Author Topic: King Carol I of Romania and his family  (Read 111421 times)

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Offline LORENZO

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King Carol I of Romania and his family
« on: May 16, 2005, 04:25:19 PM »
I'm looking for some photo about her and some title of her books as poet Carmen Sylva.
Thank you!

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: King Carol I of Romania and his family
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2005, 08:46:43 PM »
Books

Edleen Vaughn or Paths of Peril 1891

From Memories Shrine:  The Reminiscences of Carmen Sylva (Translated by Edith Hopkirk) 1911

Golden Thoughts of Carmen Sylva Queen of Roumania
(Translated by H. Sutherland)
 
A Heart Regained - A Novel (Translated by Mrs. Mary A. Mitchell) 1888

Legends from River and Mountain  Carmen Sylva and Alma Strettell 1896

Letters and Poems of Queen Elisabeth (Carmen Sylva)    1920

Mein Rhein! 1884

Poems (Translated by A. H. Exner)

A Real Queen's Fairy Tales (Translated by Edith Hopkirk)
1901

Shadows on Love's Dial (Translated by Helen Wolff)

Songs of Toil (Translated by John Eliot Bowen) 1888

Suffering's Journey on the Earth (Translated from  "Ledens Erengang," by Margaret A. Nash)




« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by grandduchessella »
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Offline Janet_W.

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Re: King Carol I of Romania and his family
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2005, 09:45:20 PM »
I'm so glad fellow posters are showing interest in this fascinating if strange woman! She was world-famous during her lifetime, and I'd certainly like to know more about her myself. Queen Marie has interesting things to say about her, but it would be intriguing to read the opinions and comments of others as well.

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: King Carol I of Romania and his family
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2005, 10:09:15 PM »
1889 quoted in a letter to Theo Sanit-Remy a passage from Van Gogh that a “childless woman is like a bell without a clapper—the sound of the bronze would perhaps be beautiful, but no one will ever hear it.”

Gives a bit of an insight to how she may have felt after the loss of her only child.  :(
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Offline Janet_W.

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Re: King Carol I of Romania and his family
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2005, 10:14:15 PM »
Wow, that's just the kind of thing I'm interested in, grandduchessella. Thank you! Gives some insight into her feelings and tells us she wasn't just an eccentric figure . . . that she had some very poignant and profound thoughts. What a tragedy that her child died and her husband took little (if any) interest in her.

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: King Carol I of Romania and his family
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2005, 10:15:53 PM »
Excerpts from an article published by James Carleton Young in The Outlook, October 1, 1904:

The author spent a good deal of time during the immediate period before the article corresponding with her and spending time visiting her at her palace.

"she possesses, after all these years of active life, full intellectual vigor, and is one of the most incessant workers among the sovereigns of the world."

"Elisabeth has given to the world the example of a pure Court where intellectual life abounds—where high thoughts are spoken and noble plans developed. Her Maids of Honor are women of exemplary lives, who visit the hospitals, look after the poor, and plan with the Queen during every hour of every day for the best interests of the Roumanian people. No one believes more firmly in the value of time than this industrious Queen. While the Royal Orchestra, which is excellent, and often led by her, plays afternoons in the magnificent music-hall, whose walls are lined with books, her Majesty writes poetry which during the interlude she recites to the accompaniment of the harp. At the same time the ladies, young and old, occupy themselves in embroidering and various tasks."

"Her first drama was produced at sixteen, and the tragedy of "Master Manole," written in 1892, was accorded the highest praise by the most eminent critics. Her operas have been successfully presented in Munich and other cities of Europe. In collaboration with the brilliant Mademoiselle Vacaresco, she wrought the Roumanian legends into "The Tales of the Dimbovitza," which for beauty of expression remains unrivaled among folk-lore tales. A bibliography of her writings would include over thirty books, besides hundreds of magazine articles. Her book of aphorisms, "The Thoughts of a Queen," was accorded a medal of honor by the French Academy. "

"She embroiders exquisitely, paints miniatures on ivory, is a fine musician, having been a pupil of Rubinstein and Clara Schumann, a brilliant conversationalist, an accomplished linguist, speaking fluently six languages and understanding as many more. A poem written in native German is often read by her in English or French before an audience without previous preparation of translation. Founding schools, opera-houses, hospitals, and asylums, encouraging the peasant women to embroider and the men to cultivate the mulberry-tree, a liberal patron of the arts, an architect and adviser of a nation... "

"has been foremost in building a German Lutheran Church. By nature deeply religious, her devotion is shown in acts as much as by formal attendance at divine services. The walls and stained-glass windows of the church are covered with inscriptions all written by the royal hand. All her revenues, except those required for necessities, even the large sums received from the work of her versatile pen, are devoted to charities. The ideal charity carried on at this time is Segenhaus, the ancestral castle on the Rhine, which....was inherited by the Queen from her mother, who died some two years since. This historic place has been refitted as a home for the weary, but only educated people, who have devoted their lives to good and meritorious work in art, literature, or philanthropy, are invited to its shelter."

"She lost heart when her only child, the Princess Marie, was borne to eternal rest in the beautiful park of Cotroceni. Her ardent poetic nature was centered in the lovely idol whose sweet presence she enjoyed for only four years, and she was crushed with unutterable grief, which has expressed itself in all her poetry and every subsequent action of life."








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Offline PucknDC

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Re: King Carol I of Romania and his family
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2005, 08:57:44 AM »
I ahve never heard of this Queen....can someone provide more information on her history or a link?
B.J. Stampler

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Re: King Carol I of Romania and his family
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2005, 10:25:18 AM »
Hi PucknDc

She was born a Princess of Wied in 1843 and married the Karl of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen (who was chosen as King of Roumania) at the age of 26. Prior to that Queen Victoria had considered her as a possible for one of her sons but Vicky quite put her off the idea writing that she:
" is no doubt a most superior girl - but I am so afraid of the health of the family; the more I hear she seems to be the only healthy one. They have every species of disease in the family."

and again:

"I do not think her at all distinguée looking…She is not tall and has an underset figure not graceful, very fresh complexion and white teeth, a great many freckles and a mark of a leaf on one cheek which does not show much. She has not a pretty nose and rather a long chin. She is what you would call a strong healthy looking girl - nothing more - she does not look very ladylike and head not well dressed -whether she is clever or not I cannot say.

She is so odd…she says such things that sometimes I do not know which way to look - I get so hot - and she talks so much, and so loud and laughs so loud, manners that are really very strange considering that she is 17…She seems very learned, not at all stupid but I fear tact, esprit ds conduite and royal bearing are not yet developed…I think she seems very healthy and strong and accustomed to a simple mode of life - her figure is decidedly bad in a low gown, such broad, square shoulders, not refined looking…She speaks excellent English, not very refined German, the expression being rather too strong for a lady now and then.

After her marriage she associated with many 'bohemian friends' & actively encouraged her nephew, the future King Ferdinand to begin an affair with her favourite poetess. This behaviour caused a great deal of consternation & King Carol eventually sent her back to her mother in Wied, but her mother was already involved in a scandal, having allegedly married one of her staff!!

When Elizabeth returned to Roumania, she more or less made Marie's (of Edinburgh) life miserable by repeatedly interfering in everything she did.
She only outlived her husband by 2 years - dying in 1916.

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: King Carol I of Romania and his family
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2005, 06:49:35 PM »
From a contemporary magazine:

"She was a robust, bright-eyed little girl, a very piece of quicksilver, to whom it was needful to teach reading at the age of three, in order to keep her occupied. Her alert intelligence was carefully trained by her cultured parents and by able tutors. She soon distinguished herself by her knowledge of languages, her passion for poetry and music, and her genuine love of the fine arts. Nor were the strictly feminine branches of education neglected. Princess Elizabeth learned to ply her needle as deftly as her pen, her cooking spoon as well as her drawing-pencil. But she was by no means a merely studious child. Her lively animal spirits needed constant vent, and many a time would she manage to get outside the park, gather the village children about her, and prove the ringleader of wild and merry games."

"There was not much etiquette in her father's little court, where sorrow and sickness had early taken up a permanent abode. The father was a chronic invalid, and the mother was prostrated for five years, while during the whole period of Princess Elizabeth's intellectual development, for eleven years, her youngest brother struggled wearily with a life of pain to which death hourly held out hopes of release. It is easy to understand what a sad impression all this must have made on the sensitive mind of the young girl and why it was needful that the family life should be both quiet and natural. To give her a chance of expanding, to strengthen the health of her second brother, and also in the hope of benefiting the little invalid, the mother caused a farm to be laid out in their country seat, in which the children themselves tilled the ground, milked the cows, tended the poultry, sowed and cut the grain, in short, did with their own hands all rural labors. This regime was especially healthful to Elizabeth, who was by nature a fantastic child, inclined to weave romances and live in dreamland. "

"Journeys to the Isle of Wight, to various German towns, and even to Paris, for the purpose of seeking change of air, and surgical aid for the invalid brother, had broken the monotony of the Princess's life; but not until she was seventeen did she make acquaintance with the great world. She then paid a visit of several months to the court of Berlin. Here an adventure befell her, and if, as Lord Beaconsfield asserts, adventures are to the adventurous, it was but right and proper that a romantic accident should befall the mercurial Princess Elizabeth. Rushing down the stairs one day with her habitual impetuosity, she slipped and would have fallen to the bottom, bad not a gentleman who was ascending at the same moment caught her in his arms. It was a fall laden with unexpected consequences, for she had fallen into the arms of her future husband. "

"In 1862 her little brother died, and soon after her most intimate friend. In 1867 it was thought well that the Princess should be removed awhile from the house over which ever hung the shadows of sorrow and death. Therefore her aunt, the Grand Duchess Helena of Russia, took her traveling to various parts of Europe. While at St. Petersburg she was struck down with typhus fever, and when she recovered it was to learn the bitter tidings that her adored father had passed away. "Must all I love on earth be borne to the grave?" is the burden of a mournful poem written in her journal of that date. Music became her only consolation, and during her convalescence she took lessons from Mme. Schumann and Rubinstein. In the summer she went home, to find the quiet home yet quieter and sadder. During the next years every summer was spent at home on the Rhine, every winter traveling with her aunt. Even when away she diligently pursued her studies. "
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Offline grandduchessella

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Re: King Carol I of Romania and his family
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2005, 06:52:54 PM »
"Even so it was a little while before she could consent to resign her fiercely cherished independence, but she yielded, and in November of the same year [1868]he took her to his home amid the Carpathians, after she had been united to him four times over, namely: according to the German civil code, according to the Lutheran, her own religion, according to the Roman Catholic, which is his, and according to the rites of the Greek Church, which is the creed of their kingdom. Arrived in her new home, she at once threw herself with native ardor into all her new duties. She learned to read and write Roumanian, she made herself acquainted with the needs and requirements of the land, and soon saw that she had not been wrong when, years ago, she had aspired after this throne as one which would give her a noble work to do. While keeping herself carefully aloof from the entanglements of politics, the result of her endeavors was soon felt more beneficially than those of cannon or diplomatists. She founded schools, hospitals, soup-kitchens, convalescent homes, cooking-schools and crèches; she encouraged popular lectures; she inculcated respect for sanitary laws, most needful in an eastern land; she founded art galleries and art schools. These institutions now bear practical testimony to the Queen's energetic love for her nation and her kind. "

" It seems that Roumanian women have ever been famed for their powers of spinning and weaving, their deftness in embroidery; but the new Queen found that a love for tawdry West-European clothes and Parisian fashions threatened to extinguish their national art and to render the picturesque costume of the country a thing of the past. Out of her own private purse she founded a school of embroidery, in which the old Byzantine patterns were carefully reproduced. She encouraged the peasants to bring to her the robes they had embroidered, and when in the country she donned the national costume, and made her ladies wear it too, the only difference between her dress and that of the peasants being that she wears the veil, which, as in old Greek costume....[and made]it obligatory that at the annual charity balls in Bucharest the national costume would be worn."

"In 1870 the Queen became a mother, and though her child was only a little girl, and hence of no value to the land as heir, she was none the less precious to her mother's heart. For four years, four precious years, all the Queen's happiness was centered in this child; in her babe's beaming eyes she forgot all griefs, all worries. Joy, of which she had known so little in her life, had taken up its abode beside her, and for a time banished Sorrow, her too faithful attendant. There is a most charming portrait extant of the Queen, in all the pride and joy of young motherhood, carrying her child pick-a-back upon her shoulders. We seem to hear her speak the words of her own poem, "The Mother":

The fairest word on earth that's heard,
On human lips the fairest word,
    Is mother.
To whom such name shall once belong,
High honor hers her whole life long,
    A mother.
But all her earthly joys are o'er,
Who is and then who is no more
    A mother.*


Alas! she was to be among the latter; her happiness was as short as it was intense. Death, who had already taken from her so much, dealt her the hardest, bitterest blow of all, a blow from which she will never recover. She has well said: "Almost every one has had his Gethsemane and his Calvary. Those who arise thence no longer belong to earth." That is the impression the Queen makes on those who know her. Though she can be merry enough at times, it is evident that earth does not hold her tightly, that she is one of those who have known grief and drunk its bitter cup to the lees. An epidemic of scarlet fever raged in Bucharest, and to this scourge the little Princess fell a victim. "Other mothers had to give up their treasures," said the Queen, "why should I hope to escape?" But it was her ewe lamb that had been taken. Then it came about that sorrow made the Queen an author."
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Offline grandduchessella

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Re: King Carol I of Romania and his family
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2005, 06:56:04 PM »
"Now, after this sore blow, her pen became her loved companion and trusted friend. She poured out her woe in song; she versified the tender sayings of her tale; she translated into German the favorite Roumanian folk-songs of her little one. This book she published, in the hope that what had given pleasure to her darling would also please the little ones in her distant German home among the vineyards and oak forests. All these early poems, as indeed her poesy in general, are characterized by a tone of deep melancholy, not the fashionable and too often artificial world-pain, but a true and deep life-weariness, the utterance of one from whom life has taken all away, and to whom only death can now be donor. She looks to him to save and release her, and


"Death is one with joy, 'tis he
     Heals and sets free."

It was in 1880 that she first published. From the beginning she had taken a lively interest in the literature of her new country, greatly assisting its revival and culture; and since she never lost sight of the Fatherland she had left behind her, her desire was to act as interpreter to the European nations to whom Roumania was a terra incognita. Hence she translated a selection of Roumanian poems into her "beloved German tongue"; and to the land of grapes and forests, to the Rhine that witnessed her childhood, with a certain regal pride she presents this battalion of Roumanian poets. Behold, she seems to say, Vasilio Alecsandri, who has written eight volumes and has created the national drama; Eminesca, the poet of pessimism; Negruzzi, who writes prose as excellently as verse; Scherbanescu, who writes as vigorously as he fought; all these are citizens of the land over which I reign.
    Her next work was called "Stürme," and was thus dedicated to her fellow-women:


"Ye, having heart and strength to bear
Deep in the fervent-glowing soul,
Whom the fierce flames of Passion's self
But strengthen, making firm and whole.

"Ye, having might, when tempests rage,
To lift the head, free, fearing nought,
Whom the heart-pressing weight of life
Rules with the sway of earnest thought;

"Ye, breathing only light and warmth,
Forever, like a live sun's ray,
Till tenderly the bare black earth
Kindness and joy brings forth straightway; --

"Smiling, great burdens have ye borne,
Mountains of woe, and still smile on;
Guerdonless, where no trumpets sound,
Victorious battles have ye won.

"There laurel is not, nor loud fame;
There secret tear-drops fall like dew.
O Heroes, whom no crowds proclaim,
Women, I give this book to you."


    The book contains four narrative poems of very unequal merit. The best is "Sappho," which, though it shows many evidences of immaturity, is original in form and treatment. Regardless of archæological necessity, with a boldness that seems to betoken a lack of reverence for historical accuracy and traditional propriety, the writer has allowed herself to take great liberties with the old Greek story. The Sappho whom she puts before us, a Sappho who desires to be nothing but a mother, who lives with her daughters and companions in a fabled castle, which for all its Greek name must have stood somewhere in German lands, is a Sappho who never existed. Quite un-Greek is the fable which causes two hearts to be torn asunder by grievous misunderstandings; un-Greek the spirit that pervades the many really charming lyrics interspersed in which the tone of world-weariness prevails; un-Greek too the form, original though the idea undoubtedly is, to blend the pentameter with the old German alliterative rhyme. It rings sonorously, and proves how seriously the writer has studied her art, that she ventures to stray from the beaten path and create a rhythm for herself. Indeed, her style is always correct and often original and striking. All four poems are rich in lyrics. The Queen has caught the peculiar warm, homely, fanciful tone that distinguishes German lyricism from that of other nations. It is in its lyrics that the often roughly handled, but naturally uncouth German tongue shows of what music and subtle fancies it is capable. But these lyrics defy translation; they lose too much when they give up their aroma of native speech. The brief title "Storms" well expresses the dominant note of the poems. Their tempestuous character would lead one to think that Byron had been the writer's model; but I have it from her lips that, unlike most Germans, she cares little for that poet.
    Her next publication was in prose, a novelette called "Ein Gebet" (A Prayer), of which a clumsy English translation appeared under the paltry title of "A Love Tragedy." Soul Tragedy would have been more to the point. As a girl the Queen had often desired to write novels, but had ever put them aside with, "When I know the world, not before; I am only a Princess." This story shows she had learned to know the world and its many subtle trials, its bitter silent combats, defeats, and victories whereof the outside public knows nothing. A narrative poem, "Die Hexe," succeeded this, a work suggested by Professor Carl Cauer's statue of a fair demon, a piece of sculpture that excited much attention at the Paris Exhibition of 1878. This work is very characteristic of the Queen's writings, in that she is apt to write too fast, so that excellent fundamental ideas are made abortive by inadequate execution. She does not observe the Horatian maxim; the impetuosity that is a part of her character is reflected in her work. She lacks patience. This fault is really to be deplored, and the more that the Queen has genuine poetical gifts, a fine fancy, a musical ear, fire and grace. But her facility constitutes her weakness. Had she not been a royal author, had she had to do battle with the exigencies, caprices, uncertainties of publishers and editors, she would have received just that schooling which she lacks, and which hinders her from being a great poet, and confines her within the ranks of the minor singers.
    In the "Hexe," and in her next published work, "From Carmen Sylva's Kingdom," the Queen's strong leaning toward the romantic school is plainly marked. The folk-lore of her land has been embellished by passing through the alembic of her fanciful German brain, and hence the tales lose as contributions to comparative mythology, while they gain as fairy stories. This work, too, was penned in haste, but there was a reason for it. The Roumanian Minister of Culture had begged permission of the Queen to make a selection from her poems as a prize book for the national schools. She offered instead to write something specially suited for the purpose, and in three weeks laid before him the version of Roumanian folk-tales which she had actually written in the Roumanian tongue, and had further illustrated with her own pencil. She dedicates the book to the children of her realm, telling them how the proudest kingdom she owns is one which they too can make their own, the kingdom of fancy."
   
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Offline grandduchessella

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Re: King Carol I of Romania and his family
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2005, 07:01:12 PM »
"Solely the Queen's own invention are the cycle of stories that followed this book, called "Leidens Erdgang" (Sorrow's Earthly Pilgrimage).* Disconnected stories, they are yet bound together by one fundamental idea, an idea wholly symbolical. The Queen has here dealt with the eternal question, Whence and wherefore is sorrow in the world? Sorrow is brought before us as a child, the daughter of life and strife, a lovely child, and yet one upon whom none can look without weeping. She has no home, but wanders restlessly from place to place, turning in now here, now there, and ever creating havoc by her visits. It is in these visits the author lets us follow her. Sometimes we remain in the realms of pure allegory or of fairy tales; sometimes the stories are so modern, so realistic, that we are startled when, at the end, the symbolical element reenters. After touching the whole gamut of human misery in the last story, the objective character is abandoned, and in autobiographical form, under the title, "A Life," the royal author has told the history of her sufferings. It is veiled under a slight cover of fiction, but it is unmistakable that here we have Carmen Sylva's soul laid bare before us.
    "I wanted to find Truth. Then Sorrow took me by the hand and said: 'Come with me. I will lead you to Truth, but you must not fear on the way!' No, I fear nothing. I am so strong I can carry mountains." Thus she begins her earthly wanderings, guided by Sorrow. She is led into the domain of the arts, and chooses music; and she sings and plays until her voice is weak and her hand fails her, and yet she cannot attain her ideal. Mournfully she puts aside the instrument, seeing she cannot be an artist. She then seeks Truth in science, but is forced to recognize that wisdom is for her but death and dust, and what she desires is to live. Then Sorrow leads her to the death-bed of a youth who fought long and sorely with dire sickness until at last he succumbed. She is made acquainted, too, with other death-beds; she weeps bitter tears beside the graves of her beloved, until at last she would die of grief. "What! die already?" said Sorrow. "You who said that you could carry mountains! Why, you have not lived yet, for you have not loved." Then Sorrow brings her to the man to whom she is to belong for life. "And Sorrow led me into matrimony and made me a mother, and loaded great and rich labors upon my shoulders. I groped about to find the right road, for we had to encounter misunderstanding and mistrust, and on the steep path stood Hate and Strife. But I did not fear, for I was a mother. Yet not many years was this high dignity mine; the beaming eyes of my child were closed, and I laid its curly head in the cold grave. Yet I stood erect, notwithstanding the fire in my breast, and asked of Sorrow, 'Where is Truth? Now that all earthly joys, all earthly hopes, have been borne to the grave, there remains for me nothing save Truth, and I have a right to find her.' Then Sorrow pressed into my hand a pencil and said, 'Seek.' And I wrote and wrote, and I knew not that I exercised an art, since years ago I had, with heavy heart, renounced an artist's life." She then strives to do good where she can; she learns to know mankind. War shakes her realm with his iron heel; she solaces the wounded and afflicted. She is ill and weary, she is no longer young, she has drunk deep of the cup of bitterness, and yet she has not looked upon Truth. "'There she stands,' said Sorrow; and when I lifted my eyes I saw a silent water and a little child stood beside it whose eyes gleamed. 'Is that child Truth?' I asked. Sorrow nodded. ' But as Sorrow said this the child grew bigger and bigger, until it held the whole world in its hand and embraced the entire heavens. 'Do you see Truth?' asked Sorrow. 'And now look within you; she is there also.' And as I looked within, I cried, 'Why have I fought and suffered? She was ever there about me and within me, and now I will die.' 'Not yet,' spoke Sorrow. Then it grew misty before my eyes, and I saw nothing more. Sorrow took me by the hand and led me onward."
    The Queen's next work was written in verse. It is called "Jehovah," and is a new treatment of that oft-told tale about Ahasuerus, the Wandering Jew, a legend that may truly be interpreted as a type of its own persistence. Carmen Sylva's version of the myth is by no means the least fortunate and profound, treating the Jew as seeking belief and love, who cannot die till he has found God. And it is both bold and new to treat this motive from a wholly modern and Darwinian point of view. Many stages of existence, many metamorphoses of being has Ahasuerus to go through before he is brought to recognize that God is no visible great King, but a spirit and a truth, a working power pervading the all, whose manifestations have been evoked and made evident throughout the ages in the form best suited to the people, and the temperaments wherewith it dealt; that God in brief is too great for human grasp, but that each man knows him according to his power of comprehension. He learns this at last when, broken and weary, he has given up all hope. Both tender and powerful is the scene in which cognition comes to him, when the spell that bound him is broken, and he dies blessing the great Life that lives eternally.

From her earliest childhood Queen Elizabeth had been in the habit of noting down in large, album-like books her impressions of men and things, her life and thought experiences. Many of these detached utterances were written in French, and when, a couple of years ago, the Parisian journalist Louis Ulbach visited the Queen and regretted that he could not read her writings, he was permitted to see these. Greatly struck, he asked permission to publish a selection,--a permission which was accorded,--and under the collective title of "Les Pensées d'une Reine," these maxims and paradoxes were given to the world. In my opinion, they are quite the best work the Queen has done, and, had she written nothing else, would have given her a standing as an author. They are most remarkable, revealing acute insight, a wide range of intellectual capacity, a broad background of ripe thought."

"One does not know what most to be struck with, her profundity of thought or the naive simplicity, the frank sincerity, she has preserved amid courtly surroundings. Indeed, talking with her, one is almost tempted to think that she herself is greater than anything she has yet produced; that would she but write less rapidly, she might take that high rank among modern writers her ambition desires. She thinks it is her title that stands in her way. "That terrible title; you don't know what a block it is. No one will believe in you. They think you are only praised because you are a queen, or think this is all very well for a queen." But she is mistaken; it is not the title, but the office, that hampers her. Though it is Carmen Sylva's ardent desire to be a poet and an author, she desires with equal ardor to fulfill the duties of her station; and, in striving after this, she tries to do more than human strength will allow. She endeavors to lead a dual existence. Thus she rises daily at four A. M. (at one time she rose at three, but this she found too fatiguing), trims her lamp, and works till eight. Those hours, she explained to me, were the only ones that were truly hers in the course of the day, when she might be an author and a woman; the rest she is Queen of Roumania....When she and the King sit down to dinner they are often so tired they cannot speak a word. Yet early sleep is not for her. Bucharest is a very gay capital -- the city of pleasure, it has been called -- and a very late one. Gala performances and balls do not begin before ten or eleven at night. The Queen rarely gets to bed before one, and so has but four hours' sleep. This must wear out her mental and physical organization. In the summer the court retires to Sinaïa, a health resort in the Carpathians that combines the grand scenery of Switzerland with the more lovely and romantic features of the Italian Alps. Here in a fine old monastery was the temporary residence of the court, now vacated for the quaint castle that has been built after their Majesties' own designs at a rather higher level. But even here there is no rest for the hard-worked Queen; she must receive and entertain as in the capital. Only three weeks, three precious weeks, in the autumn, are quite her own, when Sinaïa is emptied of all but its royal guests. Then she retires to a small chalet she has built for herself in the wood, within sound of the gurgling Pelesch. Here her pen has full play to hurry along as quickly as it pleases. Here she transmutes her personal sorrows and experiences into impersonal works of art."

Helen Zimmern
The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine - August, 1884

They also serve who only stand and wait--John Milton
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aleksandra

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Re: King Carol I of Romania and his family
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2005, 07:34:18 PM »
Wow that lady realy had a life dont you?
:o

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: King Carol I of Romania and his family
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2005, 09:00:47 PM »
"Carmen Sylva" wrote with facility in German, Romanian, French and English. A few of her voluminous writings, which include poems, plays, novels, short stories, essays, collections of aphorisms, etc., may be singled out for special mention:

Her earliest publications were Sappho and Hammer stein, two poems which appeared at Leipzig in 1880.

In 1888 she received the Prix Botta, a prize awarded triennially by the Académie française, for her volume of prose aphorisms Les Pensees d'une reine (Paris, 1882), a German version of which is entitled Vom Amboss (Bonn, 1890).

Cuvinte Sufletesci, religious meditations in Romanian (Bucharest, 1888), was also translated into German (Bonn, 1890), under the name of Seelen-Gesprache.

Several of the works of "Carmen Sylva" were written in collaboration with Mite Kremnitz, one of her maids of honor, who was born at Greifs-wald in 1857, and married Dr Kremnitz of Bucharest; these were published between 1881 and 1888, in some cases under the pseudonyms Dito et Idem. These include:

Aus zwei Wdten (Leipzig, 1884), a novel
Anna Boleyn (Bonn, 1886), a tragedy,
In der Irre (Bonn, 1888), a collection of short stories
Edleen Vaughan, or Paths of Peril, a novel (London, 1894),
Sweet Hours, poems (London, 1904), written in English.

Among the translations made by "Carmen Sylva" are:

German versions of Pierre Loti's romance Pecheur d'Islande

German versions of Paul de St Victor's dramatic criticisms Les Deux Masques (Paris, 1881-1884);

and especially The Bard of the Dimbovitza, an English translation of Helene Vacarescu's collection of Romanian folk-songs, etc., entitled Lieder cms dem Dimbovitzathal (Bonn, 1889), translated by "Carmen Sylva" and Alma Strettell.

The Bard of the Dimbovitza was first published in 1891, and was soon reissued and expanded. Translations from the original works of "Carmen Sylva" have appeared in all the principal languages of Europe and in Armenian.

They also serve who only stand and wait--John Milton
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Offline Janet_W.

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Re: King Carol I of Romania and his family
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2005, 10:15:04 PM »
Grandduchessella, thank you for giving of your time and keyboarding and/or scanning to bring all this info our way! "Carmen Sylva" has, for me, been a bit hard to "get a handle on," but no longer! Thank you very, very much . . . especially given that you have a hundred other things competing for your attention!

Janet