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Messages - Griae

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I just received my copy of the diary of tsar Nicolas from from Hoogstraten books in The Hague. (easy way for me, since I live in The Netherlands)
I must admit, I was hoping for a better looking book, as shallow as that may sound. (it looks a bit like a boring textbook, I am sorry to say)
But reading tsar Nicolas his own words, knowing what we know now, makes owning this book very special and I am really happy with it.

greetings, Griae

This moning I finished my copy of 'Alix and Nicky' and I must say I really liked it. I like that fact that the author really tried to give a different perspective of the events and tried to focus on different aspects.
I enjoyed the chapters about Alix' health, or Nicholas' character. And I was very much intrigued by the analasys of the friendship with Anna Vyrubova.
I do have the same problem the others already mentioned, the overlap in things caused by first a couple of chapters about certain topics, and then some chapters starting again with the beginning.

But I liked the writing style and I enjoyed reading it very much. For me, this is a good addition to me Romanov collection.

greetings, Bettina

The Tudors / Re: Your favorite Tudors
« on: September 26, 2011, 02:00:21 AM »
I came to Tudor history through Anne Boleyn, I read a book about her when I was 10 and I was fascinated. When I was 15, I identified with Lady Jane Grey (poor, poor girl, but now I do not think she was a very nice person, to rigid in her belief an ideas. But that could also be explained by her age.)

Now my favorite Tudors are:
- Catherine of Aragon
- Mary Queen of Scots (just read the great biography 'My heart is my own' by John Guy, which gives a very good description of her)
- Mary I (poor woman, I cannot help but feel sorry for her.)

I agree that Henry's sisters are nog very well known, on my 'still to buy' list is a book about them, because I want to know more about them.

greetings, Griae

Books about the Romanovs and Imperial Russia / Re: Upcoming Books in 2012
« on: September 25, 2011, 10:17:03 AM »
It sounds really interesting! Even though it might be a book with nothing really new in it, I for myself do not think I know enough or have enough books about Nicolas and Alexandra. I am just starting on this Romanov-path, so the more information the better . I am also quite curious about the newly revealed letters and diaries. says the book will be available in february 2012.

I could not help myself, I pre-ordered it. (also, when I pre order now, I cannot forget to order when the books comes out. I probably will forget about this, so it will be a nice surprise when the postman arrives with the parcel)

greetings, Griae

Yesterday I wanted to celebrate Alexei's birthday, so I went to visit the Hermitage, not the real one of course but the little one here in Amsterdam and after that I went to the St. Nicolas church in Amsterdam to light a candle for him.

I was just thinking: isn't it wonderful to think that all over the world people are still remembering him and the other family members on their birthdays and the day of their death, to do something in their honour, to pray for them or simply just remember them?

greetings, Griae

The Imperial Family / Re: a question of marriage and religion
« on: March 15, 2011, 07:38:39 AM »
If only the wife of the tsar and the tsarevich had to be (or become) Orthodox, was this because of the laws for the inheritance of the throne? (I am not sure how to put that in correct English, I am sorry)
I read somewhere that a tsar had to have an Orthodox mother and an Orthodox wife, is this correct?

Am I correct to think that if a tsar or a tsarevich would convert to another religion, this would disqualify them as tsar? Being orthodox was, as I understand it, an integral part of being a tsar, you could not be one, without the other.

Were there ever any members of the Imperial Family who converted to another religion?

On the note of members of the Imperial Family marrying people with other religions: Anna Pavlona married King Willem II of the Netherlands, and she kept her Orthodox religion, even had an Orthodox chapel. This was something that was a bit frowned upon by the very Calvinistic Dutch and the Royal family of the Netherlands. They thought it was all a bit too weird, foreign and almost Catholic for their taste, with the candles and icons etc.

kind regards, Bettina

The Imperial Family / Re: a question of marriage and religion
« on: March 15, 2011, 02:42:53 AM »
Thank you all so much for your anwers, it is so much clearer for me now.

Just one question, if the wifes and husbands Grand Dukes and Grand Duchesses did not have to convert, could they (in theory at least) marry a Roman Catholic?

thanks again,

kind regards, Bettina

The Imperial Family / a question of marriage and religion
« on: March 14, 2011, 03:56:47 AM »
Good morning to you all

I do not know if this question has already been asked, I could not find it anywhere. And if I posted this in the wrong section I apologise.

My question concerns the religion of the Imperial Family and why they usually only married with foreign princesses who were Protestant, rather than Roman Catholic.

I get the impression that the foreign princesses had to convert to Orthodoxy when they married into the Imperial Family.
Is it that Protestants are more likely to convert than Catholics? (I do not know if it is, it is just an idea)
Or is it easier for them to convert because there are more similarities between Orthodoxy and Protestantism than between Orthodoxy and Catholicism?
Or are there other reasons?

Was it completely impossible to marry a Roman Catholic bride, or just unlikely?

Thanks for your answers.

Kind regards, Bettina

My copy of the book arrived just before Christmas, and I have been reading it, although I have not finished the book yet. I find it a really readable book, the style is very easy. ( In Dutch we have the expression, 'it reads like a train', and this is such a book) Even my mum, who does not read in English looked through the book, read a few bits here and there and said 'I think even I can read this book and understand it'. So my compliments to the writers for their easy and well-readable style.

I am now reading the part about Anna Anderson and I am fascinated by the fact how facts were changed, how people told her things and gave her photographs and later people thought she could really remember things and people.

What a horrible situation it must have been for the family. Not knowing for sure what happened, hoping, against better judgement perhaps, that one of the family survived, this woman and all that does not add up, and always the hope that maybe, maybe, it might be true.

It seems very sad that this woman was so caught up in the fact that she was Anastasia. I do not know if she actually believed it herself, or that she said it and than it spiralled out of control and she could not stop anymore. I do not know what much about her, I am very new to reading about the Romanovs and all the things related to them, but I think when I finished this book, I will know more about AA and her motives.

greetings, Bettina

Unfortunately, my copy (ordered at will not arrive untill the half of January. I hoped to get the book before the Christmas Holidays, but I am afraid it will be a little bit later. Oh well, I have something to look forward to.

greetings, Bettina

Nicholas II / Re: Tsar vs. Czar and Nicholas's Full Titles
« on: October 14, 2010, 05:16:44 AM »
In Dutch, the word is always written as tsaar. I always use this word when I teach my pupils about Russia. I explain that it is the Russian word for emperor, coming from the same 'Caesar' as the German 'Kaiser' or the Dutch 'keizer'.
The kinds really like the for them foreign words. Tsaar, Tsarevich etc. It gives an extra flavour to this topic, gives it something special.

kind regards, Bettina

When I read about this book on this forum, I thought it sounded wonderful.
I searched for it and I found it on It was expensive, on of the most expensive books I ever bought. (42 pounds, that is about 66 euro's, including shipping)
I decided to order it. Unfortunately, it got lost in the mail. The delivery service said they could not deliver it, and that they sent it back.
I informed amazon of this, and they were very nice, they send me another copy.

But would you believe me if I said that this one also got lost in the mail.  :o I phoned the help desk of the Dutch mail, but they said the postman deliverd it. I was home that day, but he did not deliver it to me. He also did not deliver it to any of my neighbours (I went to all of them today and asked them) and he also did not leave a message telling me where my parcel was.

I also went to the post office, just to see if perhaps, by any change, a parcel was waiting there for me. And yes, there was!! The first parcel was there. The second one is still lost (I think perhaps the postman really wanted to have this book as well and he just nicked it) but I have my book, finally.

I must tell you how much I love this book. It is so beautiful, and has such wonderful  photo's. It was well worth the money, and the hassel of chasing postmen and dealing with horrible unhelpful people at helpsdesks. (not the amazon one, they were wonderful!!)

Forum Announcements / Re: New Users say Hello Here and ONLY HERE!
« on: September 15, 2010, 04:24:39 AM »
Thank you both, Aleksandr Pavlovich and Nicola De Valeron for your kind welcome.

Nicola, I agree with you about the difference between medieval history and the Russian revolution. That is why I consider myself an amateur reagarding Russian history. I have no wehre near the same amount of knowledge about this subject than a lot of people on this forum.

Aleksandr, how nice you are also a mediaevalist, you find us in the strangest places!

kind regards, Bettina

Forum Announcements / Re: New Users say Hello Here and ONLY HERE!
« on: September 14, 2010, 12:04:24 PM »
Hello, I have been reading this forum for quite some time and I love it. There is a place with people just as interested as I am in the Romanov family and Russian history. I just love the fact that there are so many of us out there in the world.

A little about myself, I am from the Netherlands. I am a history teacher, and one of my favourite subjects to teach about is the Russian revolution. (although I studied medieval history, not modern history) Poor students, I cannot let this subject go without a detailed account of the Romanov family. But most of them do find it very interesting, especially the fate of the children connects with them.

I am looking forwards to share my love of the Romanovs with and to learn from all the people on this forum.

kind regards, Bettina

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