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Messages - Tsarina_Liz

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571
Alexandra Feodorovna / Re: Alexandra as Empress and Mother
« on: November 18, 2005, 04:41:02 PM »
I wasn't getting at her being a bad mother, I think she was admirable in the motherly regard.  Certainly better than many of her contemporaries.  

I can't help imagining how it all would have turned out if Nicky had abdicated the throne earlier and the family had been given a choice over their future.  They would have been wonderfully happy in obscurity and would have made the ideal middle class family, perhaps on a farm in England or Denmark.  

That's something else about Alix I think people tend to forget, that she was given a relatively middle class English upbringing.  Nothing spectacular, just simple tastes in accordance with the times - certainly nothing like she would experience in Russia.  She carried those ideals with her to the throne and implemented them in her parenting.  Which is another reason why she would have probably been keen on keeping a spinster daughter with her - it was very trendy in Victorian times.  And Alix was never one for change.    

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Their World and Culture / The Education of the Heirs
« on: November 18, 2005, 08:07:21 AM »
I searched the forums, and since I didn't find any topic discussing this I thought it safe to bring it up.

I for one am shocked by the education received by OTMAA, not so much by the younger three girls who had no real dynastic importance, but by the education received by Olga and Alexei.  

Alexei was the heir to the largest empire in the world and yet he received little in the way of valuable education.  I have read many books that always excuse his lack of proper education (i.e. that which would help him become a competent tsar) because he was an invalid much of the time.  But it always seemed that he had more than enough down time in which to study study study - those days spent in bed or cooped up in the palace were wasted.  Does anyone know why this little boy was not given the education he rightfully deserved and so desperately needed?  I understand that his parents felt bad for him, but at the same time Alexandra and the rest of the Romanovs were always complaining how little prepared Nicky was for the throne.  They saw that he was basically incompetent when it came to 'tsaring', why did they not try to prevent that in the next generation of tsars (Alexei)?  Why did Nicky not realize it, he a man who was more than aware of his own inadequacies?

Then there's Olga.  As the oldest daughter of the tsar, there was always the chance however slim that she might come to the throne.  After all, if Russian imperial history has taught us nothing it's expect the unexpected - particularly when it comes to women.  And yet no one seems to have thought of even trying to give her an appropriate education.  Furthermore, as the eldest daughter she would have most likely made the most politically important match and married the ruler of another country.  Why did no one seek to prepare her for the throne?  Did no one think that she could be Russia's voice in another country and therefore needed an education worthy not only of a queen but also a political figure?  

Anyone have any insights?

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Alexandra Feodorovna / Re: Alexandra as Empress and Mother
« on: November 17, 2005, 09:29:17 AM »
I know I just posted yesterday, but I thought of something to add  ;D

When it came to her girls marrying, judging from the grip she had on them I think that she planned on following in her grandmother Victoria's footsteps and keeping one or two of the girls single for herself.  In my opinion, those two would have been Marie and Tatiana.  Olga had too much value on the marriage market, and Anastasia was too rambunctious to be a proper companion.  

And I pity the woman who married Alexei (had he made it that far).  Imagine having Alexandra as a mother in law after you took away her precious Sunbeam!  :'(

574
There was a false pregnancy before Anastasia.  I believe at the time, the Tsars were in cahoots with Monsieur Philip.  It would seem that Alix wanted a child so much, her body responded as best it could.  It's not unheard of, nor is it rare among queens (the most famous sufferer I know of, besides Alix, was Katherine of Aragon).  I believe GD Olga Alexandrovna wrote that Alix went into labor, but all that came out was a lot of blood and an 'ovule' whatever that means.  At the time, Monsieur Philip said that Alix had infact been pregnant but she had gone to the doctors (she noticed that her body was not developing and shaping up as it should) and that broke the spell.  Basically, he said that Alix had killed the son that had been in her by not exhibiting proper faith.

I think I read this mainly in Radzinsky.  But some of it may have come from Massie.  I'm not sure.  

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Alexandra Feodorovna / Re: Alexandra as Empress and Mother
« on: November 16, 2005, 09:40:31 PM »
There's not doubt in my mind that Alexandra was a loving doting parent, and there's also no doubt that she was an extremely selfish and demanding one.  

She was alienated from the court and had precious few friends and because of that she demanded that her daughters fill those voids.  Not to mention the void left by her tragic childhood.  She was the mother she always wanted but never got - constantly present.

Her children became her court, and she loved them, but she also expected totaly obedience and service.

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Alexandra Feodorovna / Re: Re: Alexandra and her Health Part 2
« on: November 16, 2005, 09:15:13 PM »
Nutcase is a little strong, but there was something mentally unstable about Alix.  Certainly a lot of it came from the events of her life and her upbringing, but she seems to have been genetically predisposed to 'hysteria' as many women in her bloodline were.  Like I said in another post, it also unfortunately seems that Alix passed this on to Olga.

In today's terms, I don't think it all extreme to assume she would be considered a hypochondriac (although, I do admit, many of her pains were all too real).  Furthermore, it seems that if she were alive today she would be on some sort of medication for either depression or social anxiety (her shyness did border on extreme sometimes).

Ignoring the impact of 'hysteria' on her health (which was significant, I personally believe she worked herself into more than one migraine) has anyone ever considered either here on the board, in a book, or in some academic journal that Alix had anything like lupus or Multiple Sclerosis?  Or, in a rare case, had contracted an STD like syphilis from Nicky?

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Olga Nicholaievna / Re: Did Olga have Depression?
« on: November 14, 2005, 07:44:16 PM »
I'm new to the board, so bear with me!   ;D

When taking into account Olga's depression or not, I think you have to look at her whole life and not just the period following the tercentary (sp.?) when all hell broke loose.

Olga was the eldest child, which comes with certain responsibilities and stresses.  But, it would have been quite different for Olga.  She was the eldest daughter of the Tsar.  But - no one wanted her.  At least until she was born.  They wanted a boy, the next great Tsar who would revitalize a dying monarchy.  She was a let down.  Which is not to say her parents didn't love her, but she would possibly have to live with a sense of failure her entire life.  Made worse by the fact that not only was it her nature that was so offensive, she had no power over it.  And she was, at heart it seems, a people pleaser so it might have cut extra deep.

Then there's the basics: gilded cage, emotionally stunted upbringing (even in their teens they were as little girls), the pressures of being royalty, the looming spectre of the revolution, no friends, no real loves, etc.

And then there's Alexandra, who even on her best day could not have been an easy person to deal with.  Moody, depressed, manic, hysterical.  One moment laid low with foreboding and the next infused with an unnatural energy (which could also explain her sudden need to become a nurse - she was constantly on the move and needed to prove and validate her existence, but that's another topic entirely).  While I do agree that Alexandra did have some serious medical problems, she also had obvious psychological ones that did not result only from her personality and upbringing - they were genetic.  And it seems Olga inherited some of those, pardon the crassness of this next statement, crazy genes.  Just as Alix got them from Alice who got them from Victoria and so on.

But there's something else I have never really seen brought up: Alexei.  Up until his birth, Olga was the eldest child and potential heir (there was always a chance, if she gained enough popularity that the law could be changed and she could inherit the throne).  She was the shining star.  But then came Alexei and he stole a good deal of that shine.  Not only was he the long awaited for heir he was a child in need of constant protection and was given a great deal more attention than the other children (not to say, though, that he was loved more).  Olga was relegated, dynastically and familially (is that a word?), to the background.  And this relegation could not have been easy, even though she adored her brother.  Also, unlike the other girls who had been used to playing second (and third and fourth) fiddle Olga was completely unprepared and unlike the other girls no longer have a scktick to fall back on (Tatiana was the 'Governness', Marie was the motherly one, and Stana was the shvibzik).  She was no longer the oldest.

Again, this is just speculation - so take it with a grain of salt!

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