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Messages - Penny_Wilson

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I think that publishers want a book that someone with no background interest in the Romanovs could pick up and read and understand immediately, without recourse to "outside" reading.

Our published book contains maybe a third of the information we gathered on the subject.  Certainly what was either left out or cut out would be of interest to Romanov complete-ists, but I think that our editor did a really good job of keeping what was most important to the history of the times and the events themselves.

I'd love to write the story of Tobolsk and the Imperial Family --  while they were imprisoned there AND afterwards into the 30s when the Soviets were hunting for the missing jewels and Imperial valuables.

But I have to agree with Greg that a publisher probably wouldn't think such a book worthwhile from a marketing point of view..

Tatiana Nicholaievna / Re: Tatiana's French bulldog, Ortino
« on: February 24, 2004, 04:47:29 PM »
Greg and I tried to sort out these doggy logistics in The Fate of the Romanovs, and here's what we concluded:

Jemmy, Joy and Ortino departed Tsarskoye Selo with the family, and lived with them through the days in Tobolsk.  After N, A and M left for Ekaterinburg, the three dogs remained with the rest of the children, and traveled to E'burg on board the Rus and by train with them.  The family, including the three dogs, were reunited in the Ipatiev House.  During captivity there, the dogs were fed on the upper balcony, just outside the dining room and what became Demidova's bedroom.  After the murders and during the White investigations, the bones found on this balcony were itemized as remains of the dogs' last dinner in the house.

Various guards also recount stories of the girls, especially Anastasia, teaching the dogs tricks and making them perform in the garden.

After the murders, we know that Joy was taken from the Ipatiev House to Michael Letemin's house, where he was discovered in the garden by the Whites.  Jemmy was obviously taken somewhere by someone most likely connected to the Bolsheviks, for the little dog was still available to them when they were looking for physical evidence with which to "salt" the mine, as suggested by Summers and Mangold.

Ortino's fate, we believe, is most likely found in Michael Kudrin's testimony of December 1963, when he recalled that as the bodies were being moved from the basement of the house into the truck, a little dog appeared from upstairs, and rushed into the courtyard, obviously much distressed and upset and probably looking for his people.  Kudrin is silent on whether or not the dog was behaving like a guard dog, but it would not have been out of the ordinary for a Frenchie -- a famously protective breed -- to become territorial and vicious in defense of his family, the moreso because their scents were at that time overlayed with the smell of gunsmoke and blood.  In any case, a soldier took up his bayonet and stabbed the dog to death, throwing his body into the truck with the Romanovs.  "A dog's death to dogs," Kudrin remembered Goloshchokin commenting as they stood watching.

We think that perhaps some of the "mammal bones" found at the Four Brothers were those of Ortino.

What a brave little guy he was... =)

Russian Imperial Medals, Orders, Uniforms & Militaria / Re: regiments
« on: February 17, 2004, 11:22:36 PM »
Hi Everyone!

This reminds me of something I heard from Princess Vera Konstantinovna:  I had mentioned something about the Colonelcies-in-Chief of various Grand Duchesses, and we were talking about her aunt Olga Konstantinovna's patronage of a battleship.  I said "Oh yes, she was the only GDss to be patron of a battleship, rather than a regiment." And VK said, "Oh, no!  She had regiments too.  We all did -- and more than one." I did question her on this, referring to the well-known photos of Olga and Tatiana Nicholaievna in their Colonel's uniforms, and she said that each member of the family had many more than one regiment under his or her aegis.  She said that she herself could remember three regiments that she had been associated with, although she had been too young to receive her Colonelcy -- that happened at 14 or 15, she recalled.  She had to attend luncheons with officers of these regiments on their special days, and every so often, she would get a letter from them containing regimental news, to which she would have to reply.

I probed a little bit more on the subject, asking if perhaps -- for example -- Olga N had been Colonel-in-Chief of the 3rd Elizavetgradsky Hussars in particular, but patron of all Hussars in general.  She said that that MAY have been the case, she hadn't really been all that interested at the time, being so young, but she was absolutely adamant that each Grand Duchess had had more than one regiment.

And of course, I think it's been pretty well established that Alexei had the patronage of more than one regiment.

I think the key to this lies in the definition of "C-in-C" versus "patron."  They seem often to be used interchangeably in casual writing -- perhaps the official definition and usage is more particular?


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