Author Topic: OTMA - smoking, make up and clothes  (Read 102874 times)

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Offline Sarai

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OTMA - smoking, make up and clothes
« on: February 15, 2004, 03:36:36 PM »
I recall reading that the Grand Duchesses all smoked, and were taught to do so by their father himself. I have also seen pictures of them with cigarrettes in hand and apparently smoking. Yet a caption next to a photograph showing Anastasia apparently smoking in the book "Nicholas and Alexandra: The Family Albums" (pg. 218) reads: "Anastasia is smoking - is she simply trying to imitate her father or has she inherited this vice from him? This seems unthinkable, particularly since the parasol means that the Empress is present, and she would never have allowed her daughters to smoke."

Despite this assertion on the part of the author, I tend to believe that they did in fact engage in smoking due to having read and seen more information supporting that fact. Which leads me to the question - WHY were they allowed to smoke? What did people of the time think about this habit with regards to ladies doing it? I suppose that at the time the great health hazards of smoking were unknown, so it was probably acceptable in general as a pleasurable and relaxing vice. However, did they not at least think that it was un-lady like and improper? I imagine that a proper Victorian lady like Alexandra would indeed have been disapproving of her daughters taking up such a habit, and yet apparently it was done. Any thoughts?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Sarai_Porretta »

Offline Lanie

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Re: OTMA - smoking and make up ?
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2004, 04:22:02 PM »
From what I understand, all the girls smoked, and Alexandra smoked too.

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: OTMA - smoking and make up ?
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2004, 07:15:45 PM »
I have read many books on the Romanovs and have seen many pictures, but have never come across the "smoking" part! That's very surprising to me, I wonder at what age they were allowed to start?

James Hogland

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Re: OTMA - smoking and make up ?
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2004, 10:08:40 AM »
Dear Lanie. Where do you get your information about the empress and the girls smoking? We know Nicholas smoked like a chimney, and had a special cigarette holder shaped like a pipe, which allowed him to hold his cigarette in different positions. The empress's sister Victoria Mountbatten also smoked right up to her death at eighty something, which caused her deep, gruff voice.
The pictures spoken of here, if they are the ones I think they are, show the girls in a field, where they have stopped to stroll on a visit to their father at his headquarters during the war. The cigarettes might have been only a way of keeping the flying insects off. This was a common practice at that time, before aerosol sprays.

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: OTMA - smoking and make up ?
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2004, 10:27:44 AM »
Nicholas gave the girls cigarettes - not many - just a few.  They seemed to think it was very adult.  The photographs and the references to the cigarettes are in the girl's letters on the AP site.

Alexandra smoked special French cigarettes.  She says she does it to calm her nerves.  She also mentions giving it up duing Lent or one of the Orthodox fasts.

Bob

Offline Nick_Nicholson

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Re: OTMA - smoking and make up ?
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2004, 08:56:50 AM »
There is a picture on page 303 of "The Romanovs; love power and tragedy" of Anastasia lighting a cigarette off of Olga's cigarette as they sit in the park of the Alexander Palace.  The photo is inscribed "O.N. and A.N. are in the Park. A.N. is smoking. The Photo was taken by M.N.   It was Nicholas who taught his daughters to smoke, and sometimes he sent them cigarettes from Stavka.  In a letter to her father, Anastasia once wrote "Thanks for the smokes, we are really enjoying them." (ibid. p. 302)
Nick Nicholson
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Offline Katharina

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Re: OTMA - smoking and make up ?
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2004, 09:02:20 AM »
According to Prince Roman Romanov all of the Grand Dukes used to smoke a lot whereas the Grand Duchesses and Alexandra Feodorovna used fans and foulards to get rid of the smoke. There was only one female exception to the rule: the Dowager Empress who was a sort of chain smoker after her husband's death. RR emphasizes the fact that she did not even use a mouthpiece.
Moreover he states that she behaved like this because she was not fond of her daughter in law.

It's interesting that Alexandra Feodorovna made a volte-face later.

Jenna Nash

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Re: OTMA - smoking and make up ?
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2004, 01:15:06 AM »
   I read a thing from the diary of Tatiana and it said someone gave her a smoke and she like it 8)! Well I guess that smoking was cool back then! Wait it is now too ;).                                                                   -Jenna :-*

Janet Whitcomb

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Re: OTMA - smoking and make up ?
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2004, 07:59:21 AM »
At that time, and continuing through to the 1950s, smoking was actually thought to have medicinal benefits.  Also, in correspondence to her father, one of the girls makes reference to the concept that smoking would keep flying insects away.  Alexandra smoked, but privately, since it was not considered ladylike but rather daring and--in many circles--mannish.  When OTMA smoked, they did so for several reasons . . . because they were close to their father, and he offered them cigarettes in the manner of one companion to another, and because, like all young people, they were eager to try new things, and things that were rather daring.  But while Alexandra smoked privately, and not as frequently as her husband, Nicholas smoked a great deal, and his health began to reflect it.  No one can dispute that he was in great overall physical shape, due to his love of exercise, but while at Stavka he experienced what today would be diagnosed as symptoms of a heart attack.  Moreover, in some of her photos from the war period, Alexandra shows signs of premature aging.  Although most of this had its root cause in her many years of anxiety re: Alexei, smoking cannot have improved the haggard, worn look on her face. If OTMA had lived, and their interest in smoking had progressed from frivolity to habit, undoubtedly they would have gone from being "cool" to unnattractive and very, very ill.

Offline borgia

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Re: OTMA - smoking and make up ?
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2004, 07:39:31 PM »
The girls were young women in the early years of a daring new century;that was starting to give new freedoms to females.While they  may   have lived some what isolated  lives;they most likely saw women of court,society,servants smoke.To be one of the new and modern  ,they too,  might have lit up.And because they may have been isolated;all the more reason to do something daring and new.Perhaps even their brother smoked. All the more him;because of his health preventing his  leading a boys usual wild life;he too,would dare.

Offline Tatiana02

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Re: OTMA - smoking and make up ?
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2004, 04:39:22 AM »
Does anyone know if they smoked all the time or once in a while?

Offline Sarai

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Re: OTMA - smoking and make up ?
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2004, 07:42:08 AM »
Quote
Does anyone know if they smoked all the time or once in a while?


I believe that, unlike their father, the girls smoked only once in a while. When their father gave them cigarettes, they seemed to consider it a real treat, so it was not a usual thing.


rskkiya

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Re: OTMA - smoking and make up ?
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2004, 08:10:18 AM »
Quote
At that time, and continuing through to the 1950s, smoking was actually thought to have medicinal benefits.  Also, in correspondence to her father, one of the girls makes reference to the concept that smoking would keep flying insects away.  Alexandra smoked, but privately, since it was not considered ladylike but rather daring and--in many circles--mannish.  When OTMA smoked, they did so for several reasons . . . because they were close to their father, and he offered them cigarettes in the manner of one companion to another, and because, like all young people, they were eager to try new things, and things that were rather daring.  But while Alexandra smoked privately, and not as frequently as her husband, Nicholas smoked a great deal, and his health began to reflect it.  No one can dispute that he was in great overall physical shape, due to his love of exercise, but while at Stavka he experienced what today would be diagnosed as symptoms of a heart attack.  Moreover, in some of her photos from the war period, Alexandra shows signs of premature aging.  Although most of this had its root cause in her many years of anxiety re: Alexei, smoking cannot have improved the haggard, worn look on her face.



These are all very true

     The daughters smoked due to the the health standards of the age-- it was considered a healthy expectorant  (Remember - 3 out of 4 Doctors smoke "Camels" used to be a advertising jingle... I think ;)) and no doubt because it was "cool" and a special treat !
     Alix also smoked -- its often mentioned in her letters to N.  and while I do agree that Alix began to look haggard in later years, this is indeed as likely to be due to issues related to the war , Alexie, her sciatica, having four teenage and tween age daughters and just being in her late 40 somethings ...  8)

    Who knows what progress science will make in 50-100 years - proving just how off balance our current "health standards" might be! ;D

rskkiya
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by rskkiya »

Sunny

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Re: OTMA - smoking and make up ?
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2004, 10:03:26 AM »
Years ago, in my study of Transpersonal psychology, it was pointed out that smoking can afford the smoker a means to "stuff" anger and sadness, and can in a metaphorical sense, provide a "smokescreen" for the smoker. Imo Nicholas "stuffed"  a lot of his sadness and anger... smoking constantly.

I think that Alexandra's beauty was ravaged by her constant worry for Alexei. Her feelings of personal responsibility for his condition, and seeing it as "divine
condemnation" (page 29 in Greg King's The Man Who Killed Rasputin ) created feelings of guilt that are unimaginable.

Sunny


Val289

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Re: OTMA - smoking and make up ?
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2004, 11:08:46 AM »
Quote
Years ago, in my study of Transpersonal psychology, it was pointed out that smoking can afford the smoker a means to "stuff" anger and sadness, and can in a metaphorical sense, provide a "smokescreen" for the smoker. Imo Nicholas "stuffed"  a lot of his sadness and anger... smoking constantly.

I think that Alexandra's beauty was ravaged by her constant worry for Alexei. Her feelings of personal responsibility for his condition, and seeing it as "divine
condemnation" (page 29 in Greg King's The Man Who Killed Rasputin ) created feelings of guilt that are unimaginable.

Sunny




Interesting thoughts, Sunny- esp. regarding Nicholas..... could very well be close to the truth...