Author Topic: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc  (Read 77836 times)

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Offline Valmont

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Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
« Reply #30 on: January 26, 2007, 10:03:43 AM »
Wow.. That is a very interesting theory. It makes a lot of sense indeed...

Arturo Vega-Llausás
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Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
« Reply #31 on: February 03, 2007, 10:10:12 AM »
I agree with Belochka that no murder is ever justified. (Although, if I went into the "what if" catagory, I would suggest eliminating both Rasputin and Lenin when they were young, before they had any influence on either the Imperial Family or the general public.  For example, kidnap them and take them to other countries where they would be brought up differenty and in different surroundings.  Then we would truly know if we are controlled by nature or nurture.)

Does the "good of the many outweigh the good of the one"?

At that point in the country with the war going badly and the population starving, I think that even the aristocrats finally saw that everything was coming apart.

They had, after all," met" to discuss the course that they should take in order to "save" the dynasaty.  I am not sure that they meant to "save" the country. I think that they believed that saving the dynasty would very simply restore the old order of things and life would get back to "normal".  We have to look at the individual reasons for each member of the Imperial Family wanting change.  What each would gain or lose from a change in the dynasty or the elimination of either Rasputin or Alix.

However, Felix was aware of all of these meetings and Alix not only treated Felix's mother badly, but also Ella and anyone else who tried to talk to Alix about Rasputin and the preceived view of Rasputin by others. So that could have been a reason for the formation of the plan, just as he claimed that the speeches in the Duma by Maklakov and Purishkovich made him think that they "would be diposed to advise and perhaps help" him.

Alix was in dispair by 1915- 1916, over not only the health of Alexis, but also his future role in the dynasty.  She missed Nicholas terribly, although she had actively campainged for his take over of the army and his moving to Stavka.

She had bitten off much more than she could chew.  She thought that she was capable of governing and she turned to Rasputin (as a Man of God) for wisdom and guidance.  Unfortunately, Rasputin was the one playing games for the thrill of it.  He didn't really want power, he just loved playing with other people's lives. (IMHO)

Did Felix truly come up with the plan to kill Rasputin, or did he just "take credit" for it.  Did he truly pull the trigger, or did he just go with the flow of support from the Imperial Family and so take on the mantle of "patriot"?

As for his letters from Irina, I believe that he was "excited" at the idea of the event itself and nervous and even a bit scared.  He may have depersonalized Rasputin from a human being to an idea or representation of the idea of the destruction of the dynasty.  Soldiers in battle do much the same when they are under fire.  They do not see individuals but the ideaology of the enemy as their target.

I actually think that Imperial Angel is seeing Rasputin in this way.  Not as a man, but as a force of evil.  And it is the evil that we would like to kill, not the messenger.

Felix was flamboyant all of his life.  He was a prince and was vastly wealthy.  How do we know if he ever thought of "peasants" as human beings?  He was not introspective or sensitive, except when he worked with Ella in Moscow.  And he claims in his book that this work gratified him, but as we know, he did not dedicate his life to it as Ella did.

So anyway, I read the book with skepticism.  The deeper I got into it, the less I believed Felix's portrayal of his role in the murder and his portrayal of his views on life in general.  I believe that both he and Rasputin had a lot in common when it came to the way they thought about life and lived it.  To both of them it was a "joke".  Both of them did things "just to see what would come of it"  Neither of them wanted nor took responsibility for their actions.  Both were protected by their very different places in the Imperial Family.  And ultimately they both "paid" in different ways for their thoughtlessness and recklessness.

I still think that the major reason for the book was the "self agrandizment of Felix Youssoupov" and a bit of "damage control".  I suppose that someday, someone will uncover more "hidden" diaries or letters or police reports that may help us get to the truth.  But until then (and as always with the Romanovs) all we have is speculation and opinion.

« Last Edit: February 03, 2007, 10:12:52 AM by Alixz »

Offline TampaBay

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Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
« Reply #32 on: February 03, 2007, 10:47:19 AM »

I still think that the major reason for the book was the "self agrandizment of Felix Youssoupov" and a bit of "damage control".  I suppose that someday, someone will uncover more "hidden" diaries or letters or police reports that may help us get to the truth.  But until then (and as always with the Romanovs) all we have is speculation and opinion.


There was also a horrendus amount of money made off this book by Felix and others (publishing company...etc...).  Money (wheter one needs it or not) is a major motivation for many  choices in life (or at least in the USA).

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Offline Belochka

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Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
« Reply #33 on: February 03, 2007, 07:09:46 PM »
I agree with Belochka that no murder is ever justified.

However, Felix was aware of all of these meetings and Alix not only treated Felix's mother badly, but also Ella and anyone else who tried to talk to Alix about Rasputin and the preceived view of Rasputin by others.

It was far more complex than that. Why not turn the tables around and question why Felix's mother, Zinaida and Ella her sister and a nun acted in the manner they did?

Did Felix truly come up with the plan to kill Rasputin, or did he just "take credit" for it.  Did he truly pull the trigger, or did he just go with the flow of support from the Imperial Family and so take on the mantle of "patriot"?

The answer is Felix did not. I have uncovered unexpected reliable documented evidence that the manner of his death was discussed by others who were contemplating the elimination of Rasputin well before Felix allegedly accepted his "patriotic duty."

So anyway, I read the book with skepticism.  The deeper I got into it, the less I believed Felix's portrayal of his role in the murder and his portrayal of his views on life in general. 

You are correct in reading that book with a modicum of skepticism. It is readily apparent that self aggrandizement was key to writing about his alleged participation in the crime.

Did Felix discharge the third fatal blow to the head or can he be accused of discharging any weapon at all? We shall never really know but we can make a few educated guesses based on some of the evidence that is presently available. What do I believe? Well that is work in progress ...  ;)

Margarita
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« Last Edit: February 03, 2007, 07:12:10 PM by Belochka »


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Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
« Reply #34 on: February 10, 2007, 10:59:33 AM »
Belochka  -  I am interested in your suggestion that we turn the tables and ask why Zinaida and Ella acted the way they did?

I need to know your exact meaning.  Are we talking about their visits to Alix or their tacit acceptance of the crime?  Did Zinaida know of it before?  Did Ella know of it before and as a nun why would she go along?  Wouldn't that be in conflict with her beliefs?

Also, I am sure that Orthodoxy doesn't condone murder, so all of those who participated either in the planning or the execution itself were acting against their religious beliefs and training.

Neither Zinaida nor Ella were in St. Petersburg at the time of the crime.

Is there a thread where we are taking Felix to trial for his role in the murder?  I am sure that would be very enlightening because those of you who practice law present the facts and suppositions so well (as you did in the trial of Nicholas II concerning Bloody Sunday).

Anyway, could you explain in more detail what you would ask were we to "turn the tables"?  What do you think that would bring to light?

Offline ashdean

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Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
« Reply #35 on: February 11, 2007, 03:08:10 AM »
Belochka  -  I am interested in your suggestion that we turn the tables and ask why Zinaida and Ella acted the way they did?

I need to know your exact meaning.  Are we talking about their visits to Alix or their tacit acceptance of the crime?  Did Zinaida know of it before?  Did Ella know of it before and as a nun why would she go along?  Wouldn't that be in conflict with her beliefs?

Also, I am sure that Orthodoxy doesn't condone murder, so all of those who participated either in the planning or the execution itself were acting against their religious beliefs and training.

Neither Zinaida nor Ella were in St. Petersburg at the time of the crime.

Is there a thread where we are taking Felix to trial for his role in the murder?  I am sure that would be very enlightening because those of you who practice law present the facts and suppositions so well (as you did in the trial of Nicholas II concerning Bloody Sunday).

Anyway, could you explain in more detail what you would ask were we to "turn the tables"?  What do you think that would bring to light?
I have no doubt Zenaida (& her husband) had a good idea of what was going to happen.I have said it before..The beautiful Princess came of a long line of aristocrats who had risen to the apex of society & fortune by their  intrigues...her great grandfather was with Tsar Paul the night before his murder...their conivance in the murder of a peasant & the banishment of Alexandra (& whatever other measures it took to keep a Romanov on the throne) was just in the proud Princesses eyes the latest in a series of prestigious interventins by her might family to serve the dynasty/country they loved & as importantly keep their position in the world...

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Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
« Reply #36 on: February 11, 2007, 09:33:27 AM »
Ashdean - Thank you for your information.

Belochka, I would still like to hear what your meaning was.

I have no doubt that all of those who intrigued were more about preserving their own station in life and cared little which Romanov was on the throne as long as someone was and the Imperial rule continued.  All that is except Marie Pavlovna the elder who wanted her son on the throne.

But if Empress Marie and Grand Duchess Ella, and even Zinaida Youssoupov could make no headway in talking to Alix, then I guess it would then become (in the minds of some) necessary to take drastic action to "remove" what they deemed as a threat to their way of life.

We know that Ella and Zinaida had the most influence on Felix.  Irina (from her letters) seems to have been trying to influence him about something, but even though Felix claims that she was his "soul mate", I don't think her appeals touched that soul.

Also would the crime be considered as heinous if the "Man of God" was not a Siberian peasant?  Would everyone have been as aghast if, say, Phillipe ( one of Alix's first mysticals) have been the target of the the Imperial Family's plotting?

Of course, the murder would have been wrong.  However, the connection to the "peasants' of Russia and that mystical bond between the peasants and their country and the ill treatement of the peasants, gave this whole situation a different spin.  The peasants were delighted that one of their own had made such progress and in Russian mythology, just getting the "ear of the Tsar" would ensure that the peasant was taken care of and his troubles would ease.

I guess that I am trying to ask, would the Imperial Family have plotted against a clean, upstanding. law abiding peasant? (Like the man who brought the sables to the palace and the Tsar in an earlier time?)  Or was the impetus just the very idea that a "common, filthy, criminal" had invaded the palace.

Back to topic (and I am sorry, I go off all the time).  Did Zinaida and Ella actually encourage Felix, or did just hearing them talk about the situation and possible solutions start him on his path?

Or did someone else actually put the plan together without actually finalizing the details and Felix just inserted himself.

Offline ashdean

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Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
« Reply #37 on: February 12, 2007, 07:53:03 AM »
I seem to remember reading (In Radzinskys "The Last Word"?) that Zenaida long before the actual murder..was telling someone that money was no object if Rasputins elimination was the result...

Offline Lemur

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Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
« Reply #38 on: February 14, 2007, 09:50:12 AM »
Zinaida was talking down Rasputin long before Felix killed him. There really can't be any question her feelings, and those of Ella, played a role in Felix being involved.

Offline Valmont

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Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
« Reply #39 on: February 14, 2007, 02:40:43 PM »



Did Felix discharge the third fatal blow to the head or can he be accused of discharging any weapon at all? We shall never really know but we can make a few educated guesses based on some of the evidence that is presently available. What do I believe? Well that is work in progress ...  ;)

Margarita[/color]  :)

And when do you think you can tell the world what  you think it happened based on the evidence you are studying?
 So far all I have read about the subject from you is that some day you will be able to tell what really happened based on the forensic evidence and that is it. Please, Do not think I am attacking you, it is just that I am interested in the subject and every time you discuss the subject you end up saying the same. It is like to be left with a "To Be Continued" sign....

Arturo Vega-Llausás
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Offline Belochka

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Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
« Reply #40 on: February 15, 2007, 09:24:20 PM »



Did Felix discharge the third fatal blow to the head or can he be accused of discharging any weapon at all? We shall never really know but we can make a few educated guesses based on some of the evidence that is presently available. What do I believe? Well that is work in progress ...  ;)

Margarita[/color]  :)

And when do you think you can tell the world what  you think it happened based on the evidence you are studying?
 So far all I have read about the subject from you is that some day you will be able to tell what really happened based on the forensic evidence and that is it. Please, Do not think I am attacking you, it is just that I am interested in the subject and every time you discuss the subject you end up saying the same. It is like to be left with a "To Be Continued" sign....

Arturo Vega-Llausás

Hi Arturo,

I am so sorry that you feel so frustrated. I am waiting for Richard C. to commence the Inquest and then I can respond with my findings.

All the best,

Margarita
  ;)


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Offline griffh

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Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
« Reply #41 on: February 25, 2007, 03:39:04 PM »
When evaluating “Lost Splendor” I feel it is important to understand that Felix was an extremely worldly, exiled aristocrat who, like all of his international class had supplied the entertainment for the late Edwardian era.  The Edwardian era (1901-1914; even though Edward VII had died in 1910, I believe the impulse of the era lived on until WWI) was the antithesis of the Victorian era that had ended in 1901 with the passing of Queen Victoria. 

Edwardian Aristocrats were the “movie stars” of their era and were the object of universal interest among all classes and Felix was right up there at the top of the list as having been voted “The handsomest Young Man In Europe.”  Poems were dedicated to aristocrats, novels were written about them, newspapers commented on their appearance and every aspect of their lives, fashion revolved around their personal choices, their photos were exhibited in shop windows, they were sculpted and painted by the most talented artists of their times, composers created music inspired by them.  They supplied the entertainment and pomp and pageantry of their time.

Then all of this public attention changed with the violent social revolutions that interrupted and followed WWI, which discredited the value of aristocrats and destroyed their prestige and importance.  After WWI the rise of the Cinema supplied the pomp and pageantry of the period and the “Movie Star” took the place in the public’s heart and imagination as objects of adoration.  The aristocrats that managed to survive the holocaust of war and revolution were of little or no interest to the general public who had transferred that esteem to the cinema and stage. 

Those worldly Edwardian aristocrats that did survive, like Felix, were very much like the worldly 18th century French aristocrats who out lived the French Revolution and had survived into the overly pious, highly conservative Victorian era.  Many of these worldly 18th century aristocrats were like George Sand’s grandmother, who loved to scandalize her granddaughter with stories of her sexual exploits as a young woman to challenge and provoke her granddaughter’s Victorian, repressive education.  Just so, Felix had out-lived the highly promiscuous “Edwardian Epoch” and had survived into a highly conservative mid-20th century culture of repression and false piety that in its strict conservatism was almost a mini-Victorian revival. 

It seems to me that Felix’s tone in “Lost Splendor” was much the same as George Sand’s grandmother.  Without apology or shame, Felix exposes his “cross-dressing” adventures and brags about his ability to even catch the eye of the greatest connoisseur of female beauty of the time, Edward VII himself; Felix flaunts his ability to attract attention for his male beauty from the same officers that were enamored with his mother’s beauty (i.e. the officer who was an ardent admirer of his mother’s who threw a bouquet of roses at Felix’s feet); he candidly shares his introduction into the secrets of love by a Argentine hedonist, etc.; details that were meant to shock and provoke his 1950 readers.  They way Felix wrote of these experiences with such cavalier indifference, Felix clearly did not need his reader’s approval or acceptance. 

Equally, when it came to history fact, Felix did not feel any inclination to tell the truth.  I don’t believe that truth was something Felix would ever share with anyone.  I feel that “Lost Splendor” was Felix’s attempt to become the center of attention once again, if only for a brief moment, and that his only duty to his reading public was to entertain them with delightful versions of the truth that would add flavor and zest to a vanished past and were meant, at the same time, to enliven a dull and repressive era that it was Felix’s misfortune to have lived into. 

I am sure that Felix felt no pressure to be any more honest with his reading public than he would have with his own servants.  If Felix said it was “this way” than it was “this way.”  If Felix said it was “that way” then it was “that way.”  I am sure that Felix felt that he did not owe anyone an explanation and that no one, certainly not his reading public, had the right to contradict or challenge his point of view; no matter how many times Felix might decide to change this point of view, past, present or future.   

I believe that the power of persuasion, and not truth, was the only ethic Felix felt compelled by.  I must add that I do find that Felix’s book, “Lost Splendor,” is written in an authentic voice and therefore a valuable contribution for anyone who wishes to imbibe the mental mood of a worldly Russian noble.  It is this mental voice, the tone of the work and not its words, that provides the key to who Felix was and it is this genuine mental tone that makes the book worthwhile.  However having said that and admitting that the book contains the delightful veracity of a bygone aristocratic milieu, at the same time, like Margarita and Richard, I too feel that the work is almost totally devoid of historic credibility. 



Offline TampaBay

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Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
« Reply #42 on: March 05, 2007, 07:54:10 PM »
BUT WHAT A READ!!!  I re-read Lost Splendor at least once a year! 

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Offline griffh

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Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
« Reply #43 on: March 06, 2007, 05:07:42 PM »
I totally agree!!!!!!......griffh

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Re: Books by Felix Yusupov - "Lost Splendour" etc
« Reply #44 on: March 07, 2007, 08:29:33 AM »
griffh - astute insight as always.

Quoting griffh

"I believe that the power of persuasion, and not truth, was the only ethic Felix felt compelled by.  I must add that I do find that Felix’s book, “Lost Splendor,” is written in an authentic voice and therefore a valuable contribution for anyone who wishes to imbibe the mental mood of a worldly Russian noble.  It is this mental voice, the tone of the work and not its words, that provides the key to who Felix was and it is this genuine mental tone that makes the book worthwhile.  However having said that and admitting that the book contains the delightful veracity of a bygone aristocratic milieu, at the same time, like Margarita and Richard, I too feel that the work is almost totally devoid of historic credibility."

However, Felix was a "wealthy Russian noble" who was selfish, vain and morally bankrupt.  I know that were many in the Imperial Family who fit this description, but hopefully not all.

I was appalled by Felix's indifference to law and morality as it applied to everyone else, but him.

Some seem to excuse Felix for this and actually admire the type of life he led.  I think that the actions of nobles like Felix would have much to do with the over throw of the nobility in Russia.  Felix had no sense of "noblesse oblige".