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Topics - Maria Sisi

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It's expected sometime in 2018 according to the articles!

The six-part docuseries will follow the fall of the Russian Imperial Romanov family, headed by Tsar Nicholas II, who were killed in 1918 following the February Revolution.
The series will be a mix of documentary and reconstruction.
High-budget series titled The Last Czars will consist of six series about the monarch family, his relations with wife and children and fall of the Russian Imperial Romanov dynasty.

Something new to look forward to.

These documentaries were made for French television in the 90s by Frederic Mitterrand. I believe they were released on DVD/VHS although are now likely to be out of print.

"Les Aigles foudroyés" covers the royal families before the great war and "Mémoires d'exil" follows the Romanovs, Habsburgs and Hohenzollern families in exile.

Has anybody seen them? And does anybody know if they can be viewed with English subtitles?

They have some great film footage

first part of "Mémoires d'exil"

I was browsing through Hoogstraten's website and found the addition of a new exhibition catalog. Its based on the exhibition from last November in Washington D.C. at the Hillwood museum (did anyone see it?).

description from amazon
Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-1873) was the most renowned portraitist of European aristocracy of his day, expertly capturing the refinement and opulence of his distinguished sitters. Born and trained in Germany, Winterhalter settled in Paris in 1834, where he became the official court painter to King Louis-Philippe. He gained such international acclaim for his state portraits that he painted all but a few of the monarchs in Europe. In Paris in 1855, at the pinnacle of his career, he painted the noble portrait Empress Eugénie and her Ladies-in-Waiting, which would go on to symbolise an entire era. His 1865 portrait of the Austrian Empress Sissi is also known the world over. The lavishly illustrated publication complements Winterhalter's magnificent portraits of crowned heads of state with selected items of clothing by the contemporary and sought-after couturier Charles Frederick Worth.

Director's Foreword; Acknowledgments; Lenders to the Exhibition; Introduction by Richard Ormond; The Ultimate Court Painter by Helga Kessler Aurisch; Franz Xaver Winterhalter and the Black Forest by Tilmann von Stockhausen; Winterhalter's Italian Interlude by Eugene Barilo von Reisberg; Franz Xaver Winterhalter and French Painting: Echoes of the Salon by Laure Chabanne; Franz Xaver Winterhalter: Painter of Women by Mirja Straub; The Confections of Winterhalter and Worth by Elizabeth Ann Coleman; The Plates; Select Bibliography; Index.

The only book on Winterhalter that I know of is Richard Ormond's exhibition book for the National Portrait Gallery in the late 80s so its exciting to see another one! Its hardback, in English, and has 256 pages. Amazon will start selling it at the end of January, 2016 but you can pre-order it at the moment for $70.

Imperial Russian History / Imperial Knighthood?
« on: October 30, 2015, 10:43:12 AM »
Did Imperial Russia have their own version of 'Sir/Dame' bestowed on citizens for their life accomplishments and achievements like they have in the UK? 

I know in Russia today they have the 'People's Artist of Russia' and during the Soviet period 'People's Artist of the USSR'. I think the U.S. version would be the 'Presidential Medal of Freedom'.

What was the equivalent during the Tsarist era if any at all?

A new miniseries on Catherine the Great on Channel One Russia scheduled to air early 2015.

trailers with English subtitles

Yuliya Snigir as Catherine the Great

There was also apparently another miniseries on her called Catherine that aired on Russia-1 this past November. Anybody know how good that one was? Apparently it did really well in the ratings which hopefully means even more Romanov miniseries from Russia in the future.

I don't believe I saw any thread on this. Apparently it was released on DVD with English subtitles this year!

This spectacular new television series commemorates the 400th anniversary of the foundation of the Russian Imperial dynasty.

 The Romanov dynasty played a hugely important role in world history, and the series highlights the life stories and characters of the tsars, recounting their rise to power and their contribution to the dynasty, their merits and their faults, their achievements and mistakes, their victories and defeats in war.

 The story is told in eight epic one-hour episodes using a unique combination of magnificent CGI animation and dramatic reconstruction with careful and accurate attention paid to each period.

StarMedia has the whole series on their youtube page. I enjoyed it very much!

Books about the Romanovs and Imperial Russia / Memoirs Recommendations
« on: October 03, 2014, 04:53:12 PM »
I've heard great things about "Once a Grand Duke" but mixed reviews of "Always a Grand Duke". Maria Pavlovna the younger's memoirs seem to get positive reactions as well. Felix Yusupov's seem to be well regarded as well although I've heard that many details are exaggerated. What about the memoirs of Pierre Gilliard, Lili Dehn, Anna V. and Sophie B?

What are the most recommended, less well known, not so good, or in your personal opinion underrated memoirs?


Alexandra Feodorovna / Alexandra and Alexei's Hemophilia
« on: August 21, 2014, 03:20:34 PM »
Alexei from what I have read was ill quite a bit and pretty bad for periods of times in many cases. Its only natural Alexandra wanted to keep him safe when he was well and nurse him when he was ill. I know a lot of her actions was probably guilt related.

Reading about Alexandra it seems that she herself wasn't that stable either physically or mentally. In Nicholas's correspondence with his mother, Maria Feodorovna is always mentioning how sad it was that Alix was in poor health or how glad she was Alix was getting better. It also seems that many of the daily activities of the girls and Alexei also was in relation to Alexandra's health.

So I was wondering just how much of Alexandra's own issues fell onto Alexei and inadvertently made him worse then he was. I'm not saying she kept him ill but I was thinking maybe her own behavior (many people talk about her hysterics) possibly prolonged his pain and suffering.

Did her own reactions to Alexei's illness make Alexei react worse when she probably should have been a more calming influence? Is it possible if Alexei were perhaps raised by somebody else more stable that he would have been more healthy as a child? Or was his hemophilia just that bad and he would have been the same no matter who was nursing him?

The Final Chapter / Alexandra's mental health post abdication
« on: August 21, 2014, 02:37:01 PM »
I have seen a lot of talk concerning Alexandra's mental health when under house arrest at the AP.

In "The Romanov Sisters" is says:
Elizaveta Naryshkina found her conversation increasingly disjointed and incomprehensible. No doubt the constant headaches and dizzy spells as ever impinged on it, but Elizaveta had by now come to the conclusion that Alexandra's unbalanced mental state had become 'pathological'. 'It should serve to acquit her' should it come to the worst, she hoped, 'and perhaps will be her only salvation.' Dr. Botkin agreed with her: 'He how feels as I do when seeing the sate the Empress is in and berates himself for not having realized it sooner. P. 303

....Kerensky ordered that the couple should be separated in order to prevent collusion between them, should any trial ensue. For the next three weeks they were allowed to meet only twice daily at meals, Nicholas appearing almost glad to escape his wife's draining presence for a while.... Kerensky had actually wanted to separate Alexandra from the children, confining them with their father, but Elizaveta Naryshkina had appealed saying this was too cruel: 'It would mean death to her. Her children are her life.' P. 307

There is also a quote, that I can't find, stating that Alexandra was becoming even more increasingly absorbed in thoughts of God and religion then before. And how she rarely if never joined the family outside and would stay inside her room for the majority of the day.

So how bad did Alexandra's mental health become? From what I have read it sounds like the people around her believed she alarmingly deteriorated quite a bit. And this was after when during the war I believe Dr. Bokin stated 'he could no longer find the Empress sane' or something to that effect. Just how bad was she, did she suffer from a nervous breakdown?

French and literature tutor to the children of Alexander III

His personal belongings connected to the Imperial Family were put on the auction block in 2010/11. Over 2,000 items of letters, postcards, photographs, drawings and other things were included.

Anybody know what happened to them and have any of them been published or put online?

I'm particularly interested in the letters and photographs.

Having Fun! / Age progression of OTMAA
« on: July 19, 2014, 10:41:24 PM »
They all died at such young ages.

They were all attractive and photogenic looking, so it would have been interesting to see what the children would have looked like as they got older.

What relatives/side of the family do you think they would have looked like and taken after the most?

Forgive me if there is already a thread on this but I didn't find one. I was playing around on youtube and I was lucky to find this in its entirety.

It's a three part BBC documentary on Queen Victoria and her relationship with her children. It showed her obsessive behavior concerning Albert and her difficulty after his death and its effects on her relationship with their children. It features interviews with historians including Charlotte Zeepvat.

I thought it was very interesting and while I knew the basics that were shown I didn't know the smaller details. I knew Victoria could be difficult but she came off a lot harsher then I would have imagined her. I always viewed her as very selfish but didn't think she was that cruel. I was already sympathetic to the children to start  with but after watching this I felt for them even more.

On other Royal forums the reaction to this seems to be rather mixed. Many people have said Victoria's behavior is exaggerated and she was nowhere near as bad as the documentary suggests while others said she was.

Has anyone else seen this and what did they think of it?

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