed the empress in private? She must have had to walk some sort of line between respect for Alexandra's position, and the informality of friendship.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarushka on October 30, 2006, 10:32:44 AM
I found this little plan for Anya's house on the APTM website. Can anyone help label the rooms for me?

(http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Anya/AnyasHousePlan.gif)
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: imperial angel on October 30, 2006, 12:14:07 PM
Well, I think that Anna V. was always immature. She did grow up a bit, but not many of her actions point to having the ability to be shrewd or having much intellect. She wasn't silly, but she never had much of an ability to think things through. It wasn't a popular position to have been a friend of the Empress at that time, certainly. This partly explains her behaviour to me. Also explaining her behaviour is her own personality because of her lack of judgement or total thought as to what she was saying or doing.  She was never taking advantage of Alexandra or the IF although there were benefits to be inherent in that for sure.

She just may not have known how she came across, or that she was making herself look bad to some. She wasn't denying the IF though, but maybe not stating much either. Some people are better with words than others; thus, perhaps she just didn't have the ability to put into words or the desire to make the effort of dping so if she didn't need to. After all, Alexandra wasn't going to judge her as a friend or not on the basis of this. If that was so, she might have said more. Indeed, her and Alexandra's friendship may have been more complicated than it seems, and maybe this is why reading this doesn't fit our view of what a friend should be, or of what kind of friend Anna should have been to Alexandra.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Janet_W. on October 30, 2006, 03:33:46 PM
Sarushka, I agree: It would be interesting to know how Anna Vyrubova referred to the Tsarina in private.

For that matter, I would like to know how others close--or theoretically close--to NAOTMAA (i.e., Lily Dehn, favored Standard officers, Felix Yussopov, etc.) addressed them.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: imperial angel on November 02, 2006, 12:22:13 PM
Well, I am sure they refered to their Imperial friends respectfully. They were usually of high class themselves, but not that high, so they knew the conventions of behaviour, and how to act. Anna V didn't betray Alexandra, and I think you do have to feel sorry for them, both victims of rumor in a way, although they perhaps regarded themselves as stronger than that.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: imperial angel on November 10, 2006, 02:04:45 PM
Those are lovely pictures! Surely, Anna very much shared the IF's life, and gave Alexandra happiness, even if many have disagreed now and then.The tsar might not have called her a cow, who knows? In some ways, it was perhaps not so much disrespectful as humorous, in my opinion. But Anna may have not had enough humour to laugh at it.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Johnny on November 23, 2006, 11:44:18 PM
IMO, Anna’s biggest sin is of omission, but I agree that Alexandra still would have been upset by her friend's testimony. Anna essentially acted like a middle school kid who doesn't have the gumption to stick up for her not-so-popular best friend when confronted with the new "in-crowd". It was childish and hurtful, but I don't believe it was premeditated. 
You guys forget during her interrogations she was locked up in a stinky, dark, tiny cell at the Peter and Paul fortress. Numerous people had already been lynched by people. The Bolsheviks might not have been in power but they were around and had some positions of power. I am sure many of the forty judges during her trial had bolshevik ideas. So she had an idea what could happen to her if she was finally convicted. She was bieng tried for meddling in politics, so how stupid do you think she was to dig her own grave? The best way out for her was to pretend that she was not that close to the family. By the way, what she says about Rasputin makes you think that she knew Rasputin's charachter very well and only used him as a tool to stay close to the Empress. She might have been dull and not so bright but she was not a total retard.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: imperial angel on November 24, 2006, 05:03:47 PM
It does seem Anna V was complicated. I think she always, if not in outward fact, according to some people's ideas, but in her heart, believed well of her friends, and never betrayed them according to her own ideals. Politics was indeed her downfall, and we all know Rasputin meddling in the goverment wasn't good, but I think Anna seemed like she believed in him. I don't think she used him as a tool, but on a related point, I would say that she realized she had to be close to Rasputin to be close to Alexandra. Anyone who was an enemy of Rasputin's was an enemy of Alexandra's. But she wasn't cunning...
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Annie on November 26, 2006, 10:56:31 AM
From all I've read, I believe she totally believed in him, and even more after he saved her life. She was devoted to him and didn't think anything he did was wrong (Like Alexandra) If she helped him, it was only because she trusted what he was doing. I really do think both she and Alexandra believed in him completely.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Belochka on November 26, 2006, 05:09:18 PM
It does seem Anna V was complicated. I think she always, if not in outward fact, according to some people's ideas, but in her heart, believed well of her friends, and never betrayed them according to her own ideals. Politics was indeed her downfall, and we all know Rasputin meddling in the goverment wasn't good, but I think Anna seemed like she believed in him. I don't think she used him as a tool, but on a related point, I would say that she realized she had to be close to Rasputin to be close to Alexandra. Anyone who was an enemy of Rasputin's was an enemy of Alexandra's. But she wasn't cunning...

Rasputin did not meddle in politics. This presumption is a fallacy. Anna became his devotee following her train accident in 1915. She believed that his prayers brought her back from death. His timing one may suggest was impeccable.

The Imperatritsa had her own reasons why she believed in Rasputin, it solely related to her son's survival.

The only commonality is the perceived survivability of a loved one through prayer.  Their individual belief in Rasputin had nothing to do with competing forces. Anna was quite capable of achieving her pathological proximity to the Imperial Family in her own right.

Margarita  
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: imperial angel on November 26, 2006, 06:20:11 PM
Well, I agree that she believed in him, alright. Alexandra obviously did as well. I don't think she used Rasputin to be close. Was not she close to the Imperial Family before Rasputin? Or was Rasputin close to the family before her? I'm confused. I think the train accident in 1915 was what really made her believe in him, sure. But she was around him, and believed in him before that too, did she not? As for Rasputin/politics, there are many views on that. It wasn't so much that he meddled, I guess, but that he had an influence on Alexandra, and that when she ran the goverment during the World War I when Nicholas was with the army, it was said that she really listened to him, and made choices regarding ministers based on that. I don't know how true that is.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Lemur on November 27, 2006, 09:58:29 AM
Wasn't she with the family pretty much since 1901, or at least close to them, after she survived a near death from Typhoid with Alexandra praying for her?

In Felix Yusupov's book he mentions Anna, an acquaitence of his since childhood, being one of Rasputin's followers as early as 1909 when he met Rasputin, though I am sure her devotion did grow over the years, especially after Spala and her train crash sealed her faith in him.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: imperial angel on November 27, 2006, 12:14:31 PM
Yes, Anna was a follower pretty early on. I think Alexandra was devoted to Rasputin before Anna, amd that her devotion was stronger than Anna's until 1915, etc. I am not sure how devoted she was, but she at least believed in him.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Belochka on November 27, 2006, 05:55:24 PM
Both Nikolai and Alexandra first met Rasputin on 1 November, 1905 at Peterhof. It was Velikaya Knyaginya Militsiya Nikolayevna who introduced them.

Margarita
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Johnny on November 27, 2006, 06:48:18 PM
Well, I agree that she believed in him, alright. Alexandra obviously did as well. I don't think she used Rasputin to be close. Was not she close to the Imperial Family before Rasputin? Or was Rasputin close to the family before her? I'm confused. I think the train accident in 1915 was what really made her believe in him, sure. But she was around him, and believed in him before that too, did she not? As for Rasputin/politics, there are many views on that. It wasn't so much that he meddled, I guess, but that he had an influence on Alexandra, and that when she ran the goverment during the World War I when Nicholas was with the army, it was said that she really listened to him, and made choices regarding ministers based on that. I don't know how true that is.
I read all Alexandra's letters written to Nicholas during the war (over 600 of them). I can't understand how there could still be any doubts among some historians as to Rasputin's influence over the selection of ministers. In some of her letters Alexandra goes on and on about how Rasputin likes or dislikes a certain person and that that person should be appointed or removed accordingly. Actually her usual argument is that the so and so person does not like Rasputin and needs to be removed, or he likes Rasputin and should be given a position. Sometimes she says that she asked Rasputin about some candidate whom she personally did not know, and Rasputin would say he's no good, because there's no god in him. Needless to say, often than not Rasputin's real reasons were to settle scores with this or that poor gentleman. While reading Alix's letters I also referred to other books and realized how rather quickly after Alexandra would start insisting upon the appointment or dismissal of a certain person it would happen. Practically in every case she was the winner.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: imperial angel on November 28, 2006, 10:26:43 AM
That is indeed were I based my conclusions from. I have not read all the letters, just parts. It really comes across that Alexandra was dependent on Rasputin, and listened to him, and made choices regarding the goverment based on what he told her. He may not have intended to influence the goverment, but he had that effect.( I don't believe he intended to influence the goverment). The most memorable part is where Alexandra writes to Nicholas about Rasputin's comb. She says that Nicholas should use it to comb his hair before he made a decision. ( correct me if I have that wrong).She obviously thought that the power of Rasputin helped you make better choices. That's why she listened to him. She didn't really know, though what the effect of all this was. I am not sure Anna V was ever quite that influenced by Rasputin.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarushka on November 28, 2006, 10:47:53 AM
I've read the letters as well. One certainly can't deny that Rasputin held influence over Alexandra, but I don't believe that influence extended to Nicholas and the government. I also don't believe that "practically in every case she was the winner." Plenty of government officials disregarded Rasptuin's notes and advice, as did Nicholas himself. Alexandra's letters were a lot of bluster that had only a moderate effect on Nicholas's appointments, IMO. See this post by Greg King as an example:
It's a huge mistake, in my opinion, to read the correspondence between AF and N during WWI-in reference to Rasputin-at face value.  Rasputin crops up over and over again-and thus the idea of his influence.  But when you start to look at actual ministerial appointments, the list grows small when we're talking about either his direct influence or even peripheral influence.

At any rate, we're straying off-topic. If we want to talk about Rasputin & Alexandra's influence on the government, we should re-read and add to this thread: Alexandra and Politics (http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php/topic,1215.0.html).
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Belochka on November 28, 2006, 05:45:59 PM
I've read the letters as well. One certainly can't deny that Rasputin held influence over Alexandra, but I don't believe that influence extended to Nicholas and the government. I also don't believe that "practically in every case she was the winner." Plenty of government officials disregarded Rasptuin's notes and advice, as did Nicholas himself. Alexandra's letters were a lot of bluster that had only a moderate effect on Nicholas's appointments, IMO. See this post by Greg King as an example:

The only influence Rasputin had was spiritual, not political. It should be remembered that Alexandra hardly knew Russian society except by reputation and what ever delegations she received in Court. Nikolai accepted the advise tendered to him by his advisors that included representatives from the Duma and police.

Of the 11 appointments made after 1915, only one was offered as a consideration for Nikolai by Alexandra.

The entire issue of influence has been blown out of proportion because it made good society gossip at the time and a talking point today.

Margarita
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: James1941 on November 28, 2006, 07:31:59 PM
While it may be true that Alexandra's influence (and by extension Rasputin's influence) on ministerial and military appointments was exaggerated and not nearly so pervasive as has been suggested, this is dancing around the issue. It is not the truth of the matter that counted so much as the perception by people that it was the case. This perception, gossip, rumor, inuendo, whatever, was what was in effect doing the monarchy damage and undermining the public's faith in it. They believed Rasputin was influencing appointments through Alexandra. and this is what counted in the end. Nicholas, for whatever reason, took the position that it was a private family matter and never confronted these rumors and gossip to combat their corrosive influence on public opinion. What he needed was a good spin doctor.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Annie on November 28, 2006, 08:11:35 PM
Quote
It should be remembered that Alexandra hardly knew Russian society

This is very true, and a big reason why Anna was important. She DID know them all, she was born and raised with them, and was a go between in talking to them in lots of ways. So this is how it was percieved that she was influencing things, because she was the one doing the talking, then carrying things back and forth for Alexandra, and being a part of her decisions. Rasputin was a part of this. It only got worse when the Tsar was out of town with the Army.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Belochka on November 28, 2006, 10:36:40 PM
While it may be true that Alexandra's influence (and by extension Rasputin's influence) on ministerial and military appointments was exaggerated and not nearly so pervasive as has been suggested, this is dancing around the issue. It is not the truth of the matter that counted so much as the perception by people that it was the case. This perception, gossip, rumor, inuendo, whatever, was what was in effect doing the monarchy damage and undermining the public's faith in it. They believed Rasputin was influencing appointments through Alexandra. and this is what counted in the end. Nicholas, for whatever reason, took the position that it was a private family matter and never confronted these rumors and gossip to combat their corrosive influence on public opinion. What he needed was a good spin doctor.

Nikolai correctly never permitted Himself to be placed in the position to justify his Will.

His association with Rasputin was a private matter.

Yes the idea of a a good spin doctor is not unreasonable, but would Petrograd society have become appeased? I strongly doubt it. The gossip mills in the salons and the Imperial Yacht Club were too deeply immersed in their game to discredit Nikolai to prevent the corrosion from subsiding. Rust once it appears is very difficult to eradicate by brushing it aside. Why let the truth prevail over a good story?

Anna V. accepted all kinds of delegations from the top State representatives in the full knowledge that she was the conduit of all their requests. Perhaps the buck should have stopped with her?

Margarita   
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: James1941 on November 28, 2006, 11:40:41 PM
Okay, we can't blame Alexandra and Rasputin. Who, then, can we blame for the appointment and retention in office of such incompetent generals like Evert, Ruzki and the nortorious Bezobrazov, or of the abysmally incompetent ministers in the last days like Sturmer, Protopopov (who was probably insane), Shuvaiev, Goremykin, Golitsyn and others? Who is the culprit?
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: imperial angel on November 29, 2006, 08:19:49 AM
In most books, Alexandra and Rasputin get blamed for this stuff. Maybe, on the other hand, things were just so difficult and messed up at the time ( it was a time of war), that these things happened. Russian goverment was never stable at the best of times. As for Anna V, her friendship with Alexandra might have been the closet she ever came to understanding the members of the court. But Anna became absorbed into Alexandra's world to a great extent, rather than the other way around.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: James1941 on November 29, 2006, 01:39:55 PM
The outrageous corruption of the head of the Saint Petersburg fire department became such a public scandal that Nicholas II was forced to step in and relieve him of his post. This was an unsual event in corrupt ridden Russia. In most countries this official would have been brought up on criminal charges. However, the dowager empress, who was a patron of the man, stepped in and pesuaded Nicholas to appoint him Governor of Odessa! How lucky for the people of Odessa.
In 1916 General Bezabrazov was commander of the area that contained the Guards Corps (commanded by that other military failure, Grand Duke Paul). Against all advice Bezabrazov sent the flower of the imperial guards into an attack across a swamp of chest high water into the face of well sited German guns. The result was a slaughter of the very pilar of the monarchy. Was Bezabrazov relieved of his commander for such incompetence. No. Nicholas liked him.
The Minister of War, General Polivanov, had made some excellent progress in reconstituting the army after the disasters of 1914-1915 (under another imperial incompetent the Grand Duke Nicholas Nicholaeivich) and to getting the shortage of artillery shells under control. He also was able to work well with the Duma. He was dismissed by Nicholas II and replaced with an aged, tired old general Shuvaiev. Shuvaiev was well liked by Nicholas but he knew nothing about modern war. He was just a paper pusher. As a result the supply situation grew steadily worse, resulting in the shortage of fuel and food in the cities. This, of course, led to
the February riots.
If we accept the premise that Nicholas II didn't let Alexandra and by extension Rasputin dictate his choices, then we can only conclude that the blame for appointing such utter failures in the last days of the dying regime lies squarely on the shoulders of Nicholas II.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Belochka on November 29, 2006, 09:44:38 PM
If we accept the premise that Nicholas II didn't let Alexandra and by extension Rasputin dictate his choices, then we can only conclude that the blame for appointing such utter failures in the last days of the dying regime lies squarely on the shoulders of Nicholas II.

I am afraid that this conclusion is correct.

The pool from which to choose was very small and eventually they all drowned in their own treachery against Nikolai II. There was very little He could do. Trust and respect became a myth.

Margarita
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: imperial angel on November 30, 2006, 10:35:42 AM
I am of the opinion, that whatever caused such problems in the goverment ( in my opinion, Alexandra wasn't to blame, and Nicholas made mistakes, but it was a confusing sitiuation), that Anna V. had nothing to to with it. This is despite the perception that she and and Alexandra and Rasputin ran the goverment. It does seem as if Nicholas was more wise about Rasputin, and that never allowed Rasputin to influence his choices. I don't believe he thought that magic comb had much effect.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Annie on November 30, 2006, 04:06:29 PM
In the letters of Felix Y. and his mother, here on this site, you can see them discussing the problem of Rasputin  influencing the gov't. This was when N was out of town. Zenaida and her cousin, the wife of Duma pres. M. Rodzianko, were convinced, and in one letter say 'the gov't is in the hands of' (code names for because of censors) Alexandra, Rasputin, AV, and some minister. They were plotting for a long time to rid the gov't of Rasputin's influence. Remember that Alexandra  disowned both Zenaida Y. and her own sister Ella for suggesting Rasputin be sent away and that she stop listening to him. Also M. Paleogue's (sp?) diary mentions the problem. I'm sure rumors made it worse, but there was evidence of it. I really don't believe Rasputin had any aspirations in politics (though some like Kerensky thought he did!) I think he only wanted to ensure his position at the palace was safe, and to do that he had to make sure no one in the gov't opposed him. This was misconstrued somehow by those who thought he wanted to take over.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: imperial angel on December 01, 2006, 08:57:40 AM
Yes, I agree. Rasputin, in my opinion did not know anything about politics. He didn't try to run the country intentionally, although he did say they should not enter World War I as I remember. Alexandra was very influenced by him, and thus she who had some control, and who defintely had opinions on political matters, tried to have an effect. Who knows how much she succeeded? To blame the Russian goverment stuff on him is simplistic, but it is clear he some influence, so to say he had none is unlikely, but he didn't play a good role. Anna V and Alexandra and of course Rasputin are all controversial figures in Russian history, mangled by myth and rumor. But they did have actuall parts in these events, and we must find the truth of that.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarushka on December 02, 2006, 06:11:21 PM
I'm sure rumors made it worse, but there was evidence of it.
Call me a nitpicker, but I'd be more inclined to say that there was evidence of Aleksandra's *attempts* to influence Nicholas according to Rasputin's suggestions, but little or no evidence that she had any actual effect on the governement.

In the letters of Felix Y. and his mother, here on this site, you can see them discussing the problem of Rasputin  influencing the gov't. This was when N was out of town. Zenaida and her cousin, the wife of Duma pres. M. Rodzianko, were convinced, and in one letter say 'the gov't is in the hands of' (code names for because of censors) Alexandra, Rasputin, AV, and some minister. They were plotting for a long time to rid the gov't of Rasputin's influence. Remember that Alexandra  disowned both Zenaida Y. and her own sister Ella for suggesting Rasputin be sent away and that she stop listening to him.
I don't think the Yussupovs were close enough to Aleksandra to know the real truth of the situation. Clearly they could see the danger of the public's *perception* of Rasputin's influence. It's entirely possible that the Yussupovs themselves believed Rasputin, Aleksandra, and Vyrubova were running things, but I don't believe they were correct. And that points to an even bigger problem -- if the extended imperial family itself didn't know the truth...yikes!
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Belochka on December 02, 2006, 07:44:26 PM
In the letters of Felix Y. and his mother, here on this site, you can see them discussing the problem of Rasputin  influencing the gov't. This was when N was out of town. Zenaida and her cousin, the wife of Duma pres. M. Rodzianko, were convinced, and in one letter say 'the gov't is in the hands of' (code names for because of censors) Alexandra, Rasputin, AV, and some minister. They were plotting for a long time to rid the gov't of Rasputin's influence. Remember that Alexandra  disowned both Zenaida Y. and her own sister Ella for suggesting Rasputin be sent away and that she stop listening to him. Also M. Paleogue's (sp?) diary mentions the problem. I'm sure rumors made it worse, but there was evidence of it. I really don't believe Rasputin had any aspirations in politics (though some like Kerensky thought he did!) I think he only wanted to ensure his position at the palace was safe, and to do that he had to make sure no one in the gov't opposed him. This was misconstrued somehow by those who thought he wanted to take over.

The French ambassador, Paleologue never met Rasputin.

You are correct Annie, Rasputin had no political aspirations. He did not understand political intrigue nor its machinations. His only consideration was acceptance by the Imperial Family as their spiritual advisor. It was because he had the freedom to seek an audience with the Family, that started the gossip mill turning full speed. It reached its crescendo in the Duma in November 1916 courtesy of Rodzianko. Kerenski was no shining light and was equally colored by the same brush as were Guchkov and Rodzianko. Kerenskii was responsible for Russia's first political cremation. It set a trend some eighteen months later.

The media played a huge role in discrediting a person whom most had never met. Once the lies are out it is very difficult to retract them when the victim prefered silence and humility. Who then was to be believed?

The question that should be asked, if Rasputin was a political creature, then why did things not immediately improve?

Margarita
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: otma_gal3 on December 03, 2006, 01:31:36 PM
I happened to read somewhere that supposedly Anna Vyrubova had a slight crush on Nicholas II. Is that true? Or just some kind of rumor?

Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Annie on December 03, 2006, 02:33:25 PM
I never heard that one. I did hear there were rumors she had one on Alexandra though. Either way, I am sure neither were interested in that kind of relationship with AV (if it's true, which it probably isn't.)
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarushka on December 03, 2006, 04:52:51 PM
It's definitely NOT a rumor. Alexandra's letters are loaded with references to the attention Anya lavished on Nicholas. It's impossible to know what Anya's actual feelings and motivations were, but her behavior gave every appearance of her having a crush on the emperor. Anya made every effort to sit next to Nicholas at meals and picnics, and to take walks with him, etc. When Nicholas went to war, one of the main reasons Alexandra's relationship with Anya cooled was the way Anya constantly mooned over Nicholas. In her letters, Alexandra often cautions Nicholas not to pay Anya too much attention, lest she become a pest and/or throw tantrums. It's very clear that Alexandra was irritated with Anya's behavior toward her husband. I can dig up some references from The Complete Wartime Correspondence if anybody wants specific examples.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: otma_gal3 on December 03, 2006, 04:59:14 PM
Oh yes! Please do, it if isn't much of a bother.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: imperial angel on December 03, 2006, 07:15:05 PM
Yes, I've read that as well. I think it might have been easy for Anna to feel something for Nicholas as he was very charming and handsome, etc. But, if she really felt that way and wasn't dumb ( as it annoyed Alexandra), you would have thought that she would not have said much about it. Maybe she was the kind to just be very open, and there is other evidence that suggests this. She might not have realized she could not act that way. But, I tend to think her very open displays of this sort of behaviour come from something else. They suggest it was delibarate, although it is hard to know what her purpose was in this. But, whether she felt anything ( and she might not have), she acted so, and there was some motive there, it seems to me. But who knows?
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: otma_gal3 on December 03, 2006, 10:36:26 PM
I know this is slightly off topic, but I found this passage about Anna getting him colored socks:

"Once when we were playing tennis in Livadia the Tsar remarked that he was almost envious of the officers of the "Standard" as they wore white uniforms with coloured socks but his socks were always black. I asked him why he didn't order coloured socks for himself but the Tsar said that such an enterprise would take too much of his time. Buying socks would involve so many people that he didn't even want to think about it. On the next day I went to Yalta and bought half a dozen socks for him. In the evening I gave them to him. He grinned and took them with thanks. After that he always wore them when we played tennis and drew my attention to them with a cunning smile."

To me, it seems as if she did like him in some way or another from that passage, but that is my opinion.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: imperial angel on December 04, 2006, 08:37:12 AM
The Radzinsky biography memtions this, but I had never really read it in any others. The first I ever read of it was in there. How many other biographies do mention this, does anyone know? It seems to be fairly established knowledge in some books, but in others it isn't mentioned. Perhaps this is because it is usually overshadowed by her and the Rasputin business. This seems a trivial matter, so maybe that is why ( in my opinion), more attention is not paid to it.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarushka on December 04, 2006, 11:08:42 AM
Most biographies mention the fact that Alexandra's relationship with Anya Vyrubova had cooled in the later half of 1914. I couldn't tell you which ones go into significant detail about the causes, though. My belief that it was at least in part due to Anya's so-called crush on Nicholas comes from Alexandra's letters in The Complete Wartime Correspondence. It was only Anya's near-fatal train accident which rekindled their friendship in January of 1915.

I will provide some quotes from CWC in the next day or two...
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: imperial angel on December 04, 2006, 12:39:46 PM
Most, in my opinion, don't go into that much detail about the causes. I can see why this caused their friendship to cool, which makes you wonder if Anna would do that on purpose, or not? All in all, it is rather mysterious. Anna was such a complicated person, and was such a mix of shrewd and silly that I can't tell the two apart.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarushka on December 04, 2006, 08:23:16 PM
Alexandra to Nicholas October 27th 1914:
"She flirts hard with the young Ukranian - misses & longs for you - at times is colossaly gay.... It is naughty my grumbling about her, but you know how aggravating she can be. You will see when you return how she will tell you how terribly she suffered without you, tho' she thoroughly enjoys being alone with her friend, turning his head, & not so as to forget you a bit. Be nice & firm when you return & don't allow her foot-game etc. Otherwise she gets worse after -- she always needs cooling down."

Alexandra to Nicholas November 17th 1914:
"I only dread Ania's humor - last time our Friend was there, once a bad leg, & then her little friend. Lets hope she will hold herself in hand. I take all much cooler now & don't worry over her rudenesses & moods like formerly -- a break came through her behavior & works in the Crimea -- we are friends & I am very fond of her & always shall be, but something has gone, a link broken by her behavior towards us both -- she can never be as near to me as she was. --One tries to hide one's sorrow & not pride with it--after all it is harder for me than her, tho' she does not agree as you are all to her & I have the children -- but she has me whom she says she loves."

Alexandra to Nicholas November 21st 1914:
"I send you papers and a letter from Ania. --Perhaps you will mention in your telegram, that you thank [her] for papers & letters & send messages. I hope her letters are not in the old oily style again."
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: imperial angel on December 05, 2006, 10:02:25 AM
It seems to me that this rift did repair itself, but would it have had that accident not happened? I think it sounded as if, by the letters you quoted, that it was getting to be quite a sitiuation by 1914. So, that makes you wonder if things would have gotten worse rather than better, if that had not happened in 1915. I think it would have. Yet, Anna's friendship was important to the Empress, so maybe she would have put up with it.  :-\
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarushka on December 05, 2006, 10:06:12 AM
Did this rift ever repair itself? It seems to me it did. I think by the time of the abdication they seemed as close as formerly. I don't see that this estrangement lasted, or maybe that is just me. This aspect of their friendship is not focused on as much. When that accident happened to Anna V with the train, that was in 1915. After that, maybe they were closer, as Anna V certainly became more of a believer in Rasputin through that.


That's exactly it -- as I said two posts ago:
Quote
It was only Anya's near-fatal train accident which rekindled their friendship in January of 1915.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: lori_c on December 05, 2006, 01:39:17 PM
It seems to me that this rift did repair itself, but would it have had that accident not happened? I think it sounded as if, by the letters you quoted, that it was getting to be quite a sitiuation by 1914. So, that makes you wonder if things would have gotten worse rather than better, if that had not happened in 1915. I think it would have. Yet, Anna's friendship was important to the Empress, so maybe she would have put up with it.  :-\
Edvard Radzinsky mentions in The Last Tsar that it was some sort of perverted game to keep the fire going in the relationship between The Empress and the Tsar.  A twisted game, seems to me.  As if the attentions of another woman toward NII would keep their relationship afire.  I'm not sure how much is Radzinsky's dramatic Flair, and what was real,  but the letters do show that Alix called her a Cow several times and clearly was displeased w/her attentions toward the Tsar.  Radzinsky said that it was then that Anya, whom he portrays as extremely manipulative, realized how dangerous the game was becoming and quickly went out and married Vyruobov.  And then went crying back to Alix how horrible and that it didn't work out.  He then says that Alix took her back in.  All this is from the book.  I have no other  proof of this so called "Game" played.  Anya seems almost not that complicated to me to come up w/such machinations.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Janet_W. on December 05, 2006, 02:58:40 PM
This is type of thing is why I find Radzinsky so annoying. If he wanted to write novels, then he should have done so rather than churning out books of so-called biography.

While I do not doubt that at times Anna could be mannipulative, whatever "crush" Anna had on Nicholas can be easily understood as that of a gauche and overweight wallflower appreciating the kindness of an attractive and polite man who, as an extra plus, just happened to be her Emperor.  Alexandra and Nicholas regarded Anna as their "Big Baby" and from the descriptions given by others as well as mentions of her in Alexandra's letters it would seem this appellation derived not just from Anna's size but also her level of maturity. It cannot have helped that Anna undoubtedly felt a certain amount of burgeoning sexual frustration as well as a conflict of feelings towards Alexandra--that of grattitude and adoration, but also some jealousy as well--yet I find Radzinksy's implications of a psychological menage a trois (as well as some of his other assertions about Nicholas, Alexandra, Anna & others) to be the stuff of fiction rather than fact. Perhaps Mr. Radzinksy should find employment writing for soap operas rather than issuing supposedly scholarly works.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: lori_c on December 05, 2006, 03:18:52 PM
I'm glad you pointed this out to me.  Another poster did as well.  I knew he was a playwright but wasn't made aware that what I was reading wasn't really fact, but more like a dramatic interpretation.

I like him as an author but I agree that this "psychological menage a trois" was something of his own invention or better said his own inference from the letters and archives he was allowed access to.  I certainly don't find anything historically sound in it.

Thanks again for steering me towards more historically sound writings.

Lori
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Annie on December 05, 2006, 05:24:35 PM
I don't like it when writers who are supposed to be writing nonficition reference work add their own little imagined episodes and theories in as possibiliites as if they were fact. This misleads serious students and is a disservice to history. If such things must be mentioned, it should be made very clear they were RUMORS with no evidence, or in some cases (not only Radzinsky's!) the author's own ideas and pet theories are added to 'spice things up'- but they should never be taken as fact by anyone. For those who don't know better, it's sometimes hard to tell the difference, and believing a rumor is often (as in real life) more fun. This is where it becomes a wrong in a nonfiction work.

About AV's husband, she got an Orthodox annulment on grounds of cruelty and his insanity. Apparently he had some sort of post traumatic stress syndrome caused by being one of the few survivors of an exploded ship during the Russo-Japanese war. He allegedly beat her and made her fear for her life. I have also heard some of his outbursts were caused by finding out Rasputin had been in the house.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: s66405h on December 05, 2006, 07:29:48 PM

This is a link to the 1923 Time review of Anna’s book.  I think she was shrewd, she had to defend her life and make a living.

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,716872-1,00.html
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarushka on December 05, 2006, 09:19:06 PM
Great link -- thanks!

Did anyone else happen to notice the original price of the book? $3.50  :D
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: lori_c on December 06, 2006, 10:24:49 AM
I don't like it when writers who are supposed to be writing nonficition reference work add their own little imagined episodes and theories in as possibiliites as if they were fact. This misleads serious students and is a disservice to history. If such things must be mentioned, it should be made very clear they were RUMORS with no evidence, or in some cases (not only Radzinsky's!) the author's own ideas and pet theories are added to 'spice things up'- but they should never be taken as fact by anyone. For those who don't know better, it's sometimes hard to tell the difference, and believing a rumor is often (as in real life) more fun. This is where it becomes a wrong in a nonfiction work.

About AV's husband, she got an Orthodox annulment on grounds of cruelty and his insanity. Apparently he had some sort of post traumatic stress syndrome caused by being one of the few survivors of an exploded ship during the Russo-Japanese war. He allegedly beat her and made her fear for her life. I have also heard some of his outbursts were caused by finding out Rasputin had been in the house.

I agree.  Rumors are easier to believe and I didn't realize Radzinsky's tendency toward this until recently.

I didn't know that about AV's husband - That he found out Rasputin had been in the house and beat her,  etc.  I only thought he was mentally ill.  I have not found any other references to him.  So thanks for the info.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarushka on December 06, 2006, 10:50:27 AM
He allegedly beat her and made her fear for her life. I have also heard some of his outbursts were caused by finding out Rasputin had been in the house.

I don't remember reading about that before. I'm familiar with his post-traumatic stress and inability to consummate the marriage, but not the business about him beating AV for having Rasputin in the house. Do you happen to recall what book that info comes from?
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: lori_c on December 06, 2006, 10:55:53 AM
He allegedly beat her and made her fear for her life. I have also heard some of his outbursts were caused by finding out Rasputin had been in the house.

I don't remember reading about that before. I'm familiar with his post-traumatic stress and inability to consummate the marriage, but not the business about him beating AV for having Rasputin in the house. Do you happen to recall what book that info comes from?
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Katherine The O.K. on December 07, 2006, 11:22:17 AM
Well, in any event, Nicholas seems like the kind of guy who'd be completley oblivious to Anna's attentions. He dosen't seem to have been the best at reading people. 
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: imperial angel on December 07, 2006, 01:59:01 PM
Well, he wasn't the best at reading people, perhaps but it seems her attentions were rather obvious, in my opinion. He surely knew of it, and if not, Alexandra did, and we know that she wrote to him about that. From those letters, it seems to me that he knew. What he thought, is perhaps another story. It was a sitiuation that is overdescribed in the Radzinsky book, but it surely existed from the evidence of the letters.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Johnny on December 10, 2006, 06:24:51 AM

The French ambassador, Paleologue never met Rasputin.

You are correct Annie, Rasputin had no political aspirations. He did not understand political intrigue nor its machinations. His only consideration was acceptance by the Imperial Family as their spiritual advisor. It was because he had the freedom to seek an audience with the Family, that started the gossip mill turning full speed. It reached its crescendo in the Duma in November 1916 courtesy of Rodzianko. Kerenski was no shining light and was equally colored by the same brush as were Guchkov and Rodzianko. Kerenskii was responsible for Russia's first political cremation. It set a trend some eighteen months later.

The media played a huge role in discrediting a person whom most had never met. Once the lies are out it is very difficult to retract them when the victim prefered silence and humility. Who then was to be believed?

The question that should be asked, if Rasputin was a political creature, then why did things not immediately improve?

Margarita
Belochka

In my earlier posting I said I can't blieve that there are people who still believe that Rasputin did not try to exert political influence on the IF. I feel I was not very clear in my comment, because I agree 100% with what you are saying above. Rasputin indeed had no political aspirations. But that doesn't mean he didn't influence the course of politics. He did that as Annie said earlier in order to secure his positinon at the court. Sometimes being the tool of other people, sometimes being just naive, not realizing the extent of consequences of his actions or the seriousness of it. On many issues he was very logical but simply lacked education and knowledge of the political system of the time, and a very corrupt one, too.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Belochka on December 10, 2006, 08:15:24 AM

Rasputin had no political aspirations. He did not understand political intrigue nor its machinations. His only consideration was acceptance by the Imperial Family as their spiritual advisor. It was because he had the freedom to seek an audience with the Family, that started the gossip mill turning full speed. It reached its crescendo in the Duma in November 1916 courtesy of Rodzianko. Kerenski was no shining light and was equally colored by the same brush as were Guchkov and Rodzianko. Kerenskii was responsible for Russia's first political cremation. It set a trend some eighteen months later.

The media played a huge role in discrediting a person whom most had never met. Once the lies are out it is very difficult to retract them when the victim prefered silence and humility. Who then was to be believed?

The question that should be asked, if Rasputin was a political creature, then why did things not immediately improve?

Margarita
Belochka

I feel I was not very clear in my comment, because I agree 100% with what you are saying above. Rasputin indeed had no political aspirations. But that doesn't mean he didn't influence the course of politics. He did that as Annie said earlier in order to secure his positinon at the court. Sometimes being the tool of other people, sometimes being just naive, not realizing the extent of consequences of his actions or the seriousness of it. On many issues he was very logical but simply lacked education and knowledge of the political system of the time, and a very corrupt one, too.

Hi Johnny,

Perhaps the more simple consideration could be that the only political system which Rasputin understood and respected was the Emperor positioned at Imperial Russia's political apex. Rasputin's presence among the members of the Imperial Family should have been a private discrete matter, of no concern to anyone else. Instead many of those of considerable political influence and public authority had deliberately re-designed those private sessions in order to give the public the impression that those encounters were political intrusions. The more who believed in these distortions the more political Rasputin's position became. Rasputin's elimination only revealed how corrupt the players were. 

Margarita
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Nikl on December 10, 2006, 11:19:08 AM
Could Anna Vyrubova has an intimate terms with Rasputin?
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Nikl on December 10, 2006, 12:20:56 PM
Here I traced web side where they writen about Rasputin seduces of Royal family's womens.http://www.alexanderpalace.com/2006rasputin/index.html
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: imperial angel on December 10, 2006, 06:18:30 PM
I agree that Rasputin's role was mostly in rumour. Often these were not just about politics, but about him and Alexandra as well. This stuff wasn't true, but the average Russian often believed it, and didn't know any better. Alexandra was not perceptive enough or informed to understand all that, so the reputation of the dynasty got worse. Anna V, does anyone know what she thought of these rumours, or was she not even aware of these things?
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: imperial angel on December 10, 2006, 06:21:11 PM
I don't think Rasputin and Anna V were more than her being his naive and devoted follower, and he playing the role that he played with Alexandra. Anyway, that didn't have anything to do with Anna and Nicholas II, Rasputin had nothing to do with that.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: LisaDavidson on December 10, 2006, 11:00:40 PM
Here I traced web side where they writen about Rasputin seduces of Royal family's womens.http://www.alexanderpalace.com/2006rasputin/index.html

This is our website - the Alexanderpalace.com's - and it says no such thing.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Nikl on December 11, 2006, 12:37:09 AM
This is our website - the Alexanderpalace.com's - and it says no such thing.

In web page which I red was, that was a rumors that this is happen.  I did not say, thay it is true.  Sorry.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Belochka on December 11, 2006, 12:38:34 AM
Here I traced web side where they writen about Rasputin seduces of Royal family's womens.http://www.alexanderpalace.com/2006rasputin/index.html

Nikl ,

It may benefit you to re-read the statements:

"Gossip claimed he had seduced the Empress, her daughters, and Anna Vyrubova as well. These rumors, which reached the highest circles of society where they were deliciously repeated by Alexandra's foes, drove Nicholas to distraction. The remoteness and isolation of the Imperial Family made it possible for the general public to believe these crazy stories, but the aristocracy knew they were groundless. Still they derived pleasure from seeing Alexandra's named dragged through the mud."
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Belochka on December 11, 2006, 12:41:54 AM
Could Anna Vyrubova has an intimate terms with Rasputin?

Absolutely not!

That fact was proven before the Kerensky Inquiry in 1917.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Nikl on December 11, 2006, 10:19:13 AM
Some stories are true that never happened     Elie Wiesel

I did not want nobody hurt with my question about Rasputin. I really apology, if I give somebody pain.
I would not ask any similar questions :-[             One more time,  SORRY :-[
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarushka on December 11, 2006, 12:56:52 PM
There's no harm in asking a question, especially if you're new to the forum. It is the best way to learn. Sometimes we older members forget that what we know is not common knowledge to all.  ;)

I don't think anyone is angry with you, Nikl. Many of the members here are not native speakers of English, and we sometimes misunderstand or miscommunicate with each other. I think that is exactly what happened here. Your statement about Rasputin's relationship with the women of the imperial family was simply misinterpreted. Honestly, I was not sure myself what you meant in your post with the link. However, your next post made your view of the situation perfectly clear to me:

Quote
In web page which I red was, that was a rumors that this is happen.  I did not say, thay it is true.  Sorry.

I hoppe you wil continue to feel welcome here, and to post.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Annie on December 11, 2006, 06:35:59 PM
That is an example of how misinformation is easily spread and mistakingly believed. Kids, people who don't speak much English, people who are only skimming through or don't know the whole story are likely to end up believing something that isn't true. This is why I fight so hard in the AA threads, so no one will fall for the nonsense. Some may say 'oh well who cares everyone knows better' but that's not always true. It never hurts to stand up and set the record straight, just in case.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Janet_W. on December 11, 2006, 07:11:35 PM
Hear, hear!

Language is a subtle vehicle, and very easy to misunderstand . . . even when it is one's native language!

Radzinksky is undoubtedly a talented man, and I appreciate his interest in the Romanovs. But I do wish he and his publishers would label his works as dramatic interpretations rather than biography.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarushka on December 11, 2006, 09:11:09 PM
Kids, people who don't speak much English, people who are only skimming through or don't know the whole story are likely to end up believing something that isn't true.

Pardon me for jumping onto my soapbox again, but there's plenty of Romanov literature available in languages other than English -- Russian, for example! Non-native speakers of English may not be perfectly adept at expressing their views here, but it's not fair to assume that they don't know what they're talking about, or that they're misinformed.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Nikl on December 11, 2006, 11:48:55 PM
That is an example of how misinformation is easily spread and mistakingly believed. Kids, people who don't speak much English, people who are only skimming through or don't know the whole story are likely to end up believing something that isn't true.

I beg your pardon,  I did not know that this web page is only for native speaking english.  :o
By the way, I red about the Rasputin a few books in The Czech Republic, so I know something about this .
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Belochka on December 12, 2006, 12:26:57 AM
Hear, hear!

Language is a subtle vehicle, and very easy to misunderstand . . . even when it is one's native language!

Radzinksky is undoubtedly a talented man, and I appreciate his interest in the Romanovs. But I do wish he and his publishers would label his works as dramatic interpretations rather than biography.

I do agree that Radzinsky often failed to understand when to leave the stage when it came to his written presentations.

We are indeed fortunate in the recent revelation by Radzinsky on Russian TV that he will no longer be involved with interpreting Russian history.   :D
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Annie on December 12, 2006, 06:40:48 AM
Hear, hear!

Language is a subtle vehicle, and very easy to misunderstand . . . even when it is one's native language!

Radzinksky is undoubtedly a talented man, and I appreciate his interest in the Romanovs. But I do wish he and his publishers would label his works as dramatic interpretations rather than biography.

I do agree that Radzinsky often failed to understand when to leave the stage when it came to his written presentations.

We are indeed fortunate in the recent revelation by Radzinsky on Russian TV that he will no longer be involved with interpreting Russian history.   :D

That's good. A person who likes adding their own little interesting tidbits to be taken for the truth in order to make the book more thrilling are NOT historians. Now, if only the same could be  done to stop some Amercians who do the same;)

I also want to express how nice it is that Mr. Radzinsky allows free discussion of opinions on his work without constant threats of lawsuits.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Annie on December 12, 2006, 06:46:27 AM


I beg your pardon,  I did not know that this web page is only for native speaking english.  :o[/color]
By the way, I red about the Rasputin a few books in The Czech Republic, so I know something about this .

You are much too easily offended. No one ever said that! I only said that sometimes if a person doesn't fully understand what they are reading FOR ANY REASON (language barrier is only one) they may be misled by things that are not completely accurate. And everyone should consider that what is posted here is most often only one person's view and not always historical fact. I hate to see these posts come up in google searches like they do, I can imagine kids all over the place writing reports using some poster's deluded fantasies as a source! :P

I hope the books in your country do not make it look as if Rasputin really had affairs with the Romanov women because it isn't true. If you read enough about it you will know. You will also know Alexandra was much too prudish and proper, and faithful to her husband, to have anything to do with anyone else for any reason. The devotion of Rasputin's palace followers was strictly spiritual.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Nikl on December 12, 2006, 10:25:37 AM
You are much too easily offended.

Maybe because I have  Russian temper.  My gradmother was born in Russia, my mother in Czechoslovakia. So I must have some Russian blood.

The books that I red in Czech Republic were talking about Rasputin having love with some Russian peers.  Not a thing about tsarina and her doughters.

On this web page I browse some pictures of Rasputine.  One of the pictures was Rasputin in the yaer of 1914. He looks young and powerful.
I am sure, that he had sex with many girls.  I would not be suprise that some of these womens or girls got pregnant with Rasputin.
Some of them had probably an illegitimate child.  You could say: That is only rumors. This is OK with me.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Nikl on December 12, 2006, 10:50:10 AM
This is for Annie:

All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered;  the point is to discover them. :P
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Annie on December 12, 2006, 01:54:25 PM
But once they are discovered, there is no need to make a mystery of them again (like some have with AA)

Quote
The books that I red in Czech Republic were talking about Rasputin having love with some Russian peers. 

Well, he did fool around with other people, yes, but not the royals, Anna V. or Felix Y., though rumors insist he did.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Belochka on December 12, 2006, 07:02:25 PM
Hear, hear!

Language is a subtle vehicle, and very easy to misunderstand . . . even when it is one's native language!

Radzinksky is undoubtedly a talented man, and I appreciate his interest in the Romanovs. But I do wish he and his publishers would label his works as dramatic interpretations rather than biography.

I do agree that Radzinsky often failed to understand when to leave the stage when it came to his written presentations.

We are indeed fortunate in the recent revelation by Radzinsky on Russian TV that he will no longer be involved with interpreting Russian history.   :D

That's good. A person who likes adding their own little interesting tidbits to be taken for the truth in order to make the book more thrilling are NOT historians. Now, if only the same could be  done to stop some Amercians who do the same;)

I also want to express how nice it is that Mr. Radzinsky allows free discussion of opinions on his work without constant threats of lawsuits.

Indeed this Russian is far more accepting about his less than exacting accomplishments and knows when to quit.  ;)
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: RealAnastasia on December 27, 2006, 07:10:10 PM
I think than ANY historian who would act his own interpretation of things, or just what his/her imagination suggest them to write , MUST sepparate fact and speculation.

Anyone here is saying that they must forget all poetry in their way of writing (I like to read well written books), but they must be sure, for they are obliged to respect their readers, that all that they said is PROVED fact. No one is saying that speculation (all historians must speculate, so they may discover new issues to do new research) is forbidden in an history book, but if we, as historians do it, we must said clearly "...We CAN think that "X" or "Y"..." or "...Maybe these facts are proving this or that..." But we NEVER must to assert as a fact a think who is not proved.  And if we repport rumors, of course, we must accept that they are only this, rumors.

I like Radzhinsky, but I realize quite quickly when he is drove to wild speculation . His imagination is very rich and I will like to see a movie whose script should due to his hand... ;D

RealAnastasia.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Annie on December 28, 2006, 12:39:31 PM
Kids, people who don't speak much English, people who are only skimming through or don't know the whole story are likely to end up believing something that isn't true.

Pardon me for jumping onto my soapbox again, but there's plenty of Romanov literature available in languages other than English -- Russian, for example! Non-native speakers of English may not be perfectly adept at expressing their views here, but it's not fair to assume that they don't know what they're talking about, or that they're misinformed.

This is very unfair. I never implied any such thing. What I meant was, somebody who doesn't speak English WELL, meaning if they were reading and could only understand a few words, they might misunderstand the meaning of what the poster was trying to say.

I meant no offense to those whose first language is not English. I have met good people from other countries online who wrote English better than most Americans! And hey I can't speak a foriegn language at all so I admire anyone who can even begin to try!
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Penny_Wilson on December 28, 2006, 02:47:04 PM

...there's plenty of Romanov literature available in languages other than English -- Russian, for example! ...

There's actually quite a large body of work in Japanese -- Greg and I are having some of it translated for the next book.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarushka on December 28, 2006, 05:22:37 PM
Kids, people who don't speak much English, people who are only skimming through or don't know the whole story are likely to end up believing something that isn't true.

Pardon me for jumping onto my soapbox again, but there's plenty of Romanov literature available in languages other than English -- Russian, for example! Non-native speakers of English may not be perfectly adept at expressing their views here, but it's not fair to assume that they don't know what they're talking about, or that they're misinformed.

This is very unfair. I never implied any such thing. What I meant was, somebody who doesn't speak English WELL, meaning if they were reading and could only understand a few words, they might misunderstand the meaning of what the poster was trying to say.

I meant no offense to those whose first language is not English. I have met good people from other countries online who wrote English better than most Americans! And hey I can't speak a foriegn language at all so I admire anyone who can even begin to try!
It's not unfair -- it's a misunderstanding.  ;)

You made a broad generalization about "people who don't speak much English", and I jumped on it. I believe your intention was not to be offensive, but the way you worded your original post did not make that clear to me at the time.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Annie on December 29, 2006, 11:05:43 AM
Sorry, I guess I took it for granted that people who DO speak English- be it their first language or not- would not be included. I was talking about people who really didn't know much English.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Nikl on January 01, 2007, 03:40:48 PM
Sorry, I guess I took it for granted that people who DO speak English- be it their first language or not- would not be included. I was talking about people who really didn't know much English.

 I know people who first language is english and they do not know who is president of their country. So what is different? ::) :P
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: lori_c on January 03, 2007, 10:29:39 AM
Hear, hear!

Language is a subtle vehicle, and very easy to misunderstand . . . even when it is one's native language!

Radzinksky is undoubtedly a talented man, and I appreciate his interest in the Romanovs. But I do wish he and his publishers would label his works as dramatic interpretations rather than biography.

I do agree that Radzinsky often failed to understand when to leave the stage when it came to his written presentations.

We are indeed fortunate in the recent revelation by Radzinsky on Russian TV that he will no longer be involved with interpreting Russian history.   :D

I have additionally read Razdinsky's book on Alexander II and could not be MORE disappointed.  This only adds to your point.  There should be a disclaimer on his work.   
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarushka on January 03, 2007, 11:05:29 AM
I have additionally read Razdinsky's book on Alexander II and could not be MORE disappointed.  This only adds to your point.  There should be a disclaimer on his work.   
I'd like to know more about this. Would you be willing to add some specific comments to the Books threads?

Here's an existing thread on Radzinsky's book:
http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php/topic,3316.0.html (http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php/topic,3316.0.html)
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: lori_c on January 03, 2007, 03:57:44 PM
I have additionally read Razdinsky's book on Alexander II and could not be MORE disappointed.  This only adds to your point.  There should be a disclaimer on his work.   
I'd like to know more about this. Would you be willing to add some specific comments to the Books threads?

Here's an existing thread on Radzinsky's book:
http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php/topic,3316.0.html (http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php/topic,3316.0.html)

Yes.  I just added some comments.  I hope nobody takes them too harshly.  It's only my opinion and how i felt about the book.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarushka on January 03, 2007, 07:35:15 PM
I hope nobody takes them too harshly.  It's only my opinion and how i felt about the book.
Oh, I'm sure *somebody* will!  ;)
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: lori_c on January 04, 2007, 10:43:33 AM
I know, that's what I was afraid of! ;)
 But I do stand by my opinion of it. And of Radzinsky.   
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: thedarkone on January 05, 2007, 01:17:14 PM
Does anyone know much about Anna Vyrubova after the Revolution--like how she escaped Russia?  I've read she basically lived alone in Helsinski and died there in 1964 again, alone.  Any photos of her in later years or info on her lonely years would be great.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Cornholio on January 05, 2007, 02:42:06 PM
The story of Anna's escape is very interesting, but her later years are not. She lived a nun in seclusion most of the last 25 years of her life.

She managed to escape in the streets of St. Petersburg when the Bolshevik assigned to escort her to her execution left her for a moment to look for the tram. (She was crippled in a 1915 train wreck so he must have thought she couldn't run away on crutches) Anna soon found herself surrounded by some people who had been friends of her father, Alexander Tanieev, and they gave her money and told her 'Father John will surely be with you." They blocked for her in the crowd until she was able to get away, and ride away on the tram herself. She remained in Russia, mostly in hiding, until December of 1920 when she escaped with her mother in a frozen boat across the water to Finland.

You can read her accounts here:

http://alexanderpalace.org/russiancourt/I.html

(click other chapters to the right)

Anna wrote a second book, but it wasn't very popular, and I believe it's out of print.

Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarushka on January 06, 2007, 03:12:25 PM
Anna wrote a second book, but it wasn't very popular, and I believe it's out of print.
I'm pretty sure you're right about it being out of print -- at any rate, it was never published in English. Finnish and maybe Russian.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: rudy3 on January 07, 2007, 05:40:58 AM
There exist the following editions of her memoirs: in english: Memories of the russian court. New York 1923, in fihinish: Muistelmia wenäjän hovista ja vallankumouksesta. Satakunnan kirjat. 1923, in swedish: Minnen från ryska hovet och revolutionen. Bonniers 1923, in french: Journal secret (1909-1917). Paris 1928. In finnish (and also in swedish) a book has been published on her, with pictures and description as well of her live in Finland, edited by Irmeli Viherjuuri in the late 1980s.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarushka on January 07, 2007, 06:47:49 AM
There is also a new publication in Russian:

For your New Year's treat I can offer a nice new publication from Russia! ;)

It is: Верная Богу, Царю и Отечеству   [Faithful to God, Tsar and the Motherland] published in 2006 by Tsarskoe Delo, St. Petersburg. Compilation and author: Yurii Rassulin

This is a splendid collection of key material that concerns Anna Vyrubova. Included are her diary, archival material such as the depositions that she gave before the Kerensky Commission, a medical Report, correspondence, telegrams and commentary about her monastic life in Finland concluding with a chronology of her life. And yes, a series of photographs are also included.

I purchased my copy in Moscow.

Маргарита :)
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: matushka on January 17, 2007, 03:47:56 PM
Does anyone else read the Journal secret in french? I read it some years ago: it is a very strange document. Some people called it a falsification, as it is very different by his style and tone from others Anna Alexandrovna's memories. She is very critical, a lot of gossip about the IF. The opinion of the FA would be for example very precious to me.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: amelia on January 18, 2007, 07:35:55 AM
Dear Matushka,

I have the book and I have read it several times. Like you, I find it very strange and very different than her memoirs.  But at the same time, I wonder who would have written such a thing if not her? I also would like the opinion of the FA on this. It seems that very few people have read this book.

Amelia
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Cornholio on January 19, 2007, 06:42:49 PM
What was the story behind this 'secret' journal? In her own book, 'Memories of the Russian Court' she describes how she torched all of her journals as Kerensky approached her room to arrest her. It's probably a fraud by someone with delusions of grandeur pretending they were someone who knew the family, and chose her since she was a close friend.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Jarian on February 18, 2007, 08:49:07 AM
How did she die? I searched it up here but couldn't find anything.
Well since it does say later years does this go with this thread?
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarushka on February 18, 2007, 09:03:22 AM
The APTM bio says she took ill at her summer home in 1964 and died in Helsinki after treatment. The disease is not specified. She was 80 years old.

http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/Anya.html (http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/Anya.html)
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Eddie_uk on February 19, 2007, 06:51:34 AM
It would be interesting to see any photos of Anna in her later years. :)
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: RealAnastasia on March 06, 2007, 10:20:33 PM
As far as I know there isn't any... :P But It's almost absurd...I think there MUST be a single pic of her taken in the 50's or 60's...Anyones taughts?

RealAnastasia.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: rudy3 on March 07, 2007, 04:08:33 AM
A picture of Anna Vyrubova in her later years is published in Irmeli Viherjuuri's book on Anna Vyrubova (in Finnish and Swedish only) in the late 1980s. The same picture is in the recent book, 2005: Верная Богу, Царю и Отечеству [Faithful to God, Tsar and the Motherland].
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarushka on March 07, 2007, 07:22:56 AM
The same picture is in the recent book, 2005: Верная Богу, Царю и Отечеству [Faithful to God, Tsar and the Motherland].
I believe Belochka has that book. She might be willing to scan and post that photo if someone PMs her...
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarushka on March 14, 2007, 08:47:06 AM
These wonderful photos of Anya in her later years came from tian79:

(http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Anya/002.jpg)

(http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Anya/004.jpg)

Thanks so much for sharing!  :-*
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: RealAnastasia on March 14, 2007, 06:54:26 PM
She hadn't change an awful lot. She looked quite well, our Anya! Thank you , Sarushka ...these two pics are priceless.  :-* :-* :-*

RealAnastasia.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: thedarkone on March 14, 2007, 10:46:03 PM
Wow...thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread.  I never thought anyone would be able to find pictures of Anna during her later years...the amount of information known by people involved in this forum is astouding.  I've been so captivated by the Romanovs for so long and to see her old, somber face staring back really only deepens my fascination.  Thanks for all the information!  Keep it coming!   
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarushka on March 17, 2007, 09:17:40 AM
Thank you Belochka!


Did Vyrubova speak much of the imperial family in her later years, or did she try to minimize her imperial connections and put her memories behind her?
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: RealAnastasia on March 21, 2007, 06:46:36 PM
Well. I don't know if she would spoke a lot about her "Imperial Connections", but she wrote some interesting books on them, that even today provides a great deal of information on the Romanov's everyday life.  ::)

RealAnastasia.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Annie on March 22, 2007, 06:55:30 AM
Yes she was the one person who survived the revolution who was probably closest to the family. She knew all the details (she also would have been able to ID Anastasia claimants as real or fake if asked)
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarushka on March 22, 2007, 11:08:03 AM
Yes, I'm familiar with her memoirs, but what I'm really wondering is whether Vyrubova enjoyed or partook in any sort of celebrity treatment in her later years because of her imperial connections? Or did she just write her memoirs and that was the end of it?
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Annie on March 22, 2007, 08:14:08 PM
I don't think she ever got celebrity treatment since she was hated universally by the emigre community for her involvement with Rasputin. She was blamed by some (many who didn't want to blame Alexandra) for the collapse of the gov't near the end when all the pro Rasputin ministers were in charge. Also, later being a nun she lived an obscure life. I'm sure she often thought of the IF and it made her sad.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Arleen on April 21, 2007, 04:46:50 PM
I loved the pictures, thank you for posting them.  I think her face had thinned out so as she aged I would never have known it was her.

Arleen
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarushka on April 21, 2007, 08:23:03 PM
I think her face had thinned out so as she aged I would never have known it was her.

Really? How interesting -- I recognized Vyrubova immediately.

A brief aside: this is a perfect example of why I put so little stock in the AA/FS/AN photo-comparisons!  ;)
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: RealAnastasia on April 22, 2007, 10:48:49 PM
I recognized her in a glance...Of course, time had made its work in her face. Her cheek were more thin, but her expression and these cold eye of her still were the same than the ones of her youth . Expresion and eyes never changes...And the way she turned her head...The ame old Anya of always!  ;)

RealAnastasia.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: ChristineM on April 23, 2007, 06:06:48 AM
She seems to have grown into her looks.   To me she is a much more attractive looking old woman than she was a young woman.

tsaria
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: TheAce1918 on April 23, 2007, 06:39:15 PM
She is rather recognizable to me.  More or less her facial complexions were what sparked the memories of her in old photographs.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Lemur on April 24, 2007, 09:31:32 AM
I think she looks much like she did younger.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: loulia on July 05, 2007, 03:33:12 PM
Hi everybody!!!
In his book on Rasputin, Radzinsky said that Anya's husband, after their divorce, started a new life in switzerland where he get married and had children.
But when they get divorced, after one year, Anya was still a virgin and she said that her husband was a pervert and a impotent.
I would like to know if that story is true? what become her husband after their divorce? If he really had children after, how explain this facts???
what do you think about it?
Loulia
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Annie on July 06, 2007, 11:08:07 AM
According to Maria Rasputin's book, "Rasputin, the man behind the myth" Alexander Vyrobov had some sort of post traumatic stress syndrome caused by being one of the few survivors of a ship blown up during the Russo-Japanese war. This allegedly caused him to become violent and irrational at times. She said he was abusive to Anna, and scared her. She says he raped Anna on their honeymoon, but this isn't true, since we know she was later proven to be a virgin. I also heard that one of the things that made him go off into angry fits and tirades was Rasputin- he didn't want him coming around, and Anna was always sneaking him in.She apparently got her annulment due to his mental condition and the cruelty she said he inflicted upon her. I have never heard anything of his later life other than what you said.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: lexi4 on July 06, 2007, 03:39:27 PM
Does anyone know what happened to the letters Anna recieved from members of the IF?
Lexi
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarushka on July 06, 2007, 09:30:11 PM
Do you just want to read the text of the letters, or are you wondering where the originals are now? Because a great many of them are reproduced in Vyrubova's Memories of the Russian Court (http://www.alexanderpalace.org/russiancourt2006/chapter_I.html). I have no idea where the actual documents are now, though, or if they even exist any more.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: lexi4 on July 06, 2007, 10:22:02 PM
Thank you Sarushka. I would like to read the letters. I am curious as to where they are located. What about the letters written to her from the IF?
Lexi
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarushka on July 07, 2007, 07:58:02 AM
I would like to read the letters.

Vyrubova begins quoting her letters from the IF in chapter 21 (http://www.alexanderpalace.org/russiancourt2006/xxi.html) of her memoirs.

What about the letters written to her from the IF?

I've wondered about that, too, because I've never seen quotes of any of Anna Vyrubova's letters *to* the IF in captivity. I would guess that either the IF destroyed Vyrubova's letters after reading them (although Anna had been released from prison by the time the IF reached Tobolsk, I doubt she was a terribly popular figure!) or the Bolsheviks destroyed or confiscated the letters after the execution.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Annie on July 07, 2007, 11:58:32 AM
(although Anna had been released from prison by the time the IF reached Tobolsk, I doubt she was a terribly popular figure!)

She was released by Kerensky in late summer 1917, however, she was later imprisoned several times by the Bolsheviks, one time having an incredible live-saving escape. She was caught and held many times, and though she never left the Petrograd area, wasn't able to escape Russia into Finland until Dec. of 1920. (I know you probably know this Sara, just posting for general info)


Quote
or the Bolsheviks destroyed or confiscated the letters after the execution.

That's probably what happened. It's sad to think what valuable historical relics and mementos of their last days must have been burned in that old stove. :'(
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Robert_Hall on July 07, 2007, 02:42:12 PM
Was not AV told by the Empress to destroy her letters?  If so, the Bolsheviks probably never saw them. In any case, they saved everything. If they still exsist, they are most likely  deep in the State archives, turning to dust.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: rudy3 on July 07, 2007, 03:20:26 PM
Alexander Vassilevich Vyrubov (b. 1880) died in Kislovodsk in 1919, March 4th. His second marriage, in 1910, to Maria Alexandrovna Kireeva (who died in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1936, Feb. 2nd) gave two daughters: Maria, (born in Kislovodsk 1912, Apr. 9th, died 2000, Dec 12th in Paris) and Olga (born in Kislovodsk 1916, Dec 1st, died 1969 in Vevey, Switzerland).
Olga was married to Leo Tolstoj's grandson Sergej Mikhailovich and they had three children.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarushka on July 07, 2007, 07:26:05 PM
I think you're right Robert, but judging by the extensive quotes in her memoirs, AV must have ignored Alexandra's advice and smuggled her letters out of Russia with her in 1920 instead of burning them.

As for the IF's letters *from* Vyrubova, I doubt the Bolsheviks would have destroyed them. IMO, Anna Vyrubova was far too prominent a figure in the fall of the dynasty for her letters to be considered worthless by the Soviets.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Annie on July 07, 2007, 09:01:37 PM
I think you're right Robert, but judging by the extensive quotes in her memoirs, AV must have ignored Alexandra's advice and smuggled her letters out of Russia with her in 1920 instead of burning them.

She did burn her pre-1917 letters and journals as Kerensky approached her room after the revolution, but obviously she did keep the later ones. From all her stories of moving around and hiding, it's amazing she was able to haul stuff around. Her haul out of Russia- especially all those pictures she donated- don't match up with her story of escape to Finland in winter in an ice-bound, half sinking little boat. So I imagine her like Mr. and Mrs. Howell on Gilligan's Island, stranded, on the run, and in a little boat, she still had all her stuff with her anyway :D

Quote
As for the IF's letters *from* Vyrubova, I doubt the Bolsheviks would have destroyed them. IMO, Anna Vyrubova was far too prominent a figure in the fall of the dynasty for her letters to be considered worthless by the Soviets.

The thing is I doubt they had time to go through it and sort out what to keep and what not to. The remains of their belongings burned in the stove- the pics and lists have been posted- included even whole rolls of film. What a loss, to us and even to them. But they were trying to get rid of it in a hurry.
[/quote]
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarushka on July 07, 2007, 11:02:39 PM
The thing is I doubt they had time to go through it and sort out what to keep and what not to. The remains of their belongings burned in the stove- the pics and lists have been posted- included even whole rolls of film. What a loss, to us and even to them. But they were trying to get rid of it in a hurry.

Perhaps, but think about what they did save -- things like the children's diaries and exercise books. Those are pretty trivial items in the grand historical scheme of things.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: dmitri on July 08, 2007, 11:50:48 AM
Well I guess they got rid of the children and their parents and retainers. They were the big fish. The exercise books and other things were hardly important to the Bolsheviks. As for Anna Vyrubova she was a sad case. That friendship was hardly equal in any way. Alexandra was so much older and always occuppied the position of strength. It seems to have been a dominant Alexandra with a submissive Anna or a sort of Mother and daughter relationship.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Robert_Hall on July 08, 2007, 12:22:02 PM
Good point, Annie.  Just how DID she haul all that luggage around during her travails?  I suspect she did not. And that others sold them off later.  Those to whom she may have entrusted them to or the authorities that confiscated them. The Bolsheviks had rapidly put in place archivists, librarians and anitiguities professionals, most of whom were from the former Imperial regime [see Saving the Tsar's Palaces, by Morgan & Orlova].  Many were even cadets [students] who were eager to save everything.  In my opinion, any real destruction came from AV herself.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: lexi4 on July 09, 2007, 08:20:23 AM
I think you're right Robert, but judging by the extensive quotes in her memoirs, AV must have ignored Alexandra's advice and smuggled her letters out of Russia with her in 1920 instead of burning them.

She did burn her pre-1917 letters and journals as Kerensky approached her room after the revolution, but obviously she did keep the later ones. From all her stories of moving around and hiding, it's amazing she was able to haul stuff around. Her haul out of Russia- especially all those pictures she donated- don't match up with her story of escape to Finland in winter in an ice-bound, half sinking little boat. So I imagine her like Mr. and Mrs. Howell on Gilligan's Island, stranded, on the run, and in a little boat, she still had all her stuff with her anyway :D

Quote
As for the IF's letters *from* Vyrubova, I doubt the Bolsheviks would have destroyed them. IMO, Anna Vyrubova was far too prominent a figure in the fall of the dynasty for her letters to be considered worthless by the Soviets.

The thing is I doubt they had time to go through it and sort out what to keep and what not to. The remains of their belongings burned in the stove- the pics and lists have been posted- included even whole rolls of film. What a loss, to us and even to them. But they were trying to get rid of it in a hurry.
[/quote]

Annie,
I can just see that whole Gillighans island scene.  :D
You make a good point. I wonder if she gave items to others for safekeeping and then had them sent to her in Finland. Either way, it is too bad those letters aren't available to us now. They would be interesting to read.

I have not read Memories of the Russian Court. It is now on my list.

As for her friendship with Alexandra, I have always been curious about that myself. It did seem pretty one-sided.
Lexi
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Lemur on July 09, 2007, 10:37:41 AM
Gilligan's Island! :D It was always so funny how for a three hour tour, the Howells had all those suitcases full of money and a costume for every occasion! "Oh lovey dear, remember that ball where we went as George and Martha Washington?" Just happened to have it with them on vacation and it all survived the shipwreck!

I wonder too how she got it out. Maybe some of it was sent to her sister in Finland who had moved before the revolution? I believe any correspondence of Anna left in Russia after the Revolution was included in Radzinsky's book "Rasputin Files." If there is more, I'd like to see it as well.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: lexi4 on July 10, 2007, 11:11:38 AM
Lemur,
Gilligan's island was a hoot.
I had not thought of her sister. She could have sent them ahead to her. It sure would be interesting to read them.
Lexi
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: clockworkgirl21 on August 02, 2007, 04:20:20 PM
I'm bumping this old topic to share this. I do believe it's a real photo, not a screenshot.
(http://img112.imageshack.us/img112/8681/vlcsnap1340809ko0.th.png) (http://img112.imageshack.us/my.php?image=vlcsnap1340809ko0.png)
Also, this lovely one with Olga.
(http://img329.imageshack.us/img329/1660/00214014qy0.th.jpg) (http://img329.imageshack.us/my.php?image=00214014qy0.jpg)
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: anna11 on December 28, 2007, 02:23:02 PM
I have read- somewhere, that Ania was hostile toward Sonia Orbellini (can't spell her last name) Alexandra's friend who died in 1915.

Is this true?
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarushka on January 01, 2008, 08:44:48 AM
I have read- somewhere, that Ania was hostile toward Sonia Orbellini (can't spell her last name) Alexandra's friend who died in 1915.

Is this true?

I'd not heard taht myself, but given what I know about Vyrubova it seems plausible. Do you remember where you read it?
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: amelia on January 01, 2008, 01:08:58 PM
I have a book in French - Journal Secret - which is Viroubova diaries. She is quite unfriendly and hostile to so many people, in this book, including the Empress. She is not flattering at all. Some people say that this is a fake book, which I believe, because of the way she writes.I would like some comments on this book if you ever hear of it.Thank you
Amelia
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: anna11 on January 02, 2008, 09:08:15 AM
I have read- somewhere, that Ania was hostile toward Sonia Orbellini (can't spell her last name) Alexandra's friend who died in 1915.

Is this true?

I'd not heard taht myself, but given what I know about Vyrubova it seems plausible. Do you remember where you read it?

Strange as it is, I think it was on AP. lol I also think that it seems in character for Anya. She was not exactly the most selfless person.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: anna11 on January 02, 2008, 09:08:27 AM
I have read- somewhere, that Ania was hostile toward Sonia Orbellini (can't spell her last name) Alexandra's friend who died in 1915.

Is this true?

I'd not heard taht myself, but given what I know about Vyrubova it seems plausible. Do you remember where you read it?
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Janet Ashton on January 12, 2008, 07:35:06 AM
I have a book in French - Journal Secret - which is Viroubova diaries. She is quite unfriendly and hostile to so many people, in this book, including the Empress. She is not flattering at all. Some people say that this is a fake book, which I believe, because of the way she writes.I would like some comments on this book if you ever hear of it.Thank you
Amelia

It is indeed a work of fiction. It was written by Alexei Tolstoy and the literary critic Pavel Shchegolev, based probably on some of the newspaper tales of the time. It is less extreme than some of the other works pblished shortly before or after the revolution, which is probably why people sometimes took it seriously, but there are obvious giveaways e.g. in the use of Russian nicknames for foreign princes and an English nanny.

More here on page 22: -

http://www.directarticle.org/Fiction.pdf
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: amelia on January 12, 2008, 04:25:52 PM
Thank you very much, You certainly know a lot about Romanov fictions. Amelia
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Annie on January 12, 2008, 08:31:53 PM
AV burned her diaries when Kerensky was coming after her.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Elena on April 04, 2008, 03:22:41 PM
An article about her later years. In Russian.  With pictures.

http://www.terijoki.spb.ru/trk_terra.php?item=58
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Annie on April 04, 2008, 11:28:56 PM
That's very interesting, thanks! Many pics I hadn't seen before!  I tried to translate some of it on babelfish, got a weak understanding of it. Maybe if one of our Russian speakers here has time they can translate part of it, or at least the picture captions for the rest of us.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Nadya_Arapov on April 05, 2008, 12:41:12 AM
Thank you for sharing, Elena. A very interesting article and quite a few rare photos. I think that first photo, the one of her taken in 1920, is probably the most flattering photo of Anna I have ever seen. I have always felt so sorry for Anna. She was blamed for so much that was in no way her doing. :(
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Kitt on April 05, 2008, 01:59:03 PM
I was recently able to get a copy of Memories Of The Russian Court from Ebay for under $5. The one picture of Anna is shortly after her release from The Fortress of Peter and Paul.  Very similar to the first photo in the article above. She is still somewhat plump, but her eyes are very beautiful. 
All the best,
Kitt
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarushka on April 05, 2008, 03:26:24 PM
I was recently able to get a copy of Memories Of The Russian Court from Ebay for under $5. The one picture of Anna is shortly after her release from The Fortress of Peter and Paul.  Very similar to the first photo in the article above. She is still somewhat plump, but her eyes are very beautiful. 

This one?

(http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Anya/th_anna2004.jpg) (http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Anya/anna2004.jpg)

Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Kitt on April 05, 2008, 03:33:11 PM
Yes, That is the one.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: amelia on April 05, 2008, 07:55:33 PM
I would love to read her last book, which she published in Finish. I hope one day it is translated into English.

Amelia
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Elena on April 06, 2008, 05:46:12 AM
Actually,  an unpublished English translation exists.  In her foreword to the Finnish book the editor, Ms Viherjuuri tells that her father, who obtained the publishing rights in 1939, originally planned to publish the book in Finnish, Swedish and English.  The project  was put on hold because of the advent of WWII.  But apparently the translations were there.  The Viherjuuri  family remained in contact with Virubova for the rest of her life but no book came out during that time.   

In 1984 Ms. Viherjuuri recieved a copy of the Virubova manuscript in English from a family friend from Germany.  During the war her father had given the copy to this friend for safekeeping outside Finland (presumably for fear of a Soviet occupation or other hazards of the time).  The friend had kept the papers for more than 40 years.  Now this event inspired Ms Viherjuuri to finally publish the book in 1987 in Finnish and Swedish.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarushka on April 06, 2008, 08:12:43 AM
Isn't one of her later books alleged to be a forgery?
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Elena on April 06, 2008, 11:26:18 AM
I understand the "Journal Secret" of 1928 is a falsification.

Quote: "The 'secret diary' later published by the Soviets under Vyrubova's name was denounced by her as a forgery" ("The Russian Revolution and Civil War, 1917-1921" by Jon Smele)

The Finnish Viherjuuri 1987 book I was referring to, is more or less a longer version of "Memories of the Russian Court".  Parts of this more recent book are translated on the APTM website in "Later Memoirs of Anna Vyrubova"

- Elena
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: rudy3 on April 06, 2008, 03:48:00 PM
The falsification is called A.A.Vyrubova's Diary (Dnevnik A.A. Vyrubovoj), published in magazine "The Days passed" (Minuvshie Dni) in the numbers  1, 2, 3 of 1927, and number 4, 1928. The text was written by P.E. Shchegolev and A.N. Tolstoy.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: matushka on June 09, 2008, 09:06:32 AM
http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v695/clairecher/?action=view&current=StandartONTNMNAAV.jpg

Was this one already posted? I don't remember. What do you think, 1910, 1911?
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarushka on June 09, 2008, 09:21:26 AM
I would guess 1910 or maybe even 1909. It seems to me that the Big Pair began tying their hair back into ponytails at age 15 (in preparation for putting it up at age 16) which is why I wonder if this photo could be earlier than 1910.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: matushka on June 09, 2008, 10:23:27 AM
So I think 1910: see pictures of Germany, formal pictures for 1910, Olga has the same hair style.
Sorry, I am such a "maniac" of right datation:)
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: julia.montague on June 12, 2008, 03:00:40 PM
It says 1907 on the picture, doesn't it? That does seem a bit too early though.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: nena on June 12, 2008, 04:17:54 PM
I would say 1909. I don't know why!
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Maaria on August 29, 2008, 11:38:15 AM
I feel a bit apprehensive about starting a new topic being a newbie. I have been browsing around looking for pictures of Anna in her later years. Most of the pictures have been deleted, so I have no way of knowing which pictures you already are familiar with. Then I decided to post these pictures of her, probably taken at the same time at her home in Helsinki. The first one is the well-known one, also published in her memoirs, but I wonder if you have seen this other one. I think it's a lovely picture, Anna is looking at her photo album, the album full of her pictures and memories of and with the imperial family. Maybe she is trying to decide which pictures she would like to be published in her memoirs, but absolutely not at her lifetime - as agreed with Ms Viherjuuri, the daughter of Mr Viherjuuri, who bought out the rights of publication in 1939 from another Finnish publication agency. Finally in 1987 her memoirs were published in Finnish, edited by Ms Viherjuuri, but without this picture of Anna looking at her precious photographs.

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3025/2808249631_d67887c3fa.jpg)

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3164/2808136937_4aff1da563.jpg)
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarushka on August 29, 2008, 12:02:03 PM
Thank you Maaria!

I've seen the first photo, though not in such good quality, and the second is entirely new to me.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Michael HR on August 29, 2008, 12:16:19 PM
Out of interest what happened to her possessions after her death, such as photo albums and the like?
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarushka on August 29, 2008, 12:45:21 PM
A number of her photo albums are held in Yale's Beinecke library. Click here (http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/dl_crosscollex/romanov_album.htm) to browse them online.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Sarushka on August 29, 2008, 01:16:08 PM
Maaria -- have you ever seen a larger/better quality version of this photo?

(http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Anya/th_004.jpg) (http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/sarahelizabethii/Romanov/Anya/004.jpg)


Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Joanna on August 29, 2008, 05:42:09 PM
Many many thanks Maaria for these incredible photographs of Anna. I also have seen the first but without your great clarity. The second of Anna with her photo album is absolutely new for me and a treasure. As Anna sold her albums in late 1930s, this one must have been taken just prior. I wonder if it is of her apartment in Viipuri.

Sarushka, the photograph you posted was taken from a Finnish film a couple of years ago. There is amongst others amazing footage of Anna with Vera reading a newspaper.

Joanna
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: nena on August 29, 2008, 05:53:05 PM
Anna Virburova was one very interesting woman, and very brave, IMO - she had many hard moments at Petropavlosvsk, and exile. Also, last time when she saw Tsarina was very touching. Also, she helped to IF, sent them money, and she kept one great collection of pictures. I saw one of Tsar and Tsarevich with woods,at Siberia, winter 1917/8 -  I guess she got that one from IF.
Agree?

Later she lived at Finnland, in monastery, correct if I am wrong. Almost forget to thank to Maaria and Sarushka for sharing pics. of Anna in her later years.  ;)
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Robert_Hall on August 29, 2008, 09:41:54 PM
I have often wondered  just how she managed to haul all those albums out of Russia, as she was under such distress.  A formidable woman indeed.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Cathy on August 30, 2008, 07:06:36 AM
Her life during and after the revolution was indeed very difficult including prison, harrowing escapes and even leaving behind all her friends and worldly possessions. She had very good friends helping her. She did indeed live in Finland until her death; in a modern apartment building in Helsinki that still stands today; first in a bigger apartment on a higher floor (even had an elevator because she was very crippled) and then a tiny apartment on the ground floor. She is buried in Helsinki.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Thomas_Hesse on August 30, 2008, 09:12:29 AM
I have often wondered  just how she managed to haul all those albums out of Russia, as she was under such distress.  A formidable woman indeed.

Interesting question. I wondered too - especially after reading her book one gets the impression that she had not a single possession left after the imprisonment. How did she manage to keep those 6 albums? They're really HUGE and seem to be heavy. All in all not the first thing to grab if one has to rescue one's life....

She looks so incredibly young - I mean she has got wrinkles and white hair but it seems almost like make-up. It is still Anna, her eyes and features are so vivid and  - in a way - young. Never seen a similar case...
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Maaria on September 01, 2008, 11:25:50 AM
I am very happy for posting those pictures of Anna for you. Now may I tell you some things about them:

As I have mentioned before, my mother has some glass negatives she found some years ago in an old books shop. 23 of them are pictures of the imperial family, taken from Anna's album(s), and 2 of them are the ones of Anna herself I posted here. Some of the pictures have presumably Anna's writing from the album on them, as you can see on the picture below:

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3035/2818008680_ccb9333152.jpg)

We have carefully looked through the negatives, over and over again, and have come to the conclusion that quite possibly the negatives are the very same that have been used in Anna's memoirs, the Finnish edition from 1987. The pictures have the same flaws -  and some of them are slightly out of focus, which very easily happened using the old fashion reprographic cameras. So maybe when the first publishing agreement was made in Viipuri in 1937, publishing agency took some photographs of the photo albums. And later, after Anna already had sold the albums, there were only the negatives left to use in the book. This is only speculation, of course, so please correct me if I'm wrong!

But the negatives of Anna herself are very sharp and the hue variation is perfect. Joanna, you may be right about the pictures having been taken in Viipuri. If it is so, the pictures were possibly taken in 1937 when Anna was 53 and had just finished writing the Russian manuscript of her memoirs. What do you think, would that sound and look right?

When the Winter War broke out in '39, Anna and her friend Vera Sapevalov left to Sweden. Their expenses were paid by the Swedish royal family. Right after the Winter War ended in the spring of 1940, Anna and Vera came back to Finland. Viipuri was now part of the Soviet Union, so they moved to Helsinki. Because of the war the housing situation was very bad indeed, but they managed to get a small two-room-apartment in Topeliuksenkatu (Topelius Street) in the center of Helsinki. Queen Louise of Sweden paid Anna a small pension until Anna's death in July 20th 1964. Her loyal friend and caretaker Vera stayed in the apartment until 1980 and died in 1985.

I work in printing house myself and naturally we have an excellent scanner there. But the day I decided to finally scan the negatives, I noticed it made some nasty stripes throughout the pictures. So if some of you were wondering about the odd stripes in Anna's pictures, that's the explanation. When we get the scanner fixed, I can post you better quality ones.

Sarushka, I would love to help you with the picture, but sorry, I don't know more about it. But thank you so much for the link to Anna's albums online!!! I didn't know such site existed. Now I'm going to spend the rest of the evening browsing them...

Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Thomas_Hesse on September 01, 2008, 12:26:14 PM
Lucky you - dreamlike to find such treasures. And thank you very much for sharing them so generously!
The photo of Nicolas II was actually taken in October 1910 in Friedberg Castle, Hesse, Germany.

Interesting to know that Anna contacted Queen Louise of Sweden and got a pension from her. She thanked the Queen very generously: She gave her an album with photographs of the Imperial Family (so she had obviously not sold them all (!)) as well as a tiny booklet bound in red and golden leather. The first page reads: For Darling Ania - Alexandra 1907g.
It contains  - in the Empress's own hand - numerous little poems, prayers and such in French, English and German.
The Queen gave these items to her nephew Ludiwg Prince of Hesse and the Rhine
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Michael HR on September 02, 2008, 01:55:14 AM
I wonder what the poems were like? She managed to get quite a bit of stuff out of Russia then it seems. She did not have much time to leave the Alexandra Palace so I imagine these items must have been stored somewhere else, such as her house near the Palace or in St P.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Robert_Hall on September 02, 2008, 02:26:58 AM
Michael, it is Alexander Palace. not Alexandra. But you know that.
 Anyway,   She was imprisoned for a while and was probably slated to be shot, but let go.  I think she left her chattels with a friend in St.P,  who later somehow managed to get them to her in Finland.  I have no idea if this is the true story or not. Her dramatic escape from Russia is   mentioned in several books, but not how  she managed  to recover her goods. If someone knows more about this than I do, I would welcome the information.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Joanna on October 27, 2008, 06:14:33 PM
The diamonds received by Anna Vyrubova when she became maid of honor in January 1903 were put on auction in Moscow this month. What is interesting in the article is the information of the recording of the honor under serial number 197 (188+9) in the Journal of the Emperor's Cabinet.

http://smi2.ru/creshka_livejournal_com/c64922/

Joanna
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Rodney_G. on October 28, 2008, 05:27:33 PM


With regard to Anna's feelings toward Sonya Orbelliani , a little reasoned(I hope) speculation. She may well have felt jealousy or envy toward Sonya because SO may have indeed been Alexandra's better, truer friend. She was a brighter, stronger , more accomplished person than Anya and in most respects was a true equal to Alexandra.Alexandra was certainly devastated by Sonya's loss . As noted the friendship between Anna and the Empress was unequal. I can imagine Alexandra might well have valued Sonya's independence and spirit as compared with Anna's puppydog -like devotion. As Sarushka said, it's very plausible. Sonya was, in effect, Anna's rival for the Empress' affections.
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Condecontessa on October 30, 2008, 09:22:03 AM
Is this Anna Vyrubova's dad?

http://photoarchive.spb.ru:9090/www/showObject.do?object=2001633093
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Joanna on November 01, 2008, 02:53:21 PM
Is this Anna Vyrubova's dad?
http://photoarchive.spb.ru:9090/www/showObject.do?object=2001633093

The photograph is of Sergei Ivanovich Taneev, composer, who was cousin to Anna Vyrubova.

Joanna
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: Condecontessa on November 01, 2008, 03:00:05 PM
Thank you Joanna. :)
Title: Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
Post by: nena on November 25, 2008, 04:25:09 PM
IMO, Virburova was very important figure in Russian history. Her relationship with Tsarina made some her wishes true. Also, don't remember she brought to Tsarina all letters from Rasputin with requests of Rasputin's friends or enemies.

She knew very well how to act in every situation. And she could perfect to appreciate every situation and sometimes her appreciation.