Author Topic: Books on the Hesse Royals  (Read 135459 times)

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Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Books on the Hesse Royals
« Reply #195 on: November 16, 2012, 10:57:14 AM »
Ernie was the most expressive parent, that does not mean that Ducky did not love her daughter.

I read that Ernst wrote his memoirs. Were they published ?

Offline perdita

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Re: Books on the Hesse Royals
« Reply #196 on: November 16, 2012, 11:47:51 AM »
Ernest Ludwig was Lord Mountbatten's uncle.  

In Pamela Mountbatten Hick's new book "Daughter of Empire" she decribes her visits with her father's uncle Ernest Ludwig & second wife Eleonore as a very happy experience. She charaterizes Ernest as inventive and fun loving and his second wife "Oner" as "extremely kind and patient".  

Although it was said Victoria of Battenberg was an egalitarian who didn't take royalty seriously, she is described by her granddaughter as more imperious than previously thought.

Pamela Hicks on her Mountbatten matriarch grandmother, Victoria, Marchioness of Milford Haven:

"Even though the king had turned her into a marchioness, she was still a princess in the eyes of her family. My father always kissed her hand before kissing her on the check. As children we didn't think much of her royal starus, but on one motifying occasion, before breakfast, Grandmother called my sister over and said; 'Patricia, dear child, you know all my OTHER granddaughters give me a little curtsey when they say good morning and goodnight.'  In point of fact we also kissed her hand and courtsied, but Patricia must have been a little stiff-kneed that weekend. So rare was it for Grandmama to show any disapproval towards us that ever after my sister's bob was so low she was almost on the floor."

It's unlikely royalty stickler Victoria's younger sister the Empress Alexandra would have remonstrated a granddaughter for not remembering her royal status in a private setting.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2012, 12:09:08 PM by perdita »

Offline perdita

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Re: Books on the Hesse Royals
« Reply #197 on: November 16, 2012, 12:05:24 PM »
Ernie was the most expressive parent, that does not mean that Ducky did not love her daughter.

I read that Ernst wrote his memoirs. Were they published ?

Ernest Ludwig wrote his memoirs for archival use. Not sure his reminiscences were published. (?)

Apparently, Princess Elizabeth did question her mother's love. Of course, that doesn't mean Victoria Melita didn't love her daughter. However, Princess Elizabeth's angst attitude towards her mother suggests that the AWOL Victoria Melita's priorities were not centered on her duties to Hesse-Darmstadts, her husband, or daughter.

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Books on the Hesse Royals
« Reply #198 on: November 16, 2012, 04:43:56 PM »
I think Ducky was too young to be a mother and the only example she had was Marie Coburg, who wasn't very expressive in her feelings. So even if Ducky loved her daughter dearly, she wouldn't be able to show it. Ducky had a lot on her plate and may not be as diligent as Ernie in her demonstration, but that is too hasty to say that she did not love her daughter.

Offline Janet Ashton

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Re: Books on the Hesse Royals
« Reply #199 on: November 16, 2012, 04:53:09 PM »

Although it was said Victoria of Battenberg was an egalitarian who didn't take royalty seriously, she is described by her granddaughter as more imperious than previously thought.

Pamela Hicks on her Mountbatten matriarch grandmother, Victoria, Marchioness of Milford Haven:

"Even though the king had turned her into a marchioness, she was still a princess in the eyes of her family. My father always kissed her hand before kissing her on the check. As children we didn't think much of her royal starus, but on one motifying occasion, before breakfast, Grandmother called my sister over and said; 'Patricia, dear child, you know all my OTHER granddaughters give me a little curtsey when they say good morning and goodnight.'  In point of fact we also kissed her hand and courtsied, but Patricia must have been a little stiff-kneed that weekend. So rare was it for Grandmama to show any disapproval towards us that ever after my sister's bob was so low she was almost on the floor."


Interesting - and quite in line with the Victoria who was scandalised when her nurse dropped the "Princess" before their names! (though she was still a child at the time, of course).

It was common for European children to show such marks of respect to elders in the early twentieth century, so Victoria might have been betraying her German roots as much as her royal ones in expecting this, but I think the idea of her as some sort of socialist was overplayed by Mountbatten and his "pet authors".  In the 1890s she wrote to Queen Victoria that she believed in gradual change for Russia, when the people were deemed ready, and the whole family was supportive of Grand Duke Serge's views on the need to go VERY slow  - see, for example, her brother's memoirs. Of course, everyone will say they believe slow change is better than revolution, but it's a standard conservative argument: "change will come, but only when we say so."

Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you -
Ye are many; they are few.

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Books on the Hesse Royals
« Reply #200 on: November 17, 2012, 08:00:32 AM »
If only everybody can read Ernie's memoirs. I don't think it was published.

Offline Helen

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Re: Books on the Hesse Royals
« Reply #201 on: November 17, 2012, 09:01:39 AM »
Actually, they have been published, but only in German, I believe.
"The Correspondence of the Empress Alexandra of Russia with Ernst Ludwig and Eleonore, Grand Duke and Duchess of Hesse. 1878-1916"  -  http://www.bod.de/index.php?id=296&objk_
"Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig and Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine in Italy - 1893"

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Books on the Hesse Royals
« Reply #202 on: November 17, 2012, 10:07:46 AM »
Really ? That is news to me. Can I find in in Amazon.com in German ? Do you have a link or was it out of print ?

Offline Helen

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Re: Books on the Hesse Royals
« Reply #203 on: November 17, 2012, 12:12:26 PM »
Title: "Erinnertes. Aufzeichnungen des letzten Grossherzogs Ernst Ludwig von Hessen und bei Rhein"
Publisher: Eduard Roether Verlag, Darmstadt, 1983.
ISBN: 3-7929-0131-5.
"The Correspondence of the Empress Alexandra of Russia with Ernst Ludwig and Eleonore, Grand Duke and Duchess of Hesse. 1878-1916"  -  http://www.bod.de/index.php?id=296&objk_
"Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig and Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine in Italy - 1893"

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Books on the Hesse Royals
« Reply #204 on: November 17, 2012, 01:54:46 PM »
Thanks Helen !
Hope it is not out of print.
Will try Amazon.com Germany.
Appreciate it !
Eric

Offline perdita

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Re: Books on the Hesse Royals
« Reply #205 on: November 18, 2012, 01:31:51 PM »

Although it was said Victoria of Battenberg was an egalitarian who didn't take royalty seriously, she is described by her granddaughter as more imperious than previously thought.

Pamela Hicks on her Mountbatten matriarch grandmother, Victoria, Marchioness of Milford Haven:

"Even though the king had turned her into a marchioness, she was still a princess in the eyes of her family. My father always kissed her hand before kissing her on the check. As children we didn't think much of her royal starus, but on one motifying occasion, before breakfast, Grandmother called my sister over and said; 'Patricia, dear child, you know all my OTHER granddaughters give me a little curtsey when they say good morning and goodnight.'  In point of fact we also kissed her hand and courtsied, but Patricia must have been a little stiff-kneed that weekend. So rare was it for Grandmama to show any disapproval towards us that ever after my sister's bob was so low she was almost on the floor."


Interesting - and quite in line with the Victoria who was scandalised when her nurse dropped the "Princess" before their names! (though she was still a child at the time, of course).

It was common for European children to show such marks of respect to elders in the early twentieth century, so Victoria might have been betraying her German roots as much as her royal ones in expecting this, but I think the idea of her as some sort of socialist was overplayed by Mountbatten and his "pet authors".  In the 1890s she wrote to Queen Victoria that she believed in gradual change for Russia, when the people were deemed ready, and the whole family was supportive of Grand Duke Serge's views on the need to go VERY slow  - see, for example, her brother's memoirs. Of course, everyone will say they believe slow change is better than revolution, but it's a standard conservative argument: "change will come, but only when we say so."




Victoria of Battenberg & Ernest Ludwig mostly agreed with the Grand Duke Serge's point of view that "slow change" would be a necessity for Russia.

It is also a standard "Rules For Radicals" far left argument that: "Change will come, the way Marxist's 'social justice" arbitrates that it come, our way--or else." Post-revolutionary Marxist, Russia underwent massive change very rapidly culminating in unprecedented civil rights violations and the greatest mass slaughter in history. Russia remains a corrupt de facto KGB dictatorship to this day.

The Hesse family line had it that Victoria of Battenberg was "egalitarian". Hicks described her Grandmother as "enlightened coming from a long line of progressive thinkers". Victoria taught Lord Mountbatten herself until he was ten years old; "gifting him an education that was thorough and polymathic., she taught him to be open minded, methodical and thorough, and above all encouraged him to be enjoy learning, to enquire".
Hick's writes that her grandmother was entirely free of prejudice & was interested in all that was around her....a huge influence on her father's life and his "refreshing way of viewing the world".

i.e., Victoria of Battenberg was an inspiration to all in her family.

Hick's memoirs are not terribly illuminating. She recounts little that royal readers don't already know. Hicks is discreet--there are no shocking revelations, no details, very fitting for a former Lady-In-Waiting to the young Princess Elizabeth.  

Not uncommon with many young aristocrats of her day, Hick's found her High-Society mother Edwina Mountbatten trying--deficient & difficult.

Hick's confirms that her mother collected young men, found that pursuit exciting, and admitted that the ramifications were "messy and complex". According to Hicks when her father first heard that Edwina had acquired lovers, he was "devastated", but eventually as a result of, "their reserves of deep mutual affection, my parents managed to negotiate through this crisis and found a modus vitendi...It was my father's complete lack of jealousy and total desire for my mother's happiness that made their marriage work....he sought a practical solution to life's tricky problems."  

No doubt, it was also expedient to Mountbatten's interests; professionally, financially, & for the sake of his children, to come to terms with Edwina's proclivities & excesses.

Hick's writes as a young child she rarely saw her mother & that it was her nanny Vera who was the center of her universe. As it happened, the absentee Edwina and her lover "Bunny" Phillips would spend up to six months on their world tours. Hick's recounts it was difficult getting used to being back with her mother after she returned from her many adventures,--especially if lover "Bunny" wasn't around. Hick's remembers Edwina as "prickly", and that it was necessary to be very careful of what was said in her presence because "sometimes it was like treading, on egg-shells"--Edwina would be hurt "by the most unlikely things and then would sulk for hours afterwards". In contrast Hick's writes one could say anything one liked to her father, and that she adored living with him when he returned from his tours of duty..."My father was so inventive, constantly thinking up things that would make Patricia and me happy.'

Although Edwina had many lovers she was openly jealous of Mountbatten's romantic attachments and his close relationship with their elder daughter Patricia. Many family scenes resulted.

Hick's actually welcomed her mother's 'deep freindship of love and respect' with Nehru because it made her father's life so much easier. It seems, Edwina's "new found happiness" released Mouthbatten from the relentless late night recriminations. i.e.,--Whenever L.M. left his "huge pile of paperwork" to go up and say goodnight to Edwina he would be bombarded with a "long string of accusations". Her Ladyship accused her husband of not understanding her, of being rude to her, he didn't care about her, he wasn't sufficiently sympathetic to her needs, etc. Mountbatten was always sympathetic & apologized although it wasn't clear to him what exactly he had done. Apparently, subsequent to Edwina's friendship with Nehru it was simply "Goodnight, Dickie darling"--with a smile, & Mountbatten could then go to bed without a heavy heart.

Hick's is convinced Edwina Mountbatten's & Nehru's "affair' was not sexual in nature. (Lucky Nehru, considering.)

Hick's accepted Edwina Mountbatten--warts & all. Perhaps, influenced by her father's "refreshing" philosophy, this daughter of the empire expressed no apparent bitterness towards her mother. As with Elizabeth of Hesse, her chief attachment was for the father she loved.

Interestingly, Hick's admitted that her own marriage to David Hicks, while enduring, was "unothodox'.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2012, 01:47:53 PM by perdita »

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Books on the Hesse Royals
« Reply #206 on: November 18, 2012, 02:22:13 PM »
Not quite sure if it fits this thread. Mountbatten have a separate link in the Windsor thread. If nobody objects I would comment.

Cannot compare Hicks marriage with Elizabeth of Hesse, they are different women from different times with different expectations on marriage.

Edwina was an original, but so was Nada (an open lesbian). The fact that VMH both tolerated their antics spoke volumes about this great granddaughter of Queen Victoria.

Offline perdita

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Re: Books on the Hesse Royals
« Reply #207 on: November 19, 2012, 10:10:19 AM »
Not quite sure if it fits this thread. Mountbatten have a separate link in the Windsor thread. If nobody objects I would comment.

Cannot compare Hicks marriage with Elizabeth of Hesse, they are different women from different times with different expectations on marriage.

Edwina was an original, but so was Nada (an open lesbian). The fact that VMH both tolerated their antics spoke volumes about this great granddaughter of Queen Victoria.

Have no idea how "unorthodox" the Grand Duchess Elizabeth's marriage was.

There was no comparison intended between Hicks & the Grand Duchess Serge . The comparison meant was between Hick's "prickly" relationship with her mother Edwinda vs. the solid devotion she felt for her father Lord Mounbatten--AND Princess Elizabeth of Hesse's relationship with her parents AWOL Victoria Melita & Ernest Ludwig. There are many like examples--for instance, Olga Alexandrovna's distant & very difficult relationship with her social wirlwind mother the Empress Marie and the love, without reservations, she expressed for her hands-on father Alexander 111.

Edwina was no original. MANY British/International high-society women mimicked her deviant life style. Daisy Duchess of Warwick, Lady Randolph Churchill, "Missy" Queen of Rumania, Freda Dudley Ward (Marquessa de Casa Maury), Lady Alexandra Curzon-Metcalfe, Irene Curzon 3nd. Baroness Revensdale, Victoria Sackville-West, Daphne Marchioness of Bath, "Golden Girls" Guinness sisters, "Tilly" Losch Countess of Carnarvon, Paula long (Marquessa de Casa Maury), Diana Mitford Mosely, Pamela Churchill, Laura (Charteris) Duchess of Marborough, Ann (Charteris) Fleming,  Margaret (Whigham) Duchess of Argyll, Jeanne 6th Baroness of Camoys, Lady Caroline Paget, Thelma Vicountess Furness, Marie Pavlovna, Princess Natalie Paley, Gloria Vanderbuilt, Barbara Hutten, Caroline Blackwood, Ann Vicountess Rosse, Princess Di,...........---i.e., Too numerous to mention.

Arguably, Edwina Mountbatten & Nadejda Marchioness of Milford-Haven antics were tolerated by their royal husbands because the alternatives were too dire--socially, professionally, financially, children's prospects, etc. In George V & Queen Mary's day a divorced person still could not be presented in court. Note the fate of the otherwise respectable Vicountess Nancy Astor, excluded from court--but not from the friendship-aquaintance of Queen Mary & many royals.

A significant difference between Hicks vs. Marie Pavlovna, Edwina Mountbatten, & Princess Paley & ilk--was that Hicks is not a professional victim/whiner--CARPING.  ALWAYS lethal.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2012, 10:37:11 AM by perdita »

Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Books on the Hesse Royals
« Reply #208 on: November 19, 2012, 11:53:04 AM »
I would take the discussion onto the relevant thread--there are ones on the family. The discussion is really interesting but it goes beyond the scope of the Books thread.  :)

Perhaps the one on Edwina?

http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php?topic=7199.15
« Last Edit: November 19, 2012, 12:08:58 PM by grandduchessella »
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Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Books on the Hesse Royals
« Reply #209 on: November 19, 2012, 06:56:10 PM »
I totally agree.  :)