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Messages - Tsarina_Liz

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Alexandra Feodorovna / Re: Re: Alexandra and her Health Part 2
« on: September 19, 2006, 04:38:53 PM »

4.  Elsewhere, I've said I think Alexandra had panic disorder.  I stick to that.  I'm also beginning to wonder if she blew her real ailments out of proportion as an attention-getting device.  Certainly the imperial family revolved around her, making her happy, calming her down....  Elsewhere I've read that in response to official complaints against Rasputin, Nicholas said something like of "better ten Rasputins than one hysterical empress..."

Pax, N.

Well put!  The tantrums and bouts of hysteria were certainly aimed at getting attention in my opinion, she enjoyed the fuss surrounding her.  Alexandra did her best to live up to the stereotype of the swooining helpless woman held captive by her hysterical femaly mind and body, a stereotype very popular in the Victorian Era.  She thrived as a martyr, an image partly fed to her by her ultra-religious friends.  This isn't to say all the hysteria and illness wasn't unwarranted, her sciatica was real and probable her exhaustion, but other than that her problems seem psychological and she often worked herself up into a frenzy and physical pain (the palpatations, the flushing, etc.)  The quote by Nicholas reflects, in my interpretation, her use of hysterics and fits to get her way.  For a woman who strove to appear composed and quiet, she was remarkably immature in her dealings with her husband and family.  She was a nagging shrew who I can easily picture faking a woozy spell to induce Nicholas' guilt.     

Alexandra Feodorovna / Re: Re: Alexandra and her Health Part 2
« on: September 14, 2006, 02:14:11 PM »
Mr. Kendrick,
  I'm having trouble locating the specific article.  Could you please provide a complete citation (author, title, volume, etc.) so I can better find it.  Thanks,
 - Liz

Please see:


While I'm not a big fan of authors pushing their own work (man does it irk my when my profs do that), the links are helpful.  Thanks! 

Also, debunking the belief of hemophilia does not have anything to do with Rasputin IMO.  The man can be credibly debunked independently of the Tsarevich since, had the Tsarevich been healthy, there is still a chance Rasputin would have been introduced to the IF given Alexandra's timely fascination with the occult and religious mysticism (by timely, I am refering to the era's obsession with the spiritual world and mysticism). 

Speaking of Rasputin, his involvement with Alexandra could have greatly contributed to her declining help.  He, and I hate to use this phrase, drove her into hysterics and intense religious fits.  With her increasing spirituality, she took more interest in strictly observing religious fasts and food rules.  Also, a social life is as important to a person's health as food and shelter.  Her isolation, due partly to the odious Rasputin, could have put undo strain on her mental state.  Additionally, her increasingly morose and intense outlook on life (encouraged by her religous views IMO) would have made her miserable. 

The Hohenzollern / Re: Kaiserin Augusta Viktoria (Dona)
« on: September 10, 2006, 07:34:09 PM »
While the image of a Stepford Royal is quite funny, I think Dona was too opinionated to be considered a complacent wife.  She had a big mouth and an air of pettiness.  And she was too sure of her own mental capabilities and religious convictions (quite like her contemporary, sort of, Tsarina Alexandra).  The ignorant are often the loudest, IMO. 

The Hohenzollern / Re: Kaiserin Augusta Viktoria (Dona)
« on: September 10, 2006, 02:00:07 PM »
I heard people pronounced it as Dorn-nah or Do-nah !  ???

Hmmm.  Oh well.  Seems like everyone has their own variation of the nickname  ;)  Interesting one, though.  Resembles neither Viktoria nor Augusta.  This is a long shot, but her boat was later rechristined the Iduna after a Germanic goddess.  Is there any chance William chose to call her "Dona" as a variation of "Iduna" and honor their Germanic heritage? 

As for her relationship with Vicky, I don't think William and Vicky had a truly substantial relationship for Dona to be jealous of until the very end and from then on only in selective memories on William's part.  Dona, IMO, didn't like Vicky because Vicky wasn't submissive and spoke her mind.  And that mind was often at odds with the conservative Dona.  Also, the impressionable Dona was swept up into the heady world of court factions and claimed by those opposed to Vicky. 

The Hohenzollern / Re: Kaiserin Augusta Viktoria (Dona)
« on: September 09, 2006, 08:39:04 PM »
Its's Victoria Augusta. Dona's only a nickname like Ella, Missy and Calma... ;)

I know it's a nickname.  I'm wondering how to pronounce the nickname  :) 

The Hohenzollern / Re: Kaiserin Augusta Viktoria (Dona)
« on: September 09, 2006, 07:37:18 PM »
Dona's popularity came from being a model prude, I think.  She was a narrow minded, anti-Semitic shrew but the image she put out there of submissive and religious wife was widely appreciated in a country facing increasingly troubled times and perceptually lax morality. 

On a completely unrelated note, how the heavens do you pronounce her name?  For all my German, I can't figure out whether it's Dohna or Dahna.  Can anyone help?
 - Liz

Alexandra Feodorovna / Re: Re: Alexandra and her Health Part 2
« on: September 08, 2006, 02:49:44 PM »
I agree.  It's an interesting compendium of quotes and facts that normally require searching to compile.  I still haven't been able to find JK's article and was wondering how it compares.  Can anyone enlighten me? 

Alexandra Feodorovna / Re: Re: Alexandra and her Health Part 2
« on: September 06, 2006, 09:17:19 PM »
Mr. Kendrick,
  I'm having trouble locating the specific article.  Could you please provide a complete citation (author, title, volume, etc.) so I can better find it.  Thanks,
 - Liz

Alexandra Feodorovna / Re: Re: Alexandra and her Health Part 2
« on: September 04, 2006, 11:58:42 AM »
jk....are saying that it has been proven that alexandra did was not a carrier of hemophilia?  then how did alexei end up with the disease?  maybe i am misunderstanding something here....

No...  But I am saying that it has never been proved that she was.

Without the required genetic laboratory proof, which does not now exist -- in spite of the fact that Alexandra's DNA has been available to be tested for that same genetic proof for the past fifteen years -- the popular hemophilia claim of history is, in reality, nothing more than another classic example of unconfirmed palace gossip.

Of course, we've been through this discussion elsewhere on this board many times before, haven't we, folks?  ;D


Whoa, whoa, whoa.  This was originally a discussion about poryphyria not about hemophilia.  There is no concrete evidence Alexandra suffered from poryphyria, but she had to have been a carrier of hemophilia for her son to have been a sufferer.  And until some one comes up with a more complete explanation and concrete evidence (none of which currently exist), there is no proof Alexei suffered from anything other than hemophilia.

Alexandra Feodorovna / Re: alexandra's nervous habits
« on: August 23, 2006, 09:30:18 PM »
Victoria had a tendency to think that any throne not British was in trouble.  I'll look around for her views on Alexandra's position (besides her initial fears).  Specific sources don't come to mind, but I'll do some rummaging...

The Russian monarchy was unsteady when Alexandra and Nicholas ascended but at that point there was no indication of the 1917 Revolution (and the Russian throne has never been that stable).  At the point of their beginning, Nicholas and Alexandra were facing a political situation they could have significantly altered.  Unfortunately, they were the wrong monarchs at the wrong time.  Neither smart, politically adept, or generally strong enough to avert the potential disaster.  Russian history is full of weak husband/strong wife or strong husband/weak wife monarchial pairs (is that the right phrase?), although more of the former than latter admittedly, but having two weak monarchs seems (from what I know) almost unprecedented.  Usually one could have caught the other, but in this case both fell due to the refusal to reach out and ask for aid.  Certainly Alexandra's "nervous" nature did not help.  The disaster was looming ahead of them in plain sight for many years, but she was too absorbed in her mental chaos to notice and help out Nicholas (who needed all the help he could get). 

Alexandra may not have been the most intelligent woman in the world, but she was good raw material.  Although she did have a nasty, albeit not nervous, habit of overestimating her intellectual and political abilities.  She was smart and normally I believe someone like her could have been completely aware of what was happening and made a difference.  But she was too self involved and frankly too psychologically unwound to live up to her potential (her upbringing didn't help either).     

Alexandra Feodorovna / Re: alexandra's nervous habits
« on: August 23, 2006, 03:29:08 PM »
Alexandra lost Alice only to find two new mother figures: Ella and Queen Victoria.  She was a loved, attended child.  While I am not saying her sister and grandmother could completely replace Alice, Alexandra grew up in what I consider a relatively stable family in which she knew her place and worth and was given a surprising amount of attention for a motherless child in a large family. 

All royal courts are petty, shallow and sometimes dangerous places.  Russia was no different, except perhaps in its size.  Alexandra grew up in a time and a class that would have ensured she knew at least the basics of court etiquette etc. and especially considering the time spent around QV, would have known at least some of the social and political duties of a monarch.  In many ways, her upbringing under the wing of QV was a plus.  Any person, given reasonable time and sensibility, could have built a power base.  The size of the Russian Court actually enabled this because there were so many nobles to choose from it would have been hard to alienate every important person.  But Alexandra managed to come pretty damn close.  Yes, her road was harder than that of a native born Russian but she was hardly the first empress or foreigner in the position and yet somehow managed to fail spectacularly where the vast majority had at least barely succeeded.  It takes a lot of energy and effort (and, honestly, a lot of stupidity) to alienate a court the size of the Russian.  For all of Alexandra's illnesses and nervous habits, she sure found the time and energy in abundance. 

Alexandra's nervous habits, because they are physiological manifestations of her psychological problems, should have been the first clues to her new people that she would fail as empress.  The frenetic head bobbing, the blotching, the palpatations, etc. all spelled disaster early on.  This was a woman who should have spent her life at a spa or sanitarium in the English country side receiving the cure instead sitting on the throne of such a large and important country as Russia. 

Alexandra Feodorovna / Re: alexandra's nervous habits
« on: August 23, 2006, 01:04:09 PM »
Coming into the position of empress, while not exactly a popular candidate, Alexandra had numerous chances to build up a power base in the Russian Court.  Her stubbornness, hypermorality, shyness and political ineptitude prevented her from achieving this.  It is incorrect to say she had no one to support her.  The potential supporters were there, she never took advantage of them and systematically made enemies of those who should have been friends.  And those she made friends, such as Vyrubova and Rasputin, only served to alienate her from the Court and keep her from gaining support. 

As for the headbobbing, I simply see it as a half-hearted attempt at her duty.  She does not take the time to properly acknowledge the crowd with a substantial dip of the head in specific directions but rather repeatedly gives shallow, undirected nods that indicate her lack of attention and care.  Public appearances were always trials for her and she made no effort to look like she gave a damn about being there and instead seemed rushed and distant (even annoyed).     

Alexandra Feodorovna / Re: Re: Alexandra and her Health Part 2
« on: August 22, 2006, 09:46:44 PM »
With Alexandra, her illness always seemed more psychological than physiological.  When she wanted to, or rather when she felt called to "duty" (Alexandra always thrived when she was needed, which is why she blossomed during her nursing work), Alexandra could be quite active and healthy even rowdy.  Not exactly someone with a debilitating illness.  Sure, CF Syndrome could be a possibility, but IMO it does not entirely fit Alexandra. 

Alexandra Feodorovna / Re: Empress Alexandra and Maria Feodorovna
« on: August 17, 2006, 02:42:14 PM »
I do wonder if the differences and estrangement between them has not been somewhat exagerrated. GD Alexander wrote in his book how after the IF were imprisoned at Tsarskoe that the Dowager Empress intended to go there and share their imprisonment to be with her son, and help Alix cope. If the relationship between the two was as bad as we are lead to believe, it would seem a very strange thing for her to want to try and do. I think possibly they were very similar and that can explain why they had difficulty getting on with each other. It is touching the the DE wanted to help Alix when the IF was imprisoned. It is interesting to think about what might have happeded if Xenia and the others hadn't stopped Maria F from going. Would England have let the Queen Mother's sister be taken along to Tobolsk and Ekaterinburg and killed? Would Maria F's going along with the IF ultimately lead to their survival...

Excellent point.  They seem to have taken the traditional battle of in-laws farther than average people though.  But then again they did live on a different scale.  Two stubborn women trying to fill the same role couldn't end happily.  I doubt, however, the presence of the DE would have influenced the fate of the IF.  I think she would have been seperated from the family when they moved and taken into a more gentle exile.  I do think she would have ended up like the rest of her family: shot.  Simply remaining in the situation, however much on the periphery, was a death sentence. 

Alexandra Feodorovna / Re: Empress Alexandra and Maria Feodorovna
« on: August 13, 2006, 08:03:22 PM »
Well, methinks neither of them would have appreciated this line of conversation...

We so often discuss their differences because they were exaggerated in life.  Why?  Both women were exceedingly stubborn and unwilling to change.  They remained frigid towards each other and worked so hard at being polar opposites, despite obvious similarities, it ruined any potential relationship. 

PS: I haven't been here in a couple of months and am a little thrown by the new style.  Have we all been knocked back down to newbie?  I do so miss being a God.

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