Author Topic: New book on Franziska Schanzkowsky, the Anastasia pretender  (Read 19352 times)

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Offline bugman

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New book on Franziska Schanzkowsky, the Anastasia pretender
« on: October 27, 2015, 11:51:40 AM »
Almost Anastasia tells the story of Franziska Schanzkowsky, the former factory worker who convinced royals, courtiers, and forensic experts that she was actually the Grand Duchess Anastasia, daughter of Nicholas II and sole survivor of the 1918 massacre at Ekaterinburg. DNA analysis has established who she really was, but once that mystery was solved the real mystery began—how did she do it? Why did she do it? What would it be like to step into someone else's life and live it forever? A work of narrative nonfiction drawn from original documents (some never before translated into English) and interviews with the people who knew her, Almost Anastasia follows Franziska from the streets of Berlin to the castles of deposed royalty, from Jazz Age New York to Nazi Germany and beyond. It is a tale of mystique, madness, and one woman’s determination to fool the world.

Includes documents never before translated into English, and an interview with her niece.

http://www.amazon.com/Almost-Anastasia-Life-Franziska-Schanzkowsky/dp/069252746X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1444916625&sr=8-1&keywords=almost+anastasia

Offline Ortino

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Re: New book on Franziska Schanzkowsky, the Anastasia pretender
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2015, 10:18:40 AM »
I was wondering about this book the other day as well....anyone have any thoughts/feedback?

Offline TheLionandTheEagle

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Re: New book on Franziska Schanzkowsky, the Anastasia pretender
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2015, 02:49:50 AM »
The three star review seems to indicate that part of the book is fiction and part isn't.  I'm not sure, though, without having read it...

Offline Georgiy

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Re: New book on Franziska Schanzkowsky, the Anastasia pretender
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2015, 03:42:33 AM »
Reading it now - it is quite good!

Offline Kitt

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Re: New book on Franziska Schanzkowsky, the Anastasia pretender
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2015, 07:27:51 AM »
I read it on my Kindle.  Much of the info is already known.  It is not a justification, but more of an explanation of how and what Franziska was thinking, and how she literally schemed her way through all her various contacts.  She seemed to be a consummate "user".

Offline Ortino

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Re: New book on Franziska Schanzkowsky, the Anastasia pretender
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2015, 10:38:13 AM »
The three star review seems to indicate that part of the book is fiction and part isn't.  I'm not sure, though, without having read it...

I think the person who wrote that review didn't catch that it is narrative nonfiction and/or misunderstood what it is. I haven't read the book--obviously--but I read the sections available for preview and didn't find anything fictional.

I also wonder why the reader is disturbed by the author trying to understand Franziska Schanzkowsky's thought process. In most cases, a historical person's thoughts and motives are not laid out and need to be parsed out from what is available. I'm not dismissing her/his criticisms, just wondering....
« Last Edit: October 29, 2015, 10:44:43 AM by Ortino »

Offline TimM

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Re: New book on Franziska Schanzkowsky, the Anastasia pretender
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2015, 11:40:32 AM »
Sounds like an interesting read.

Offline Maria Sisi

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Re: New book on Franziska Schanzkowsky, the Anastasia pretender
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2015, 02:46:10 PM »
The three star review seems to indicate that part of the book is fiction and part isn't.  I'm not sure, though, without having read it...

I think the person who wrote that review didn't catch that it is narrative nonfiction and/or misunderstood what it is. I haven't read the book--obviously--but I read the sections available for preview and didn't find anything fictional.

I also wonder why the reader is disturbed by the author trying to understand Franziska Schanzkowsky's thought process. In most cases, a historical person's thoughts and motives are not laid out and need to be parsed out from what is available. I'm not dismissing her/his criticisms, just wondering....

Some people think that by trying to understand her thought process their making excesses for her actions and to an extent making her sympathetic. It's like the reaction people have about studying Hitler as anything but a monster. I'm obviously not comparing Hitler and Anna Anderson but you get the point.

To many she was a woman who thoughtlessly took the idenity of a young girl who was savagely and brutally murdered and paraded around like she owned the name, benefited greatly from it, and didn't care who she hurt in the process (Anastasia's family/friends). She's a cruel, selfish, nasty person who doesn't deserve to be understood even on the smallest level because they feel as if she danced on Anastasia's grave cheapened her memory (there are threads on the forum that discuss the topic). Anastasia and the fraud, Anna Anderson, go hand and hand in the minds of millions and that leaves a bitter taste. To them she doesn't deserved to be studied, but forgotten and buried never to be mentioned again.

I'm not saying I feel the same way but I understand why others think negatively about it.  

« Last Edit: November 03, 2015, 02:58:26 PM by Maria Sisi »

Offline TheLionandTheEagle

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Re: New book on Franziska Schanzkowsky, the Anastasia pretender
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2015, 07:56:53 PM »
Ortino -- Thank you for the clarification.  I'll add it to my reading list for next month, after NaNoWriMo is over and I have some free time again.  :p 

Maria Sisi -- I think that's one factor.  Some people also don't like it when authors assume things about internal motivation of a historical person because those assumptions could be wrong.  For example, maybe FS wasn't a master manipulator.  Maybe she was crazy.  Or maybe the truth is somewhere in between (that's what I personally think).

Offline edubs31

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Re: New book on Franziska Schanzkowsky, the Anastasia pretender
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2015, 10:37:37 PM »
Ortino -- Thank you for the clarification.  I'll add it to my reading list for next month, after NaNoWriMo is over and I have some free time again.  :p 

Maria Sisi -- I think that's one factor.  Some people also don't like it when authors assume things about internal motivation of a historical person because those assumptions could be wrong.  For example, maybe FS wasn't a master manipulator.  Maybe she was crazy.  Or maybe the truth is somewhere in between (that's what I personally think).

I've always thought that FS could have been suffering from some type of undiagnosed Schizophrenia and/or split personality disorder.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right...

Offline TimM

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Re: New book on Franziska Schanzkowsky, the Anastasia pretender
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2015, 06:51:52 AM »
It's possible that FS got so deep into pretending to be Anastasia that, towards the end of her life, she actually started to believe it herself that she was Anastasia. 

Offline amelia

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Re: New book on Franziska Schanzkowsky, the Anastasia pretender
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2015, 08:18:04 AM »
I agree with you, Tim.

Offline Ortino

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Re: New book on Franziska Schanzkowsky, the Anastasia pretender
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2015, 07:03:13 AM »
Maria Sisi--thank you for your thoughts. I agree that that may be part of it, but personally think it's a bit narrow-minded and silly. To use your example of Hitler--I am Jewish, but does that mean I have no interest in knowing what made the man tick? Of course not. Will he be any less of an evil person if I learn more about him and his thoughts? Hardly. If scholars didn't try to psychoanalyze, then books on history would be very boring indeed.

TimM--I don't think that it was possible; I think it is more than likely that she thought of herself as Anastasia by the end. If you kept up an act for decades, I would think it would be difficult to remember where the truth ended and the lies began.

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: New book on Franziska Schanzkowsky, the Anastasia pretender
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2015, 11:24:39 AM »
I think AA was mentally ill, and that she did come to believe that she really was Anastasia, though at what stage in her lengthy career is debatable.

Ann

Offline TimM

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Re: New book on Franziska Schanzkowsky, the Anastasia pretender
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2015, 06:10:56 AM »
Quote
TimM--I don't think that it was possible; I think it is more than likely that she thought of herself as Anastasia by the end. If you kept up an act for decades, I would think it would be difficult to remember where the truth ended and the lies began.

Uh, isn't that pretty much what I said?

When I visit my local Chapters later this week, I'll see if they have a copy.  If they don't, I'll order one.