Author Topic: Ella and Sergei 2  (Read 81368 times)

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Offline Olga Maria

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Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« Reply #135 on: January 14, 2014, 10:18:41 PM »
Swerving from the topic currently in discussion...
I am reading letters of Ella to Minny. It's so nice to read how she spoke of Serge with a wifely fondness, and reading between the lines, it's clear they shared a very harmonious and loving relationship.


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Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« Reply #136 on: January 15, 2014, 08:32:21 AM »
That is why people think Ella was such a saint. She could see his good side while others could not.

Offline Maria Sisi

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Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« Reply #137 on: January 26, 2015, 12:05:19 AM »
Sorry for bringing back a dead topic but I recently finished Maria Pavlovna's memoir and despite everything said about Sergei's possessiveness and need to control everything around him, I don't think she once mentioned Sergei controlling what Ella read or wore which are two things that seem to be thrown against him.

Maria says when it comes to Ella's reading:
Quote
The things they read (Ella and her ladies) must have been childish, for I will never forget the difficulties my aunt had with Recollections of a Dead-House, her first attempt to appreciate Dostoievsky. She did not know enough Russian to read it herself; one of the ladies read it aloud to her. And so great was my aunt's fear of details too realistic that she would permit no one to attend these readings!
She had no admiration for French literature; once she said to me, apropos of a persona whose life she found somewhat frivolous, that it was the French novels with yellow covers that had corrupted her ideas. At this period she read only English books and chose her authors with great caution p. 27


So in my opinion based on this if Ella never read something like Anna Karenina it was because she herself chose not too, not because Sergei forbid her. It sounds like she stuck to what most upper class English ladies of her period read and didn't stretch too far from it although she did give it a try.  

She goes into great detail about Ella's ritual of dressing as well. I won't quote the whole thing because its pretty long but to summarize she pretty much says that Ella designed many of her own clothes and took great pains to dress up each day trying on multiple outfits, dinner especially. What she chose to wear depended on what mood she was in and picked out the jewels she would wear with great care according to what dress she had chosen. She read the French fashion magazines and cut out what she liked and used them as inspiration in designing her own.

Maria also talks about Ella's very old fashioned views on ladies and how they should act and behave. Again nothing strange or out of the ordinary for a woman of her age when talking to a much younger girl, something Maria herself pretty much says. Their not beliefs forced on her by a controlling husband but her own from how she grew up.

The worst I can remember her saying is that Sergei disapproved of her increasing religious devotion and that she was taking it too far. Also if one of Sergei's orders could not be carried out Ella would have them quietly changed behind his back so as not to bother him and he would get upset with her over it when he found out. Lastly, Sergei controlled how they spent every hour of the day and that Ella became accustomed to it without saying anything, but that honestly sounds like something she could have picked up from Queen Victoria who in a way let Albert do the same in their home.

I didn't read anything about Ella being some great victim of Sergei but instead two people who lived as others of that era did except in their own way. They appeared very much on the same wave length.

In regards to why they did not have children I'm guessing it was due to a medical problem from either Sergei or Ella. Both of them knew about it and accepted it because they loved each other. Sergei was very duty conscious and surely he knew that having children was part of his duty to the dynasty. So if he could have had children he certainly would have and even if he was gay he would have done it just as KR did. A medical problem makes the quote attributed to Alexander III make more sense.

 
« Last Edit: January 26, 2015, 12:12:59 AM by Maria Sisi »

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« Reply #138 on: February 19, 2015, 11:18:34 PM »
I think the notion of Ella being controlled by Serge came from Sandro's memoirs "Once A Grand Duke".

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« Reply #139 on: February 20, 2015, 02:17:16 AM »
Apropos the possibility of a 'medical problem'. Mumps in adulthood or adolescence is a fairly common cause of male infertility, and this was known at that time. Any information on whether and when Serge had it?

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Offline Kimberly

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Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« Reply #140 on: February 20, 2015, 10:43:13 AM »
Don't know about mumps but according to Christopher Warwick, Ella had a problem with uterine fibroids eventually requiring surgery. If these were sub mucosal fibroids, Ella would probably have problems conceiving.
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Offline Maria Sisi

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Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« Reply #141 on: February 20, 2015, 05:10:14 PM »
Apropos the possibility of a 'medical problem'. Mumps in adulthood or adolescence is a fairly common cause of male infertility, and this was known at that time. Any information on whether and when Serge had it?

Ann

I don't know if Sergei had it but I'm pretty sure Ella did. Is it the same for women as well?

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« Reply #142 on: February 20, 2015, 09:16:10 PM »
Serge is too strange a character with a mixture of a tortured mind and suffering inside. Cannot think of him as a father type...

Offline CountessKate

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Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« Reply #143 on: February 21, 2015, 11:49:47 AM »
Quote
I don't know if Sergei had it but I'm pretty sure Ella did. Is it the same for women as well?

Generally mumps can cause complications in female fertility (miscarriages, etc.) but does not cause sterility as such and apparently does not affect a female's fertility in the longer term.

Offline Ally Kumari

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Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« Reply #144 on: February 21, 2015, 01:46:30 PM »
Serge is too strange a character with a mixture of a tortured mind and suffering inside. Cannot think of him as a father type...

From what I understand he longed to be a father very much. In my view part of his "suffering" was the fact he knew he never would have a child. He was more than overjoyey, rather selfishly though, when he and Ella were given custody of Dmitri and Maria, even claiming he was their father now. We cannot what "what" kind of father he would have been, but he definitely wanted to be one and there is little doubt he would love the children.

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« Reply #145 on: February 22, 2015, 11:40:25 PM »
Really ? Felix Yussopov thinks Sergei was rather strange and disliked him but loved Ella. Also that was that claim that Sergei "touched" Dimitri as a child. Dimitri too adored Ella when he grew up and one of the things he took into exile was a big portrait of Ella...

Offline Ally Kumari

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Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« Reply #146 on: February 23, 2015, 03:41:25 AM »
I draw my information from maria Pavlovna´s memoirs. She definitely believed Sergei wanted and loved her and her brother. About Sergei "touching" Dmitri - first time I hear about it.

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« Reply #147 on: February 23, 2015, 04:45:52 AM »
I don't think we can rely on anything Felix Yussupov has to say about anybody.

In any case, if Sergei disliked Yussupov that is hardly surprising, given the way Yussupov behaved!

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Offline Ally Kumari

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Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« Reply #148 on: February 23, 2015, 07:32:55 AM »
I agree about Felix not being the most reliable and objective witness. I also take impressions Alexander Mikhailovich had about Sergei with more thana pinch of salt, because the antagonism and bias are clearly felt, and colour the final judgement.

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« Reply #149 on: February 23, 2015, 08:48:12 AM »
Going slightly off the point, I think i would find Felix Yussupov amusing company if I only met him occasionally, but I would very quickly grow impatient with him if I had to spend much time with him!

Ann