Author Topic: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton  (Read 31948 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Bitoelk

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Finding my roots
    • View Profile
Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2004, 01:27:32 PM »
Thanks for the heads up everyone. I saw this the other day and was pondering buying it. From the sour reviews I think I will avoid it. Thanks for the warnings.

~Misha~

Offline Ilana

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 730
  • I love any info on VMH
    • View Profile
    • Queen Victoria's Granddaughters
Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
« Reply #16 on: December 30, 2004, 01:30:33 PM »
LOL, good description, Marlene.

The ending has both sisters alive (as well as the Grand Duchesses, Olga, I think died of a heart attack and the others had married peasants in the valley), though both extremely demented and living in some obscure valley in some part of Russia, can't remember which.  I think Alix is leading Ella around by a string tied around Ella's neck.  It's very, very odd.  One wonders at the imagination of a person to even think of such things.
So long and thanks for all the fish

Offline Elizabeth

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 43
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
« Reply #17 on: December 30, 2004, 01:35:34 PM »
Yes, Ilana, that's the ending I remember as well (you can tell I haven't read it in awhile).  To add to that, someone is reporting about their "findings" of the missing Empress & GD to Stalin (of all people), and when he finds out, Stalin laughs and laughs (who would have thought Stalin had a sense of humor).

Another thing I sort of remember is that the author really "harps" on the Sergei/Elizabeth marriage a lot, to the point of describing their marital life and Sergei's "problems."  Enough said, but when I read it, it came off as the author having more ISSUES than GD Serge!

Alicky1872

  • Guest
Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
« Reply #18 on: December 30, 2004, 05:19:58 PM »
Quote
LOL, good description, Marlene.

The ending has both sisters alive (as well as the Grand Duchesses, Olga, I think died of a heart attack and the others had married peasants in the valley), though both extremely demented and living in some obscure valley in some part of Russia, can't remember which.  I think Alix is leading Ella around by a string tied around Ella's neck.  It's very, very odd.  One wonders at the imagination of a person to even think of such things.


Now I want to read it just to see how bad it really is!

Offline tea_rose

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 91
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2004, 08:05:01 PM »
Oh, Ilana (covering my eyes)---you have revived that nightmare ending by recounting it! I just HATED that ending--after I had plodded through the rest of that very unsatisfactory book!  

  I must go read one of my good books to bury that image again!  (just kidding-but I could not get rid of this book fast enough!)

Offline Helen_Azar

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 7472
  • Coming up Fall 2015: Tatiana's diaries and letters
    • View Profile
    • War-time diaries of Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna Romanov
Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2004, 08:13:46 PM »
Yes, it is one of the oddest books on the subject (fiction or non) that I have ever read, although if I remember correctly it has a couple of good moments.  ::)

Offline Helen_Azar

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 7472
  • Coming up Fall 2015: Tatiana's diaries and letters
    • View Profile
    • War-time diaries of Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna Romanov
Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
« Reply #21 on: December 30, 2004, 08:15:32 PM »
Quote
... Stalin laughs and laughs...
This was one of the good moments I was referring to  ;D

bluetoria

  • Guest
Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
« Reply #22 on: January 04, 2005, 12:01:49 PM »
I wrote this on another thread but I feel so strongly about it I hope its ok to say it again here. I thought this book was so appalling I literally tore it to shreds. If he  wanted to write a novel he should have used fictional characters but to degrade Ella in the way this books does is disgraceful. Not only was it badly written (using expressions such as 'she was nice' and describing in unrealistic detail a ridiculous argument between Ella and Victoria about a red crayon!!!!) but it exploits Serge's ALLEGED sexual sadism to the extent that it reads like a very poor gothic novel written by a teenage schoolboy. Serge is presented merely a stereo-typical 'baddie' while Ella drifts around on the point of a breakdown constantly bored by everyone and judging everyone superficially...even her own sister, Irene. Ella could in reality hardly be described as superficial...even in her younger days.
If it were written about someone who is alive today I would have thought they'd have every right to sue for libel and defamation of character.

Offline Penny_Wilson

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 107
    • View Profile
    • kingandwilson
Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
« Reply #23 on: January 04, 2005, 12:44:21 PM »
Quote
...Ella could in reality hardly be described as superficial...even in her younger days...


To give another opinion of Ella, here's what Kaiser Wilhelm had to say about Ella's conversion to Orthodoxy:

"an inordinate pursuit of popularity, a desire to improve her position at court, a great lack of intelligence, and also a want of true religiousness..."

This comes from the marginalia that the Kaiser liked to write on official reports, as quoted in John Rohl's EXCELLENT (and just published) "Wilhelm II: the Kaiser's personal monarchy, 1888-1900."   Save your pennies, though, because this 1350 page tome will set you back $150 on Amazon...    :o
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Penny_Wilson »
"Don't do anything by half. If you love someone, love them with all your soul. When you go to work, work your ass off. When you hate someone, hate them until it hurts."  -- A Piece of Good Advice

Sometimes the truth hurts. And sometimes it feels real good. -- Henry Rollins

bluetoria

  • Guest
Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
« Reply #24 on: January 04, 2005, 01:26:09 PM »
No, no no, I can't accept that! :) How could the Kaiser possibly express an opinion on Ella's 'want of piety' or whatever! He was still angry about his sister Sophie's recent conversion and SHE had condemned him saying he could not express an opinion because he 'had no religion at all.' Moreover, he was still smarting from the sting of her rebuttal and would see her conversation as a stronger link between her and Serge.
Ella's letters show how she agonized for three years before coming to what was for her a very painful decision and...more to the point her life 'bore the fruits' of her sincerity....could any princess for whom religion was merely a means of courting popularity willingly give away all she possessed and tend the most abhect of patients...Sorry, I'm a real champion of Ella :)

Offline Penny_Wilson

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 107
    • View Profile
    • kingandwilson
Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
« Reply #25 on: January 04, 2005, 01:50:25 PM »
I have to say that my reaction to reading many of Wilhelm's marginalia is "Hold on there, Lee Harvey!..."  

In this case, of course, Wilhelm rather unreasonably expected that the German princesses who married out of the Federation would always remain first and foremost loyal to himself and his plans for German ascendancy.  But on the other hand, he also knew Ella first-hand -- so perhaps there is something in his idea that she converted for popularity.  I remember another historian -- whose name escapes me at the moment -- suggested that Ella's conversion came at a time when it was expedient for her to curry favor with Minnie and Sasha -- who were rather displeased with her for dangling Alix in front of Nicky as she did.

Serge and Ella interest me.  So I am greatly looking forward to Christopher Warwick's upcoming biography, which I have heard is truly in-depth and rather fabulous.
"Don't do anything by half. If you love someone, love them with all your soul. When you go to work, work your ass off. When you hate someone, hate them until it hurts."  -- A Piece of Good Advice

Sometimes the truth hurts. And sometimes it feels real good. -- Henry Rollins

bluetoria

  • Guest
Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
« Reply #26 on: January 04, 2005, 02:01:08 PM »
Sorry, still can't accept that her motives were so superficial. She knew it would break her father's heart and 'dreaded' telling him...she wrote to Nicky that she was very afraid of Miechen's reaction and wrote later that she had longed to become Orthodox but for '18 months put it off because again came doubts and worries'...and later said it was only out of fear of offending her old friends that she postponed her decision.
I wrote a book about Ella for which I received a contract from an English publisher last year. After a year they said the market had changed and were withdrawing the contract and sent me a royalties cheque and advance so Iwouldn't sue them!!! It's very hurtful to me!!!!


Offline BobAtchison

  • Moderator
  • Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 896
    • View Profile
    • The Alexander Palace
Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
« Reply #27 on: January 04, 2005, 02:18:45 PM »
Greg/Penny:

Do you think there was there a difference in the religious training of the older girls and Alexandra? All of them were trained by Dr. Sell according to Buxhoeveden:

In the spring of 1888 came a great turning-point in Princess Alix's life, her confirmation. She was prepared for this by Dr. Sell, a Hessian divine, chosen by the Grand Duchess Alice to give religious instruction to her children. He was a clever man, who soon gained a strong influence over Princess Alix, whose sensitive soul had always had serious leanings. His early teaching laid the foundations of that searching for "truth" which was the keynote of her spiritual life. He dwelt strongly on the force of the Lutheran doctrine, and impressed its tenets on her. This later on caused Princess Alix to have so great a moral struggle, when, loving the Tsarevich, and knowing that she was loved by him, she also knew that to marry him she had to embrace the Orthodox faith.

Dr. Sell's words fell deep. Princess Alix's nature was always introspective, and now she began to analyse every action and its right and wrong motive, finding fault with herself, and seeking to attain a lofty and abstract ideal. This made her take her whole life very seriously. She was always mentally fighting things out, always striving to solve deeper questions in connection with small ones, while jealously keeping all this inner life from prying eyes.


Alicky1872

  • Guest
Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
« Reply #28 on: January 04, 2005, 02:23:25 PM »
I'm so sorry to hear that, Bluetoria. Do you mind me asking what type of book it was? A historical novel or a bio?

bluetoria

  • Guest
Re: Elizabeth and Alexandra by Anthony Lambton
« Reply #29 on: January 04, 2005, 02:31:24 PM »
Thank you for asking. It is a biography. It was shortlisted for an award for pre-published books and it seemed that after years of struggling to be a writer Ella had worked a miracle for me. However! An agent is now trying to place it but though publishers like it they say historical bios are not selling well now. One publisher even wrote 'it has insufficient scandal for us to publish it'.....and that from a reputable publisher. Sorry for going on!!!
At least, I think, it's not as bad as starving down a mine shaft or seeing your husband blown to pieces which putseverything into perspective.
Sorry if I've bored you.... :o