Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - Превед

Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 ... 96
Imperial Russian History / Re: Pre revolution spoken Russian
« on: November 04, 2018, 09:12:54 AM »
Yeah, this compressing and merging of words is getting dangerously close to Newspeak (Newspeak was the language spoken in George Orwell's novel 1984, for example, Ministry Of Truth was Minitrue).

Interestingly this happened already in Imperial Russia and led to a distinct ancien-régime linguistic phenomena:

The terms государь / государыня (lord / lady) were first shortened to сударь / сударыня, then су when used as terms of adress (to superiors). Then eventually only the first c (s) (сЪ in pre-Revolutionary spelling) sound of the word was kept, as a suffix showing respect, and added to words such as yes, no, please, verbs etc.  Much in the same way as "yes, sir / yessir" and "please, ma'am" in English.

They are no longer in active use in Russian. (Already in the decades before the Revolution the usage had become self-humiliatingly servile, über-polite or ironic.) But it can still pop up as relicts in Russian, usually for humourous effect or as an ancien-régime feature, as seen in this commercial for Bank Imperial from the 1990s:
The dialogue goes as follows:
Обед у императрицы Екатерины II в последний день Рождественского поста.
Едят все, кроме полководца Суворова.
— А что это у нас граф Суворов ничего не ест, а? — спрашивает императрица
— Так ведь пост, матушка. До первой звезды нельзя. Ждём-с, — отвечает Суворов.
Все прекращают есть, но Екатерина находит выход: «Звезду Суворову Александру Васильевичу!».
Dinner at the Empress Catherine II on the last day of the Nativity Fast.
Everybody is eating, except Commander Suvorov.
- And what about our Count Suvorov, he doesn't eat, huh? - asks the Empress
- After the fast, mother-dear. Untill the first star [is visible]. We are waiting, ma'am, Suvorov answers.
Everyone stops to eat, but Catherine finds a way out: "A star for Suvorov, Alexander Vasilyevich!"

I'm not quite sure if it's historically correct to have a courtier adress the Empress as матушка / mother-dear / little mother, but the s-ending in "ждём-c" or "ждёмc" corresponds perfectly to English "[we are] waiting, ma'am". I interpret the joke as the Empress conferring an order on Suvorov just to have him join in the feast.

More about the phenomena in the Russian Wikipedia: Словоерс

Imperial Russian History / Re: Pre revolution spoken Russian
« on: November 03, 2018, 10:07:05 PM »
He speaks fluent Russian but like a person whose first language is different - French and/or German. His advanced - to say the least - age is also well perceived in his speech.

What do you think gives off the foreign vibe? Melody / stress / intonation or level of palatalisation of consonants? Does his accent have any traits of the ancien-régime Petersburgian accent?

What is your opinion of the accent in this alleged voice recording of Alexander III?

Imperial Russian History / Re: Pre revolution spoken Russian
« on: November 02, 2018, 04:52:03 PM »
Thank you all three, for your answers. Seems like the hunt for sound proof (in both senses of the word) of that elusive pre-Revolutionary accent of the FA's Tante Lilly and others continues, à la Proust and his evocations of the ancien-régime French of the family cook Françoise and the Duchesse de Guermantes.

Here are interviews in Russian with a 106 year old aristocrat who learned to speak in Imperial Russia (and even allegedly was spoken to by Nicholay II as a toddler), Baron Eduard Alexandrovich von Falz-Fein:

His accent does sound a bit different to my ears, more clear compared to modern Russian. Can anyone elaborate?

He has a very interesting biography:

Russian Noble Families / Re: Tables of Russian Nobility
« on: October 31, 2018, 08:27:22 PM »
I asume that I mean that 6 sections of nobility. This as in Almanach de Gotha 2012 is mentioned in Volume I on page 336 that "According to the Tables of Russian Nobility (Part V), both Maria Vladimirovna and Nicholas Romanovitch ... are the issue of mothers of equal rank and previously by dynasts of equal rank".

That doesn't quite make sense. This stuff concerns the nobility, not members of the imperial family. There were no regulations about equal rank in marriage for nobles, like the Pauline / Fundamental Laws had for the imperial family. Maybe the Almanach de Gotha meant that the mothers of these two pretenders belonged to category V of the Russian nobility. But if they did, and not to foreign, mediatized sovereign houses (as was claimed with regard to Maria Vladimirovna's mother), then they would not be considered of equal rank, according to the Pauline / Fundamental Laws.

Imperial Succession and the Throne / Re: Prince Andrew Romanov
« on: October 31, 2018, 03:09:23 PM »
He sure has an interesting war service going for him and which would make him sympathetic in the eyes of Russians, which I didn't know about. From Wikipedia:

In 1942, at the height of World War II, he entered the British Navy. He refused to accept an officer's post, preferring to be a simple sailor. He served on the light cruiser HMS Sheffield under the command of Admiral Sir Cecil Harcourt. He took part in the Arctic convoys and often sailed to Murmansk, where he performed the duties of an interpreter. Prince Andrew Andreevich became the first of the Romanovs to visit Russia after the revolution and the overthrow of their dynasty.

Russian Noble Families / Re: Tables of Russian Nobility
« on: October 31, 2018, 02:52:43 PM »
What are the Tables of Russian Nobility? I am especially interested in Part V.

Not quite sure what you mean by "Tables of Russian nobility".

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.

or the Table of Ranks? See

Russian Noble Families / Re: von Nybeck
« on: October 25, 2018, 03:16:23 PM »
It is not in the "Annualaire" or Annual Book of the Nobility of the Russian Empire for 1889.

Not a surprise, if you mean "Annuaire de la noblesse de Russie, contenant les princes de l'empire, augmenté d'un grand nombre de notices sur les familles alliées" by Roman Ivanovich Ermerin. The untitled nobility was huge, compared to the few families showing up in such a mondain work of reference.

The Windsors / Re: Princess Eugenie of York
« on: October 18, 2018, 04:53:07 PM »
Russians noticed her similarity to the painting "Царевна-Лебедь" - the Swan Princess by Mikhail Vrubel on her wedding day:

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

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.

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.

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, 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 ... 96