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Messages - Helen

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PS: Here's a somewhat better copy:
Thank you! :)

The Empress seems to have sent this postcard also to Madelaine Zanotti.
The Hesse State Archive in Darmstadt has one of Madelaine's albums including this card, designed by Samokisch & Sudkowskaja:

She sent Madelaine also the following card, designed by Solomko, held in the same album:

The Archive dates the first card as from 1904, and the second one as from December 3, 1904.

To Forum Members living in Europe,

van Hoogstraten Bookstore in Den Haag have just announced that my book will be available for purchase from their store on June 18.


Margarita Nelipa

Thank you! I've ordered a copy.

Stephen R. de Angelis translated and published Timofei Yachik's memoirs in 2012:
Of course, this publication does not include the appendices provided by the Dagmaria society in the above-mentioned book, but one can order a paper copy of the memoirs themselves or read them on-line.

I'll order a copy from Van Hoogstraten.

We should bear in mind that wikipedia, while all right for general information, is not the most reliable on points of precision.
That's true. However, even relatively modern books on English grammar state that restrictive attributive clauses are never preceded by a comma in writing, whereas non-restrictive attributive clauses are always preceded and followed by a comma. Alexandra regularly had restrictive attributive clauses preceded by a comma, as one would do in German.

 ;D Thank you for the explanation. I wasn't aware of this change in the use of commas in English. Their use in German seems to have remained more or less as before.

Has anyone any information on how much time AF actually spent with Queen Victoria as a girl? To draw a comparison, the future Empress Frederick brought her family to Britain every year or so for visits which lasted several weeks, but that certainly didn't mean that her son Wilhelm lived with his grandmother.
Based on her correspondences with her brother and with her friend Toni Becker, I think one can say the same about Alexandra: she also visited Britain almost every year for several weeks, but lived in Germany for the most part.
Alexandra's command of the English language wasn't perfect either.  I'm no expert on this, as neither English nor German is my native language, but it's my impression that she inserted far too many commas in her English letters, in a way that would be more in agreement with punctuation rules in the German language.

For my part, just to say, it is a thrill for me to see how your book of correspondence between Alix and her brother and sister-in-law is becoming a standard source for Romanov scholars: Joe Fuhrmann's Rasputin: The Untold Story (2013); Helen Rappaport's Four Sisters (2014), to mention a few...
I haven't finished reading my copy of Helen Rappaport's Four Sisters  yet - due to overtime - but have enjoyed it so far and noticed the references to my book. It's great to know that it has been a useful  source, and so will your book be, once it's published.

I have used your book in my first article as well as almost every article I have written...and of course in my book!!! 
Thank you very much! :)

I agree it probably didn't necessarily matter to Princess Alixe if these medieval Alixes were direct or collateral kin (she would have been descended from all European royals to some degree no matter what), but it's undeniable that she must have found it in old French royal genealogies when searching for an alternative to Alice, as there were no contemporary royals with the name Alix.
... no contemporary royals apart from Princess Alice's sister-in-law, Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales, née Princess Alexandra of Denmark, who was called "Alix" by her immediate family.

The book is also available at the price of EUR 35.00 from Van Hoogstraten, The Hague (

Griff, Congratulations on your first article in RDQ!   
I'm looking forward to reading Part II and am sure that the complete series of your articles will be most informative. It's most certainly a subject I've wanted to read more about in detail for years.

Nicholas II / Re: Nicholas II and Anti-Semitism.
« on: March 30, 2014, 07:45:38 AM »
We should also bear in mind that it is perfectly possible to read a book without agreeing with its contents. ...
So it is possible that Ella sent Alexandra the Nilus book on the basis of, 'You'd better read this, but it will shock you.'

I agree that this is a possibility. However, I'm not sure that this was the case.

I’ve seen references to Grand Duchess Elisabeth and Nilus’ book in several sources, a.o. Warrant for Genocide  by Norman Cohn  [edition published by Serif, London, 2005; first published in 1967]. Trying to trace the origins of the 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion', Cohn quoted from a sworn 1927 affidavit by Filip Petrovich Stepanov, formerly procurator of the ecclesiastical synod of Moscow, court chamberlain and privy councilor, who claimed that he and Arkady Ippolitovich Kelepovsky anonymously printed the Protocols in Russia around 1897; Kelepovsky was said to be head of the household of Grand Duke Sergei and Grand Duchess Elisabeth at the time [Cohn, pp. 108-109]. It seems not unlikely that Grand Duke Sergei and Grand Duchess Elisabeth knew about this anonymous publication and were familiar with the contents of the Protocols well before their publication in Znamya [‘Banner’] in the Autumn of 1903 and well before their inclusion in Nilus' The Great in the Small.

Cohn also wrote that the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna and Grand Duchess Elisabeth turned to Pyotr Ivanovich Rachkovsky, head of the Russian secret service in Paris, for help to get Mr. Philippe removed [Cohn , p. 92].
One plot involving Grand Duchess Elisabeth and Nilus that Cohn discusses is based on an account by Alexandre du Chayla, who knew Sergei Nilus in 1909. According to that account, an earlier book by Nilus that was basically the first edition of The Great in the Small  had “received favourable reviews in some religious and conservative newspapers in 1900 and so came to the attention of Grand Duchess Elisabeth”. According to du Chaya, Grand Duchess Elisabeth “regarded Nilus as a genuine mystic and unshakable orthodox” and set out to replace Archpriest Yanishev, whom she blamed for the state of affairs with regard to Mr. Philippe, by bringing Nilus to Tsarksoe Selo to have him trained and ordained priest, to have him married off to Yelena Alexandrovna Ozerova, one of the Empress’ ladies-in-waiting, and then to impose Nilus on the Tsar and Empress as their new confessor. [Cohn , p. 93] It sounds like a rather time-consuming and roundabout way to get someone sacked, and it didn't work, but apparently there are documents that prove that Yelena Alexandrovna Ozerova used her position as a lady-in-waiting to secure publication of the third edition of her then fiancé's book The Great in the Small  under the imprint of the Red Cross organization, whose President happened to be the Dowager Empress, and she did marry Nilus in 1906 [Cohn, pp. 94-95].

I must say that I cannot properly verify what Cohn wrote; more detailed footnotes on the above points would have been most welcome.
However, if there is truth in the above, Nilus and his spirituality and thinking seem to have been in GD Elisabeth’s good books.

Nicholas II / Re: Nicholas II and Anti-Semitism.
« on: March 26, 2014, 08:27:22 AM »
"The Fall of the Romanovs" has Nilus book being sent to Alexandra by a friend (you might say with friends like these...)
Wasn't it GD Elizaveta Feodorovna who gave it to Nicholas and Alexandra?

Well finally I can report that my first article on Empress Alexandra's War Relief Work is appearing in the March 2014 Royalty Digest Quarterly which will be available soon.
Congratulations , Griff!
The issue is already available, and I just ordered a copy from Van Hoogstraten Online Shop, The Hague.

I just wanted to add a note and say that by the time my last article is published in Royalty Digest Quarterly, I should be close to finishing my book.  
That's wonderful news! I look forward to that moment. :)

Nicholas II / Re: Diary of Nicholas II
« on: March 15, 2014, 03:26:32 PM »
Well, I picked up my copies of Tsar Nicholas' 1905-1918 diaries in Amsterdam earlier today.

August 10, 1911 (Old Style) : Nicholas had returned from Krasnoe Selo to Peterhof around 00h30. At 9h30 he, Olga and Alexei left for Krasnoe Selo, where they spent a considerable part of the day reviewing troops etc. He lunched with officiers of the units he had just reviewed at 12h30, had 'obed' at Krasnoe Selo at 7 o'clock and went to a theater there. He returned to Peterhof shortly after midnight. Nicholas did not mention any names of people with whom he had luncheon on this day.

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