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Messages - 3710

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Janet do you think homosexuality was something  ladies like MF knew much about or would discuss openly?
I suspect Peter Oldenburg was just someone familiar, part of her circle who in theory seems like a fine choice. And in a way, it did work out between two of them  - he did not mind Kulikovsky living under the same roof with him etc.
(My Uni is in old Oldenburg Palace, when OA spend first unhappy years of her married life. Lovely palace, great location).
I still do not see someone like her  being happy abroad. She seemed to be the only popular (least hated?) member of the Family during the Revolution. I am so sorry that she had quite  a hard life in comparison with her sister in exile, but she was probably happier to be away from ''generosity'' of English relatives etc.
Her daugter in law has set a Memorial Fund named after her which is  helping hospitals in Russia - so very fitting.
PS I was not happy to write about her being 'not pretty' but this is how she was seen by contemporaries.

Romanovs had all reason to dislike Brasova. N mentioned  that NB was reading letters sent to Michael by his relatives aloud and was making comments on them to her friends (one can imagine WHAT sort of comments). You do not even have to be a Tsar to dislike that sort of things.
Difficult to judge, though, she was in a difficult situation.
Her photo albums from happy Gatchina times are now inthe Library of  School of Slavonic and East European Studies  in London - poor quality photos, but what  a story behind...
Lisa you are totally right about unappropriety of this affair (this is how the regiment saw it, too). But do you really think it was all Michael's ''doing''? Natalia seems more likely to seduce him then otherwise.

Hate to be judgemental, but does anyone know where her realtives were when she was dying all alone in Paris?

I quite agree with you that Kulikovsky was not treated nicely by his Mother in Law. But we are talking about an old lady by that time, very stuck in her ways - she would not change her views on propriety, royal marriages etc. I understood that she only briefly met Brasova son, who was a spitting image of her Michael in immigration in London. Seems so tottally impossible for a grieving parent not to show much interest in M's only son, but nevertheless.... They definitely had their different royal  ways.
I have head that her reburrial is sheduled for this year.

Has anyone heard more on  A III  alcoholism other then much critisised tales of one of his officers?

Greg, you are right- our personal likes and dislikes are irrelevant. What matters is that shy, gentle, decent Romanovs found this revolting woman totally irresistable :P
Can i just add one more ''character reference'':
''Her scoldings were usually delivered in such a charming fasion that the culpit rather enjoyed them then otherwise, always supposing, that is , that she was not indulging in what the ballet termed ''Her imperial indignation''. As a matter of fact, in spite of the fact that she was extremely quick tempered and prone to take offence at trifles, she possessed very few enemies, and those she had, once they met her, were speedily converted into frineds. Personally, I think even notorious Lenin would have succumbed to her charms, and presented her with her own house if he had met and talked to her before first taking possession'' Lydia Kyasht ''Romantic Recollections'' I am quite sure I would have found more if I had some time on my hands.

Greg, poor ''little M''! When you do not like someone you DO NOT LIKE them. Yes, I know it is nothing personal...
Was it Volkonsky who said that she had so many enemies cause she always won at the end?  Russians do not like winners, they like loosers.
She was a good ballerina and would you really blame her for using her influence to secure her position? Competition was very serious. If she has ''used'' N, SM, AV, they seemed to be very willing and happy participants. ( I can just applaude to her as a woman. To handle 2 men at a time and to keep both happy? Well done!)
What she did not make in virtue, she compensated by her  energy, zest for life, style. No angel but great character nethetheless.
I would disagree that just everyone loathed her. I can  think of memories of Volkonsky (who has been sacked for arguing with her), Kiasht I have by hand, but surely there were others who wrote about her  with sympathy. People who provided shelter after the Revolution (when it was actually dangerous?) and kept on  socialising with her in exile, when there would have been no advantages to do that?
And then again, was she not like Vyrubova one of ''icons'' of the time, whom people would blame for just everything. (Alexandra was herself accused of treason, so who is she to blame M? GD Sergei was probably not a very efficient head of Artillery. There was a joke about his ''skills'':We have good ballet and poor artillery'' And of course he denied all M's wrong doings  writting to N.).

She has built herself a monument in St.P. Her house was and will probably always be  ''Kshessinskaia's mansion''.
Of course she was not telling  the whole truth in her memories, would she admit that she might have been a sexual training ground for N? Never.
(A fan of'' little M.'')

PS The  house N. bought/(rented?) for her  was on English prospect, not English Embankment (a bit TOO close to the Winter Palace for the sake of propriety?)

Imperial Succession and the Throne / Re: Tsarevna Olga Nikolaevna
« on: March 11, 2004, 08:34:49 AM »
I can just see the entire Romanov Family stepping in in anger  if Alexandra went ahead with those plans. I did not realise that there was  a Manifesto ready (not only A's ideas) during N's illness, thanks for pointing out, Bob.
They probably realised the impossibility of it themselves, if not - why to be so desperate for a boy?
There were too many adult males down the succesion line for Olga to have any chances. And such an out cry in the society......Br-r-r. Women did not rule Russia for more then a century at that time.

is it not a typical parental behaviour - not to realise that their kids are grown ups and might wish to leave home etc? (I get it all the time from my Mum :))
There were lots of complains from Marie that she did not see N. enough even when he was not married yet, but it all sounds very normal and human to me.  And what she told Sandro's father about ruining her life etc can't be taken as such. What Mother would be happy to part with a daughter? She seemed to get on very well with Sandro later on and he had great affection for his Mother in law.
Her arrangement for Olga does not seem that odd, either. How to put it nicely...Olga was not that physically attractive (think of  Marie  of Romania - an inferior court-finding faults in Olga Nicolaevna's appearance later on and Queen Victoria's constant discussions with her daughters on the  merits of various princesses as if on a horse market) So  a marriage with a son of Marie's personal friend, which would keep her close to her family is not a bad idea in a (royal) way. Did she have any other options? Other then spinsterhood?
I was totally charmed by Alexander III letter to Marie, where he complains that Xenia never asks him for anything and does not wish to spend time with her Dad, while he hoped he would be taking her out when she grows up etc. Marie replied that kids would go mad with horror, if they knew that this is how he felt - they did not dare distructing him from work and wasting his time with thier requests etc. (It is not an exact quote). Does it not show them as a quite a normal family, like any other?

Valmont, in a way, Russian Emperor was not THAT powerful at all. I mean they did not have that much control over their personal life and free time (look at Michael and his Natalia Vulfert).
Russian society was not worse then any other. The fact that Alexandra failed to impress it is her personal problem.
While Alexander III was alive is could be very risky to ''throw yourlsef'' openly at Nicolas (fancy a trip to your family estate away from the capital?), when he was dead, N was married and very much in love with his wife.
No, Mathilde seems to be his only love before A. Let's not ruin a beautiful story told by her! She was no gold digger (well, just used a good chance she had...)

Bob, but Alexander I had an illegitimate daughter with Naryshkina (well, ye, he had  3 healthy brothers), but it was not seen as any sort of threat for the State, just his own private affair. Alexander II was seriously in love and considering marriage with a lady in waiting (Mesherskaia? Later Demidova-San Donato,not clear how platonic it was) before he was married to Minnie. His brother Alexis had a child (might be more then one) to mention just a few.
So they did have some love life, after all.
Please, please, please, let Nicolas have a mistress (why did he bother buying a mansion for her otherwise?)

Imperial Succession and the Throne / Re: Tsarevna Olga Nikolaevna
« on: March 10, 2004, 07:44:09 AM »
Have anyone actually read anything documentary about  those plans? I have not. Doubt very much that such traditionalist as Nicolas was, would have considered changing one of the fundamental Laws of Empire(I mean that males only could be crowned)

OK, Alexei is dead in Spala. Michael has just married Brasova, but abroad and secretly, so his marriage is quickly annuled and his is rightful Tsesarevich again. (With suitable bride to be found shortly). Any good, Nick?

Olga, why would they think about changing the Law before Anastasia was born? They hoped for the boy then.


Nick, little correction: ''Theatre Street'' was written by Tamara Karsavina, not Kshessinskaia.

Bob, are you sure? I mean about ''not getting involved''? They were humans after all. Any child born would have have  no rights whatsoever, anyway.

Imperial Succession and the Throne / Re: Tsarevna Olga Nikolaevna
« on: March 09, 2004, 07:39:12 AM »
Olga, was it Nechkina who used to say that History does not use the word ''IF''?

Dear Lorenzo,
I would suggest you read Mathilde's memories ' Dancing in St.Petersburg' to find out how she herself presented it all (or preffered to remember many many years ago). It is a great book to read.
PS Nicolas? seducing? anyone? Very out of character!
And thanks for mentioning MK-she was a great personality, amasing no one asked about her before.

Imperial Succession and the Throne / Re: Who is the rightful heir?
« on: March 08, 2004, 09:29:02 AM »
Sorry everybody, it all sounds so ''theoretical'' (to put it politely) for a Russian! Particularly Iliinsky's line.......With all respect  for the Romanov family- there is no serious  support for the restoration at all. Time has gone, full stop.
PS There have been plans for GD George to join the Nakhimovsky Navy school in St.Petersburg. His family seemed to has been close to the (then) head of the City (Sobchak)
But it did not happen, as far as I know. Can't blame him for preffering quite life in Madrid/Paris. Better to leave things the way they are.

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