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Topics - Georgiy

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The Final Chapter / Speranski book "house of special purpose"
« on: January 20, 2015, 04:13:04 AM »
A pity there is no English version of this. I found an interesting passage on it and wonder if te story about photos being taken in the cellar comes from this (paraphrased from the book)  when the Romanovs are all in the cellar waiting. "AIt's a pity there's no photographer," said Anastasia gaily, "we could have been photographed all together." Tatiana gave her a look of reproach.
Interesting book, but hard for me to read as my French is not wonderful.

Films and TV shows about the Romanovs and Imperial Russia / Grigoriy R
« on: October 25, 2014, 03:25:38 AM »
This 2014 Russian TV series looks quite interesting. I saw part 4 on youtube and I suppose other parts are out there somewhere. Not in English or subtitled though, so non-Russian speakers may have trouble following it.

Well, read this one via Kindle. I understand the author frequents the forum. In many ways I quite liked this one, but, (spoiler) did not like how in it Marie succumbed to her passion, and feel the story would have been more powerful had it been unrequited. No happy ending or escapes, apart from Marie (and what was indicated about what happened to Olga on the Rus) the story stuck pretty much to the facts.

Romanov and Imperial Russia Links / Papers past
« on: March 24, 2013, 01:04:35 AM »
I have spent an enjoyable hour searching through the papers past section of New Zealand's national library, which is basically digitised newspaper articles from years gone by.  Interesting to search for Romanov related articles. Lots of stuff about imminent engagements of Olga and Tatiana to eligible princes, a funny one about how plans to marry the Grand Duchesses off to Balkan princes means they are like white slaves, and this has caused hysteria and a mental breakdown in the Tsaritsa. Others include from 1918 reports that the Tsar, Empress and Tatiana have been shot, the Empress and 3 of herdaughters have been burnt to death, and all kinds of other stories about fake Grand Duchesses turning up. A story from 1916 about how GD Tatiana is being a fashion leader wither wartime dress sense and apparently she has stated she will only wear black until Russian victory etc.
the website to search within is

Anastasia Nicholaievna / Nickname of "Imp"
« on: August 23, 2012, 02:35:44 AM »
I would like to know what is a first-hand source for Anastasia being known as Imp within the family - apart from nicknames based on her name, the only other nickname I know of is shvybzik which is from the German for tipsy.

Books about the Romanovs and Imperial Russia / The Rasputin Relic
« on: April 30, 2012, 11:07:57 PM »
Just finished this rather dreadful piece of fiction, which I borrowed from the library based on the title. It was awful, and (from an Orthodox POV) very poorly researched. The info about the author says he has done much research about Russian religions, but if that is the case, not much showed through in the story, which was about a perfectly preserved hand of Rasputin's (cut from his body by the Empress's orders) that found its way into a bank vault. People that come in contact with it die from haemorrhaging because of a fungus on it, that Russian's are immune to. Avoid.

I am very much enjoying this book of GD Olga Alexandrovna's memoirs. Interesting to read she felt very close to her neice GD Olga Nikolaevna - said they were very similar in outlook, so much so that she could all but 'read' Olga's thoughts on any issue. Also includes some letters from GD Olga A to Tatiana and Maria.

This was on a couple of weeks ago. In the interview, Peter Gill talks about the DNA identifying of the Romanovs.

Books about the Romanovs and Imperial Russia / A Dry Ship to the Mountains
« on: December 13, 2009, 09:00:29 PM »
This book, by Daniel Farson, had the author travelling through the Caucasus as his father had previously done in 1929. Seems his parents were both in Russia before the Revolution. He quotes from his mother the following little anecdotes. She was working at the Anglo-Russian Hospital in Petrograd, and described when Empress Maria Fedorovna came with Olga and Tatiana to open it..."We heard a crowd moving slowly up the stairs, and a small dowdy woman in black, like a plain edition of our Alexandra, but with a very sweet expression, came in...The two little princesses, Olga and Tatiana, came and looked quite charming and so pretty in little ermine hatswith white ospreys in themand little low-necked rose-coloured frocks and ermine furs and muffs. Olga is the prettiest and really lovely I thought, and so jolly-looking and natural." The mother ends up sitting by the knees on the ground by MF. There is a photo in the book, and I have seen it elsewhere too, perhaps in Love, Power and Tragedy. Maybe someone can post it. She also described Anastasia as "a little girl with her hair down her back and an Alice-in-Wonderland comb." and Alexei on the "unforgettable day when the little Tsarevitch came, one of the most beautiful children I ever saw." Also mentions how Dmitry and Felix Yusupov burst into the hospital covered in blood after killing Rasputin.

Books about the Romanovs and Imperial Russia / Royal Romances of To-day
« on: August 14, 2007, 12:15:15 AM »
This book, by Kellogg Durland, published in 1911 is a biography of Queen Ena of Spain, the Tsaritsa, and Queen Elena of Italy. I have read the section about Alexandra and am in the process of reading the rest of the book. The 'Woman's Home Companion' sent the author to Russia in 1907 to write a story about the Tsaritsa. The book is an expanded version. The author apparantly talked with people at the royal courts etc, obviously read Miss Eager's book, and has presented an interesting contemporary view of the Empress. The idea is that the Tsarevich's life was always in danger from assassination, which is why he was so closely guarded. The author writes how GD Olga (Nikolaevna) is said by the court to have a very similar personality to the Empress (perhaps this led to the problems between Alexandra and Olga when O was a teenager), and provides a few anecdotes about the IF. Even at this early stage he notes that the future for the IF seems ominous. Interesting, if gossipy reading.

Has anyone else read this book? It was written by Ruth Kedzie Wood, and published in 1911. The same author also wrote a travel guide to Russia (which I haven't read.)

The reason I am asking about this book is because I am trying to work out is it fiction or non-fiction. The author describes meeting OTMAA, Ella and the Empress in 1909, as the Empress mentions they will be off to England soon. The account of the Imperial children sounds very much like the OTMA we have come to know, through multiple, post-revolution books. The rest of the book reads like a fiction thriller (and not an overly great one) - every person she meets, rich or poor seems to be a revolutionary, and the author and husband help smuggle a revolutionary out of the country even. The photos also seem to me like it is fiction masquerading as non-fiction - one of them has the 'Widow so-and-so with the Priest's daughter'. Both women look to be about 20 or so, and yet the widow has a grown up son according to the story.

How much of the Imperial children's personalities and traits would have been known to the general public? Could the author have cobbled it together from magazine articles about them? The story itself sounds almost too good to be true.

Forum Announcements / Orthodox Christmas 07/01/07
« on: January 07, 2007, 02:08:33 AM »
Wishing all Orthodox posters on the forum a Merry Christmas. Chris is Born! Glorify Him! Here in Moscow we have finally had some snow after a relatively warm week in which all the snow around when I got here had melted!

С Рождеством Христовым!

I got this interesting novel a few months ago. It was written by a General Krassnoff, published in English in 1926. It is the story of an Imperial Officer during the reign of Nicholas II and just after the Revolution. In the middle part, Grand Duchess Tatiana features quite a bit at the lazaret. It is an interesting read, showing popular attitudes to the Tsar and Tsaritsa and the causes of the revolution. It is quite revoltingly graphic in some of the tortures that people were put to during the revolution. If you are offended by anti-semitist attitudes, then consider this a warning - there is, of course, a fairly strong undercurrent of this in that the author seems firmly convinced that the main leaders of the revolution were Jewish or used by Jews, while making no secret of the fact that the Russians themselves did all the various horrors perpetrated on one another during the revolution. Also before the revolution one of the Jewish characters talks about the dreadful things the Russians have done to the Jews. It is an interesting book because it shows how the Russian emigres and escapees of the Revolution felt towards the Imperial Family and what happened in their country.

The Final Chapter / Ermakov and the Grand Duchesses
« on: February 14, 2006, 11:14:17 PM »
I have been reading Seven League Boots by Halliburton, which has an interesting interview between the author and Ermakov. Ermakov seemed to like to take more than his fair share of credit for the massacre of the Romanovs, but his stories about the Grand Duchesses while in captivity are interesting and I quote from the book here.

'The interpreter asked how the four girls passed the day. Ermakov understood. "Oh, they had a lot of games. They played dominoes with the Czar. And they read a lot and talked a lot - I don't know about what - wasn't important. They all seemed to love Alexis. Some one of the girls was with him all the time - handsome little fellow...but a hopeless sort of Czar for Russia.

'"Olga was the oldest daughter - nothing special. About twenty-two, maybe twenty-three. I remember Maria had her nineteenth birthday party in the prison house - one of the guards took her some cakes. She seemed to be the Czar's favourite. They always walked in the garden together. Anastasia still had long hair down her back. She wasn't more than seventeen, maybe younger. Tatiana came between Olga and Maria. I thought she was the prettiest of the four. She had lots of dignity too, and was always looking after the others. We all liked her the best."

'Tatiana! Waiting for Ermakov to recover sufficient breath to speak again, I remembered the beautiful and moving chapter about this particular princess in From Double Eagle to Red Flag. The story places her in the Czarina's war hospital in Petrograd. There, working unceasingly, never sparing herself because she was a princess, Tatiana won the unqualified respect and worshipful devotion of every wounded soldier in the place. She seemed to them more like an angel than a human being, with her clear eyes and fresh young face and generous heart. Each day she made the rounds of the wards, seeking out those who were suffering most, and touching their heads and foreheads with her finger-tips.

'And they forgot their agony, so healing was the presence of this sweet divinity. She walked beside them as they were wheeled into the operating room, and they never felt afraid. Se stood beside them when they died. Or if they lived and left the hospital, she escorted them to the door, and gave them as a parting gift some small momento which she herself had loved.

'One wounded lad, just seventeen, worshipped her as he did the Holy Virgin. He spent his hours just waiting her return...his glorious, beautiful princess. When his time came for an operation, she escorted him to the table and began to help the surgeon remove the boy's bed-dress. Shamed, horrified, at the thought that she - this immaculate and heavenly being - would see his nakedness, the poor lad fainted away.

'He left the hospital some time after, hearing only the music of Tatiana's good-bye, clutching in his hand her own prayerbook that she had given him. Inspired, he rushed back to the front, flung himself recklessly at Russia;s enemies, and in the first charge perished, for Tatiana - the same Tatiana who within little more than a year was to be held in an Ekaterinburg prison, by these savage and vindictive assassins.'

I don't know if the book Halliburton quotes from is fiction or non-fiction, but it certainly painted a moving picture of Tatiana.

Maria Nicholaievna / Maria's letters & notes
« on: December 11, 2005, 09:42:39 PM »
Here's a letter from Maria. I don't have a date for it, nor do I know who it was written to. I saw it in a Russian book some years ago and copied it out. The translation is mine, and I accept all responsibility for the poorness of it! If anyone else has any letters or correspondence of Maria's from captivity, feel free to post in this thread.

The four of us live in one room. in the mornings we keep ourselves busy studying history, language etc. We go for a walk twice a day in the yard and the tiny garden. We built a snow mountain in the yard and slide down it.

To pass the time, we practice little French and English plays which we perform on holidays. Previously we were allowed to go to Church on holidays, but it was later decided we could not go to Church except on major Feast Days. They let us have the vigil-service and Liturgy at home though. It takes place in the hall - it's comfortable enough and we organised it like a Church with icons, - but, it is not so nice as it is at Church. With sadness we remember the Feodorovsky Cathedral. Do you remember how we all prepared for Communion there in the grotto? That place always put me in such a marvellous mood. Now we don't know how we shall fast. Soon it will be Lent.
Time flies by with a horrible quickness. Soon it will be a year since we saw our friends. Well, it's nothing - God will grant us all to meet again.
 Just now Mama and my sisters are singing. I'm not sure how it will work out - I haven't sung with the choir yet, but we often sing ourselves.
Some of the old injured soldiers (from the lazaret) write to us.
Today we have been rehearsing an English play. Tomorrow is Sunday and we shall perform it. I've played male roles sometimes - it's very easy now since I have short hair.

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