Author Topic: Emperor Pavel - life and tragic end  (Read 56887 times)

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Offline Oliver

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Re: Emperor Pavel - life and tragic end
« Reply #30 on: December 10, 2006, 06:07:24 AM »
Thanks! I've been struggling to find a portrait, she looks very beautiful and graceful.

I've done a bit of research and Dmitry Levitzky painted that portrait whilst Catherine was a pupil at Smolny Institute.
Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for truth.
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Offline imperial angel

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Re: Emperor Pavel - life and tragic end
« Reply #31 on: December 10, 2006, 06:09:21 PM »
I have read a biography of him, and his relationship with Nelidova was a bit of a mystery. Since she wasn't his mistress in the conventional sense, people had a hard time understanding her hold over him. I think they would have understood it more easily if she had been his mistress in a conventional sense. This was one area were he did not resemble Peter III. He was always a mystery himself, something he passed down to his son, Alexander I.

Offline Oliver

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Re: Emperor Pavel - life and tragic end
« Reply #32 on: December 12, 2006, 11:32:22 AM »
I really enjoyed the McGrew biography and I wish I could remember all the details but I've forgotten lots  :-[

I remember reading that Nelidova played quite a political role,both her and the Tsarina worked together against some other people. I'm sure I've gotten that right.
Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for truth.
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Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Emperor Pavel - life and tragic end
« Reply #33 on: December 15, 2006, 06:14:24 AM »
2 books by Hugh Ragsdale on Paul I-
TSAR PAUL AND THE QUESTION OF MADNESS [1988]
PAUL I . A REASSESMENT OF HIS LIFE AND REIGN [1979]

 Both are quite good but hard to find.
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

Offline lori_c

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Re: Emperor Pavel - life and tragic end
« Reply #34 on: December 27, 2006, 01:41:44 PM »
Well, there is usually lots about him in biographies of his mother. They usually don't paint him in the most flattering light, for one reason or another. It is true that that he was very complicated. He had to grow up in the shadow of his mother, and he was more than a bit unstable. He had overtones of his supposed father in him ( Peter III), but maybe that was less genetic ( if he was his father), and more that his position as heir to the Russian throne under a dominating Empress ( his mother, not aunt, as it was with Peter III), made him act that way?

Much about Paul's personality is arguably a classic "nature vs. nuture" psychology question when considering whether or not Peter III was his father.  Though to be fair, his personality GREATLY resembled Peter III.  Not only in military training and obsession, he was often considered sickly and small, as was Peter as well as paranoid (which imo could be attributed to his fear of his mother and of assassination by her or those working for her).  There was a mention of Paul's pug nosed look coming from an attack of typhus, though I don't remember just now where I read that.  But he does have other features that are similar to Peter III as well as of his mother.  On this site, under the question of paternity, it is said he resembles other Romanovs as well though it doesn't mention which ones.    But, to be sure, his mother and Peter were second cousins.  Therefore, he could have gotten Peter's looks through Catherine whose mother was of the house of Holstein.

Offline LisaDavidson

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Re: Emperor Pavel - life and tragic end
« Reply #35 on: December 27, 2006, 05:18:05 PM »
Well, there is usually lots about him in biographies of his mother. They usually don't paint him in the most flattering light, for one reason or another. It is true that that he was very complicated. He had to grow up in the shadow of his mother, and he was more than a bit unstable. He had overtones of his supposed father in him ( Peter III), but maybe that was less genetic ( if he was his father), and more that his position as heir to the Russian throne under a dominating Empress ( his mother, not aunt, as it was with Peter III), made him act that way?

Much about Paul's personality is arguably a classic "nature vs. nuture" psychology question when considering whether or not Peter III was his father.  Though to be fair, his personality GREATLY resembled Peter III.  Not only in military training and obsession, he was often considered sickly and small, as was Peter as well as paranoid (which imo could be attributed to his fear of his mother and of assassination by her or those working for her).  There was a mention of Paul's pug nosed look coming from an attack of typhus, though I don't remember just now where I read that.  But he does have other features that are similar to Peter III as well as of his mother.  On this site, under the question of paternity, it is said he resembles other Romanovs as well though it doesn't mention which ones.    But, to be sure, his mother and Peter were second cousins.  Therefore, he could have gotten Peter's looks through Catherine whose mother was of the house of Holstein.

I wrote the Paul biography on the APTM website. What I wrote about his paternity should most properly be read in its entirety, if for no other reason than to avoid out of context comments such as the ones above which refer to the article. I realize not everyone will do this, so I will attempt to summarize.

Many people believe that Paul was fathered by someone other than Peter III, most often mentioned is Saltykov. However, I believe the circumstances and logic make a better case for Peter III being his father than anyone else. These are listed in detail in the article. In terms of resemblances, one expects a resemblance to his mother, Catherine the Great, but he also resembles Peter III greatly - which is a reason why Peter III may have been his father. I am sorry the language was not more precise about this.

Offline lori_c

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Re: Emperor Pavel - life and tragic end
« Reply #36 on: December 28, 2006, 03:43:46 PM »
No, Lisa please forgive me.  my mistake for taking the article out of context.  I should have re-read it before making any comments. Your language WAS precise enough, I hope you can forgive me for my post sounding as if I didn't read it thoroughly the first time.

I do know that many believe that Saltykov to be Paul's father but agree with you that Paul exhibits more characteristics both physical and emotion consistent with Peter III being his true father. I wasn't in disagreement of your article at all, and the reference to him having Catherine's similarities as well as Peter's whether through the Hostein of which Catherine was a part or Romanov through Peter and HIS mother were strictly my own opinion.

Offline LisaDavidson

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Re: Emperor Pavel - life and tragic end
« Reply #37 on: January 01, 2007, 10:31:12 PM »
No, Lisa please forgive me.  my mistake for taking the article out of context.  I should have re-read it before making any comments. Your language WAS precise enough, I hope you can forgive me for my post sounding as if I didn't read it thoroughly the first time.

I do know that many believe that Saltykov to be Paul's father but agree with you that Paul exhibits more characteristics both physical and emotion consistent with Peter III being his true father. I wasn't in disagreement of your article at all, and the reference to him having Catherine's similarities as well as Peter's whether through the Hostein of which Catherine was a part or Romanov through Peter and HIS mother were strictly my own opinion.

Lori: I think we can just say, we're cool. I hadn't re-read that piece in a good 8 years, and sometimes, when I read something I've written before, I realize I could have been clearer. I think that's the case here, but if you understand my point after re-reading, that's terrific.

I would still love to see DNA testing to see who fathered Catherine's son. My theory has always been that she would never have allowed herself the freedom of her own desires unless she had actually produced a legitimate heir from her husband. But, I could be wrong.

Best,

Lisa

Offline lori_c

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Re: Emperor Pavel - life and tragic end
« Reply #38 on: January 03, 2007, 10:21:55 AM »
Lisa

I would love it if DNA were allowed on poor Paul too.  I agree, that she was too self disciplined in the beginning to understand her own sexuality to bear an illigitmate child.  I feel as you do, that after she bore a legal heir, she perhaps felt secure in her own sexuality to realize what she had been missing in the bedroom, though perhaps not so secure in her position as a GD in Russia.

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Emperor Pavel - life and tragic end
« Reply #39 on: January 03, 2007, 11:03:16 AM »
Poor Paul indeed. There is even a story that was not his mother's son either! The old "baby switch" routine.
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

Offline lori_c

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Re: Emperor Pavel - life and tragic end
« Reply #40 on: January 03, 2007, 04:00:04 PM »
I hadn't heard that one before!  But some of her grandchildren, imo did exhibit Catherine's traits.  So, i'm betting that's a nice tall tale.

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Emperor Pavel - life and tragic end
« Reply #41 on: January 03, 2007, 04:29:34 PM »
I would not give it much credence either. It is mentioned in the Ragsdale books as an aside to all the other rumours about his  origins [?]
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

Offline imperial angel

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Re: Emperor Pavel - life and tragic end
« Reply #42 on: January 04, 2007, 09:49:59 AM »
Poor Paul indeed. There is even a story that was not his mother's son either! The old "baby switch" routine.

Indeed, although he was a much wanted heir, he became a victim of many of those around him. He was often used for other's purposes and not his own. He was in the end murdered by his son, because it was felt that it would be better if Alexander I was on the throne, as Paul's behavior was often erratic. His personality was certainly complex, but the circumstances of his life only made that more true.

Offline lori_c

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Re: Emperor Pavel - life and tragic end
« Reply #43 on: January 04, 2007, 10:21:42 AM »
I agree that Paul's behavior could be erratic but I found something interesting on Wikipedia:

The popular view of Paul I has long been that he was mad, had a mistress, and accepted the office of Grand Master of the Order of St John, which furthered his delusions. These eccentricities and his unpredictability in other areas naturally led, this view goes, to his assassination. This portrait of Paul was promoted by his assassins and their supporters, and has become accepted wisdom mainly by repetition.

Comparatively recent research has reconsidered and rehabilitated the character of Paul I. In the 1970s, two academic panels provided the assessments of new research into Paul I: one at Montreal in 1973 and the other at St. Louis in 1976. Some of the findings were presented in a book edited by Hugh Ragsdale in 1979: Paul I: A reassessment of His Life and Reign, University Center for International Studies, University of Pittsburgh, 1979. The reappraisal of Paul I has demonstrated his character as someone of high morals, who followed his conscience.
 

Paul suffered a lonely and strict upbringing, and whilst he was eccentric and neurotic, he was not mentally unbalanced. Though an analysis of his biography reveals an obsessive-compulsive personality, he had "characteristics fairly common in the population at large". Where Paul differed, was that by 1796 he had to manage the whole of the Russian Empire.


Though I don't agree that he wasn't unfaithful, I do agree that he wasn't mentally unbalanced.  Though surely open for debate, it is nice to read that people are reconsidering their position on this unfortunate man.

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Emperor Pavel - life and tragic end
« Reply #44 on: January 04, 2007, 10:35:51 AM »
The Ragsdale books do offer a fairrly positive reassesment of Paul and his [aborted] reign.  It is too bad they are hard to come by and costly when one does find them.
It seems to me that Paul was "removed" not so much for his supposed instabilty as he was for threatening the status quo. The entrenched powers-that-be were on their way out if he remained.
 I still have not figured out his logic in the Malta affair, however, despite his friendliness with the Roman Catholic Pope.
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.