Author Topic: Favorites and Least Favorites  (Read 96923 times)

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Offline edubs31

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Re: Favorites and Least Favorites
« Reply #405 on: January 30, 2012, 09:18:57 AM »
My favourite Romanov lady has to be Olga Alexandrovna - down-to-earth, unpretentious, and made a success of exile.

I agree wholeheartedly with this. A very impressive and admirable woman...one of my favs as well!
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Offline Sunny

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Re: Favorites and Least Favorites
« Reply #406 on: January 30, 2012, 02:18:29 PM »
I'm not keen on Xenia either, but for different reasons. Unlike Olga Alexandrovna, she expected others to provide for her during her exile and really didn't do anything to help herself.

you know, i don't knoe much about her, and my previous statements were, I admit, a bit arbitrary; i've read a bio about Xenia (the one written by Van der Kiste&Hall) and I loved her fewer and fewer going on. But she made an awful impression on me, and i did not read anything else on her.

BTW, Ann, even if you don't like Tatiana & Anastasia, i enjoyed your little story about the dancing lessons very much. I really think you've cought them - they ways of being,
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Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Favorites and Least Favorites
« Reply #407 on: January 31, 2012, 01:19:40 AM »
Sunny

Thank you for your kind comment about the dancing lessons. When I've written about the family, I've tried to stick to what is known and verifiable. My portrait of Alexandra is kinda hostile, but it's based on what is known.

Ann

Offline Sunny

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Re: Favorites and Least Favorites
« Reply #408 on: January 31, 2012, 07:08:29 AM »
Sunny

Thank you for your kind comment about the dancing lessons. When I've written about the family, I've tried to stick to what is known and verifiable. My portrait of Alexandra is kinda hostile, but it's based on what is known.

Ann

You're most welcome, Ann. I liked it and hope to read something else soon ;)
I can understand you about Alexandra - me too, writing of her, sometimes portrays her as hostile, even if i like her.
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Offline Petr

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Re: Favorites and Least Favorites
« Reply #409 on: January 31, 2012, 10:57:07 AM »
My favourite Romanov lady has to be Olga Alexandrovna - down-to-earth, unpretentious, and made a success of exile.

I agree although the end of her life was sad and difficult.  She was a a remarkable woman and what I would truly label "une Grande Dame".

Although a bit off point, I should also point out that many in the aristocracy who came from great wealth and lost it all still managed to somehow make ends meet (apart from driving taxis in Paris). Usually, the women fared better than the men (isn't that always the case) and were able to adjust more easily. Interestingly, many seemed to gravitate to the fashion industry opening salons (e.g., Princess Irina Yusupov (the House of Irfé), Grand Duchess Marie of Russia, who founded another Paris-based fashion concern, the embroidery house of Kitmir, Princess Lyubov Obolensky, Princess Maria Trubetskoy and Maria Annenkov, who owned the house of Tao on the Avénue de l'Opéra; and lesser but no less brilliant lights in the firmament of Russian/Baltic aristocracy, such as Baroness Cassandra Accourti and my great Aunt Helen and her sister Betty Buzzard, née Baronesses Hoyningen-Huené, who ran the influential houses of Ardanse and Yteb, respectively, and finally my paternal Grandmother and another Great Aunt -- cf., Alexandre Vassiliev's wonderful Beauty In Exile: The Artists, Models, and Nobility Who Fled the Russian Revolution and Influenced the World of Fashion), probably because they had been exposed to high fashion themselves and often developed refined tastes which was appreciated by the wealthy.  My paternal Grandfather never did fully recover from the change in his status and refused to give up his Nansen Passport and status as a Russian émigré.

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Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Favorites and Least Favorites
« Reply #410 on: January 31, 2012, 11:03:41 AM »
Hello Petr

Thanks for this. I wonder whether the professional classes in general fared better than the aristocracy because they had skills which were in demand. Some years ago I did meet a gentleman named Paul Brennikov whose father had been a doctor in Russia before the Revolution. Brennikov senior became a GP in Liverpool and Paul himself read Natural Sciences at university, served in the Royal Navy in WW2 and eventually became a Professor of Town Planning.

There was also Herbert Swann, a member of an English family long domiciled in Russia, who was also a doctor. Again, he became a GP in England, and was the father of Donald Swann, well known here for comic songs (including 'Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud' and 'Have Some Madeira M'Dear').

Ann

Offline Petr

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Re: Favorites and Least Favorites
« Reply #411 on: January 31, 2012, 04:21:44 PM »
Dear Ann,

On balance I should think so but it would depend on the profession. Attorneys probably not because they would have to qualify all over again to be licensed and language would probably be a problem.  The laws and legal systems were also different from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, although Germany had many of the same concepts as the Russian legal system.  Doctors were better off (apart from the language problem which was always an issue) since there is no difference in the human body from country to country although accepted practice methods may differ, but they still would have to qualify and take exams in most jurisdictions before they were allowed to practice.  Engineers were likewise lucky because math and science doesn't change from country to country.  Academics, assuming they possessed the appropriate language skills, could also make the transition many of them teaching history, literature and language (some establishing quite distinguished careers). Like you I also know examples of professional individuals who were able to make the transition.

I think those that had the toughest time were the aristocratic senior members of the military class hence the anecdotes of Russian Parisian taxi cab drivers and doormen who were former officers.  Obviously, I don't even mention the mass of emigres who really did suffer greatly.  There was a large group that went to Brazil with the promise of work who wound up as indentured servants working in the mines under horrid conditions.  In fact, the story of the Russian Diaspora is very interesting and perhaps merits a thread of its own. Like chaff in the wind White Russians were scattered all over the globe.     

Petr

P.s: I loved Donald Swann. Didn't realize he had a Russian connection. Likewise Dame Helen Mirren. Can't keep a good Russian down I always say.     
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Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Favorites and Least Favorites
« Reply #412 on: February 01, 2012, 03:27:25 AM »
If you can track it down (must be long out of print now) Herbert Swann's book is called 'Home on the Neva' and is very interesting. Lots about upper middle class Russian life before the Revolution.

Ann

Offline Vecchiolarry

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Re: Favorites and Least Favorites
« Reply #413 on: February 01, 2012, 11:15:56 AM »
Hi,

Thanks Ann for reminding me of Donald Swann and "Have Some Medeira, M'Dear"......
Happy memories;  and now I'll be humming that song all day long!!!!!

Larry

Offline Vecchiolarry

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Re: Favorites and Least Favorites
« Reply #414 on: February 01, 2012, 11:23:01 AM »
Hi,

As to my favourites in the Russian sphere:
Aunt Stanny:  GD Alexandra Iosephovna and
Aunt Stassie:  GD Anastasia Michaelovna and
Aunt Meichen: GD Maria Pavlovna....

All strong characters and worthy of the title "Grandest of the Grand Duchesses"....

Of course, my most favourite royal is the British Queen Elizabeth II - nobody can top her!!!

Larry

Offline Petr

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Re: Favorites and Least Favorites
« Reply #415 on: February 01, 2012, 12:53:43 PM »
Aunt Meichen: GD Maria Pavlovna....

Dear Larry,

Unfortunately, GD Maria Pavlovna (the elder) maintained a salon which was a hot bed of oppositionists to the Tsar and his wife and carried on an active campaign of malicious gossip against them, that, in time of war, some could call treasonous.


Petr   
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Offline Vecchiolarry

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Re: Favorites and Least Favorites
« Reply #416 on: February 01, 2012, 06:35:13 PM »
Hi Petr,

Yes I agree, she wasn't exactly 'politically correct' and was 'overly ambitious';  but that's what I like about her - she was controversial and interesting...

I am no longer interested in NAOTMAA, as they were dull, except for the Rasputin era...  My opinion.

I'm much more interested in some of the minor Romanovs and Russian nobles now.

Larry

Offline Chris_H

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Re: Favorites and Least Favorites
« Reply #417 on: July 06, 2013, 04:06:22 PM »
Favorites:
I really like Tsar Nicholas I and Tsar Alexander III
Nicholas I's wife Empress Alexandra
Tsarevich Nicholas Alexandrovich
the Konstantinovichi branch, KR, his siblings and family
Grand Duke Mikhail Nikolaievich and the mikhailovichi
Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna

I have really tried to like Alix but I just don't like her.  I think she was a great mother and wife. 

Offline Kassafrass

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Re: Favorites and Least Favorites
« Reply #418 on: October 20, 2013, 02:10:01 PM »
I'd have to say my two most favorite Romanovs are Olga Nikolaevna and Maria Feodorovna (Dagmar).

My reasons for loving Olga are very simple - she and I seem to be remarkably similar from what I've read. Readers and writers, with a sharp mind and the ability to perceive the world around us in a way that's different from others, to see the things that others miss. We're both the eldest of 5 children and could be very lazy and bossy and had a hot temper! She also had a tendency to get anxious and (I think) depressed and I have battled with both of those for years. We even both have an upturned nose, hehe. So I feel that I simply must love my dear Olenka because I identify with her so much.

Maria Feodorovna simply FASCINATES me. She was very lovely in her youth and I quite enjoy reading about her relationship with her husband. Her relationship with her children and Alix bring even more intrigue as well. A very interesting character.
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Offline AngelAnastasia

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Re: Favorites and Least Favorites
« Reply #419 on: May 14, 2014, 01:22:49 AM »
I love Nicholas II. So tender and delicately kind. And his eyes... stare at them for a minute, you might begin to cry. They're melancholically beautiful.
Best picture of his eyes: https://www.flickr.com/photos/68919024@N07/14202898273/
Sydney Gibbes, English tutor to Nicky's children, said of him,
"He had a presence that was second to none, so full of quiet and assured self-possession and dignity.  But it never inspired fear.  The deepest senitment that it invoked was awe, not fear.  I think the reason for this was his eyes.  Yes, I am sure that it was his eyes, so wonderful were they...they looked you straight in the face with the kindest, tenderest, the most loving expression...His eyes were so clear the it seemed as if he opened the whole of his soul to your gaze, a soul that was so simple and pure that it did not fear your scrutiny...This was his great charm..."
When Matilda K was asked if she thought that Anna Anderson was truly Anastasia, she said that she thought so, because the woman had "Nicky's eyes."
Matilda was in her 90s when she was asked that; she remembered his eyes after over sixty years - that's incredible, I think.
And I love that he doesn't seem to take himself too seriously, what with his imitating an airplane, posing like a model on beaches, etc... he took goofier photos than Anastasia, actually (who, by the way, is a close second for my favorite).
Picture of Nicholas upside-down (example of his wonderful strangeness): https://www.flickr.com/photos/68919024@N07/14180177932/
And speaking of pictures, I love when Nicholas looks happy in photos. It makes you smile.
Empress Marie said that Nicholas was so pure of heart that he did not believe in evil. Alexandra's brother, Ernie, described him as "a saint and an angel."
In his personality, Nicholas really does remind me of Jesus, he's so lamblike (or Lamb-like in this case).
“...because I rant not, neither rave of what I feel, can you be so shallow as to dream that I feel nothing? ”
"I saw a little girl, her eyes tightly closed, holding to the old kind world, one that she knew in her heart could not remain, and she was holding it and pleading, never to let her go.