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Messages - Maria Sisi

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Alexandra Feodorovna / Re: Did Alexandra get along with other children?
« on: September 26, 2016, 08:43:23 PM »
Well what does one expect from a family with 6 young boys? Alexei himself wasn't exactly the most well mannered and he was only 1. I can only imagine what 6 would be like. Alexei's fragile health did probably have some roll but I'm not sure that was the main reason since she allowed him to horse around with other boys that were personally selected.

Alexander Mikhailovich's theory on the rift among the families, who were very close in the beginning, was the fact that Xenia was having healthy son after healthy son while Alexandra struggled to have one, and when she did he had hemophilia. I don't know how much of that is true but I personally think there is some truth to it. Also their disapproval of Rasputin later on made things worse on Alexandra's side.

There are many photos of Xenia's children with OTMAA, some as late as the war. Although these photos usually only include Nicholas and not Alexandra.

The Wittlesbachs / Re: Helene of Thurn und Taxis (Duchess in Bavaria)
« on: September 23, 2016, 09:13:19 PM »
Judging from pictures of all Max and Ludovica's daughters tightly pursed lips seem to be a family trait. Kings Ludwig and Otto had it too so perhaps its a Wittlesbach one. It varied from one to another but Helene's seems to be the most severe of them all. It was much softer with Elisabeth and Sophie who were considered the beauties of the girls.

She looks very strict and serious and lacking any frivolity. Exactly what Archduchess Sophie desired when she selected Helene to be future Empress of Austria. Although in my personal opinion, with that facial expression, her apparent shy nervousness, and the unflattering black mourning clothes, I can easily see why Franz Joseph fell for the more carefree Elisabeth at Ischl instead.

Everybody always asks how Alix, who grew up in liberal England under constitutional monarch grandma, could end up championing autocracy as hard as she did right to the bitter end. In reality its seems to have started with grandma and didn't start in Russia at all. 

In Virginia Rounding's book she goes in length of how negative an influence the Queen was on her. Victoria was a domestic tyrant who always had to dominate the scene and have her way. As the Queen of Hearts (perhaps inspired by Victoria herself) in Alice in Wonderland said, "Always MY WAY!!!" It was she who encouraged Alix to act like a constant invalid and use her health as a reason to get out of things she didn't want to do and to virtually emotionally blackmail those closest to her. It was she who fostered Alix's shyness and pretty much told her it was okay to hide away instead of showing herself in public. All the negative aspects of Alix's personality was fostered and apparently encouraged by grandma.

Albert was the one who taught Victoria how to rule as a constitutional monarch and still be the center of everything because she was tittering on disaster before he came (lady Flora Hastings/openly favoring Melbourne, and openly refusing to work with the other side, anyone?). Otherwise without him she would have been more openly trying to dominate everything and the end of the monarchy would have likely came.

Russia being an autocracy gave Alix the outlet to shamelessly act out openly as grandma had in private. Victoria most certainly would have acted very similarly to Alix had she been Empress of Russia although probably with more success since she was smarter and more practical. Alix had all of grandma's negative but not much of her positive.

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 think the whole "Alexander III didn't properly prepare his son to rule" thing is widely overstated. An attempt to shift the blame and excuse all the stupid decisions he made, on his own, during the course of his reign. True some things could have been done better, but that's true with everything. Nicholas had a brilliant education. And his father did put him on government committees but from what I have read he didn't show feeling there except being bored. He thought his father would live long so he put it off and nobody pushed him into it and let him be. His personality combined with, the great change of the era he lived in, and the personality of Russia itself is what led to his failure. Some blame goes to his parents but not the amount people lay on them.

Its hard to point to a era of Russian history where Nicholas, as he was, would have ended up successful because its history is such a roller-coaster. The only one I can think of is if he had been Catherine the Great's son instead of Paul even though the waves of the French Revolution had shaken everyone. Russia was probably at its most stable and a lot like Nicholas had envisioned it. The way he had envisioned it was completely outdated by 1894.

I already own the book "Coronation of Czar Nicholas II. 100th Anniversary, 1896-1996" that was published by Pavlovsk Press in 1996. I has the memories of Francis W. Grenfell, John A. Logan Jr. and Kate Koon Bovey and small photo section. But I'm very excited to see what appears to be a VERY expanded and broadened new publication! It will definitely be in my shopping cart the week it arrives

Nicholas II / Re: Nicholas I and Nicholas II Who was better ?
« on: May 06, 2016, 05:51:45 PM »
I read that Nicholas I, like NII, also didn't like to delegate paper work and insisted that he look over every document himself. He wasn't into the big picture overall and I believe made sure he knew exactly what was happening in every part of the empire. It was in reaction to the Decembrist revolt but I believe this way carried on by each future Tsar for the worse.

Both men seem to have very little imagination. NI was "successful" because he had the force of personality to pull it off. In a way Nicholas II was exactly like Nicholas I but without the iron hand to cover up the glaring problems and therefore failed. 

Books about the Romanovs and Imperial Russia / Re: Upcoming Books 2016
« on: April 17, 2016, 05:20:26 PM »
That looks AMAZING!!!!

Although I'm crying in despair over that price tag, ouch!

"A Lifetime Passion" is fantastic even if it is heavily cut up.

I read the authors original manuscript was for THREE volumes! Oh if only it could be published as a special edition, it would be completely worth the price.

« on: February 26, 2016, 09:31:52 AM »
By contrast, those killed at Alapayevsk had plenty of time to react, which makes their fate yet more horrible.

Interestingly, the only one who put up any resistance was Sergei Mikhailovich.


Is it possible that Sergei Mikhailovich was simply unwilling to resign himself to god's will? Like the IF Ella, Vladimir, and the Konstantinovichi boys knew it was coming but accepted their destiny and came to peace with it. They were spiritually ready to go to their creator by the time they were walking to the mine shaft. Unlike them he simply wasn't ready to accept fate.

I hope that doesn't sound offensive because I'm sure like all the IF, and victims at Alapayevsk, he was a religious man but from what I've read about him Sergei like the rest of the Mikhailovichi thought differently about a lot of stuff. They didn't seem like fatalist or as religious as the others. They seem more like people of action and ready to do anything and weren't ones to just accept anything. I think his brother in his memoirs called himself and his brothers the black sheep of the family because they were different then the rest of them in so many ways because of their upbringing far from the capital.

« on: February 25, 2016, 02:46:41 PM »
I read in a book that Alexandra and Olga couldn't even finish crossing themselves before they were hit by the first rounds. That's how fast the guards started shooting after the death sentence was read.

Wow she looks just like one of John Tenniel's illustrations for Alice in Wonderland

Rulers Prior to Nicholas II / Re: Emperor Nicholas I
« on: January 22, 2016, 05:40:11 PM »
If only his sons had passed on those instructions to theirs

Rulers Prior to Nicholas II / Re: Emperor Nicholas I
« on: January 22, 2016, 11:06:27 AM »
Msge 49

Not sure what impression the artist was intending to convey, but it does rather look as though Nicholas is giving Nikolai and Mikhail a telling-off.


It really does.

I guess if you want to spin it you could say Nicholas I was a strong and strict disciplinary parent who demanded order and obedience from his own children just as he did from his people. He did after all introduce the whole "oath of loyalty" to the Tsar thing that all Grand Dukes had to do when they came of age. 

Tatiana's diary is a little more interesting than Olga's, IMO. Olga's was just a list of what she did during the day, basically. Interesting to a Romanov fanatic, but not a lot of substance. Tatiana's was too, but here and there she dropped little details about how she felt.

It pretty much fits their personalities doesn't it? Tatiana was certainly more open with her feelings then Olga was. I guess that extended not just to the open world around them but empty notebooks as well. 

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