Author Topic: Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion  (Read 59251 times)

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Offline mariefeodorovna

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Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion
« on: May 03, 2005, 08:26:14 AM »
Hello,

What's your opinion of Marie Feodorovna, the Dowager Empress?  Especially her relationship with Alix, her opinions?  Was she liked during her lifetime? Do you like her or is ther something you dont like? Do you think she infuenced her husband or Nicky at all?

Thanks!  It would be really interesting if you could take part!

MF :)

Offline otmafan

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Re: Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2005, 08:30:29 AM »
I personally think Maria Feodorovna was wrong when she was mean to Alix (of course, I am not saying Alix was always right). She was not loving to her and didn't make her feel welcome in her new country. I think she could have be a little nicer.

Offline mariefeodorovna

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Re: Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2005, 08:42:53 AM »
In what ways was Marie 'mean' to Alix?

MF :)

Offline Laura Mabee

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Re: Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2005, 09:08:10 AM »
Hiya Mariefeodorovna!
What an interesting question. I know it's been touched upon in many threads. I personally feel sympathy for Maria Feodorovna, however, I do believe her actions were unjust to Alix.

Here is the thread that might interest you!

Offline Lass

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Re: Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2005, 09:14:16 AM »
The Dowager Empress did not think that Alix would make a suitable tsarina, and with good reason. I know that they did not get on, and this would have led to bias on Marie Feodorovna's part, but I think she really did have a valid point. In my opinion, Alix went on to fulfil her mother-in-law's fears.

Besides this, it would be best to bear in mind that at the time of Nicholas' wedding to Alix, the Dowager Empress was in mourning for Alexander III. That must have been a bad start to their relationship, as Marie would not have felt up to making close acquaintance with a young, awkward woman whom she didn't like, directly after the dead of her beloved husband. It seems hard to say that she was 'mean'.

However, you had better also bear in mind that I am biased, as the Dowager Empress was the first Romanov I read about, and remains my favourite. ;)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Lass »

Offline mariefeodorovna

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Re: Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2005, 11:00:11 AM »
What do you think popular was like back in Russia regarding Marie?  Is there any reverence of her in todays Russia?  I have always wondered!  She is always cast with bright lights  and dark shadows, but I have never truly found out why.  In Coryne Hall's book she does touch upon some of the issues but they are not deeply discussed, eg when she married Sasha after Nixa's death and the viscous gossip around that.

MF :)

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2005, 12:15:36 PM »
I supposed when they (finally!) interr the remains of MF in Russia next to Alexander III you'll be able to see how she is thought of/remembered in the country. I wonder how much ceremony there will be? I have noticed that with the publication of some of her diaries and a couple other things (in Russian) that there could be at least a revival of interest in her.
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Offline LisaDavidson

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Re: Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2005, 07:15:28 PM »
Quote
Hello,

What's your opinion of Marie Feodorovna, the Dowager Empress?  Especially her relationship with Alix, her opinions?  Was she liked during her lifetime? Do you like her or is ther something you dont like? Do you think she infuenced her husband or Nicky at all?

Thanks!  It would be really interesting if you could take part!

MF :)


A. My opinion - MF was an excellent Empress and wife and a passable mother.
B. Relationship with Alix- Very complex. They got on in the earlier years, were competitive in the middle years and were estranged around the time of the Revolution, mostly over Rasputin. These were two very different women. Alix was an abomination as an Empress, an excellent mother and a good/passable wife.
C. MF was much admired during her lifetime by the people who knew her. Liked is not the word I would use.
D. Do I like her? I admire her, she did her job, and I very much respect that.
E. Unquestionably, she influenced all three tsars she personally knew - Alexanders II and III and her son Nicholas.

Offline Dmitry2

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Re: Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2005, 01:53:29 PM »
The Dowager Empress was consumate in her role as Empress.  She was a delightful and charming consort.  

Unfortunately, she did not see past that and realize that her role as Dowager was, in part, to help and ease Alexandra's sudden transition to Empress.

Marie Feodorvna was used to charming and controlling and the new Empress was not the kind of person to succumb to that.  

Olga Alexandrovna hit the nail on the head when she said that the two of them tried ot understand each other but were simply fundamentally different people and could not form that kind of a bond.

Having said that, I think that Marie Feodorovna could have used her experience and influence and even her charm to not take the precedence she was entitled to and to simply deal with Alexandra on Alexandra's own terms.  After all, she recognized the essential nature of her daughter-in-law, but did nothing to work within that framework.

It has always seemed to me that the Dowager Empress was not prepared, either personally, or psychologically, to help the new Empress.

That, I am afraid, was seeking personal gratification and issues over the good of the Empire.  

For what has gone before and never will again...

Offline jehan

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Re: Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2005, 05:50:00 PM »
Quote
The Dowager Empress was consumate in her role as Empress.  She was a delightful and charming consort.  

Unfortunately, she did not see past that and realize that her role as Dowager was, in part, to help and ease Alexandra's sudden transition to Empress.

Marie Feodorvna was used to charming and controlling and the new Empress was not the kind of person to succumb to that.  



Having said that, I think that Marie Feodorovna could have used her experience and influence and even her charm to not take the precedence she was entitled to and to simply deal with Alexandra on Alexandra's own terms.  After all, she recognized the essential nature of her daughter-in-law, but did nothing to work within that framework.

It has always seemed to me that the Dowager Empress was not prepared, either personally, or psychologically, to help the new Empress.

That, I am afraid, was seeking personal gratification and issues over the good of the Empire.  



I don't know about that- Marie was simply following the longtime Russian tradition that the dowager Empress has precedence- it was the way that things worked in the culture of the court.  She really couldn't change that, even if she wanted to (which I doubt
;) ).  Nicholas couldn't or wouldn't change it either.  It may have been strange to Alix, and it does seem strange to most of us, but it was the way of the court for generations, and surely Alix understood this, or should have.  After all, it was her "job" to conform with Russian traditions and protocol.   Had Marie given precedence to Alix, it would probably not have made Alix more popular- it would have made her MORE unpopular IMHO-  for shoving aside the beloved dowager (in their eyes).

I agree that they were fundamentally different people, and it would have been difficult for them to get along even had Nicholas remained just the heir for 20 years or so after their wedding.  But things would certainly have been easier for both of them had that been the case- Marie would have had more years to shine, and Alix would have had a few years in the background to learn her role and raise her family.  Alexander's early death was a tragedy in so many ways!
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Offline etonexile

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Re: Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2005, 06:04:43 PM »
It is the tragedy in every family writ large.... :'(

Offline mariefeodorovna

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Re: Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2005, 08:28:01 PM »
Something which Coryne Hall touched upon in her book on Minnie was the fact that opinions had changed recently on the Dowager Empress - from bad to good.  What has caused this to happen? What was the negative gossip Hall infers?

MF :) Just wondering! Read the book 3 or 4 times and always wondered!  :D

Offline Svetabel

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Re: Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2005, 12:38:28 PM »
IMHO the most interesting biography on the Empress MF has been recently written  by A.Bokhanov (in Russian),"Sud'ba imperatrizi" ("A Destiny of the Empress"). The author was basically guided by the materials from  Russian and Danish Archives...so one can see a real face of the Empress through her vast correspondence.

Offline mariefeodorovna

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Re: Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2005, 06:22:28 PM »
Hello

Where can I buy this book from?

MF :)

Offline RealAnastasia

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Re: Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2005, 07:23:37 PM »
Hi:

      I think that both women had very different ways to see the life and the world. Marie Feodorovna didn't mean to be mean to Alix. She criticized her, only for she wouldn't act like Alix at all, nor socially, nor politically. Marie was an "Empress comme il faut", this is she loved the great imperial balls, and to be a leader in the imperial society. Alix was a shy, middle-class  minded woman, with high Victorian values, but she couldn't fit the standards that her mother-in-law thought a real Tsaritsa would have.

       My own opinion is that both were good empress, but they have very different styles. For Marie, an empress must be resplendent, sparkling and love socials , beatiful dresses, etc ; For Alix an empress must be over all things a model for all the mothers of Russia, the mother of Russia herself, a religious person. For Alix, religion, family and Russia are her whole life.

     The Marie-Alix  relationships were complex, as mariefeodorovna said. Two woman so different couldn't understand each other well, and besides, both tryed hard to influence Nicky. I can understand both of them, and I like Marie and Alix , however, in very different things. For me, Marie is the ideal empress. Alix, a great mother, a great wife and a deep sincere religious woman.

         RealAnastasia.