Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about the Imperial Family and European Royalty => Rulers Prior to Nicholas II => Topic started by: agordon2000 on February 26, 2017, 12:41:19 PM

Title: Did Catherine the Great lie
Post by: agordon2000 on February 26, 2017, 12:41:19 PM
Anna was the fourth child of Peter the Great but the oldest one to reach adulthood. She died at 21 giving birth to Peter III who eventually married Catherine the Great. Poor Peter III was in line to inherit the Russian throne and Swedish throne but was ugly, abusive and was  retarded according to his wife. By law he could not rule both but Russia was the wrong choice for him.  OK his mother Anna was sensible, bright and quiet, some say Peter was going to leave her the throne when he was dying.  Peter III was not astute politically but with Anna as his mother it is doubtful that he was as bad as Catherine II said.
Title: Re: Did Catherine the Great lie
Post by: Ally Kumari on March 04, 2017, 02:27:26 AM
Anna died shortly after Peter was born adn had absolutely no influence on his education or mental development. Peter was brought up in an abusive and humiliating way by his tutor, and all the awful character traits Catherine later mentioned, though perhaps bit stretched by her, were in greatest probability very much there. It was not only Catherine who found teenaged and adult Peter disagreeable, nasty and useless. There were many others, including his own aunt who chose him as her heir.

Just because his biological mother was gentle and kind doesn´t mean Peter was gentle and kind. Especially not if his early formative years were so filled with neglect and abuse.
Title: Re: Did Catherine the Great lie
Post by: Превед on March 04, 2017, 09:09:58 AM
I recommend this book to balance Catherine's malevolent justifications and all the historians who believed her:

In Peter's native Kiel last summer I happened upon a little book about Peter III, a German biography called "Peter III - der Prinz von Holstein" by Russian-German Elena Palmer. I now see it has been translated into English too: Although a bit hagiographic, it certainly shows how Peter III and his enlightened plans for Russia can be shown in a totally different light if you rely on other sources than Catherine's very biased propaganda. He was as educated and enlightened as his wife, with great plans for reforms, but more pedantic (and gentle) and far less politically savvy / ruthless than his wife. He truly wanted to be an enlightened monarch, Catherine just pretended to be.

It also gave some very interesting insights into the relationship between Peter and his tutors. Some were abusive, but others were kind, caring and loyal and instilled very high (and unrealistic) ideals in him.
Title: Re: Did Catherine the Great lie
Post by: Превед on March 04, 2017, 09:41:34 AM
The bad and abusive one was the Baltic-Swedish tutor Otto Friedrich von Brümmer (engaged by Peter III's uncle, after his father's death, dismissed by his aunt in Russia), but the tutors chosen by his father, who remained as assistants during Brümmer's time, were good tutors: Pastor Gustav Christoph Hosmann and the French teacher Monsieur Mild. In addition his aunt Elisabeth engaged a very good German tutor for him in Russia: Professor Jakob Stählin.

He was also accompanied on his journey to Russia by a very good and caring scientist: Johann Albrecht Korf. He wrote an account of the journey and portrayed the young Peter as an intelligent and sensitive youngster. He had to leave his beloved dog in Kiel and was rather upset about this. (Remember he was only 11-12 years old and had lost both his parents. The dog was, together with his tutors and his trusted and loyal equerry / valet Bastian, his friends and family.) So one of the things he was most curious about regarding Russia was Russian dogs, dog breeds and if he could get a new dog in Russia.

His father was a rather educated man and ruler and took great care of his son's education untill he died. His aunt Empress Elisabeth, although uneducated and frivolous herself, took a wise and careful approach to her heir's education, at least in theory. (One problem was the many interruptions in the schedule due to the many parties and balls she hosted and wanted Peter to attend.) All this according to Elena Palmer.