Author Topic: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)  (Read 185883 times)

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Offline anna

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Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
« on: February 05, 2004, 04:26:31 PM »
I would like to know more about Anna Vyrubova. Was she really so innocent as she looked like? Was she in love with the Tsar?
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Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2004, 01:45:28 AM »
According to Edvard Radzinsky, Anna was not in love with Nicholas but with Alexandra. However, since this was very unacceptable at that time and knowing how Alexandra would feel if this became know, Anna, being a very clever woman, pretended she had a crush on Nicholas. Alexander and the tsar thought this all too cute and doted on Anna. Alexandra made her a close friend, although she complained to Nicholas that Anna was too cloyingly close at times, Thus Anna achieved what she wanted, to be close to Alexandra. If this is true the poor woman must have had to watch herself very closely and act against all instincts to keep her true
feelings from being discovered.   Many regarded her as a rather simple minded, ditzy sort of woman, but as Radzinsky points out, she managed to fool both the provisional government and the Bolsheviks into believing she knew nothing. They let her go in the end and she died in poverty in Finland.

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2004, 04:02:21 PM »
I think what many of us forget when we read the consistantly negative press on Anna is that she was a daughter of the nobility and raised in wealth and comfort.  She was not an middle class girl who managed to weasle her way into the family.  She was not a starry-eyed girl in love with the fairy-tale life of a palace.  Anna had been in palaces all her life and she was an official Lady-in-Waiting.

Nichoals and Alexandra considered her as a fifth daughter.  I do not believe the lesbian angle because Anna Vyrubova had the reputation of flirting with many of the officers in the Imperial Guard.  She replayed the 'footsie game' with other men besides Nicholas.  Her reputation among the guards was as a woman looking for a husband.

After her annulment she continued as a virgin.  She had a horrible train accident that made her a partial invalid.

She was emotional and theatrical at times, spoiled and jealous of her access to the family.  Perhaps she wasn't bright and witty and she was unfashionably chubby.  Some of the people who criticized her the most were actually two-faced people who played up to her and predended to be her friends before the revolution.  Felix is a good example.

During the revolution she was very badly mistreated badly in prison.  A medical examination proved her to be a virgin, and such she stayed for the rest of her life.  She took private vows and became a nun in Finland, though she continued to live at home and wear street clothes.  Until her death she was devoted to the Imperial family and their memory.


Offline Greg_King

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Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2004, 02:38:46 AM »
One of these I've been curious about lately is Anna's first marriage to Alexander Vyrubov.  Anna's book gives one side of the issue, but looking at Elizabeth Naryshkin-Kuryakin, you have a number of assertions.

“I never could understand,” wrote Princess Naryshkin-Kuryakin, “what had persuaded her to take this step for apparently she had never felt the slightest affection for him.”  She asserts that the marriage quickly failed, as Anna was unwilling to abandon her long hours spent with the Imperial Family, nor even allow her new husband to share her bed; when Vyrubov complained that his wife was neglecting him, she fled to the house of her parents, and immediately began to spread malicious rumors that her husband “had lost his reason in consequence of his excitement at the battle of Tsushima,” and was impotent, as Naryshkin-Kuryakin says.

It looks as if Anna successfully played on the Empress’s sympathy and feelings of guilt over the union, and soon a Court official informed Vyrubov that Alexandra wished him to grant his wife an immediate divorce.  The young lieutenant, recalled Princess Naryshkin-Kuryakin, “was very much grieved; in fact, he wept, but gradually began to realize that a happy life with Anna had become impossible and so decided to release her from the ties which bound her to him.”

What to me makes this more believable is that after the marriage was annulled, Alexander Vyrubov married again, this time quite happily, and fathered two children before his premature death just before the Revolution.  So it is unlikely he was impotent, though possible he was an recovered.  But Naryshkin-Kuryakin's views on the marriage seem to me to probably be correct.  I wonder if there are any opinions on this?

Greg King

Offline 3710

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Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2004, 07:43:50 AM »
Greg, do we really care about Vyrubov's sexual performance? And do you really trust St.Petersburg gossip regarding his marriage? What did they NOT said about this marriage?There is a Russian saying ''ia so svechoi ne stoial'' meaning I was not holding light by their bedside. So true in this case.
I do not remember reading anything even slightly symphathetic about Anna Vyrubova anywhere (Radzinsky, perhaps, but he is not a contemporary). Can you think of anything?
Thanks
Galina
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 3710 »

Offline Greg_King

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Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2004, 10:11:35 AM »
Well, as a matter of historical interest, yes, I care, because it is a question of history.  She gives one version, and here you have a contradictory version.  And that's part of what interests me about history in general and the Romanovs in particular-little details, finding out information, digging deeper.

I'd have to say that I would not characterize Princess Elizabeth Naryshkin-Kuryakin, who was Alexandra's Ober-Gofmeisterina, or Mistress of the Robes and First Lady of State (or most senior Lady in Waiting) as "St.Petersburg gossip."  She was there, knew Anna and Alexander Vyrubov very well, was one of the most senior members of the Imperial Court, and the most senior member of Alexandra's Personal Suite.  As such, her words carry weight, and I don't think can easily be dismissed.  She may be wrong on the issue, but I think it is important, as a historical question, to examine the issue.

So, to me, this has nothing to do with being sympathetic or not to Anna.  Historically, you have to separate personalities from issues, and this person-with two starkly different versions of a major event that informed her life and her closeness to the Empress-is a key one when looking at one of the most intimate witnesses to the lives of the Imperial Family.

Greg King

Offline Silja

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Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2004, 03:00:31 PM »
Hey Greg, you are not THE Greg King, are you?

Regards,
Silja

Offline anna

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Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2004, 04:12:01 PM »
Silja,

You better believe it, it's THE KING.

Anna  ;)
Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.

Offline Silja

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Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2004, 04:22:05 PM »
Hi anna,

I see. How interesting  :)

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2004, 08:01:23 PM »
Greg:

Madame Naryishkina believed Alexandra was a German spy - can you believe that?  Since reading this I have always wondered about her.  She was closer to the Empress than almost anyone and sh really things this is true?

Isn't it true that she claims to have been a good friend of Kerensky and was very happy to help him out and inform on the family after the Revolution?  Why Alexandra continued to care for this woman I don't know.

Bob

Offline Greg_King

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Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2004, 12:27:22 AM »
Bob:

I am not sure where Princess Naryshkin-Kuryakina claimed that Alix was a German spy.  Certainly not in her book:

"Although her closest relatives-among them her own brother-were fighting on the German side, she regarded herself as absolutely Russian.  It would be nothing but calumny to accuse her of sympathy with the enemy!"(page 211)

She mentions a plot, not involving the Empress, involving possible negotiations for a separate peace and, indeed, Protopopov had himself undertaken a number of such feelers in 1916.  This is an historically gray area, because there is nothing to indicate that Nicholas approved of this, but on the other hand he knew of it and did nothing to stop it (I wrote a huge article about this about a year ago, and can cite the sources if anyone is interested).  But the Princess herself never in her book, at least that I can see, accuses the Empress of German sympathies.  If she did make such a remark, I'd be interested in knowing about it!
 
As to Kerensky: Her book makes it rather clear (pages 222-24) that she first met him when he came to the Alexander Palace after the Revolution.  She-like the other members of the Imperial Court, Entourage, and Household-was questioned by the Provisional Government's Commission, but I wouldn't consider testifying before them (under orders) as being an indication that she "informed" on the Imperial Family-Anna Vyrubova did the same thing.  Again, if she made some further comment about this I'd be very interested in hearing about it!

Greg King

Offline 3710

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Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2004, 10:03:20 AM »
Greg, I am not  being intimidated with Naryshkina's titles! :) Gossip she was. Everything regarding intimate relationship of other people sounds like gossip. And so many prominent people of this time wrote complete rubbish in their memories. Amusing to read - yes, final words of wisdom- no.  Most of them were very jealous of Vyrubova's closeness to the Family and considered themselves far more suitable for such position. So why would they be fare to a poor woman? The marriage did not work out (as Rasputin predicted...) - that's the only fact we know for sure.
Galina

Offline Janet_Ashton

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Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2004, 02:07:49 PM »
I respectfully disagree, Galina - I don't think that interest in someone's intimate life is gossip per se. Perhaps it just shows that Narishkine-Kourakine was close to one of the parties in the drama (Vyrubov) and indignant that his side of the story had been misrepresented? After all, it must have had a devastating affect on his life.

I am interested in your view that the memoirs of many at court at this time contained gossip and inaccuracies - can you think of any specific instances of this in the case of Narishkine-Kouryakine? -  Or of anyone else, for that matter? - and, since I am inclined to agree with you on this general point, how, as a matter of personal interest to me, do you go about establishing who lied..?

Thanks...

Janet


Offline 3710

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Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2004, 04:51:41 AM »
Dear Janet
it depends of what we call 'gossip'. For me - saying something you can't possibly know for sure regarding other people  (such as Anna's feelings and her husband's sexual abilities). I can't see how Naryshkina could have had any personal knowledge of both (unless....) I do not have all my Romanov books by hand, but what to do with Lili Dahn mentioning   Vyrubov's wife beating as a well known fact in the society? She was just as close to Alexandra's circle as Naryshkina. I am sure I have read something about Vyrubov's sexual pervertions somewhere, as well. Gossip is not a bad thing as such, it 's a flavour of the time, but it is difficult to base judgements on it.
I have found another passage on Anna :Alexandra pushed Anna into loveless marriage, telling her it was her duty to have  a husband...The man, Alexander Vyrubov .. was mentally disturbed. The marriage soon fell apart- Anna discovered that her husband was disturbed. He was also importent and could not consumate the marriage'' written by... Greg King in Last Tsarina! And no refferal to sources.  
But I did not mean to make a big issue of it, just a passing comment, it is not an important subject.
Sorry to be a bore!
Galina

Offline Janet_Ashton

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Re: Anna Aleksandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964)
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2004, 11:06:04 AM »
Hi Galina
     Thanks for getting back all the same! - I like to talk about sources and tease things out.

Narishkina and Lili do agree substantially actually: both assert that Anna had no desire to marry Vyrubov and that the marriage was a  complete failure. I don't think either claim to know what specifically went on within it : these allegations were Anna's (in her book as well as reported in Naryshkina's). Obviously she'd know, but the fact that other sources, including also Marie Bariatinsky as well as Naryshkina, take a more benevolent view of her husband's character raise the possibility that she lied or exaggerated to get out of the marriage. I don't think his sexual performance is an  important point.....:-)

Janet