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1
The Windsors / Re: Princess Eugenie of York
« on: Yesterday at 04:53:07 PM »
Russians noticed her similarity to the painting "Царевна-Лебедь" - the Swan Princess by Mikhail Vrubel on her wedding day: https://ru-royalty.livejournal.com/6800274.html

2
Having Fun! / Re: Just to put this out there...Romanov style!
« on: October 13, 2018, 01:38:55 PM »
I just read a description of the flamboyant German designer (and royalty fan) Harald Glööckler as "teleshopping king and fashion czar" and suddenly I imagined that his style and behaviour probably is quite similar to Tsar Ferdinand of Bulgaria's!
Judge for yourself: YouTube:Zu Besuch bei Harald Glööckler | Krause kommt

3
Russian Noble Families / Re: Biron descendants
« on: October 09, 2018, 04:31:10 AM »
I've never heard of nor seen "Nobility Books".

Apparantly there is a lot of them around, as the volumes for each governorate were published and printed: See examples here.

4
Russian Noble Families / Re: Biron descendants
« on: October 09, 2018, 04:12:19 AM »
He also says that his family belongs to the 6th book of nobility in Russia

I now realize what this alludes to:
According to this Russian Wikipedia page on the noble genealogical books I wrote about in the post above, they had six sections:
1. Families ennobled by imperial decree.
2. Families ennobled by military service. (Table of ranks.)
3. Families ennobled by civil service. (Table of ranks.)
4. Naturalized foreign noble families.
5. Titled noble families.
6. Ancient noble families whose origins predate the Petrine reforms.

The von Bührens / von Birons would fit into sections 4 and 5 too, as far as I can see, but of course it was most prestigeous to be placed in section 6.

5
Russian Noble Families / Re: Biron descendants
« on: October 07, 2018, 04:07:44 PM »
I've never heard of nor seen "Nobility Books".

In 1785 Catherine II issued a Charter for the Rights, Freedoms and Privileges of the Russian Nobility. See full text here. Its section 3 dealt with the keeping of genealogical records. The Russian Wikipedia says:

Составление дворянских родословных книг
Уездные предводители осуществляли составление родословных книг. Все потомственные дворяне обладали равными правами независимо от разницы в титулах и древности рода. В Родословные книги вносились только потомственные дворяне, личные дворяне в них не вносились.
=
Compilation of noble genealogical books.
Marshalls of the nobility of each uyezd carried out the compilation of genealogical books. All hereditary nobles had equal rights, regardless of the difference in titles and antiquity of the genus. Only hereditary nobles were entered into the genealogical books; personal nobles were not entered into them.

Russian noble families were thus recorded in "nobility books" in the governorates where their main estates were located. These records were important, as they were the census for participation in the provincial assemblies of the nobility, an aristocratic form of local government.

But I can't see how there could be a 6th book of this type, as they were geographical. All noble, armorial families were also listed in the General Armorial of the Noble Families of the Russian Empire (see https://gerbovnik.ru/), which had different sections and volumes, but essentially was one huge comilation. I can't find the Birons at all there.

Remember that the von Bührens / Birons were not Russian nobility per se, and neither part of the original Ritterschaft, the German knightly estate, of Courland, but had been ennobled by a King of Poland. Though I would presume they would be listed in different Russian provincial nobility books if they had estates in those governorates.

6
Russian Noble Families / Re: Biron descendants
« on: October 07, 2018, 03:36:57 PM »
Isn't it a strange coïncidence that the Russian Wikipedia lists a certain Hegumen Alexey, Chief of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission of the ROCOR in Jerusalem (1997–2000) (see link) as born in Belgrad in 1957 as "Андрей ван Бирон" (Andrey van Buren?), to a Russian father and a Hungarian mother? The arms listed for him on the page is certainly a variety of the von Bühren arms which feature in the Biron of Courland arms, but remember that "van Buren" is a rather common Dutch surname, in addition to the name of an extinct Dutch noble family, which produced Willem the Silent's wife Countess Anna van Buren. A bourgeois Van Buren was US President Martin Van Buren.

7
Having Fun! / Re: Tsarist Russia sent forward in time to WWII
« on: October 01, 2018, 01:29:31 PM »
However, as I said, it is very unlikely that any such celebrations would have happened during World War II.

Any celebrations would be simple and low-key, intensely religious, with focus on deliverance. If the IF went on a tour it would be to boost fighting morale. But they would be way more powerful than those in 1913. People would sing "Bozhe tsarya khrani" like they really meant it! Monarch and people would be one. Compare the role of the British RF during the Battle of Britain.

8
Having Fun! / Re: Tsarist Russia sent forward in time to WWII
« on: September 30, 2018, 01:10:48 PM »
I'm writing a story where the theoretical territory of Imperial Russia on the date of the tercentenary of the Romanovs in 1913 is sent thirty years in time forward to 1943.


How do the Western Allies react? How do the Nazis react?

The parallells to the conditions under which the Romanov dynasty came to sit on the Russian throne in 1613 would be striking in 1943: The Time of Troubles with western neighbours (Poles and Swedes then, Germans now) invading and the Russian state nearly collapsing. The Romanovs would harvest immortal laurels if they once more saved Russia on their very tercentenary.


9
Also, from all the research I've done, the Grand Duke Konstantin brought up his children to be as Russian as possible- making sure they spoke Russian at home, etc. I think that eating borscht and kasha could well be a part of that.
Makes sense if they were travelling in their own train, where they could set the menu. If they hitched their waggon onto another train, not so much.

Quote
In addition, while the Grand Duke Konstantin's homoexuality (or bisexuality, depending on how you read his situation), may be well known now, he ordered that his diaries be sealed for several decades after his death. The research I've seen says that his family followed that order to the letter, so they would have been unaware of the diaries' discussion of KR's homosexuality. The evaluations of this that I've read suggest that KR's family would have been quite surprised by his homosexuality, given how he conducted himself in his family life. As a result, this novel doesn't really explore how his homosexuality could have impacted his relationship with his children. Also, given that Prince Konstantin had proposed to Princess Elizabeth of Romania, and was also said to have been interested in the Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaievna, I thought it unlikely that he would have been homosexual himself. One thing that I love about fiction, though, (and especially historical fiction) is that another writer could have written an alternate life of Prince Konstantin, and done it very differently. I agree with you about what KR might have been thinking to himself during the discussions about Prince Konstantin's potential choices for a bride, but since "Through the Fire" is from Prince Konstantin's point of view, we don't really see into KR's head at all. If I were writing a book about KR himself, though, I think his struggles with his sexuality would be front and center.

I see your point about viewpoint and I didn't mean you should explore the possibility that Prince Konstantin was bisexual, just that KR must have worried about it, as homosexuality in those days was viewed as a moral weakness linked to inherited degeneracy (most pointedly in dynasties like the Romanovs) in the same way as madness and congenital syphilis etc.

But KR's bisexuality would most probably influence his interactions with his family in some way. They would not perceive it as such, because they had no idea (or did they at some point see some compromizing small thing (a photo, a look he was giving a footman etc.?) and pretend they didn't?). But if they had been told, as adults, I'm sure some things would fall into place and make sense, as with any secret about your parents you learn after your childhood.

Quote
Thank you for taking the time to read my short story "Dark Night, Bright Sky." I think it's really kind of you to have sought out my other work. I disagree with your assessment of the short story and how it should have been written, but I'm not sure that this is the place for a discussion about it, since the story is completely separate from "Through the Fire" and has nothing to do with the Romanovs.

You're welcome, but the short story just proves my point: You seem like an author who foregoes the most interesting plot lines for the sake of boring, old clichés. Perhaps because you're marketing your book to young female readers (and their parents) who want princessy romance without unsavoury spots.

10
I hope the novel allows itself some imaginations about KR's double life and the effect this had on his son and their relationship. Already in the scene where they talk about future brides for Konstantin Konstantinovich we, as readers, will know the taboo questions on KR's mind: Does his son suffer from the same "erotic handicap" as himself? Can the perfect bride prevent amourous scandals - and which ones are the worst? Public heterosexual liaisons like those of his late father or his own indulgencies, known only to the underworld and the Okhrana?

Unfortunately, I fear I hope in vain. Based on your recently published short story Dark night, bright sky. This is clichéed kitsch: A young priest in a deserted corner of Ireland whipping himself in penance because his life is like the sad stuck existence of an American millennial - and not as one presumes, because he is a pedophile, child molester and perhaps also himself a victim of abuse who has sought refuge in the Catholic Church and is being busted. Instead he was forced into the priesthood because he couldn't afford tuition to continue study astrophysics at Trinity College? Hello, higher education (but not student accommodation!) is free for EU citizens in Ireland, with the exception of a low annual fee. So just the premise is ridiculous. Why is there another priest living in the same remote vicarage if he isn't his secret gay lover when there is a serious priest shortage?

In this day and age Father Cillian O’Leary should be loosing his faith because of the Catholic abuse scandal, not because this woe-is-me caricature couldn't afford continuing with his studies (because he had an American student advisor who told him blatantly false things! :-) and his worshipped Mary deserted him. He would be much more interesting if he committed suicide because everyone believed he was a pedophile (why else join the Catholic Church in this day and age?), when he just was a perfectly normal man who loved getting muddy playing football and snuggle up watching the aurora borealis with redhaired Gaelic boys.

11
Congratulations!

Judging from the excerpt available at Amazon it looks neatly written and well researched, without the typical blunders you often encounter in Romanov fan fiction, although the opening does strike a somewhat odd note for someone intimately familiar with German landscapes:

"... I stepped out into the summer heat of Saxe-Altenburg." Since Saxe-Altenburg is a region and not a city, one is left thinking: Is this fictional (presumably Russian Orthodox) church (modelled after the Herzogin-Agnes-Kirche in Altenburg?) located in the town of Altenburg itself or "somewhere in the rural parts of Saxe-Altenburg"? The protagonist would not have gone directly from Bavaria to Altenburg in a carriage in the years before WW1, but by train, and in a carriage from the station to the church.

"Already, I missed Bavaria with its wildflowers and tall, snow-covered mountains". It is a very common misconception that Bavaria is a predominantly Alpine country. Just a very small zone of Bavaria along the Austrian border does actually have the typically Alpine landscape with mountains, narrow valleys, lakes and highland pastures full of Alpine wildflowers. Although you can see the Alps from tall points on a clear day in a huge part of the pre-alpine piedmont area of Southern Bavaria (including München) and they of course influence the climate etc., most of Southern Bavaria is just rolling farmland, not so dissimilar to the plain around Altenburg. The northern part of Bavaria (Franconia) is very much like the hillier, wooded part of Saxe-Altenburg. Needless to say, all agricultural areas outside heavily polluted industrialized areas had lots of wildflowers before modern agriculture with its monocultures. (Just think of the poppies of WW1 lyrical fame!)

"The smells of borscht and kasha wafted over from the train's dining car." I can willingly imagine that borscht may have been on the menu even of a first class dining car in the Russian Empire, but peasant staple food like kasha? Without having done any research, "dining car with imperial prince in close proximity" and "kasha" are "contradictions in terms" in my mind. One could rather imagine a man of simple tastes like this prince feeling sick from the smells of attempts at rich French cuisine in this first class dining car and wishing for serene simplicity in the form of mild kasha.

I hope the novel allows itself some imaginations about KR's double life and the effect this had on his son and their relationship. Already in the scene where they talk about future brides for Konstantin Konstantinovich we, as readers, will know the taboo questions on KR's mind: Does his son suffer from the same "erotic handicap" as himself? Can the perfect bride prevent amourous scandals - and which ones are the worst? Public heterosexual liaisons like those of his late father or his own indulgencies, known only to the underworld and the Okhrana?

12
I can't wait untill a (native) Russophone is so kind as to transscribe (not necessarily translate) the whole sequence and point out in detail which pecularities AIII's speech has.

Is anyone up to the task?

13
The Windsors / Re: Prince Henry/Prince Harry of Wales
« on: August 15, 2018, 07:31:44 PM »
That was never going to be an option.  Both Clarence (for County Clare) and Connaught are in the Republic of Ireland- and are no longer part of the UK, so will not be able to be reused for the British royal family.

Clarence does not refer to County Clare in Ireland, but to the town of Clare in Suffolk. It was first created for Lionel of Antwerp, who married the heiress of the de Clare Earls of Hertford and Gloucester. Clarence is thus the de Clare inheritance.

14
I can't wait untill a (native) Russophone is so kind as to transscribe (not necessarily translate) the whole sequence and point out in detail which pecularities AIII's speech has.

15
Does the song contain these lines?

на Африка, на Камерун
как немцы говорят
=
To Africa, to Cameroon,
like the Germans say???

If the recording is from 1891, it would fit with Cameroon becoming a German colony in 1884.

The song must be a Russian version of a German song called "Nach Afrika, nach Kamerun, nach Angra Pequena", (alternatively "Weisst lieber Freund, was wir jetzt thun? Wir segeln stolz nach Kamerun") where Angra Pequena is another name for Lüderitz Bay.

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