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Messages - Padawan Ryan

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It is indeed hard to find a list of good Romanov books without Massie's "Nicholas and Alexandra" included

That was the first one I read, once upon a time. I had taken it out of the library on a monthly basis when I was eleven and twelve.

Having Fun! / Re: What's the weather like at your place?
« on: July 17, 2014, 06:40:12 PM »
It's about 26˚ (78.8˚ F) right now, which is hot but it could be worse. I mean, our summers usually get up to 45˚ (113˚ F) by the end of July, and winters get down to -50˚ (-58˚ F) in January, so really anything between -10˚ (14˚ F) and 25˚ (77˚ F) is rather nice. So sitting at 26˚ today, it's still close enough to 'nice' for me to bear it, and since it's overcast there's no sun to beat down on us, so that is also nice.

May I ask where you are, Brittany? I'm trying to think of places that have routine summertime temps of 113 Fahrenheit as well as winters reaching minus 58 degrees Fahrenheit. I can think of places with each, but few with both.

Canada - Northern Ontario to be exact. Where I am the 113˚ F temperatures in summer only really last for about a week, at the end of July, but it's unbearable. However summer doesn't last very long in general, the first snowfall in my town happens in late September and the snow doesn't officially disappear until early May. So while we have some extremes with both summer and winter temperatures, winter lasts far longer than summer in terms of weather conditions. According to the 'climate' part on my city's Wikipedia page, though, records from Environment Canada from between 1981 and 2010 show the record high my city has ever experienced is 49.2˚ C (120.5˚ F) and the record low it's ever experienced is -53.1˚ C (-65.5˚ F).

Having Fun! / Re: Which Romanov are you most similar to?
« on: July 12, 2014, 11:26:18 AM »
If I had to think about it, I'd also say Olga. I'm a very moody person, very bookish, and definitely not what someone would describe as a 'classic beauty' the way they always compared her to Tatiana in appearance. I also have a younger sister, so I relate to her in terms of being an older sister. And while she looked out for her younger sisters, she wasn't as commanding of them behaving as Tatiana was, being the 'governess' and all, and I feel that while I look out for my younger sister, I prefer to have fun with her rather than discourage her in everything. That's how I feel as an adult though - Olga was nearly my age when the family was murdered, so at twenty-three, I feel I relate more to Olga. However at say eleven, when I first became interested in the Romanovs, I'd have said I related more to Anastasia - I was a rowdy child, and I could be very improper and impolite, and I loved to joke around or make people laugh. I was less interested in my studies at the time, as Anastasia and Maria are often described as being, and more interested in everything else going on around me in life. However at this time in my life, and when I look back, probably my teenage years as well, I best relate to Olga for sure.

To be honest, I'm not certain. I don't really think I have a reason. I mean, I remember how I got interested - I'm only twenty-three years old, so the animated Anastasia movie came out at the height of my childhood. I was rewatching it for the millionth time several years later, just after I turned eleven, and my dad randomly turned to me and said, "Anastasia was a real person, you know." I thought that was kinda cool so he dug out one of his old encyclopedias the following day - it didn't really have much on the Romanovs in it, but it had a picture of the family, and he showed it to me and pointed out Anastasia for me. At that point, my research began on Anastasia herself, to see what she was actually like and to learn about her real life. The research quickly turned more into OTMAA though, since I became instantly fascinated with all her siblings as well. I was eleven years old and in the fifth grade, and I'd be coming to school with big books like Nicholas and Alexandra by Robert K. Massie to read during recess or quiet reading times. As the years went on, the interest never faltered - at my age now it's interesting to hear a lot about Nicholas and Alexandra's lives as well, however OTMAA (or rather, specifically OTMA without Alexei as much) still remains the main part of my interest, especially since as young ladies I feel like there's some sort of connection. Olga was almost my age when the family was murdered, so I feel that I can somewhat relate to them on a personal level - not their experiences or anything, but simply through age, and the awkwardness of growing up. However considering my research started when I was eleven, I wouldn't cite that as a main reason, though I did like to compare my life at eleven years old to that of them - the difference in technology, and clearly difference in wealth (as I was a poor ghetto kid who'd walk half an hour to the library on a weekly basis for books on them), as well as the differences in things such as fashion or trends.

I think at this point now that my main reason for my Romanov fascination is simply to continue learning more about them on top of everything I became interested in as a child. I'm not sure, it's really hard to explain or even think about, because if I try to talk to people (besides my family) about the Romanovs, they are bored and don't care whatsoever. My younger sister lived through my initial fascination (she was nine at the time) and how it's continued over the past twelve and a half years, so while she was never AS interested, she is always happy to hear anything I have to say about the Romanovs - new things I've learned, or simply new books I've bought. She never read any of the books with me, but she always watched any Romanov-related movies with me, and listened earnestly when I'd go on about the historical inaccuracies, or tidbits that related to the scenes. I've always been interested in history - other eras of history that I read a lot about include the Tudor era (with Elizabeth I being my Tudor equivalent to OTMA when it comes to research) - but when I told everyone that I was going back to college for a second degree, this time in history, one of my friends who I haven't spoken to in YEARS piped up with, "Well that's not surprising considering all that research you used to do at such a young age." I met her in grade six, a year after my Romanov fascination began, so she was there throughout my failed attempt at learning Russian! But to stay on topic, yeah, I guess I'd just stake my main reason as simply a general interest in history, and I think part of what made it easy to become fascinated as a preteen was not only the fact that there was children's pop culture that related to the Romanovs, but that OTMAA were all children so I could research the lives of children. I think the fascination has just continued because I was so passionate about it then, and so much more has come to light to learn from since then (I mean, when I was eleven they had yet to find the two missing bodies), so there's always more to absorb in the case of the Romanovs.

Sorry, that was a lot. I tend to ramble, and I tend to say (or in this case, write) a lot when it comes to topics that flare my passions.

Having Fun! / Re: What's the weather like at your place?
« on: July 12, 2014, 10:57:16 AM »
It's about 26˚ (78.8˚ F) right now, which is hot but it could be worse. I mean, our summers usually get up to 45˚ (113˚ F) by the end of July, and winters get down to -50˚ (-58˚ F) in January, so really anything between -10˚ (14˚ F) and 25˚ (77˚ F) is rather nice. So sitting at 26˚ today, it's still close enough to 'nice' for me to bear it, and since it's overcast there's no sun to beat down on us, so that is also nice.

Helen, I just wanted to say that I'm reading the book now and I'm so thankful that you put this together and published it. I always wanted to get that 1913 diary of Olga's that was published, however I could never find a copy (and it's no longer available on the original site), so when I found this I was very happy, especially so since it's more years' worth of entries as well as letters and outside views. To be honest, though, I hadn't been on the forum here in about two years or so, so I actually didn't realize it was someone who I'd posted alongside until more recently! I'm loving it so far, and I wish I had more time to read it between everything I've got going on in my life, but it's something that makes me happy to read whenever I get to. I feel young compared to some people here - I'm only twenty-three - however I've been studying the Romanovs since I was eleven, and am currently working on my degree in history, so you can simply imagine how giddy I'd get over the thought of reading Olga's REAL diary entries and letters! Anyway, what I've been meaning to say with all this is GOOD JOB and I love it.

Warm in the heart maybe ? In Russia it is very cold, so 20 maybe warm in comparison...

If you're talking Celsius, which is what they use in Russia, then it is indeed fairly warm. Here in Canada 20˚ C (68˚ F) is seen as warm - with the humidity we get sometimes, something like about 18˚ can make a person overheat. Hell, anything over 15˚ C (59˚ F) is TOO hot for me most of the time. However, it does all depend on the weather you've recently been experiencing - we had weather here of -50˚ C this past January (which is about -58˚ F) and after something like that, even -20˚ C (that's -4˚ F) is seen as warm. Yet when it comes to the temperature dropping after the summer, something like 10˚ C (50˚ F) which would've been shorts weather at the end of the winter is hoodie weather and chilly after the summer. So if winter is ending for her, then something like 20˚ C would DEFINITELY be considered warm, if not HOT. Even at the end of summer it's still considered warm over here, however it doesn't feel quite as hot as it does when winter is ending. Comparing cold temperatures to hot temperatures at different times of year definitely gives a different perspective on what is considered 'warm' or not.

I know that's an older post, and it doesn't directly relate to the topic at hand, but I was reading through here and thought to add my two cents. My sister's ex-boyfriend (and the father of her child) is actually from Russia, and he says the weather there is pretty much almost the same to what we experience here in Canada (specifically Northern Ontario), so I figured my explanation on weather may help to explain what Olga explained as 'warm weather'.

Maria Nicholaievna / Re: Maria or Anastasia's dress?
« on: June 13, 2014, 10:04:46 AM »
I wonder if perhaps she's wearing that dress here in this picture;

It's just speculation of course, but you can see the long dress falling down Alexandra's lap from the infant Anastasia. You can also see a bit of ruffling at the bottom, and at the top, where it correlates to the picture of the dress in the links. While we cannot be certain, of course, I saw the dress in this thread and thought it looked familiar from one of Anastasia's baby photos. It also appears to be a somewhat formal picture of the family with their newest addition at the time, so it would make sense that she'd be dressed in such a 'fancy' looking infant dress for the picture.

Anastasia Nicholaievna / Anastasia's mirror 'selfie'.
« on: June 12, 2014, 09:05:34 PM »
A lot of people on the internet these days are crediting this picture of Anastasia as the first existing 'selfie' (picture taken of someone by themselves);

While it's not the first selfie in history (there exists one from the late 1800s which obviously predates Anastasia's birth) it's interesting to see. I can imagine, as a young girl with her camera, she probably thought, "I wonder what a picture of myself would look like if I could see myself while taking it." She's looking right at herself, so she's clearly interested in how she may appear in the picture. She may also have wondered simply how a picture of a reflection would turn out, as it's possible she'd never seen one before. A quote exists where I believed she captioned the picture by saying that it was difficult to take because her hands were shaking.

It's a curious thought now that the youth of my generation learned of Anastasia through the animated 90s movie, and children/teenagers of the current generation are likely learning about Anastasia (and for those who wish to research her life, as I did following the animated movie, the Romanov family) through her now 'iconic' selfie.

Anastasia Nicholaievna / Re: Anastasia's 16th birthday
« on: June 12, 2014, 08:33:30 PM »
According to Helen Rappaport's new book The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra, Anastasia writes in a letter to her friend Katya that she received, "a pair of earrings, and my ears were pierced. This is, so to say, small news," for her sixteenth birthday. It doesn't mention much more detail than that about Anastasia's birthday - for a book that's supposed to focus on the daughters, it focuses a lot less than the girls than one would hope, with very little detail in aspects of their lives whereas much more detail to aspects of other family members' lives - however, it gives no notice of Anastasia having received the ring or the necklace, and supposedly all she stated in her letter was the earrings.

I'm thinking about ordering this book but does it have a graphic description of the murder scene in it?

Not at all. Actually, it almost completely skips the murder entirely - it goes from what happened in the days before the murder to suddenly all their imprisoned friends either being released or murdered months later. Maybe it's because the author already released a book based on their last days, but she completely skipped past the murder in this one. No graphic scene, not even a mention of them being awakened and brought downstairs.

I just finished reading this book - having pre-ordered it and received it the day it was released - and I was very happy with it. It was a very informative book, and I like that it focused more on OTMA considering there hasn't really been a biography just on the daughters before, and while they are mentioned in biographies about their parents or the revolution, it's never in such great detail. However, I found the end came a lot quicker than it could have - their captivity in Tobolsk and Ekaterinberg were condensed into about fifty to sixty pages or so, and I understand that there's a lot less information about that time of their lives since the diaries and such of the time were burned, but I felt like suddenly I was reading about their lives at Tsarskoe Selo and suddenly they were dead. I know their captivity only lasted about a year, but I personally didn't feel like enough detail was allotted to their lives in captivity, and that it seemed the author was speeding through it.

Regardless, though, I did find it a wonderful book and there were many little things in there that I didn't previously know (and having spent the past eleven years studying the Romanovs, and mostly focused on OTMA, it's always nice to learn new things). I also did find that they focused a lot more on other people when more information about the girls could've been noted - I don't recall reading about the incident in which Maria's tonsils were removed, and while it's only something that happened once, I did find that it would've been something worth going into a little detail about. Unfortunately, for a book about the girls, it felt like it was focused on the entire family with maybe one or two extra things about the girls. I've started reading The Diary of Olga Romanov: Royal Witness to the Russian Revolution and in the beginning of the book, I've already learned a little more about how Olga's mind worked as a child, before they even got into the diary portion.

Having Fun! / Re: Coloured pictures XXXVI
« on: April 13, 2012, 07:57:29 PM »
Jen, I believe that first picture to be of Tatiana Nikolayevna, not Olga Nikolayevna.  ;)

Olga Nicholaievna / Re: Cut Off OR Pinned Up?
« on: April 13, 2012, 07:55:26 PM »
The hair must lost its "childish" aspect, so it was styled and then, pined up. At least, it was what I've read.


What do you mean by styled?

Well, if you look at pictures of them with their hair up - especially Olga Nikolayevna - you'll notice it's got this wavy aspect to it, as if they styled it first before putting it up, since you can tell in the pictures of her before the age of sixteen that her hair was not naturally wavy like that. In addition, that included braiding it and then putting up the braids - the way ON's hair is down in the sickbed picture, where it's separated into two braids. I imagine sometimes they had the hair braided like that and then put up, since the hair seemed to grow very long, and it's difficult simply putting up long, long locks of hair without doing something to them first to make them more manageable.

Tatiana Nicholaievna / Re: Pictures of Tatiana's cropped hair.
« on: April 10, 2012, 04:54:20 PM »
I've seen a few of her hair cropped after she had typhoid/typhus

Tatiana had typhoid fever, contracted from a glass of orangeade contaminated with salmonella. (Nicholas II also had typhoid fever, I believe in early 1901 or late 1900.)

Typhus is a highly contagious bacterial infection commonly spread by fleas and lice, which is most often associated with crowded and unsanitary living conditions such as jails, wartime barracks, and concentration camps. Anne Frank is believed to have died of typhus

I know Anne Frank died of typhus, but I never knew the difference - my dad was rumoured to have one before his cancer was discovered, so they kept him in isolation at the hospital, but whenever we asked we got mixed responses of 'typhoid' and 'typhus' so I had assumed they were the same thing. Maybe the doctors in our hospitals are imply incompetent - it was their excessive drugging of my dad that stopped his heart, after all.

Anyway, thank you for the pictures!

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