Author Topic: A Life for the Tsar King/Ashton  (Read 28736 times)

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Offline Kalafrana

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Re: A Life for the Tsar King/Ashton
« Reply #30 on: July 25, 2016, 12:05:20 PM »
Friday 17/29 May
Nicholas and Alexandra retreat to the Neskuchnoye Palace for tea and a walk in the garden.

They must have needed it by then!

Offline Eurohistory

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Re: A Life for the Tsar King/Ashton
« Reply #31 on: July 25, 2016, 02:46:05 PM »
AMAZON listing is setup for international shipping. I know it is working as we have sold some copies to clients overseas.

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Offline Greg_King

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Re: A Life for the Tsar King/Ashton
« Reply #32 on: July 25, 2016, 09:28:49 PM »
Friday 17/29 May
Nicholas and Alexandra retreat to the Neskuchnoye Palace for tea and a walk in the garden.

They must have needed it by then!

Indeed, up until this point there is very little to criticize about the way they conducted themselves in Moscow.  Of course, everything changed the next morning at Khodynka.

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: A Life for the Tsar King/Ashton
« Reply #33 on: July 26, 2016, 01:11:03 AM »
A demanding schedule, but quite sensibly planned, as interspersed with the big events are what I hope were quiet family dinners with undemanding people like the Duke of Connaught and Frederik of Denmark.

Did Heinrich of Prussia go to the coronation by himself? I have seen no mention of Irene, who would have been about 3 months pregnant with Sigismund at this time and was maybe laid low by morning sickness.

I love the 'specially enlarged imperial box' at the Bolshoi. Given the huge number of royalties listed, it must have been hugely enlarged, or there would have been standing room only!

Ann

Offline Janet Ashton

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Re: A Life for the Tsar King/Ashton
« Reply #34 on: July 26, 2016, 02:32:41 AM »

Did Heinrich of Prussia go to the coronation by himself? I have seen no mention of Irene, who would have been about 3 months pregnant with Sigismund at this time and was maybe laid low by morning sickness.



Irene was indeed back at home, taking no chances with her pregnancy. But she and Henry carefully filed his mementos of the coronation, and in the book we reproduce a number of photographs and other items from their collection, courtesy of Ian Shapiro, an art collector and auctioneer who has always been more than generous in sharing his finds with writers he knows. Glad you gave us the chance to mention this! :-)

And there's a new blog entry up today, exploring the official album printed for Nicholas's coronation, which was an invaluable source for us: -

https://coronationofnicholasii.wordpress.com/2016/07/26/nicholas-iis-coronation-album/
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Offline TimM

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Re: A Life for the Tsar King/Ashton
« Reply #35 on: July 26, 2016, 07:28:03 AM »
Quote
Indeed, up until this point there is very little to criticize about the way they conducted themselves in Moscow.  Of course, everything changed the next morning at Khodynka.

Nicky and Alix should have cancelled the reception  when they heard of the tragedy.

This would be like if President Obama had gone to a fancy dinner in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.  Of course, he toured the affected areas.
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Offline Kalafrana

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Re: A Life for the Tsar King/Ashton
« Reply #36 on: July 26, 2016, 09:48:06 AM »
Tim

I agree, but better still if the French had cancelled the ball and so avoided putting Nicholas and Alexandra in the position of having to choose.

Note that the Austro-Hungarians modified their events because of the death of Archduke Karl Ludwig (then the Emperor's immediate heir presumptive).

Ann

Ann

Offline Eurohistory

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Re: A Life for the Tsar King/Ashton
« Reply #37 on: July 26, 2016, 12:28:17 PM »
The book is now listed and selling on AMAZON.co.uk

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Life-Tsar-Triumph-Coronation-Nicholas/dp/194420704X?ie=UTF8&*Version*=1&*entries*=0


Furthermore, Galignani in paris and Hoogstraten in The Hague have been sent their respective copies and should have the book available within a couple of days.

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Arturo Beťche, Publisher
http://erhj.blogspot.com
European Royal History Journal
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510/236-1730
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Offline Greg_King

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Re: A Life for the Tsar King/Ashton
« Reply #38 on: July 26, 2016, 09:02:29 PM »
As you will see, the issues of the French ball and the ensuing engagements were very complex questions.  Nicholas had the right instincts, but unfortunately let himself be dictated to by others.

The French Ambassador, by the way, fully expected to cancel the ball and was awaiting word from the Imperial Court to make the announcement...that never came, unfortunately.

Offline TimM

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Re: A Life for the Tsar King/Ashton
« Reply #39 on: July 27, 2016, 04:16:03 AM »
Quote
Nicholas had the right instincts, but unfortunately let himself be dictated to by others.

A fatal flaw he never overcame.  That flaw would ultimately cost him his own life,and that of his family.
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Offline Janet Ashton

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Re: A Life for the Tsar King/Ashton
« Reply #40 on: July 27, 2016, 04:11:29 PM »
Today's blog entry is the first part of a list we've compiled of the main guests and representatives of each nation which sent a delegation to the coronation. Many were chosen explicitly because of their connections to the imperial couple - Francis Grenfell of the British party, for example, knew Nicholas from the days of the future Tsar's Grand Tour of Egypt and India, and left a lovely hand-illustrated memoir which we draw on in our book. He was also quite the gourmand, who made careful notes of everything he ate - which we hope will get your mouth watering in places.

Several other guests in these lists also left memoirs, providing unique views of events. You may have encountered Grenfell's before, but we're confident tat you won't know them all!

Many more of the official guests were also relatives of the imperial couple, as you can see.

https://coronationofnicholasii.wordpress.com/2016/07/27/principal-royal-and-diplomatic-guests-attending-the-coronation-part-1/
Shake your chains to earth like dew
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Ye are many; they are few.

Offline Greg_King

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Re: A Life for the Tsar King/Ashton
« Reply #41 on: July 27, 2016, 09:38:14 PM »
Just a little more information on the content:

A Life for the Tsar draws on a galaxy of witnesses both privileged and ordinary to offer a kaleidoscopic portrait of ceremony and disaster.  Weaving together a tapestry of adventures and emotions, the vibrant narrative follows an uncertain Nicholas II and his bride Alexandra as they struggle with unwelcome ceremonial duties; eavesdrops on stuffy men in gold-braided uniforms as they plan the great pageantry; walks in the shoes of tourists eagerly discovering exotic and bewitching Moscow; records the opulent ceremonies of a doomed court; and experiences the horrific Khodynka disaster in mesmerizing detail.  We follow renowned American journalist Richard Harding Davis, swooning over Empress Alexandra and bribing his way across Moscow on behalf of William Randolph Hearst; radical British reporter Aylmer Maude, whose acerbic pen eagerly chronicles the excesses he encountered; and a pair of young French cinematographers, sent to capture the ceremonies on film for the first time who unwittingly find themselves at the center of the Khodynka disaster.  Imperious tantrums by the scandalous Grand Duke Sergei, the Tsarís uncle, lead to tragedy; rumors swirl around the Bulgarian Prince who sleeps in his pink silk nightgown; the Tsarís former mistress gleefully dances in a gala ballet before Nicholas IIís new wife; the Papal representative interrupts state banquets by spitting on his religious rivals; American tourists Emily Warren Roebling, who had supervised completion of the Brooklyn Bridge, Chicago Gilded Age hostess Bertha Palmer, and young Minneapolis debutante Kate Koon are enraptured by the staggering pageantry; diplomats ridicule American Ambassador Clifton Breckinridge as an Arkansas hick; and English missionary Mary Hickley and young factory worker Semen Kanatchikov look on in horror at bruised and bloodied corpses from Khodynka.  These stories, obscure and often ignored, punctuate and puncture the carefully orchestrated ceremonies enacted by the Russian Court.

The gilded pageantry of a coronation and the devastating disaster on the dusty Khodynka field: these two radically disparate forces, shadowing each other like Titanic and its iceberg, form the dramatic narrative of A Life for the Tsar.  The tragedy changed the coronation from fairytale to nightmare.  It was a pivotal moment in Russian history: every move Nicholas II made after 1896, every effort to deal with the problems the empire faced, was viewed through the lens of his response to Khodynka.  In turning triumph to disaster, the last Tsar unwittingly sowed the seeds of revolution.

For the first time, these events come vividly to life in A Life for the Tsar.  Drawing on unpublished archival sources, rare private memoirs, obscure accounts, and contemporary media, a dramatic and engaging narrative reveals how three pivotal weeks in 1896 forever shaped perceptions of Nicholas II.  A Life for the Tsar draws on extensive research to provide a comprehensive portrait of this critical moment in Russian history.  The text includes new and important information from GARF in Moscow, including previously unpublished excerpts from Nicholas IIís diary, Romanov family documents, and other unique items; Imperial Court papers from GIAR (Gosudarstvennyi Istoricheskii Arkhiv Rossisskii, the State Historical Archives of the Russian Federation, in St. Petersburg; previously unpublished Romanov family letters from the Bakhmeteff Archive at Columbia University in New York City; and rare materials from the British Library Collections.  The authors have also utilized more than a dozen rare, privately printed manuscripts, along with numerous memoirs, contemporary press accounts, and obscure pamphlets that give readers innumerable new perspectives and sources on the coronation and on the Khodynka tragedy.

Offline Eurohistory

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Re: A Life for the Tsar King/Ashton
« Reply #42 on: July 28, 2016, 12:24:54 AM »
Hoogstraten English Bookstore in The Hague has copies of the book!

http://www.hoogstraten.nl
--
Arturo Beťche, Publisher
http://erhj.blogspot.com
European Royal History Journal
Kensington House Books
6300 Kensington Ave.
East Richmond Heights, CA 94805 USA
510/236-1730
books@eurohistory.com
http://www.eurohistory.com

Offline TimM

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Re: A Life for the Tsar King/Ashton
« Reply #43 on: July 28, 2016, 07:07:08 AM »
Quote
It was a pivotal moment in Russian history: every move Nicholas II made after 1896, every effort to deal with the problems the empire faced, was viewed through the lens of his response to Khodynka.  In turning triumph to disaster, the last Tsar unwittingly sowed the seeds of revolution.

As I said, Nicholas never really wanted to be Tsar.  Also, his father, never properly prepared him.  Of course, Alexander III never thought he'd die so young (he was 49, my age), so he no doubt thought he'd have lots of time to get Nicholas ready.

The same could be said for Alexandra.  Her predecessor, MF, lived in Russia for nearly twenty years before AIII became Tsar, so she had plenty of time to prepare.  Alexandra, on the other hand, was just thrown into the fray from Day One. 

If Nicholas and Alexandra had been better prepared, one has to wonder if they would have handled things better in the wake of Khodynka and, perhaps their reign would have been much more successful.

Alas, we'll never know.
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Offline Janet Ashton

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Re: A Life for the Tsar King/Ashton
« Reply #44 on: July 29, 2016, 02:40:44 AM »
Here's part 2 of our guests list, including the offending Antonio Agliardi mentioned yesterday in Greg's post (this was the Cardinal who spat on his rivals...).

https://coronationofnicholasii.wordpress.com/2016/07/29/principle-royal-and-diplomatic-guests-attending-the-coronation-part-2/

As you might expect, the various churchmen played quite a big role, and many an hour was spent negotiating tensions between different branches of the Christian faith, as well as between different faiths themselves. You'll read about the contrasts between Agliardi and his British counterpart, Mandell Creighton, who was very deliberately treated as an especially honoured guest by the Russians and couldn't turn around for people offering him tickets to galas or refreshing cups of tea!
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you -
Ye are many; they are few.