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Messages - Suzanne

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There is some useful stuff in "I, Anastasia" as well, in the passages where the editor compares the "reminsences" of the Anastasia claimant with information pertaining to the actual Grand Duchess. He includes memories from Pierre Gilliard that do not appear in "Thirteen Years at the Russian Court" including a very adorable scene where 4 year on Anastasia enters her older sisters' classroom and declares, "I want to learn French too", pointing to pictures of animals and asking what they are called in French.

Maria Nicholaievna / Re: Siamese cat?
« on: May 16, 2005, 09:22:37 PM »
Lili Dehn in "The Real Tsarina" states that Maria owned a Siamese cat - I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere else though

I just wanted to recommend the recent book "Born To Rule: Five ruling Consorts, Granddaughters of Queen Victoria. It discusses the lives of the five granddaughters of the Queen who became queens in their own right - Alexandra of Russia, Marie of Roumania, Maud of Norway, Ena of Spain and Sophie of Greece. Authour Julia Gelardi does an excellent job of synthesizing published and unpublished material, placing all five queens in the context of their grandmother's influence and the comparative experiences they had as wives, mothers, public figures and queen consorts. The proposed marraige between Olga Nikolayevna and Carol of Roumania is discussed in detail as well as the reasons why Alix never gained the widespread popularity in Russia that Marie acquired in Roumania. The book also sheds light on Alexandra's religious beliefs and the spiritual struggle she experienced around her conversion to Russian Orthodoxy. Its a great read and I highly recommend it.

I don't  know if this qualifies as a crush - as Anastasia was only a young child at the time but there is a diary entry of Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich ( Quoted In "A LifeLong Passion ed. Maylunas and Mironenko) that describes a family tea where An. took a liking to his son Prince Igor - kept calling him a nice little boy and gave him flowers when he left. I wonder if Igor would have been a marriage possibility for An. if the revolution had not taken place   - especially consdering that all 4 of the Grand Duchesses expressed a desire to remain in Russia after marriage.

Anastasia Nicholaievna / Re: Did Anastasia felt unloved?
« on: April 17, 2005, 09:25:26 PM »
I don't believe that the quote JediDeshka posted from Fate of the Romanovs should be treated as the definitive answer to Marie's feelings within her family. Despite the amount of published literature about the Romanovs, there is a great deal we do not not know about the private life of the family and the details of the children's relationship with their parents is one of them. Wilson and King assume that Alexandra chose to address Marie's concerns "only" throughout a letter - it is equally possible that Alexandra had a personal chat with her daughter and then wrote the letter to reinforce what they had discussed. Just because notes were passed between mother and children does not mean discussions did not take place as well. Furthermore, I don't believe it is appropraite to make judgements such as "typical" and "lacked the parenting skills" without providing multiple examples of probable strained relations between Alexandra and the children. In the Fate of the Romanovs, I do not believe King and Wilson provide enough evidence to support their conclusions regarding the "strained" relationship between Alexandra and the children. While I certainly respect the research the authors have conducted and am always willing to read a fresh interpretation of the facts - I believe this passage is an example of "begging the question" - developing a conclusion intially then interpreting subsequent evidence in a manner that supports it.

The Final Chapter / Re: Rescuers of Romanovs
« on: August 21, 2004, 12:10:02 PM »
Charlotte's Zeepvat's Romanov Autumn states in the chapter "The Lost Tsar" on Alexei that it is said Kerensky would have permitted the five chidlren to join their grandmother in the Crimea but the children themselves were against leaving their parents. I wonder what Zeepvat's source is because I have not read of any plans to send the children to the Crimea in primary sources.

I have also read and enjoyed it. Grand Duchess Olga clearly trusted Ian Vorres a great deala nd confided a lot of interesting information to him. I especially liked her descriptions of Nicholas, Alexandra and their children. Her description of her family's time in the Crimea just after the revolution complements "Once a Grand Duke" by Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich.

In contrast, I found Patricia Phenix' biography "Olga Romanov" to be a disapointment. The author skims the surface of the events of Olga's life without going into depth and with the exception of quotes from a few archival letters, contributes little new material. There is also some awkward writing such as "In truth, Olga never truly forgave Mikhail" and jarring modern judgements about historical figures - she describes Xenia as "prim and party loving".

Anyhow, I definately recommend Vorres' work. The new edition also contains a number of beautiful photographs.

Their World and Culture / Re: The Imperial Family and Their Music
« on: June 01, 2004, 07:12:17 PM »
I don't think its possible for Alexei to have watched Mickey Mouse films - Mickey's first cartoon did not debut until 1928. It is true though that all the children watched films - news reels, documentaries, popular films etc. Mossolov's memoirs "At the Court of the Last Tsar" make reference to Mistress of the Robes Madame Naryshkin censoring aspects of the films that were deemed inappropriate for the children.

The Final Chapter / Re: Grand Duchess Marie and Ivan Skorokhodov?
« on: May 24, 2004, 12:04:39 PM »
I believe there is a far more straightforward answer to the absence of jewels in Maria's camisole. She travelled to Ekaterinburg with her parents while her sisters remained behind in Tobolsk to care for Alexei - with plenty of time to sew the jewels. The nanny Tegleva describes in the Sokolov report that much of the sewing of jewels took place in Tobolsk.

News Links / Re: Catherine the Great's Memories in french
« on: May 15, 2004, 04:15:31 PM »
An English edition of Catherine the Great's memoirs was published in 1961 by Collier Books - edited by Dominique Moroger. Introduction by G.P. Gooch, Translated by Moura Budberg. It also contains other autobiographical fragments that the Empress wrote. I found a copy at a second hand book sale so there are probably others in used bookstores and on the internet.

The Lost Prince has already been shown in Canada during "British Week" on CBC. I believe that was last November. I'm sure it will be shown again. The movie is well worth seeing. Many of the characterizations are excellent and it is well-acted, capturing both Prince John's situation and the larger historical events of the time. The exception to the the strong characterisations, as noted above, is Alexandra.

P.S. Glad there are fellow Canadians on message board!

Although the 1971 film has many strengths, I believe it is a disservice to the characters of all the Tsar's children. Pierre Gilliard notes in his memoirs that when he told Alexei of the Tsar's abdication, the boy did not make reference to his own rights but just seemed confused asking "Who would be Tsar". Therefore, the scene in the movie where he reproaches his father for abdicating on his behalf does not ring true.

The characters of Olga, Maria and Anastasia recieve little attention throughout the film and Tatiana is misrepresented, especially in the scene near the end of the film where she exposes herslef to one of the guards.

The film also fails to show any sort of relationship between OTMA and their parents - if often appears as though they are being raised by the French tutor!

A three hour movie can't show everything but I think it would have helped the film if the characterisations of the children had been more accurate and the loving relationship between Nicholas and Alexandra and their daughters had been portrayed.

Servants, Friends and Retainers / Re: Nannies of OTMAA
« on: March 20, 2004, 11:22:21 PM »
"Romanov Autumn" by Charlotte Zeepvat analyses all the theories about Mrs. Eagar's dismissal, including the idea that she was a little careless (Eg. Forgetting that little Maria was in her bath while discussing the Dreyfus case with a friend - this is mentioned in The Last Grand Duchess by Vorres) and was therefore not an appropriate caregiver for the hemophiliac heir to the throne. It would be wonderful if this site could post her memoirs online as they are indeed very hard to find.

I have read that Anastasia was named for Alexandra's friend Duchess Anastasia of Leuchtenburg, later Grand Duchess Nicholas Nikolayvich. The Duchess and her sister Militza were Princesses of Montenegro and they introduced the French mystic Phillipe Vachot to Nicholas and Alexandra. Vachot was thought to be able to predict the gender of a child and he predicted N&A's fourth child would be a boy. When the baby was born, she was a girl and named for the Duchess of Leuchtenburg.

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