Author Topic: Twenty-five Chapters of my Life  (Read 22911 times)

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Alixz

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Re: Twenty-five Chapters of my Life
« Reply #45 on: June 17, 2010, 10:45:11 AM »
I am about half way through the book.  I just passed the description of Tsarskoe Selo that was posted above. 

I have a great deal of respect for Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna, but she was either very naive or too good to be true. Everyone she talks about is beautiful and talented and funny and helpful and... (anyone who has read the book will know what I mean).  She never has a bad word to say about anyone and makes excuses even for Rasputin and his bad behavior.

It must be nice to see the world through "rose colored glasses" especially when she suffered so much in her later years.  However, I found the narrative to be sickeningly sweet and hard to believe.

It would seem that she forgot about her first husband making her wait so many years for her divorce.  She also seems to have forgotten the other description of Rasputin that she obviously had or she wouldn't have given it to Vorres in his later book.

In this book she has great love for Alexandra and makes many excuses for Alexandra's bad behavior even when that bad behavior made life more difficult for Nicholas and his children and even Olga Alexandrovna herself.

She talks about the canonization of St. Seraphim of Sarov and doesn't even mention that Alexandra pushed it through before the church was ready.  In this book it was just a religious ceremony that Nicholas had to attend and so a lot of the family went with him.

She glosses over everything.  It is interesting to know more about her life and her travels and her homes, but it seems to me, anyway, that she was oblivious to the political unrest surrounding her and her family.

So far most of the pictures are ones I have seen before and I am glad that I didn't pay a lot for this book.

Offline Suzanne

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Re: Twenty-five Chapters of my Life
« Reply #46 on: June 23, 2010, 03:30:42 PM »
I recently finished this book as well. I think it's important to keep in mind where these articles were published and who the intended audience was. These light articles were written for a Danish newspaper to commemorate her silver wedding to Nicholas Kulikovsky. They were not intended to be a tell all autobiography revealing her darkest secrets or an academic analysis of the reasons for the fall of the Russian Empire. I think a lot can be inferred from what she does not discuss. She has kind things to say about Peter of Oldenbourg's parents but very little is said about the character of her first husband - when she can't say something nice, she doesn't say anything at all! Olga also focuses the articles on events that she personally witnessed and we can imagine Alexandra would be at her best in the domestic circle that Olga was frequently a part of. It's important also to keep in mind that many negative accounts of Romanov rule were circulating during this time and Olga is attempting to offer an alternate perspective.

Offline imperial angel

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Re: Twenty-five Chapters of my Life
« Reply #47 on: August 08, 2010, 07:40:24 AM »
I enjoyed this book, because it was a first hand rather than just a biographer's account, although the Vorres biography also offers a lot of Olga's perspective, too. Royal memoirs of that time were not supposed to be tell alls, at least in the way we expect memoirs to be today. So I don't see the style of this memoir that Alixz refers to as a reflection of Olga A herself, but rather of a reflection of the times, much as the last poster says. Olga A's memoirs here are not that much diffferent than the style of other royal memoirs, although the memoirs of both Marie P, daughter of Grand Duke Paul, and the memoirs of Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovitch, were more colorful than Olga's. Okga was more revealing of her true opinions, thoughts, and feelings about her past/ people in it, when she talked to Vorres than she is here.. but that's not surprising. The thing that stood out most about this book to me was her account of her escape out of Russia after the Revolution and all that she had to go through, along with her family.

What was interesting to me was how much she mentions intuition in this part of the book, as she describes how she and her family had to make choices about where to go next after the Revolution had happened. It seems she relied a lot on inutuition during this difficult oart of her life story. That made me wonder about Nicholas II and his immediate family, and how much they relied on intuition during their last days. They, unlike Olga, could not use intuition to decide where to go next- they were imprisoned. But, I wonder, and wondered more after reading this book, just how much intuition told them about what would theor final fate.I liked this book, and think it's useful to read along with the Vorres book. This book's shortcomings, (like where Olga A seems to pass over or gloss over things and focus on the positive, without mentioning aspects of the truth that were negative), seem to be in line with other royal memoirs of tha time.

Offline historyfan

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Re: Twenty-five Chapters of my Life
« Reply #48 on: March 26, 2011, 09:04:03 PM »
I know I'm late to the party here, but I just received this book on Friday, and have read to ch 16.

I love this book.  It's very human.  She doesn't write about the horrible things, no - but who would want to rehash in detail the death of their father, the unsuccessful first marriage, or the rift a favourite brother's marriage caused?  I find her style quite humourous in places too.  The part where she relates being separated from Nicholas and Alexandra in a crowd in Pskov in 1903, having to find her way back to their train herself, then Nicholas not being sorry about it at all - made me laugh out loud.

I find the things she omitted a real testament to the character and class of this lady.  Like someone else said, if she didn't have something nice to say, she said nothing at all.  If she even mentioned Peter of Oldenburg's name, it was once.  She doesn't describe her first wedding ceremony at all.  That could be partly out of respect to her husband Nikolai, but I don't think that's the entire reason.  She simply didn't care to recall it.  She had no desire to throw mud at anyone, air long-held grievances, or anything like that - she was remembering the happier and more important moments of her life on what was a happy occasion (the 25th anniversary of the Kulikovskys' marriage).

Reading this book is like having a nice long lunch with Olga herself.  She's an inspiration.  She's absolutely right when she talks in the beginning of the book about how learning is not limited to the young and all throughout life we need to draw knowledge from our experiences to use later.  Also that love is stronger than hate.  That's completely true.

I'm very, very glad I bought this book!

Offline Margarita Markovna

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Re: Twenty-five Chapters of my Life
« Reply #49 on: March 29, 2011, 05:35:30 PM »
http://www.hoogstraten.nl/theshop/product_info.php?cPath=21_22_42&products_id=428

Interestingly he has the wrong cover (it's the one for Olga N's diary).  Do you think that means it would ship the wrong book?

Offline Helen

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Re: Twenty-five Chapters of my Life
« Reply #50 on: March 30, 2011, 01:50:31 AM »
The website shows more books for which an incorrect cover is displayed, but it's my experience that they ship the right copies.
"The Correspondence of the Empress Alexandra of Russia with Ernst Ludwig and Eleonore, Grand Duke and Duchess of Hesse. 1878-1916"  -  http://www.bod.de/index.php?id=296&objk_
"Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig and Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine in Italy - 1893"

Offline Inok Nikolai

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Re: Twenty-five Chapters of my Life
« Reply #51 on: March 10, 2012, 03:54:59 PM »
Let me know how you like it and I will pass on any positive comments to Paul.

Is "Constantinople" still posting anywhere on this forum?

We would like to contact Paul Kulikovsky concerning our planned publication of the Imperial letters from captivity.

Thanks!
Inok Nikolai
инок Николай

Alixz

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Re: Twenty-five Chapters of my Life
« Reply #52 on: March 10, 2012, 04:51:42 PM »
Constantinople left quite a while ago. I did ask why, but I never got an answer.

Offline Laura Mabee

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Re: Twenty-five Chapters of my Life
« Reply #53 on: August 27, 2013, 08:19:33 PM »
Let me know how you like it and I will pass on any positive comments to Paul.

Is "Constantinople" still posting anywhere on this forum?

We would like to contact Paul Kulikovsky concerning our planned publication of the Imperial letters from captivity.

Thanks!
Inok Nikolai

Wow, I am late to reply, but Mr. Kulikovsky is very easy to connect with via Facebook. He runs a great group on Romanov News. If you need any information please PM me!

Offline Inok Nikolai

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Re: Twenty-five Chapters of my Life
« Reply #54 on: August 28, 2013, 03:44:01 PM »
Thanks for thinking of us!

We have made contact and are on his mailing list now.

Thanks again!
инок Николай

Offline Michael HR

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Re: Twenty-five Chapters of my Life
« Reply #55 on: August 29, 2013, 06:12:41 AM »
I bought this book and found it wonderful. I visited the museum in Ballerup as well when I was in Denmark, well worth a visit. Such a shame the farm is now gone.
Remembering the Imperial Corps Des Pages - The Spirit of Imperial Russia