Author Topic: Russian Quizzo/Trivia Round  (Read 17362 times)

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Offline Превед

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Re: Russian Quizzo/Trivia Round
« Reply #75 on: February 20, 2017, 11:56:02 AM »
Side question...did Alexandra Pavlovna die in child birth? So young...very sad.

Yes, from puerperal fever, only 17 years old, in the city where Ignaz Semmelweiss were to make his groundbreaking discovery regarding puerperal fever a few decades later.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2017, 12:04:57 PM by Превед »
Березы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и березы», 1843 / 1856)

Offline edubs31

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Re: Russian Quizzo/Trivia Round
« Reply #76 on: February 20, 2017, 12:08:02 PM »
Side question...did Alexandra Pavlovna die in child birth? So young...very sad.

Yes, from puerperal fever, only 17 years old, ithe city where Ignaz Semmelweiss were to make his groundbreaking discovery regarding puerperal fever a few decades later.

Thanks for that. I didn't know for certain but looking at the closeness of dates between giving birth to her stillborn child and her own death made it seem likely the two were connected.

Additional side question...with higher mortality rates and shorter life expectancy it made sense for most couple to get started in the child bearing process sooner rather than later. That said was their thought given at the time to a young woman's age and how that could be a benefit or detriment in having a healthy pregnancy?

17 is obviously young. I assume 16 - female "adulthood" at the time - was the cutoff. Were there higher rates of infant mortality and death of the mother having children between, say 16-18 than maybe waiting til the mother was a few years older (20-22 range)?
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right...

Offline Превед

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Re: Russian Quizzo/Trivia Round
« Reply #77 on: February 20, 2017, 04:26:50 PM »
Additional side question...with higher mortality rates and shorter life expectancy it made sense for most couple to get started in the child bearing process sooner rather than later.

For royals who were desperate for (male) heirs, yes, but not for most people, who rather wanted to limit the numbers of mouths to feed and the number of heirs sharing an inheritance / farm / livelihood. One of the traits that made Western Europe stand out from the rest of the world and spearhead modernity (and romantic love?) was exactly this pattern of late marriage (mid to late 20s) and a significant minority remaining lifelong singles and thus fewer children, who were better provided for. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_European_marriage_pattern. Russia and European royalty were in this respect "east of the Hajnal line", while you can observe the pattern very well in Norwegian peasants before industrialisation, with mothers as young as Alexandra Pavlovna being very uncommon and mostly tragic cases of out-of-wedlock births, arranged marriages for very rich heiresses (early marriage as some kind of status symbol or pawn in alliance building) or other odd circumstances.

Most peasant girls and boys worked for a few years in their teens and early 20s as maids and farmhands (and engaged in nattefrieri, night courting, i.e. all kinds of romantic sleepovers, heavy petting and probably oral sex etc. without full intercourse), saved money and didn't marry (someone more or less of their own choosing) untill they could support a family, which could be the stereotypical 10-15-20 children where half of them died in infancy, but just as likely 5-6-7, where most survived. Upper-class women who did not breastfeed their babies themselves were probably fertile more often than peasant women, whose fertility was not only limited by their later marriage, but also by breastfeeding.

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That said was their thought given at the time to a young woman's age and how that could be a benefit or detriment in having a healthy pregnancy?
I'm sure there was, but as with Semmelweis's case I'm sure there were very conflicting opinions.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2017, 04:53:22 PM by Превед »
Березы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и березы», 1843 / 1856)

Offline Превед

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Re: Russian Quizzo/Trivia Round
« Reply #78 on: March 11, 2017, 04:20:14 PM »
Which large Russian island is named in honour of an important Romanov relative, with the neighbouring island not named in honour of this relative's mother, as one would presume, but in honour of the predecessor of a princess of an Ascanian fief on the Lahn?

edubs almost cracked this one, but no-one took it further:

These Russian islands are part of the Arctic Franz Joseph Land / Земля Франца-Иосифа in the Barents Sea (east of Svalbard / Spitsbergen). (And as a Norwegian I of course think they should have gone with the post-Revolutionary proposal Fridtjof Nansen Land. (Another pre-Revolutionary proposal was Romanov Land / Земля Романовых!))

The large westernmost islands of the archipelago are called Prince George Land / Земля Георга, named by a British explorer for George V of the UK. The neighbouring island Alexandra Land / Земля Александры was named in honour of Grand Duchess Alexandra Pavlovna (1783–1801), married to Archduke Joseph of Austria, Paladin of Hungary, who after her early and tragic death due to childbirth remarried to Princess Hermine of Anhalt-Bernburg-Schaumburg-Hoym (Anhalt = Ascanian, Schaumburg is on the Lahn - see this post for more info). This according to the English Wikipedia, which leads you to believe this island was named by the Austrian-Hungarian North Pole Expedition who named the archipelago itself.

But then I now see that the Russian and German Wikipedias claim that Alexandra Land was actually named by a British explorer after George V's mother, Alexandra of Denmark! It is more logical, as the Austrian-Hungarian expedition seems to have concentrated on the islands further east (Prince Rudolph Island, Wiener Neustad Island! etc.)

Anyways lots of turn-of-the-century royal names up there in the realm of die Könige auf dem ewigen Eis - the kings on the eternal ice. (Ostalgic pop hit about polar bears from DDR / GDR.)

« Last Edit: March 11, 2017, 04:32:51 PM by Превед »
Березы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и березы», 1843 / 1856)

Offline edubs31

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Re: Russian Quizzo/Trivia Round
« Reply #79 on: March 12, 2017, 12:10:16 AM »
Thanks for shedding some light there. I have always been curious about how & why those islands got their names and their etymology. It would seem that it's less straight forward than we'd assume.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right...