Author Topic: Ella and Sergei 2  (Read 86062 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Eric_Lowe

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 17014
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« Reply #150 on: February 24, 2015, 04:39:57 AM »
The information about Sergei "touching" Dimitri came from a book by Greg King. It seems it was widely believed in Russian Circles. There was wide sympathy for Ella being married to "that person" that even Ella had to write to QV to refute the rumors that she was unhappy with her husband. Even though VMH liked Sergei but I don't think even she understood him. His wanting children stem from possessiveness rather than unconditional love. Grand Duchess George (Greek Minny) said openly in her autobiography that Maria Paulovna the younger was selfish, thus siding with Ella. So I don't trust too much on her bio that she blamed everybody but herself. It is also true that both Dimitri and Felix both loved Ella, so it boils down to who you believe.

Offline Olga Maria

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 2125
  • 1 Corinthians 13, Mark 11: 23-24, Romans 8: 38-39
    • View Profile
Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« Reply #151 on: April 08, 2015, 03:37:39 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...
We may assume that he can't be a father type given the fact that as a young man, he saw his parents going through difficult times. Statistics show (well, as far as I know) that people who grew up in such family environment have hard time being parents. Not only Serge, Ella grew up with her parents who also quite had a rocky marriage so the negative views of Marie Pavlovna on her being a mother may be supported with that theory, too.

The information about Sergei "touching" Dimitri came from a book by Greg King. It seems it was widely believed in Russian Circles. There was wide sympathy for Ella being married to "that person"
I still highly doubt if that was true. If I remember it right, the Russian circles at that time were all avid attackers of Sergei's mysterious personality so they loved assuming that rumor as true although there's no concrete proof .. and they surely hadn't cared to look for proofs because they only like to believe what they want to believe. And because that's been widely believed, the rumor became the "truth".
« Last Edit: April 08, 2015, 03:49:54 PM by Shandroise de Laeken »

Amazing colored fotos  by the most wonderful Yelena Aleksandrovna. Endless thank you very much!

Offline Ally Kumari

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 3095
    • View Profile
    • Imperial Russia
Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« Reply #152 on: July 19, 2015, 08:48:47 AM »

Offline Romafan96

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 98
    • View Profile
Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« Reply #153 on: September 06, 2015, 11:35:52 AM »
Why did Ella and Sergei not have children?


Offline Превед

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1053
  • Мой Великий Север
    • View Profile
    • Type Russian Without a Keyboard
Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« Reply #154 on: September 06, 2015, 02:51:23 PM »
Why did Ella and Sergei not have children?

I'm sure you can find many educated guesses in this 34-page thread devoted to the subject!
Берёзы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и берёзы», 1843 / 1856)

Offline Romafan96

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 98
    • View Profile
Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« Reply #155 on: September 06, 2015, 02:54:01 PM »
Why did Ella and Sergei not have children?

I'm sure you can find many educated guesses in this 34-page thread devoted to the subject!

Thank you! I tried to use the search engine since I figured it would have been covered but nothing came up. Bless you for providing me with this link :D

Offline Kalafrana

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 2929
    • View Profile
Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« Reply #156 on: September 07, 2015, 04:26:45 AM »
My personal view, insofar as it is relevant, is that one or the other was infertile. Infertility was not so very uncommon then, and quite a number of royal and aristocratic marriages were childless. One near-contemporary example is Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia (1840-61) and Elizabeth of Bavaria, who had an apparently happy marriage, but no children.

Ann

Offline Grandoffsky

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 33
    • View Profile
Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« Reply #157 on: January 11, 2018, 01:33:01 PM »
Would anyone know where one could find GD Elizabeth's letters to GD Serge? As I understand they were written in English? I would love to read them in original, but if not, then Russian is OK, too. I have recently ordered part 4 of GD Serge's biography, but I'm not sure if all the letters are in there.

Offline Svetabel

  • Moderator
  • Velikye Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 4880
    • View Profile
    • http://svetabella.livejournal.com/
Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« Reply #158 on: January 13, 2018, 03:37:54 AM »
Would anyone know where one could find GD Elizabeth's letters to GD Serge? As I understand they were written in English? I would love to read them in original, but if not, then Russian is OK, too. I have recently ordered part 4 of GD Serge's biography, but I'm not sure if all the letters are in there.

The letters were published in Russian in 2011, the book is out of stock now.

https://www.ozon.ru/context/detail/id/7536647/

Offline Grandoffsky

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 33
    • View Profile
Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« Reply #159 on: January 13, 2018, 04:04:28 AM »
Would anyone know where one could find GD Elizabeth's letters to GD Serge? As I understand they were written in English? I would love to read them in original, but if not, then Russian is OK, too. I have recently ordered part 4 of GD Serge's biography, but I'm not sure if all the letters are in there.

The letters were published in Russian in 2011, the book is out of stock now.

https://www.ozon.ru/context/detail/id/7536647/

Thank You very much for the information. I'll keep looking for this book, perhaps it'll pop up somewhere.
Maybe you know if any of GD Elizabeth's letters to her husband were published in the 4 volume Russian biography of GD Sergei? I'm currently waiting for volume 4 to arrive.

ETA: As I understand, at least some (don't know if all) of those letters can be found in this book as well:
https://www.ozon.ru/context/detail/id/32861782/
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 04:26:58 AM by Grandoffsky »

Offline Svetabel

  • Moderator
  • Velikye Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 4880
    • View Profile
    • http://svetabella.livejournal.com/
Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« Reply #160 on: January 13, 2018, 11:10:03 AM »
Would anyone know where one could find GD Elizabeth's letters to GD Serge? As I understand they were written in English? I would love to read them in original, but if not, then Russian is OK, too. I have recently ordered part 4 of GD Serge's biography, but I'm not sure if all the letters are in there.

The letters were published in Russian in 2011, the book is out of stock now.

https://www.ozon.ru/context/detail/id/7536647/

Thank You very much for the information. I'll keep looking for this book, perhaps it'll pop up somewhere.
Maybe you know if any of GD Elizabeth's letters to her husband were published in the 4 volume Russian biography of GD Sergei? I'm currently waiting for volume 4 to arrive.

ETA: As I understand, at least some (don't know if all) of those letters can be found in this book as well:
https://www.ozon.ru/context/detail/id/32861782/

Yes, some letters are in the last book, but not all. In the 4 Volume there are no GDss Elizaveta's letters.

Offline Grandoffsky

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 33
    • View Profile
Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« Reply #161 on: January 13, 2018, 12:10:07 PM »

Yes, some letters are in the last book, but not all. In the 4 Volume there are no GDss Elizaveta's letters.

Thank You so much for this information. As I have to order these books from abroad, it is always a bit of a gamble not knowing what you'll get without being able to look through the book before buying. So I guess I'll keep looking for the book you mentioned.
I found GD Sergei's correspondence in Volume 3 most interesting, especially with GD Paul and GD Konstantin, therefore I'm really looking forward to seeing the tone of GDss Elizabeth's letters.

Offline Grandoffsky

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 33
    • View Profile
Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« Reply #162 on: January 25, 2018, 09:25:14 AM »
In the 4 Volume there are no GDss Elizaveta's letters.

Well, as I see, there are the letters from 1892, which is at least something :)

Offline Grandoffsky

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 33
    • View Profile
Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« Reply #163 on: January 26, 2018, 12:25:39 PM »
I’ve decided to write a bit on GD Sergei and GDss Ella’s engagement as seen from Sergei’s POW (sources taken from GD Sergei’s 4 Volume biography in Russian).
I have sort of swiped over Queen Victoria’s side of the whole engagement, but quite superficially. I’m still waiting for my book of QV’s letters to Victoria of Hesse (which I’ll hopefully get in February). So if you know more on that side of the story, I would be very happy to hear it. And sorry for my English, it's not my first language (and neither is Russian), so I’m trying to translate as well as I can.

The first time I could find Sergei write anything about Ella is in a letter to GD Konstantin on 3 Nov 1882, where he says that he's paid a visit to GD Louis of Hesse: “his daughters are really beautiful. There are rumours that I’m getting married, but they should not be believed and in truth we are still very far from it”. The next mention I can find is from 8 Feb 1883 when he writes to GD Konstantin regarding Konstantin's engagement and says he thinks he himself "wouldn't be worthy of such happiness, even though the happiness was so close and so possible. But I'm not losing hope - everything is in the hands of God. Hope and patience."

The beginning of 1883 is also time when there is a lot of gossip about GD Sergei in St. Petersburg and he writes quite desperate letters to GD Konstantin trying to understand the causes. Konstantin replies that he knows Sergei too well to believe the gossip and concludes that because of how their elder brothers acted before, they can’t do anything without being criticised now.

In summer he tells about his wish to marry Ella to his tutor and friend Arseniev. Arseniev and GD Paul exchange letters on the subject, bet Sergei doesn’t tell Paul himself. At this time Ella is in England with Queen Victoria.

On 26th August he writes to GD Konstantin that all his plans need to be postponed and that he would explain this when they meet in person. (I guess this is about the time when Ella returned from Queen Victoria, who had made her promise that she would never marry a Russian). So here’s the question – was there a first proposal that Ella turned down or wasn’t there? To me it seems that there was not an official proposal, but that there may have been some sort of discussion on the subject, since Queen Victoria is so very vexed about the possibility that Ella could marry a Russian. As I understand, he had asked to come to Darmstadt some time in September 1883, but puts it off all the time. He travels around Europe in a rather foul and philosophical mood and manages to have a couple of fights with Paul via letters (Paul is getting sort of jealous, repeating that Sergei doesn’t need him in his life anymore). They sort it out as soon as they meet in person when Sergei unexpectedly visits Paul on his birthday.

It's interesting that he only really speaks to GD Paul about his marriage on 5th Nov 1883, right before he leaves for Darmstadt for the engagement, even though by the time Paul knew all about Sergei's plans from other sources. But they have a very cordial discussion in the night that leaves them both very emotional.

The next day Sergei is already in Darmstadt. He also didn't want anyone to know that he was there, because he didn't want any kind of gossip. He asked Paul to send telegrams in his name (so they wouldn’t know that he sends them from Darmstadt). He has a very nice and long chat with GD Louis of Hesse while playing billiard and everything is arranged; 5th November becomes the date of their unofficial engagement, which they later celebrate each year, giving each other little gifts.

He also writes to his brother Alexander III and asks him not to tell anyone, because the wedding would only be in summer (because they feared that Russian winter would be too harsh for Ella in the beginning) and therefore until then there would be an awful lot of gossiping otherwise. For now he only tells his very closest - his siblings and  a couple other of the closest people. He stays in Darmstadt until 19th of November, quite disappointed that Louis leaves for a hunt (which, according to custom, means he can't see Ella) and that Vicky (Queen Victoria’s daughter) is coming to visit, though they do end up being mutually very friendly.

Sergei writes to Konstantin from Darmstadt without telling anything, and GD Konst. replies “I don’t understand your behaviour concerning Darmstadt. All the world is talking about your engagement. What are you doing there if you don’t count on it and why don’t you write to me about your plans?” However, the next week Sergei meets GD Konstantin and his fiancee in Altenburg, so I guess he told him in person.

Offline Grandoffsky

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 33
    • View Profile
Re: Ella and Sergei 2
« Reply #164 on: January 26, 2018, 12:29:50 PM »
[cont.]

When he returns to St. Petersburg, there are already rumours, some of them so nasty, he writes to Paul that he "can’t even repeat".

On New Year’s Eve he writes to Paul that it has been a “Good Year”.

GD Sergei leaves for Darmstadt for the official  engagement and on 19th Feb 1884 he writes to Maria Feodorovna from Darmstadt : “I’m happy and content here – with all my soul I’m thanking God for my happiness, hoping to be worthy of such great joy. Dmitry Serg[eevich Arsenev (his tutor)] will tell You everything – he’s enchanted by dear Ella – it has to be said that it’s hard not to be! [..] I have to say that on one of the groups [photographs that he sent] I have a little dumb expression. They say it’s because of the happiness – I really hope it’s not true!!!”

He’s very sad that Paul’s not with him, but writes a very lovely letter to him on 22 Feb 1884:
“[..] We went right to the Neues Palais, where was the happiness of meeting Ella. I forgot to tell that Shpunia [Sergei’s dog] is with me.
You know how much I miss you, my dear! I would love to share these happy moments with you. I’ll tell you more – if you were here with me right now, I would be even happier. That you and Olya [Olga Konstantinovna] almost won’t see me as a groom leave me in a little despair. Ella gave me a ring with a sapphire and two diamonds that I wear with the rings of Maman and Olga. I found a complete spring here -  the leaves are opening, as well as spring flowers and the air is warm. In a word – the air is heavenly. Everything is going great. Ella, if possible, is even more beautiful. We’re sitting together a lot; in the mornings she’s in my room and I’m teaching her a little bit of Russian. “God save the Tsar” [the anthem] among other things. We’re already walking alone through all Darmstadt and yesterday we two paid a visit to old Trota [an old lady in waiting, very loved by Empress Maria Alexandrovna]; I’m always very emotional visiting her, because those are the same rooms, where dear Maman lived in her childhood, and on one of the windows Mama has even written her name in 1835. We went to photographer with Ella. I’ll send you the photographs, they’re quite funny and nice. [..]
I dare to continue my letter after dear Ella wrote a couple of lines to you [there was a page in English written by Ella (unfortunately, I do not have this letter)]. [..] I got the idea to invite him [commander of Preobrazhenski regiment, prince Nikolai Obolenski] here, he was very moved by it and arrived immediately and was completely charmed by Ella. [..]”

There were dinners and dances (where he danced with Ella a lot, but thought the way they waltz in Germany is awful.) etc.

In the end of March he writes to Paul from St. Petersburg: “I was hoping to go to Darmstadt for the wedding of Ludwig [Battenberg and Irene of Hesse], but yesterday I got the message about the death of Leopold, the son of the Queen, and, it’s likely that all the plans are destroyed. Right now I don’t know what’s going to happen and when I’ll go there. I’m very sorry. Ella and her sisters loved this uncle very much.”

Two days later he writes again: “Ella writes to me wonderful letters every day, and once even a small letter in Russian, which she wrote all by herself. Of course, it’s very funny and with mistakes, but still amazing. Now I’ve found her a Russian teacher, who will go to her.”

He still goes to Darmstadt several times before the wedding. On 28th March, but he couldn’t stay for the Battenberg wedding (which was on 18th of April), because GD Konstantin was getting married on 15th and he had to be back in Russia for it. At this time he also meets Queen Victoria for the first time, who finds him “Very tall and gentleman-like, though very thin and delicate.” He writes about this to Konstantin: “It was very nice and peaceful in Darmstadt. I finally met the Queen – what a face – but with me very friendly.”

He returns for a few days to Darmstadt again on 9th -14th May.

And then he sends a train decorated with white flowers that would take Ella and all her family to St. Petersburg.