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Messages - Marialana

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Having Fun! / Re: Name the last song you listened to
« on: February 28, 2006, 06:55:08 PM »
Last song I heard in its entirety was "Ceremony" by The Cult, on my drive home from work! :)

Alexandra Feodorovna / Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« on: January 17, 2006, 05:22:51 PM »
There are several qualities that I find admirable in Alexandra. Here is my laundry list, so to speak... :)

1. Her sincerity was genuine. Right, wrong, or somewhere in the middle, most everything Alexandra did came from her heart. The story of her coming to Russia a shy, inexperienced girl thrust to the lions of Russian society has been told a thousand times, and it is true. Her shyness may have inhibited her from forming an "acceptable" circle of friends, but somehow I doubt it was just that. She found the fakery and banality of high society repugnant and refused to be a part of it. Many people accuse of her not fulfilling her duties as an Empress in this way, of being the anti-Maria Feodorovna, somewhat of a failure as a consort in this regard. While I understand her social role, in my own personal value system I admire her much more for not "playing the game" and remaining true to herself and what she believed was best for her immediate family.
2. She was charitable. Matushka's post summed this point up beautifully to me. She didn't just name hospitals and visit soldiers, she cared for them. People will question her motives, and delve into psychological reasons why she felt the need to do this, but I'm of the inclination that Alexandra was a nurturer who truly felt a desire to help (however misguided or resented her actions ended up)
3. She was loyal. Her love for Nicholas was boundless and she was utterly devoted to him. The fact that he loved her back in kind is a testament to her good qualities as well, as I believe that there are many good things about her which he saw and knew that we will never know about this intensely private woman. She married him knowing that she needed to produce an heir, true, but no one knew how difficult that was going to be. She went through sheer hell to eventually bear Alexei, at the expense of her physical and mental health. Her loyalty extended to her friendships (Sonia Orbeliani comes to mind) even to her own obvious detriment. People may say what they want about Rasputin, her attachment to him, etc., but from an objective standpoint I'd have to say that if I wanted a friend in my corner that I knew would have my back if I was threatened, I'd choose her over Nicholas in a heartbeat. Nicholas was a waffler, but not Alexandra. I appreciate that completely.
4. I don't think that Alexandra was perfect, not by any stretch of the imagination. She had a LOT of faults, some of them exceedingly serious and the cause of much harm to herself, her family, and untold others. But I DO think she was greatly misunderstood. She had the best of intentions and truly loved Russia in the most honest and pure way that she knew how and understood. Unfortunately for herself, for her family, and for Russia, the shape of her intellect, heart, and opinions didn't fit into the mold that Russia wanted, and perhaps needed, them to fit into. That to me is the real tragedy.

Alexandra Feodorovna / Re: Did Alexandra ever argue with Nicholas?
« on: January 17, 2006, 06:07:24 AM »
I personally wish there was more of a middle ground in regards to their image everywhere, not just here on this forum.
I have been involved in studying the Romanovs for 18 years, starting as a child of 12 and continuing through graduate study and beyond. I started out completely starry-eyed with the biggest pair of rose-colored glasses one could possibly find. It took awhile to realize that these people were exactly that, people, with both very real flaws and very real admirable traits as well.
For example, take Alexandra.  I've often been accused of "apologizing" for her actions and personality (not on this forum :) ), and will probably always come down on her side for many reasons which have nothing to do with this thread. As much as I admire her, however, I realize that she had some serious faults and bears some responsibility for the fate of her family.
In a roundabout way, what I mean to say is that there are always 3 sides to every story. There are those that will approach the Romanovs with pure disgust, vitriol, or anger, those who will always see them more as "superstars" and love them blindly, and then somewhere in the middle lies the plain historical facts and truth. It's often really difficult to take the middle ground, especially when emotions get in the way, but IMO it's probably the closest to reality. I definitely struggle with it myself concerning this topic, but I really feel like the only way to keep on learning and reaching a new understanding about them (or anything else) is to keep one's mind open as much as one can and remember that there really is never a black- and -white answer to nearly anything. Especially when none of us can ever really know all the facts, thoughts, and true motivations of anyone else, Imperial Family included.

Having Fun! / Re: Say it in 4!
« on: January 16, 2006, 09:17:30 PM »
Danish, imperious, snobbish, domineering (I guess I'm not much of a fan!)


Olga Nicholaievna / Re: olga and rasputin
« on: January 15, 2006, 06:54:52 PM »
Reflecting on how Olga must have felt about Rasputin - his reputation, the effect he had on her mother, and her family's involvement in his brutal murder - has definitely reminded me that although at times it seems like "it's all been said" regarding OTMA it is so definitely not the case. A comment such as the one made to Chebatorova is just the tip of the iceberg to me, just a glimpse into the possibility that these four girls, at the very least the eldest two, had a broader understanding & knowledge of the world around them than their supposed insulation suggests. I'm not suggesting that they weren't sheltered, for I believe that they were. And surely they didn't know the ins and outs of what was happening in Russia (their father didn't even know that, obviously!) and in their family circles, I suspect that they knew and understood much more than history probably gives them credit for. Just my two cents :)

Olga Nicholaievna / Re: olga and rasputin
« on: January 15, 2006, 02:47:55 PM »

How interesting! Given the degree to which the imperial children were insulated from the world at large, I wonder how Olga managed to learn about Rasputin's unsavory side?

I don't know how, exactly, but I suspect that even the most insulated of children still overhear things they weren't meant to overhear, you know what I mean? Plus, by the time of Rasputin's death Olga was past 20, and definitely a perceptive young woman that probably had an innate "intuition" of her own. Purely speculation on my part, though! :)

Olga Nicholaievna / Re: olga and rasputin
« on: January 15, 2006, 01:50:42 PM »
 Alex de Jonge's The Life & Times of Grigorii Rasputin comments on Olga's reaction to Rasputin's death. de Jonge notes the following -
"We have little record of the children's reaction to news of Rasputin's death, except for one remark from Grand Duchess  Olga Nikolaevna. "I know that he did much harm, but why did they treat him so cruelly?" she was heard to observe with tears in her eyes."

De Jonge uses Alexander Spiridovich's Les dernieres annees de la cour as his source for this quote. From all accounts, IMO,  Spiridovich seems a reliable source. de Jonge goes on to say that Rasputin was buried Dec. 22 in the  presence of Nicholas, Alexandra, and all of their children. de Jonge quotes Nicholas' diary with the following -
"Just after 8 the whole family went to the field where we were present at a sad spectacle; the coffin with the body of the unforgettable Grigorii, killed on the night of the 16th by savages in the house of F. Yusupov, was led down into the grave"

The tapestry was on display last year at the Newark, NJ Museum's Exhibition of "Nicholas & Alexandra: At Home with the Last Tsar & His Family". It was one of the first pieces displayed as you walked into the hall, actually. It really is a lovely piece.  :)According to the exhibition book I purchased at the museum, the tapestry was presented to N & A  by the President of France, Emile Loubet, when he visited Tsarskoe Selo in 1902.

Alexandra Feodorovna / Re: Did Alexandra ever argue with Nicholas?
« on: January 14, 2006, 01:37:19 PM »
I truly believe that Nicholas and Alexandra had a deeply loving, truly passionate relationship that sprung from their souls and lasted their entire lives. But does that mean that I don't think they ever argued or squabbled? No way. They were two human beings that lived side by side for decades. Ordinary domestic issues, even for an imperial couple, surely caused some problems from time to time. And even the happiest couples sometimes just get on each other's nerves, sometimes say hurtful things to each other, and occasionally get into an argument. Part of being in love is being able to look past and disregard those times and savor the big picture of one's relationship, which it appears to me that N & A cherished.
I don't personally think the "big things", like Alexei's hemophilia, were ever used against Alix by Nicholas - there's just no way I could ever see him hurting her like that. But I've seen in their wartime correspondence, amongst pages and pages of romantic letters and true missing each other, clear times when they have expressed some annoyance with each other. Muted, of course, on paper, but who knows what was said in private? In my opinion, however, it matters little. By and large their marriage, as far as two people being true soul mates and completing the other, was a true success.

Having Fun! / Re: Why are we so fascinated by the Romanovs?
« on: January 10, 2006, 09:46:09 PM »
I've been fascinated by the Romanovs since I was 12, and for the past 18 years they have "lived" with me in one form or another. As a consequence, I've had a wide range of emotions towards them over time.
When I first discovered them through a junior high history class presentation of "Nicholas & Alexandra" I was overwhelmed and saddened by their fate. I had to, just had to, find out everything I could about these people and what led them from the halls of Tsarskoe Selo to Ekaterinburg.
Over the years my feelings have alternated towards both Nicholas & Alexandra. There have been times when I've been supremely frustrated with her steadfast loyalty to Rasputin, and with Nicholas'  seeming inability to make a hard & fast decision and stick to his guns. But at other times, the vast majority of other times as a matter of fact, I feel great empathy with Alexandra. I feel as though I understand her as much as possible  from a historical perspective, and I feel no malice at all towards her because I feel like I understand her motives and desires based on her life, background, and what she was faced with as the most misunderstood woman in Russia (In my opinion, of course).
As a whole, the entire family has meant a great deal to me over the years. I see in their lives and closeness a great happiness & humanity, as their story has for me been an anchor in my life when at other times all else seemed to be fleeting. On the other hand, their story is one of almost unbearable tragedy. I have cried many a tear while reading N & A's correspondence, or looking at pictures of the children as they happily played upon the Standart or shoveled snow with their father. Not Nicholas II, mighty Tsar of Russia, but simply their father. The tragedy of 5 young lives cut so short angers, saddens, and sickens me all at once. The way in which they faced their imprisonment, and all of their lives crosses, serves as an important lesson for me in how to conduct oneself with pride, fortitude, and humanity in the face of the sheerest evil. There is, in my opinion, much to be learned from each one of them.
So, to sum up, I guess you could say that the Romanovs stir up an entire cauldron of emotions for me. Some are contradictory, some confusing, but I would have to say that the one emotion that always come to mind when I think of their family is Love.

Alexandra Feodorovna / Re: Alexandra and Rasputin
« on: January 09, 2006, 05:01:05 PM »
I have never heard this song.  Is there a link to a lyrics page or something?

A friend of mine actually gave me the cd with this song on it, and the lyrics were in the liner notes...Granted, the song is completely erroneous but I just take it for what it is, a cheesy disco song :) Lyrics are as follows:

Rasputin Lyrics

There lived a certain man in Russia long ago
He was big and strong, in his eyes a flaming glow
Most people looked at him with terror and with fear
But to Moscow chicks he was such a lovely dear
He could preach the bible like a preacher
Full of ecstacy and fire
But he also was the kind of teacher
Women would desire

Lover of the Russian queen
There was a cat that really was gone
Russia's greatest love machine
It was a shame how he carried on

He ruled the Russian land and never mind the czar
But the kasachok he danced really wunderbar
In all affairs of state he was the man to please
But he was real great when he had a girl to squeeze
For the queen he was no wheeler dealer
Though she'd heard the things he'd done
She believed he was a holy healer
Who would heal her son


But when his drinking and lusting and his hunger
for power became known to more and more people,
the demands to do something about this outrageous
man became louder and louder.

"This man's just got to go!" declared his enemies
But the ladies begged "Don't you try to do it, please"
No doubt this Rasputin had lots of hidden charms
Though he was a brute they just fell into his arms
Then one night some men of higher standing
Set a trap, they're not to blame
"Come to visit us" they kept demanding
And he really came

Lover of the Russian queen
They put some poison into his wine
Russia's greatest love machine
He drank it all and said, "I'll be fine"
Lover of the Russian queen
They didn't quit, they wanted his head
Russia's greatest love machine
And so they shot him till he was dead

(Spoken) Oh, those Russians...


I would also like to be able to find Robert K. Massie's book Journey. I know this is not a book about the Romanovs but someone here likely knows where I might be able to tell me where I could get one. I've been told it's out of print.

There are several copies of this book available on That's one of my favorite book search sites - I've gotten nearly all my rare ones through them :)

I think this is a really good idea - an excellent way to help each other find some treasures! :)
The only books I'm really on the hunt for right now are
Pered Rasstrelom , and "Rasputine" by Spiridovich. I check,, etc. quite regularly for both, but so far it's been in vain. The search carries on, however!
I will definitely keep my eyes open for any books mentioned here by fellow posters :)

Forum Announcements / Re: Merry Christmas!
« on: December 24, 2005, 04:15:53 PM »
Merry Christmas to one and all!!!  :) :) :)

Having Fun! / Re: This or That
« on: November 26, 2005, 09:41:36 AM »
Strawberry milk

Always have to lie or always have to tell the truth (either way, there's trouble!) :)

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