Author Topic: Was Maria sad?  (Read 19664 times)

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Offline jenya

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Was Maria sad?
« on: January 16, 2007, 07:59:20 PM »
I don't have much time to post, so this will have to be a quick suggestion and I will discuss it further lately if anyone proves interested.

I have often wondered if Maria was a slightly sad child, lacking self-confidence. I know she is generally presented as being gay and flirtatious, but so many of the anecdotes about her involve her being alone, being bullied by her older sisters, teased by her parents, or playing second fiddle in the background to Anastasia. We have letters from her mother which show a child who feels isolated and with low self-esteem. She looks so sad, or wistful, or remote in many photos. In some photos and videos of public ocassions, she looks rather overwhelmed. 

I am saddened too by evidence in letters and memoirs that not as much attention was paid to her illnesses and recovery than to those of the other children. For example, there are no photos of Alexandra sitting knitting by her sickbed. A letter to her mother while she is recovering from illness notes that Alexandra hadn't even visited her that day. I studied the Romanovs for years and it was only last year I learned Maria almost died from her tonsil operation, although I knew about the other childrens' various illnesses and injuries.

Perhaps I am reading things into her character which aren't there. Perhaps I am blowing "middle child syndrome" out of proportion. I wonder what other people think of this theory. (Please don't laugh too loudly!)

Jenya.

Offline Holly

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Re: Was Maria sad?
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2007, 09:42:51 PM »
She definetley did feel left out when she was younger, but I think she felt better as she got older and came into herself and developed more of a personality. Olga, Tatiana, and Anastasia got the most attention I think when they were younger and she felt unloved and unwanted because of that. As for the pictures, I haven't seen one of Anastasia and Alexandra by her sickbed either. There are a lot of pictures we havent seen before so who knows if there isn't one of Maria? I learned of Maria's tonsil operation the first year of my Romanov studying. She also was very close to dying in 1917. I can relate to Maria a lot, as I am a middle child also and had similar issues when I was at the same age. But, I'm very sure Maria's insecurities about being unloved are unfounded in general. They loved her the same as the others. Part of the problem was that since she felt unloved and unwanted, she stayed with Irina instead of her sisters.
"Господь им дал дар по молитвам их размягчать окаменелые наши сердца за их страдания..Мне думается, что если люди будут молиться Царской Cемье, оттают сердца с Божией помощью."

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Offline Raegan

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Re: Was Maria sad?
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2007, 07:06:49 AM »
Perhaps I am blowing "middle child syndrome" out of proportion.

That is exactly what I believe you are doing. Of course Maria felt left out at times, what child hasn't felt that way at some point when growing up? I think it is a bit unreasonable to suggest that Maria somehow felt it more than most children. As for the notes, there was another discussion in the "Maria's Notes" thread that went into the whole note issue. Read the last page or two in that section. I have been to the Russian archives, and I can tell you from my experience that I have never found anything to suggest that Maria grew up feeling "more sad" than anyone else in her family. It wasn't like there was note after note of feeling left out. Personally, I believe she was a normal, healthy girl who shared a close relationship with both parents and all four of her siblings who, like every child, had moments of feeling unloved and left out. Nothing unusual.

Offline imperial angel

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Re: Was Maria sad?
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2007, 12:31:53 PM »
I think that Marie was a fairly happy child. She was the middle child, and I am sure some of the things associated with that did play a role in her life. But, I think it is being stereotypical to assume that she was left out or whatever. It is, as I must have said before reading too much into the past through modern interpretations. Marie did indeed have more of a personality when she was older, and was pretty cheerful at that age, and there is little evidence to suggest she was anything but happy, unlike Olga at times when she was older.

Offline grandduchess_42

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Re: Was Maria sad?
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2007, 01:11:37 PM »
i'm sure the girls all felt left at at some point in their lives
but yes, she was happy as a little girl, but i think she grew up into her self when she was older

i think it has to do with her being in the middle of everybody!

there was Olga+Tatiana Marie Anastasia+Alexei
she was lets say "tag along" sometimes

but other than that, i think they were all happy, i mean there is sometimes when i feel left
out of my family!
So keep me awake for every moment
Give us more time to be this way
We can't stay like this forever
But I can have you next to me today
. Josh Groban .

Offline Tsarina_Liz

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Re: Was Maria sad?
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2007, 02:58:32 PM »
Marie was surrounded on either side by very energetic and personable sisters and a brother who was not only sickly but also the heir.  Unfortunately for Marie, her personality was more conventional, calm and even than her siblings' and less likely to stand out.  She was a happy, healthy girl who gave no reason for her parents to turn an extra amount of attention to her.  Olga was moody and sometimes needed extra patience, Tatiana was driven and attracted the popular attention of the public, and Anastasia was rambunctions and needed to be curbed.  Maria was there, happy and sweet, giving her parents little trouble.  Like all children, she must have at times wished she stood out more but sadness or moodiness was not part of personality and she seemed to willingly accept her place in the family.  She probably liked being known as the "angel."         
Hindsight is 20/20.  When the myopic haze of of the present is lifted by the march of time we see it clearly as the past.  Sociology, psychology, anthropology.  They are all means of understanding that which came before.  History cannot stand alone.

Offline grandduchess_42

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Re: Was Maria sad?
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2007, 03:15:37 PM »
great definition (sp) of Marie!
thats what i meant by being in the middle!

she probably was told what to do, and did it, no questions asked.
but i think she changed over the years. do you agree?
So keep me awake for every moment
Give us more time to be this way
We can't stay like this forever
But I can have you next to me today
. Josh Groban .

Offline imperial angel

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Re: Was Maria sad?
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2007, 03:39:03 PM »
I think she liked being known as the angel as well. She wasn't unhappy with her place in the family, she actually did not have such a bad place. Among other things, she had a fairly cheerful nature, and as a child doesn't seem at unhappy from antcedotes, and she is a sweet happy little girl in photos. It is totally against her basic personality to suggest that she was sad, or whatever. She would have been perplexed about people saying such things. I think saying that she might have been sad/left out as the middle child is like that theory that Anastasia acted out as she did because she wasn't happy. But, of course that might have the simpler explanation that that was her personality. There might be more there though than there is in the contention that Marie was ever sad. But, it is easy to over analyze.

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Re: Was Maria sad?
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2007, 03:40:48 PM »
    I agree with Holly,Imperial angel and grandduchess _42. Maria did feel lonly and left out when she was a little girl.  Her sisters were When she got older she began to feel happier, had more personality and confort she had stayed with Irina. Even though I am not the middle child in my family,I think it probaly was something she had to go through in childhood life [phases]. But for Olga in her early adulthood years she was depressed,sad because of what happened in world war II millions of russian soldiers were killed, lost, wounded and taken away from the russians  and turned into prisoners. Olga also had difficulty with getting along with her mother Alix they offten argued and quarreled. Plus she was the only grand duchesses who new how much her family was in danger. :)

Offline Raegan

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Re: Was Maria sad?
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2007, 03:54:16 PM »
But for Olga in her early adulthood years she was depressed,sad because of what happened in world war II millions of russian soldiers were killed, lost, wounded and taken away from the russians  and turned into prisoners.

I think you meant WWI.   

Olga also had difficulty with getting along with her mother Alix they offten argued and quarreled.

I strongly disagree that Olga and her mother often "argued and quarreled." Other than Alexandra complaining in a couple of letters about Olga being moody and disagreeable during WWI (which isn't too shocking considering what Olga was witnessing as a nurse) there really isn't a whole heck of a lot to suggest that they didn't get along. Letters and diary entries show how close Olga and Alexandra really were. I saw some of Olga's writings in the archives, and she described her mother as "an angel." There were some examples here on the AP site of Olga's letters and so forth in which she wrote quite lovingly about her mother, but I haven't been able to find them since the site's makeover.

Plus she was the only grand duchesses who new how much her family was in danger. :)

Again, there is no real evidence of that.

Olishka~ Pincess

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Re: Was Maria sad?
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2007, 04:57:46 PM »
         Oh!! sorry I meant to say world war I. When I said that Olga often argued with Alix, did sometimes but not often. I get German confused with English sometimes. Thanks for letting me know Raegan I made a mistake. I should realy look at her letters on the Alexander palace. The part where it says Olga's letters in exile. But I read on a website about Olga that she knew the dangers of here family. Its probaly just someone guessing thing on what they think about her relationship with Alix or the person made a mistake. :)

Offline Raegan

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Re: Was Maria sad?
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2007, 05:07:16 PM »
I get German confused with English sometimes. Thanks for letting me know Raegan I made a mistake.

I was not aware that English is not your native language. It is sometimes hard to tell who doesn't know it well or who is a native speaker who doesn't care to use proper English and post like they are in a chat room. Don't get discouraged in learning the language. You are doing a good job.

Offline Elizaveta

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Re: Was Maria sad?
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2007, 05:12:32 PM »
I think you're overthinking about the issue of Marie being the middle child, Jenya. From what I've read (and seen pictures), Marie seemed a perfectly normal girl who happened to be behaving expectionally well, thus giving her parents far less reasons to be anxious about Marie than her sisters. And don't forget, in the last few months before the IF's murder, of all four daughters, Alexandra decided to take Marie with her to their last so-called home. She could have taken Olga, being intelligent, or even Tatiana, being the most level-headed of all and the favorite of her mother, but yet she chose Marie, the family's "sweet angel." It should've really given Marie something to be proud of: the fact that during the time of great danger, her mother trusted her enough to have her accompanying Alexandra. Marie was a sweet young woman who only strived to be good and trustworthy; I did not think she had any ambition to outstage her sisters. Marie seemed to be someone who would be content to be standing in the corner and let everybody be a center of attention. Of course, she had all infamous "middle child symptoms" during her lifetime, but all of those symptoms were--and still are--definitely normal for all middle children. She was just a normal middle child who happened to be a Grand Duchess of Russia, born to a family of five children, most of whom had strong personalities. I suppose it's the fact she's a royal made it very easy for observers to examine every and each detail of her life as a middle child.
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Olishka~ Pincess

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Re: Was Maria sad?
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2007, 10:12:23 PM »
 Speaking in different languages sometimes bring confusion. I try my best to use proper english grammer.Im starting to be very fluent in english. German is not a hard language to learn it just take studing,praticing and concetration I speak it well rather fluently. Plural and Singular words, simple, subjects, predicates and preposition is what were doing in school now our language arts teacher wants use to improve in writting and talking informaly. I believe it helps us become more fluent in english. :)

Offline Sarushka

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Re: Was Maria sad?
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2007, 10:35:59 PM »
Plus she was the only grand duchesses who new how much her family was in danger. :)

Again, there is no real evidence of that.
There is evidence in memoirs of the courtiers that Olga was the most affected of OTMA by the revolution, but as Raegan said, nothing to my knowledge explicitly states that she knew they were in mortal danger.

Buxhoeveden:
"The horror of the Revolution told on her more keenly than on any of the others. She changed completely, and all her bright spirits disappeared."
[....]
"The young people seemed cheerful enough, but the two elder realised how serious things were becoming. The Grand Duchess Olga told me that they put on brave faces for their parents' sake. The younger children did not realise their danger, and the Grand Duchess Marie said once to Mr. Gibbes, in the early days of their stay, that she would be quite content to remain for ever in Tobolsk!"
[....]
"Olga Nicholaevna was in a state of great anxiety. She longed to join her parents, for whose fate she trembled, and, on the other hand, she feared the move for her brother, both on account of his health and also for fear of what the move might lead to."



I was quite sure Gilliard had mentioned Olga's awareness of the revolution as well, but I haven't been able to find the exact quote so far. At any rate, there's already a thread or two in the Olga Nikolaevna board that discusses this issue more fully.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2007, 10:38:08 PM by Sarushka »
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