Author Topic: Felix Yusupov and Grand Duke Dmitriy Pavlovitch  (Read 82070 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline lizkrasnykh

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
Re: Felix Yusupov and Grand Duke Dmitriy Pavlovitch
« Reply #90 on: September 05, 2009, 11:19:05 AM »
If these rumors were being said in earshot of the Imperial Family, history would be influenced by their decision not to marry Olga and Dmitri, not to consider Dmitri next in line, etc. I'm just wondering who was saying these rumors, and who heard them.

Sasha_18, as an author of Felix's documental biography, who spent 4 years in Russian archives with original documents, I can only tell you, that many of the rumors on Felix-DP relationship probably appeared already after the revolution. Not to mention that nothing like that was ever mentioned in the correspondence of Russian courtisans between themselves.

Funny, but I would say that prince Yussupoff had invented a lot in his memoirs.

For example, his famous story of dressing as a woman and singing in the cabaret. I had checked not only the letters of his close friends and brother to each other but also all central newspapers of the period and ...to my surprise had not seen any mention of the his outrageous behavior. More than that at that time, he appeared to be a rather banal young men with mustache, whose identity was outshined by his brother's. In fact, Nikolai WAS a real RULES BREAKER!

So I tend to think, that Felix appropriated to himself in his book a lot from the extravagant behavior of his brother....But this is already another story!
Not Heaven itself upon the past has power....J. Dryden

Offline Sasha_Katerina

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 117
    • View Profile
Re: Felix Yusupov and Grand Duke Dmitriy Pavlovitch
« Reply #91 on: September 06, 2009, 09:38:30 PM »
i always get upset whenever it seems someone has fabricated their life in their biography, especially someone with access to so much history. i feel there is quite a bit of ambiguity about the revolution and how it truly played out, because there was so much propaganda afterwards. i wish people felt more of a responsibilty to the truth when writing about themselves, rather than wishing their lives were more exciting. If Felix pretended to have a larger role than he did or even simple exaggerations about his behavior, he is changing how people think of the revolution, the imperial family, russians at the time. when one had such a hand in history, one has absolutely no place fabricating or stretching the truth in any manner: leaving the rest of us to say: we'll never know how it really happened, because the ones who would have told the truth weren't writing anything.  :'(

Offline LisaDavidson

  • Moderator
  • Velikye Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 2658
    • View Profile
Re: Felix Yusupov and Grand Duke Dmitriy Pavlovitch
« Reply #92 on: September 07, 2009, 01:30:31 PM »
You're right, Lisa, and we will never know whether the rumors are true. I agree that they aren't our business, but i was simply curious as to who specifically was saying this, whether within the Romanov family itself these rumors were being paid attention to. i never feel as if I can come to a conclusion about precisely why Dmitri was forbidden by Nicholas to see Felix, because I have heard so many different angles. If these rumors were being said in earshot of the Imperial Family, history would be influenced by their decision not to marry Olga and Dmitri, not to consider Dmitri next in line, etc. I'm just wondering who was saying these rumors, and who heard them.

About that not my business stuff - does not mean that any of us cannot make inquiries.

To my knowledge, Nicholas and Alexandra were not intending to marry Olga to anyone. Dmitri was never next in line - there was always one of the Alexandrovichi (Michael, Alexei, George) ahead of the Vladimirovichi (Vladimir, Kiril, Boris, Andrei) before Dmitri in the succession.

So while various influential people may have speculated about DP marrying one of Nicholas' girls - it was never a reality. Nicholas may have worried about Dmitri, but he could have prevented him seeing Felix but did not - the two men remained friends.

In summary, the rumors which reached the Imperial couple involved Dmitri clubbing and drinking, and all they did about it was to worry about him - as would parents today. No more consequences than that.

Offline Robert_Hall

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 6649
  • a site.
    • View Profile
Re: Felix Yusupov and Grand Duke Dmitriy Pavlovitch
« Reply #93 on: September 07, 2009, 01:49:15 PM »
I would have said pretty much the same thing, Lisa. Adding that the banishments came about because of the Rasputin murder, not their personal relationship. And, as for gay men  have straight male friends, it is fairly common. Not at all unusual. I am an openly gay man and have had  and still do  straight male friends.  I imagine it is pretty much the same with gay and straight women.
 Felix was pretty much "out" for his times and considering their rarefied world, he would of course had close male friends who were  straight. If you like someone, you simply them him, does not mean you are going to bed with him/her.
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

Offline Sasha_Katerina

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 117
    • View Profile
Re: Felix Yusupov and Grand Duke Dmitriy Pavlovitch
« Reply #94 on: September 07, 2009, 05:05:27 PM »
Well i wasn't making inquiries about whether or not they had a relationship, but certainly we are free to discuss whatever we like here, provided we are respectful. :)
I find it interesting that perhaps no one at the time was saying these things, and that the rumors developed over the years.
I thought it was well known that olga and dmitri were being considered for marriage, there was a french press cliping about it but i suppose that doesn't mean anthing. It's news to me that there is no evidence of this as I remember reading letters from Nicky to Alix stating that Dmitri was not behaving well for marriage with Olga.

Offline LisaDavidson

  • Moderator
  • Velikye Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 2658
    • View Profile
Re: Felix Yusupov and Grand Duke Dmitriy Pavlovitch
« Reply #95 on: September 07, 2009, 09:14:55 PM »
Well i wasn't making inquiries about whether or not they had a relationship, but certainly we are free to discuss whatever we like here, provided we are respectful. :)
I find it interesting that perhaps no one at the time was saying these things, and that the rumors developed over the years.
I thought it was well known that olga and dmitri were being considered for marriage, there was a french press cliping about it but i suppose that doesn't mean anthing. It's news to me that there is no evidence of this as I remember reading letters from Nicky to Alix stating that Dmitri was not behaving well for marriage with Olga.

It would be great if you could find reference to this in their correspondence.

In contrast, everything I've ever read about Nicholas and Alexandra's attitudes about their children's' marriages indicates they did not try to do any arranging or coercing. The only possible fix up was with Carol of Romania, and as soon as Olga proclaimed her disinterest in him, there was no more discussion.

As stated numerous times, Dmitri remained a favorite of the couple, especially Nicholas, until his participation in Rasputin's murder became known to them. I would imagine their sense of betrayal was enormous.

Offline Sasha_Katerina

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 117
    • View Profile
Re: Felix Yusupov and Grand Duke Dmitriy Pavlovitch
« Reply #96 on: September 07, 2009, 09:34:56 PM »
Lisa, i'll do my best to track down the source. I think I remember it being in A Lifelong Passion, so I will have to go find it and double check. if it's not there, i apologize for suggesting incorrect information and obviously none of you will believe it anyway unless there is a source.
I have read this about Dmitri and Olga in so many books, without a source listed, and I think it's ridiculous that I've thought it was common knowledge because I read ill-informed and poorly researched books. Sad

Offline LisaDavidson

  • Moderator
  • Velikye Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 2658
    • View Profile
Re: Felix Yusupov and Grand Duke Dmitriy Pavlovitch
« Reply #97 on: September 08, 2009, 03:03:12 PM »
Lisa, i'll do my best to track down the source. I think I remember it being in A Lifelong Passion, so I will have to go find it and double check. if it's not there, i apologize for suggesting incorrect information and obviously none of you will believe it anyway unless there is a source.
I have read this about Dmitri and Olga in so many books, without a source listed, and I think it's ridiculous that I've thought it was common knowledge because I read ill-informed and poorly researched books. Sad

Dear Sasha 18: Please don't be upset about bad source information. There's a great deal of it about the latter Romanovs, and royals in general, as I have discovered much to my chagrin. When it comes to 19th century/early 20th century royals, I try to remember they were the "celebrities" of their day. Doubtless you know that much of what is written about celebs today is also untrue, but it gets printed anyway.

The thing about Dmitri and Olga was the whole thing looked so good on paper. Both were intelligent, attractive, and sensitive - and born within 5 years of one another. But the reality was much different than those surface similarities. Olga was very serious, religious, and purposeful. Dmitri, on the other had, was interested in other religions (so was Orthodox because he was born that way), loved clubbing and drinking, and was at times the idle royal people thought he was. So, they would not have made a match.

But, the people who wrote about them (and even those who write about them today) completely disregard the reality - just as many disregarded the factors that made Charles and Diana so very incompatible.

It's not a matter of not believing you, Sasha 18, it's just many of us have studied these people for decades, often to the point that we think we know them. And, of course we don't really know them. That's why I said, it would have been inconsistent with what I know of the Emperor and Empress for them to have behaved that way. Doesn't mean they didn't!

Offline Sasha_Katerina

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 117
    • View Profile
Re: Felix Yusupov and Grand Duke Dmitriy Pavlovitch
« Reply #98 on: September 08, 2009, 08:53:43 PM »
you are very kind Lisa. I have to admit i was rather intimidated by the number of professional historians on this site and didn't start posting for 2 years after i found this site, and was just following threads. I'm sure we have all read a lot of books, but not having done any primary research I feel very much like no one wants to hear my conjectures !!

anyway, i moved this summer and it turns out they don't have A Lifelong Passion at the library in my new city  :-[ if anyone has access to this book, you can go to the index and look through when Dmitri is mentioned, I think it is there. I want to get to the bottom of this Olga marriage business, and I am surprised to hear he was not being considered to be next in line. I remember it being in a letter Alix wrote to Nicky, that Dmitri was drinking too much or not behaving well and he needs to be groomed for the throne ??

there certainly are a lot of nonsense books about modern royals, I can easily picture the same gossip snowballing over the decades until it was considered common knowledge.

why, then, was dmitri forbidden to see felix by his uncle nicholas? or is this rumor too?

Offline imperial angel

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 4608
    • View Profile
Re: Felix Yusupov and Grand Duke Dmitriy Pavlovitch
« Reply #99 on: September 08, 2009, 09:59:26 PM »
I do have this book and looked through it briefly. In the index it mentions Dmitri visiting/ possibly visiting Alexandra twice before he murder of Rasputin- no other references to Alexandra and Dmitri until after the murder of Rasputin. On p. 463 she writes to Nicholas in April 1916 that Dmitri may show up to visit her, if it doesn't bore him. She says nothing else with regards to Dmitri. Then on p. 471, in August 1916, she writes to Nicholas that Dmitri has visited her, and that his heart is not good like hers, but that it is just the begining of his having this problem, and that it can be cured, if he takes a cure. I couldn't find any other references, although I can look more thoroughly- I checked under Dmitri's entry in the index, and Alexandra's, and Olga's. Felix Yusupov also is quoted from his memoirs on p.471 about the relations between Nicholas and Alexandra and Dmitri prior to the murder of Rasputin. He says that they looked on Dmitri as son, but says nothing about a possible marriage between Olga and Dmitri. What's interesting is page 381, where it quotes from Yusupov's memoirs, saying that both he and Dmitri wanted to marry Irina, but that Irina only wanted to marry Felix, at least that's what Felix says she said after he ( Felix) told Irina that Dmitri had wanted to marry her too. To quote Felix, " Dmitri bowed before a desicion which he realised was final, but our friendship was to suffer and our relations were never the same afterwards." One has to take Felix with a grain of salt though.

Alexandra does mention in this book, p. 453 that she doesn't want Olga marrying Boris, GD Vladimir A and Miechen's son, who was a well known playboy type. She writes to Nicholas that although the ever ambitious Miechen pushed this marriage, she, Alexandra did not think that Olga would ever agree to this marriage, and that she, Alexandra agreed with Olga's inclinations there. Maybe you were thinking of that, but she was writing of Boris, not Dmitri. I do recall a quote/ or something like you remember Sasha18, but it might not come from this book. Maybe the Complete Wartime Correspondence mentions this- I will check it.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2009, 10:16:47 PM by imperial angel »

Offline lizkrasnykh

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
Re: Felix Yusupov and Grand Duke Dmitriy Pavlovitch
« Reply #100 on: September 09, 2009, 08:03:43 AM »
i always get upset whenever it seems someone has fabricated their life in their biography, especially someone with access to so much history. i feel there is quite a bit of ambiguity about the revolution and how it truly played out, because there was so much propaganda afterwards. i wish people felt more of a responsibilty to the truth when writing about themselves, rather than wishing their lives were more exciting. If Felix pretended to have a larger role than he did or even simple exaggerations about his behavior, he is changing how people think of the revolution, the imperial family, russians at the time. when one had such a hand in history, one has absolutely no place fabricating or stretching the truth in any manner: leaving the rest of us to say: we'll never know how it really happened, because the ones who would have told the truth weren't writing anything.  :'(

Sasha_18

You are right that we will never know the truth of what actually did happen.

However, before getting too upset about the truth in Felix's memoirs we shall take into consideration the reason why he wrote it in the first place. Vain as he was, Felix still was less concerned about his own role in the history than by the financial problems of his family after the war. The people of his circle were "not made to work on the factories" (and still many of them in exile did have to learn to do it), so they used any possible way to earn money by the means known to them.  By writing memoirs, for example.   

In our times it seems strange that someone close to the country TOP decision maker will mot want to say something about his own influence on the politics, but for the court members like Yussoupoffs it was rather normal to stay away from revealing the truth breaking the word of honor. It is also important to mention that he was not representing just any nobility but those who were related to the Royal family  MEMBERS. We donít have equivalent of this social institutions in our days. Life shuffles present favourites every 5-10 years, so there is no attachment to the image of the beloved "country-ruler".

Having said that, I just want to reassure you, that during his life Felix Yussupoff has already heard everything we have to say to him today ))))
Not Heaven itself upon the past has power....J. Dryden

Offline Sasha_Katerina

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 117
    • View Profile
Re: Felix Yusupov and Grand Duke Dmitriy Pavlovitch
« Reply #101 on: September 09, 2009, 06:51:15 PM »
You know what, I think you are very right. I am thinking about this and it seems like Felix has his own personal reasons for writing memoir which have nothing to do with presenting the world with historical clarification. Because really he could not talk frankly about the assassination, he and his co conspirators had made a pact to only talk about it in a certain light to save reputations and legal matters etc. I have read Lost Splendour about twenty times trying to glean new meanings from his generic and at first glance somewhat self-promoting phrases, and I have decided that Felix Yusupov wrote his memoirs for someone who knew all the details of his life and could understand references that most people would overlook. Maybe he was only writing it to get more money (he and Irina were actually quite poor for a very long time), and had no concern about whether or not any historian would find illuminating facts from reading it. I just don't think it can be considered a historical document, I dont know if that is bad ?

Offline LisaDavidson

  • Moderator
  • Velikye Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 2658
    • View Profile
Re: Felix Yusupov and Grand Duke Dmitriy Pavlovitch
« Reply #102 on: September 10, 2009, 12:38:17 PM »
You know what, I think you are very right. I am thinking about this and it seems like Felix has his own personal reasons for writing memoir which have nothing to do with presenting the world with historical clarification. Because really he could not talk frankly about the assassination, he and his co conspirators had made a pact to only talk about it in a certain light to save reputations and legal matters etc. I have read Lost Splendour about twenty times trying to glean new meanings from his generic and at first glance somewhat self-promoting phrases, and I have decided that Felix Yusupov wrote his memoirs for someone who knew all the details of his life and could understand references that most people would overlook. Maybe he was only writing it to get more money (he and Irina were actually quite poor for a very long time), and had no concern about whether or not any historian would find illuminating facts from reading it. I just don't think it can be considered a historical document, I dont know if that is bad ?

Many sources need to be taken with a grain of salt, which is one of the challenges for all historians. Yusupov can be untruthful and self serving, true. But, so are many other people who write memoirs. That's why corroboration is so important - as is looking at events as a big puzzle - we look for inconsistencies as well as consistencies. That does not mean his memoirs have no value - it's just we can't take what he says as "gospel truth".

Offline Sasha_Katerina

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 117
    • View Profile
Re: Felix Yusupov and Grand Duke Dmitriy Pavlovitch
« Reply #103 on: September 10, 2009, 01:25:10 PM »
This is true, like as general picture of the time one would benefit very much from reading it, and learn more of Felix's character than perhaps he intended ! If one were to ask, like some people in this thread have wondered, what is nature of his relationship with his best friend Dmitrii Pavlovich, I think yes, then you would take it with a grain of salt as he would have many reasons not to tell the absolute truth. I just find it slightly annoying that in his memoirs he says he holds nothing back and tells absolute truth, when it is very easy to see where his story contradicts other historical documents. But we have to take perspective into account, of course, and really he did not know everything of the time just like we do not know every political and governmental thing going on in our countries and why they are doing what they do.
Of course all of you know this, being historians  :) People like me, who have undirected research, often get very confused about which way to go! Haha  :D

I would also like to add that maybe he was protecting Dmitrii by taking all the credit, as I have read this lots of places, and that Purishkevich did not even have the courage to lace the cakes, but Felix tells it like it happened to make more dramatic story, clouding the truth because it was a very controversial move, and remains so even today.

I in no way am dismissing Felix, he is one of my favorite characters of this time, but sometimes his ego is a little bit much and gets in the way of decent research.

Offline Sasha_Katerina

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 117
    • View Profile
Re: Felix Yusupov and Grand Duke Dmitriy Pavlovitch
« Reply #104 on: September 22, 2009, 10:15:31 PM »
Why are there never any pictures of Felix and Dmitri together? They were best friends, and Felix says they spent every day together, you would think there would be some photographic records of this !