Author Topic: My Empress by Marfa Mouchanow - who actually wrote it and why?  (Read 75696 times)

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Alixz

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I just noticed that in his thread "The Empress Alexandra Fights Back"  Griffh mentions this book and is on a hunt to try to find out who Marfa Mouchanow was.

He has some ideas.

FA has said that this book is a complete fake and after looking around it seems that it must be because no one named Marfa Mouchanow served the Empress Alexandra from day one to 1917 or even for a short time.

Griffh is looking for a 1940s printing of this book as he is looking for more information on Marie Feodorovna Adelung (?) who is as known as Mrs. Geringer (also spelled Gueringer) who may have been the true author.

The book seems to have a lot of information about the Imperial Family and has intimate details.  But because the author is not sourced or even identifiable - nothing about it rings true.

Does anyone have any information about this book or the publisher (original John Lane Company 1918) or a second printing in the 1940s?

It just gives  the name of the publisher, as John Lane Company, London:John  Lane,  The Bodley Head 1918.  Then on the back of the title page,  copyright  by Curtis Publishing Company and John Lane.  And the  Press of J. J.  Little & Ives NYC.


I know that this book was reprinted in 2008, 2009 and 2010, but that is not what Griffh is looking for.

I know that many of you (as I do) love a good mystery.  Maybe working together, we can help Griffh solve this one.  Wouldn't that be exciting after over 90 years?
« Last Edit: July 27, 2010, 03:44:49 PM by Alixz »

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: My Empress by Marfa Mouchanow - who actually wrote it and why?
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2010, 12:01:47 PM »
This is a good question, I would like to know to know too!

Offline blessOTMA

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Re: My Empress by Marfa Mouchanow - who actually wrote it and why?
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2010, 07:54:25 AM »
I have wondered about this book for a long time...I have a copy from 1918. This book was expensively mounted. There is  embossed lettering and crown on the cover done with gold leaf! Also a large supplement with very nice  illustrations was published in the Aug 1918 issue of The Ladies Home Journal.   I saw it on sale on eBay last year. This was a Curtis publication at the time...and Curtis Publishing Company is the US copyright  holder...according to the copywrite page, as Alixz  says.  This book had powerful backing it seems to me. The swiftness of its publication is dazzling. Indeed, it could have been  at press while the family was still alive... it speaks of them in the present tense...and the royal treatment is fascinating. Someone wanted the story sent in this direction and firmly and they moved in high circles imo. The author really despises Ella.  Mouchanow  generally  seems even handed until we get to Ella , Anya, ( who she calls Madame Wyroubieva,)  and the doctor  who ran the the lazarets and who she calls , The Princess Dondouoff .

The author  says the Princess gave AF  drugs behind  her doctors back's  and when the type of drugs became known it was said these were the medications that  shattered AF's nerves. The author states the Princess was reported to have lose morels! ...and that all three were deeply involved in  fostering AF's relationship with  Rasputin  . It seems anyone important who might yet come of Russia alive is discredited...

The author seems to have been with Alix from the moment she arrived in Russia and into captivity...was there anyone but Trina who did so?
A fascinating read for many reasons


"Give my love to all who remember me."

  Olga Nikolaevna

Alixz

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Re: My Empress by Marfa Mouchanow - who actually wrote it and why?
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2010, 08:06:05 AM »
My first thought was that the book came to publication so very quickly.  Someone either kept an amazing diary of the events of 24 years or was an incredibly quick writer.  Either that, or perhaps it was a compilation of information from several sources combined into one with one person taking credit for the text.

I have to ask, who is Trina?  That must be a nick name for someone that I am not remembering.

I am considering buying an inexpensive copy as I have never read the book in its entirety.  Some copies are in good condition and quite expensive!

Perhaps there are some clues in the text itself which might help us in our mystery solving.  For example - who would have not been a fan of Ella (other than Marie Pavlovna - the younger) with a reason to be hard on her in a book which may have been being written while Ella was still alive?

Because the book was published in 1918 and Ella and the others at Alapavesk and Nicholas and his family all were killed about mid year, it was either started before they were killed or written in a very big hurry.

Offline Sarushka

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Re: My Empress by Marfa Mouchanow - who actually wrote it and why?
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2010, 08:10:07 AM »
I have to ask, who is Trina?  That must be a nick name for someone that I am not remembering.

Catherine Schneider, I think.
THE LOST CROWN: A Novel of Romanov Russia -- now in paperback!
"A dramatic, powerful narrative and a masterful grasp of life in this vanished world." ~Greg King

Offline blessOTMA

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Re: My Empress by Marfa Mouchanow - who actually wrote it and why?
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2010, 08:40:20 AM »
yes,  I'm sorry , " Trina"  is Catherine Schneider.  Who else was with Alix the whole of her 23 years on the throne and even in captivity? The author  seems to be at hand just at the right moment over and over...The speed  of publication and the well mounted effort is very interesting and unusal, imo.  And really  the book's treatment of Ella, makes Marie Pavlovna, the younger, remarks seem very mild, even warm! In My Empress, Ella is portrayed as evil...not a word I throw around....and bent on destroying her sister from the start. Someone wanted EF's reputation ruined, it seems to me, in case she somehow  survived  and  could refute what is told here.  It's a great read however...  But an agenda is present , imo, in the writing and the mounting.

"Give my love to all who remember me."

  Olga Nikolaevna

Offline rgt9w

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Re: My Empress by Marfa Mouchanow - who actually wrote it and why?
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2010, 09:00:58 AM »
Is the general thought that the book is factual or is it a complete fabrication used as a propaganda tool?

Offline blessOTMA

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Re: My Empress by Marfa Mouchanow - who actually wrote it and why?
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2010, 09:11:05 AM »
Is the general thought that the book is factual or is it a complete fabrication used as a propaganda tool?
That is the interesting mystery about it! lol! It's hard to say.  I think it's both factual and fabrication. The best propaganda has factual elements in it. There are a good number of excellent photographs as well....money was spent.

"Give my love to all who remember me."

  Olga Nikolaevna

Offline rudy3

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Offline matushka

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Re: My Empress by Marfa Mouchanow - who actually wrote it and why?
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2010, 03:14:21 PM »
BlessOTMA, I liked your idea of "Trina" being a possible author for "My Empress". The main question is Ekaterina Adolfovna's relationship with Ella. As we remember, Trina was the one who first taught Russian to EF, and she was much more than a teacher for the Grand-ducal couple. She was a member of their circle, almost a good friend, always staying at Ilynskoe long years after Ella did not really need any teaching. She took part to all the evenings, promenades, plays, she composed some verses about their good company, people of the circle composed verses on her. She was sometimes the "victim" of some innocent jokes. That is what I know for sure. Does anyone know if Trina was happy to serve Alexandra? It was really a promotion, but could she felt herself somehow released? And what happened after years? Did you keep good relationship with Ella (or more exactly Ella with her)? As far as I understood Schneider did not publicly expressed herself about Rasputin and all the scandal nobility and press created themselves? Or does anyone no more. I think the answer to these questions could help us.
At the same time, BlessOTMA, I highly doubt Ekaterina Schneider is our mysterious author. First because  she had nothing to do with the Empress's jewels and wardrobe. Second because the author stayed at Tsarskoe when Trina went to Siberia where, as we know, she was killed.
Third because I just cannot imagine only a single second that Trina will call the Tsar a coward... Fourth because her letters from captivity have a very different tone.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2010, 03:59:06 PM by Alixz »

Alixz

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Re: My Empress by Marfa Mouchanow - who actually wrote it and why?
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2010, 03:56:22 PM »
I don't think that Catherine Schneider is being discussed as a possible author of the book.  I had just asked who "Trina" was and blessOTMA was letting me know.

Somehow I didn't know that Catherine Schneider was called "Trina".  She would not be a good candidate for the author of this book as she did go into exile with the Imperial Family and the Author does not claim to have.

The author claims to have been in service from day one to the day the family went into exile.

Who is Ekaterina Adolfovna.  Is that also Catherine Schneider?  I didn't know that one could use a father's name as a patronymic if it was not a Russian name.

I think I need to catch up.

Offline matushka

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Re: My Empress by Marfa Mouchanow - who actually wrote it and why?
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2010, 04:01:52 PM »
Yes, Ekaterina Adolfovna is indeed Catherine Schneider!
Some little information here
http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php?topic=1630.0
« Last Edit: July 27, 2010, 04:08:11 PM by matushka »

Alixz

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Re: My Empress by Marfa Mouchanow - who actually wrote it and why?
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2010, 04:03:01 PM »
I also wonder about the author's spelling of the names.  Like Anna Vyrubova whom she calls  "Wyroubieva".  Makes me wonder if that was a translation error or a type setting error or a proof reading error or just that the author didn't know how to spell the name to begin with.

Offline blessOTMA

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Re: My Empress by Marfa Mouchanow - who actually wrote it and why?
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2010, 04:08:06 PM »
BlessOTMA, I liked your idea of "Trina" beeing a possible author for "My Empress". The main question is Ekaterina Adolfovna's relashionship with Ella. As we remember, Trina was the one who first taught russian to EF, and she was much more than a teacher for the Grand-ducal couple. She was a member of their circle, almost a good friend, always staying at Ilynskoe long years after Ella did not really need any teaching. She took part to all the evenings, promenades, plays, she composed some verses about their good company, people of the circle composed verses on her. She was sometimes the "victim" of som innocent jokes. That is what I know for sur. Does anyone know if Trina was happy to serve Alexandra? It was really a promotion, but could she felt herself somehow realesed? And what happened after years? Did you keep good relationship with Ella (or more exatly Ella with her)? As far as I understood Schneider did not publicaly expressed herself about Rasputin and all the scandal nobility and press created themselves? Or does anyone no more. I think the answer to these questions could help us.
At th same time, BlessOTMA, I highly doubt Ekaterina Schneider is our mysterious author. Firt because  she had nothing to do with the Empress's jewels and wardrobe. Second because the author stayed at Tsarskoe when Trina went to Siberia where, as we know, she was killed.
Third because I just cannot imagine only a single second that Trina will call the Tsar a coward... Fourth because her letters from captivity have a very different tone.

Oh dear...I never  said Ekaterina Schneider was the  possible author for "My Empress"! I mentioned her because I could not think of any other attendant Alix had though out  her  years on the throne  and later, but Ekaterina Schneider The author states she was with Alix all that time and that seems to catch her in a falsehood. We would know who this woman was if she was really with Alix for the 23 years and captivity . Trina would never have written this book!  Besides the fact she was a prisoner in Siberia who couldn't get regular post much less send out a manuscript , when it was being written! lol!  But she was also the upmost soul of discretion...and an the type of a attendant who would take her mistress secrets to the grave as a badge of honor ...which sadly,  she did .

"Give my love to all who remember me."

  Olga Nikolaevna

Offline matushka

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Re: My Empress by Marfa Mouchanow - who actually wrote it and why?
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2010, 04:09:53 PM »
O sorry, BlessOTMA! Forgive me to have misunderstood your post! Always this language problem... It is probably time for me to learn it properly!!!
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