Author Topic: Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion  (Read 88286 times)

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Offline Katherine The O.K.

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Re: Marie Feodorovna - Your Opinion
« Reply #45 on: August 20, 2006, 09:27:20 PM »
I think Marie was an excellent empress, good wife, and ok mother, as some other have said.

I think she was a very intelligent woman, who never had her intellectual capabilities fully developed- she was also quick to judge and somewhat immature.

Alix, on the other hand, was not nearly as bright as her mother in law (not that she was stupid, but one really only has to read the letters of these women to realize what a vast gulf lay between them), naive, and also immature, but in a shy, nervous way. She was a great deal more reserved.

I think they clashed for all these reasons- it wasn't simply that Alix was taking the place of Marie in Nicky's life, it was that she and Marie shared almost NO interests. They had nothing to base a relationship on.
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Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion
« Reply #46 on: August 20, 2006, 09:46:13 PM »
I think Minny was one of the most well read of the three sisters. She also had street smarts and know how to react and handle people (the fact that she was able to use her tact and charm to disarm politicans and rival family members (like Michen) alike was a great achievement for any consort). however Minny was no intellectual and did not have the far sights of politicans to handling the difficult part of ruling. She understood this very well (unlike Alicky, who was ironically much more intellectual than her). I think the only thing Alicky and Minny share was the concern for the imperial children.  ;)

Offline ilyala

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Re: Marie Feodorovna - Your Opinion
« Reply #47 on: August 22, 2006, 10:04:37 AM »
as far as intellectual goes, i think alix was more intellectual than minnie, meaning she probably read more. but it was a sort of bookworm intelligence that she developed, rather than the social intelligence of minnie which was much more useful in the whole empress of russia situation.
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Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion
« Reply #48 on: August 22, 2006, 08:53:04 PM »
Yes ! It helps that Minny likes to meet people, while for Alicky it was a chore to be endured.  ::)

Offline James1941

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Re: Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion
« Reply #49 on: August 25, 2006, 11:04:54 AM »
Normally the Empress became Head of the Russian Red Cross upon the succession of her husband as Sovereign Emperor. Minnie, however, refused to relinquish that role to Alexandra, just as she refused to relinquish the jewels that should have gone to Alexandra. Alexandra won the fight over the jewels but lost the one over the Red Cross. Minnie continued to head it, and she continued to protect her protege who ran the Red Cross. This man was grossly corrupt and stole millions of roubles from the organization to the point that it became something of a scandal. And yet Minnie refused to dismiss him. When the war came in 1914 the Russian Red Cross was so totally incompetent that private individuals had to organize hospitals and hospital trains. Could it have been than the empress dowager profitted from this corruption? And Minnie was political. She was a bad judge of persons and many of her recommendations to Nicholas for appointments to high office were very bad. She was conservative and her influence on Nicholas in the beginning led him to make many bad choices. He was inclined that way, of course, but without his mother's influence he might have listened to other opinions. Alexandra won the battle for influence over Nicholas and Marie was slowly shut out so that by 1916 Nicholas hardly listented to her but that was her own fault. Private memoirs relate that both Queen Alexandra and Empress Marie could be charming in public but in private they were petty and selfish, insisting getting their own way above all else.

Offline Janet_W.

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Re: Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion
« Reply #50 on: August 25, 2006, 12:10:13 PM »
Thank you, James, for the information re: the Red Cross. I hadn't been aware of that situation. Despite Marie's personal charisama, my empathies are all the more for her daughter-in-law.

Offline LisaDavidson

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Re: Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion
« Reply #51 on: August 25, 2006, 02:42:29 PM »
Well, there are certainly two sides to this particular story. On one side is MF, who was a wonderful empress and a passable mother, who could be petty and strong willed, but had many friends and acquaintances. On the other is AF, who was a horrible empress, a devoted wife and mother, who could also be difficult, and was a wonderful friend to the few she had. I think it's a shame they could not have been friends for Nicholas' sake. My own husband is grateful that his mother and I are friends - he is never caught between the two women he loves best.

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Re: Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion
« Reply #52 on: August 25, 2006, 07:18:47 PM »
When speaking of intelligence gained from reading as opposed to that gained from dealing with eveyday situations, I believe we call that "book smart and life stupid".

Alix was "book smart and life stupid".

Minnie and her sister Alexandra were petty and selfish and very controlling when it came to their children. 

While I don't belive that Minnie should have disappered into "widowhood" after the death of AIII, I think she could have shown Alix a little more compassion and sympathy.  I think that Minnie was just plain jealous and not ready to retire.  She didn't want to give up the rights and privileges of Empress. 

She was popular and she could have done a lot to help Alix, but instead, she fought with her over everything big and small.  Again, she was being selfish and petty.

Minnie came a long way from the "Yellow Palace" in Denmark and waiting tables for her own parents and sewing her own clothes to the height of Empress.  She simply forgot where she came from.

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion
« Reply #53 on: August 25, 2006, 07:45:35 PM »
Just a bad situation all around. Perhaps Alix should've allowed Nicholas more time with his mother, so newly widowed and distressed, as well as having to adjust to not being Empress. It was just unfortunate that 2 women, so different in so many key ways, were thrust together in such a stressful and emotional time, with both of them needing Nicholas's time and attention. I think there's plenty of blame and sympathy to go around for both women concerning this particular period.

Certainly MF was very aware of her perogatives and privileges as Empress from the first to the last. She almost stirred up dissension between another set of mother/daughter-in-laws, Alexandra and Mary, who were very different in temperament, by telling Alexandra not to relinquish certain privileges to her successor.
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Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion
« Reply #54 on: August 26, 2006, 12:05:30 AM »
I think had Nicholas II was another like his father (he remain boss until the time he died). He would have controlled the two most influenceial women in his life. But he was a wimp and led them guide him ! A bad situation... >:(

Offline LisaDavidson

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Re: Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion
« Reply #55 on: August 27, 2006, 11:08:16 AM »
Eric - you are entitled to your very sexist and mysogynistic opinion, but I find your comments disrespectful to women. Women are not to be "controlled" like animals, and just because Nicholas II wasn't like this does not make him a wimp.

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion
« Reply #56 on: August 27, 2006, 11:54:37 AM »
Perhaps "wimp" is a bad choice of word, but it is not secret that Nicholas was emotionally badgered by both his mother & wife. He was also weak and indecisive. I see nothing sexist in that assessment.
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Offline LisaDavidson

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Re: Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion
« Reply #57 on: August 27, 2006, 02:06:30 PM »
That's because there isn't. It's sexist to say that women should be controlled by men. Behind such rhetoric are the corpses of women beaten and killed by men seeking "Control". We don't need that here, do we?

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Marie Feodorovna -  Your Opinion
« Reply #58 on: August 27, 2006, 02:20:24 PM »
Of course not, Lisa. I guess I just did not see the comment in such strong terms
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Offline Forum Admin

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Re: Marie Feodorovna - Your Opinion
« Reply #59 on: August 27, 2006, 03:26:19 PM »
English is clearly not Eric's first language.  I suspect that he did not really mean anything nearly as sexist as it may have come out, and I think Robert was just interpreting what Eric really meant.