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Messages - primrose

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A most generous and thoughtful gesture, Mike. You shall be repaid in kind...


I've recently returned from St Petersburg where I spent a lovely sunny day at Alexander Palace and in the Park. The Palace and grounds were almost deserted and I was able to wander around everywhere except for the island itself where the Children's House is. But I could get up quite close and have some photos to share with you...

I've just begun to read this book, there's a nice plug for the AP Forum in the Introduction and great photographs, mostly from the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale.


I've just been checking the endnotes referencing Zanotti in Prelude and have discovered something very interesting.... according to Ronald Moe Zanotti did not go with the Imperial Family to Tobolsk and in the author's words,

 "(she) wrote an instant memoir using the nom de plume of Marfa Mouchanow. This memoir of her life with the Empress was written only months after the abdication and while The Imperial Family was still interned at Tobolsk, a period when there was little expectation that the family would be murdered."  (endnote #133, pg 71)

She very well could have slapped together those chapters after leaving AP and had a manuscript in her hand when she fled the country!

I finished this book last night and and thought it was excellent. Particularly impressed with the endnotes, they are not only clear and informative but they're fun to read at the end of each chapter. Lots of good stuff in them. I like the fact that the author used sources such as Sir Bernard Pares who was on the scene and knew most of the people who had a role in the Revolution. He's not widely recognized any longer but his writings on the period between the 1st and 2nd Revolution demonstrate that he was a consummate note-taker and scribe and that he kept his eyes and ears tuned to the surroundings.

I was quite surprised at the contents of a letter sent by Princess Zenaide from Crimea to Felix in St Petersburg November 24, 1916 about Grand Duchess Ella. To quote Ronald Moe:

"Although Ella tends to be treated as universally loved in the literature, Zenaide, in her letter to Felix of 24 November 1916, portrays a very different, and to her, a most disagreeable persona." (letter is on page 519)
I'm now re-reading Mafva Mouchanow's memoirs and trying to make sense of how Ronald Moe could have thought/known/believed that they were written by Madeleine Zanotti when there is no documented evidence anywhere to show she wrote them. His source remains a mystery but he must have had a solid one. What a pity he died so soon after finishing the book... it is to be hoped that a research assistant will turn up sooner or later and be able to solve this puzzle.

Great book, very well written and sourced... I was quite sorry when I reached the end of it!


The Windsors / Re: Windsor Jewels Pt 7
« on: December 27, 2011, 06:23:14 PM »
Has anyone ever seen a photo of this tiara?

There is a photograph of the Duchess of Connaught wearing this tiara in The Last Courts of Europe, A Royal Family Album. She is seated with a group of women, next to GD Alexandra Josifovna, and her ball gown is different from the earlier photo but she seems to be wearing the same jewels.

Lot No: 155
Ksenia (Xenia) Alexandrovna, Grand Duchess of Russia (6 April 1875 – 20 April 1960)

the first, smaller, volume from 1880-1905.

I have been watching this recently completed auction at Bonham's with great interest and am amazed at the price these two illustrated 'journals' have brought. See link below for details and illustrations:

I recently visited Osborne House, on the Isle of Wight, and stopped by St Mildred's Church to wander through my favorite final resting-place in the world. I first saw it in 1975, and unlike most of the East Cowes-Whippingham area today it is still peaceful and totally unspoiled. There was scaffolding on the church and repairs were being made to the roof but that didn't detract at all from the experience. Found the Battenburg graves, they're looking just as they should after nearly 100 years, clearly someone regularly tidies all the mounds and monuments and allows the wildflowers to flourish. It's a truly magical place in a perfect setting, overlooking the Medina River...

Tsarskoe Selo Palaces / Re: Oranienbaum, Palace and Pavillions
« on: March 26, 2011, 04:11:38 PM »
I'm planning to visit St Petersburg in September and am particularly interested in visiting Oranienbaum, but the company organizing my tour has informed me that the palace is under construction and won't be open to tourism until 2014.

Does anyone know if this applies to the entire estate or is it only the main palace that is closed. Really want to see the Chinese Palace and don't mind a bit of rubble...


I have also tried to reach them but with no luck. I'm really anxious to read Volume II and see how the pieces fit together with other accounts of the period I've been reading lately.

Wasn't there talk of another translation being done about the same time Volume I was published? I seem to remember that Paul Gilbert was mentioned in this context, perhaps he was going to carry it in his bookshop... I've looked there several times but have never seen it there.

I do wish Nobility would post on this thread as he has done in the past and bring us up to date.

I guess I do not have such a huge hangup as you seem to have over a typo here and there. The way you make it sound is NOT what I see in the book AT ALL!! So I immediately wonder if this is yet another of the usual APA attacks on the publisher – which are contrived and filled with nasty envy frankly.
Oh I see, so your gripe is an old wound. So you go off and buy a book just so you can come on here and bitty about something from the past?

So tis is not about The Grand Dukes, but about settling old scores – amazing and  – Wow, frankly, pathetic!

Eddie (Edwina) Tash

I do not know the background amongst the Romanov writers which has led to this viciousness, but I do believe that this is an unacceptable personal attack on Alixz. It would be interesting to know what your agenda is~

The Windsors / Re: The Royal Train
« on: August 14, 2010, 12:30:50 PM »
Cold war and post-cold war spy stories in my youth... they made quite an impression!

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