Author Topic: Alix and Nicky: The Passion of the Last Tsar and Tsarina by Virgina Rounding  (Read 12051 times)

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Offline edubs31

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Read this recently and thoroughly enjoyed it, very well written. One thing I noticed through was how Anya Vyrubova was portrayed. I had always thought of her as a puppy: affectionate, loving and selfless but this books seemed to show her as the opposite: manipulative, demanding and sullen. Did I miss something or have I just been very blind?

I'll go half and half with you GD Isabelle.

Rounding's was one of the first books I read that strongly criticized Vyrubova to the point of painting her as a reprehensible rather than merely a dubious figure. That said there has been much discussion about her manipulative and deceitful ways.

I did find it interesting how much attention Rounding gave to her though.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right...

Offline Ortipo

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Re: Alix and Nicky: The Passion of the Last Tsar and Tsarina by Virgina Rounding
« Reply #16 on: September 01, 2012, 09:18:06 AM »
I'm inferring that there was something going on behind the scenes with A.V. that was very hush-hush. 

also

I didn't realize before reading this book the extent of influence that Rasputin had on the politics of Imperial Russia.
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Offline GrandDuchessIsabelle

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Re: Alix and Nicky: The Passion of the Last Tsar and Tsarina by Virgina Rounding
« Reply #17 on: September 04, 2012, 11:40:13 AM »
Hmm, the A.V incidents are incredibly shaded. This book does throw some light on it. Yes, one of the main reasons Rasputin was so hated by the gentry was because of his huge influence on Alix. If he disliked a minister, heaven help the poor fellow. One of Alix's downfalls was relying on him so much, I think.
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Offline amelia

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Re: Alix and Nicky: The Passion of the Last Tsar and Tsarina by Virgina Rounding
« Reply #18 on: September 04, 2012, 12:19:44 PM »
I also read the book and I enjoyed it immensely. I was very surprised of the relationship between Nicholas and Ana Viroubova, as portrayed in the book. Was it more than platonic?

Amelia

Offline Rodney_G.

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Re: Alix and Nicky: The Passion of the Last Tsar and Tsarina by Virgina Rounding
« Reply #19 on: September 04, 2012, 05:37:30 PM »
I also read the book and I enjoyed it immensely. I was very surprised of the relationship between Nicholas and Ana Viroubova, as portrayed in the book. Was it more than platonic?

Amelia

"Was it more than platonic?"  Well, it certainly wasn't sexual, if that's the question. Was it romantic? Also no, at least on Nicholas' end. Maybe AV felt a little  something towards Nicholas along the lines of flattery and attention or a generalised sense of attraction to someone of the opposite sex; maybe even a misguided attempt to arouse jealousy in Alexandra which might have appeared outwardly to constitute a "relationship'.  Nicholas had a connection to Anna V. almost solely because his wife did;  Mostly he humored her.
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Offline GrandDuchessIsabelle

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Re: Alix and Nicky: The Passion of the Last Tsar and Tsarina by Virgina Rounding
« Reply #20 on: September 05, 2012, 10:11:42 AM »
Anya was rejected by her husband and found Nicholas as the next male figure to her. It was natural for her to develop a 'schoolgirl crush' on him, even if there was no chance in a relationship sexually.
'Olga is hitting Maria, and Maria is shouting like an idiot. A dragoon and a big idiot.'
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Offline perdita

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Read this recently and thoroughly enjoyed it, very well written. One thing I noticed through was how Anya Vyrubova was portrayed. I had always thought of her as a puppy: affectionate, loving and selfless but this books seemed to show her as the opposite: manipulative, demanding and sullen. Did I miss something or have I just been very blind?

This is how Vyubova is described first hand by her contemporaries:

Pierre Gilliard:

"The Empress only established friendships in which she was quite sure of being the dominant partner...(Vyrubova) had the mind of a child, and her unhappy experiences had shaped her sensibilities without maturing her judgement..Lacking in intellect and discrimination, she was the prey of her impulses..of limited and puerile understanding...docile and unconscious...mischievious...a tool.."

Paleoglogue:

Vyrubova--"Physically coarse..heavily built, with a round head, fleshy lips..limpid eyes devoid of expression..very devout, but unintelligent...unattractive and very dull-witted.."

Felix Yusupov:

Vyrubova--"Stout with a puffy, shiny face, and no charm whatsoever..not at all intelligent...extremely crafty and rather sly...unattractive..quite a problem to find (dancing) partners for her.."

Hardly rave reviews.

Clearly, the unpopular self-isolated Alexandra imagined that a royal in her position required a safe docile companion of unswerving loyalty. The hapless Anya was made to order: servile dog-like, forever "wronged", a dependent in need of protection. Right up Alexandra's ally. True to form, the Tsar's attitute appears to have been to abide & tolerate. Vyrubova does not play a meaningful part in the Emperor's letters, diaries, or thoughts.

The Empress occasionally mocked Anna's infatuation with the Tsar.

Alexandra to Nicholas 1915, quote:

"I am sending you a VERY FAT leter from the Cow (Vyrubova), the lovesick creature would not wait any longer. She must pour out her love otherwise she bursts....It's naughty my grumbling about her, but you know how aggravating she can be."

Alexandra's take on Vyrobova was, at times, sniping & condescending. Exasperated. Eventually, Vyrubova's propensities would cause rifts in their relationship. It seems "The Cow" proved a stretch even for Alexandra's dominate "mothering" instincts.



 
« Last Edit: November 14, 2012, 11:12:20 AM by perdita »