Author Topic: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad  (Read 274428 times)

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Offline RichC

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #135 on: June 28, 2005, 09:42:18 AM »
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I find this letter utterly confusing.

Take the land reform question that Sandro mentioned.  If Alexandra's silence is taken to mean that there was a proposal and she knew of it, that means either that Nicholas was lying or that he knew nothing of it.

So . . . were major pieces of legislation being discussed with Alexandra of which Nicholas knew nothing?



Tsarfan, in regards to the specific question of full rights for the Jews, whether there was such a plan afoot, I don't think this letter is confusing at all.  

I do agree with you that it raises a number of other interesting questions such as you mentioned above, however.  I spent a lot of time at the U of C library last night looking for information about Protopopov.  Unfortunately, there is no good biography of him (there is a book about him, published in Russia in 1927, but as I don't read Russian very well, it's of no use to me).  

But I did find out that he was a respected liberal member of the duma, long before he got mixed up with Rasputin and that Rodzianko, of his own volition, promoted him in his political career.  Also, he wasn't "killed by a Petrograd mob" as I had previously understood, but he was arrested, imprisoned and shot by the Bolsheviks in 1918.

All very interesting stuff, but now, I agree, we are way off topic here.  Sorry!

Offline Tsarfan

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #136 on: June 28, 2005, 12:10:19 PM »
It is interesting . . . and maybe not off topic.

If Alexandra was, in fact, working with Protopopov on land reform and civil rights for Jews -- especially without her husband's knowledge -- it throws a tantalizingly different light on her in my book.

I have viewed her as part of the problem in the kind of support she gave Nicholas, fostering his reactionary tendencies rather than countering them.

Is it possible that in tsarist Russia's darkest hour, she actually saw more clearly than Nicholas that social issues had to be addressed as the only hope of averting a disaster?  And that she was taking matters into her own hands while her husband hid away at Stavka?

If so, this would be the positive trait to end all positive traits.

I view this as very unlikely . . . but if Sandro's letter can be taken at face value, the question does present itself.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Tsarfan »

Offline lexi4

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #137 on: June 28, 2005, 02:00:44 PM »
I agree Tsarfan and I wonder if there is a way to explore this further.
I am very curious.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely, in a pretty and well preserved body; but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "Wow ---- What a ride!!!"

Offline Tsarfan

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #138 on: June 28, 2005, 03:36:23 PM »
Well, it's a long shot, I'm afraid.

Alexandra had a hand in some rather unseemly ministerial appointments, and if she were working with the likes of a Protopopov it would have been quite a volte face.

So I'm going to reserve judgment until we get some more light shed on the Sandro letter.  I posited one possible reading of his letter -- but a reading that hinges on Sandro's having gotten his facts right.  He certainly felt she was in some degree of control, as the reason Sandro sought the meeting was to dissuade Alexandra, in particular, from what he thought to be her fatal interference in Russian political affairs.

But there is also the possibility that he was flat wrong about Alexandra's involvement.  He's certainly impugning her by what she didn't say rather than by what she said -- and that's usually pretty weak evidence.

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Tsarfan »

rskkiya

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #139 on: June 28, 2005, 05:34:13 PM »
Tsarfan
Thats my point! If she had said "I am in favour of X" or "I approve of y" then it would have given Sandro a great deal more to complain about...But as all he said was that she did not respond -- it's very poor proof indeed.
  For all we can tell from the letter, she didn't respond because she was in no mood to discuss anything with Sandro pro or con!
  She was a very proud woman and she may well have felt 'threatened' by Sandro's confrontational style.

Offline lexi4

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #140 on: June 28, 2005, 07:26:50 PM »
Or she may have thought is was none of his affair. I agree, not responding doesn't prove anything other than that she didn't comment. We will probably never know why. It would be interesting to know what conversations she had with Nicholas after Sandro left. We know what he thought. Also, I wonder if his letter was written in anger? That would color his judgement.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2009, 09:56:10 AM by Alixz »
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely, in a pretty and well preserved body; but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "Wow ---- What a ride!!!"

Offline RichC

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #141 on: June 28, 2005, 11:24:39 PM »
I am defending Alix on this thread because it's the positive traits thread and rskkiya started off by coming on here and attributing anti-semitic comments made by Nicholas in his diary, to Alexandra.  And everything I've said here is repeated on the main website.  So what's the problem, other than you disagree with me?

« Last Edit: May 03, 2009, 09:58:06 AM by Alixz »

Finelly

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #142 on: June 29, 2005, 09:48:25 AM »
I'm putting this on both sites...

Alexandra wrote a letter to Anya telling her that she'd read the Antichrist book (which contained the entire Protocols of the Elders of Zion) and told Nicky to read it.

Offline RichC

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #143 on: June 29, 2005, 10:14:52 AM »
Here's what Massie says about Alexandra's nursing activities:

Ironically, the coming of the war transformed the empress.  Alexandra always seemed happiest when immersed in other people's problems, and war gave almost endless scope to this side of her nature.  Burning with patriotic enthusiasm, she put aside her own illnesses and plunged into hospital work.  "To some it may seem unnecessary my doing this," she said, "but help is much needed an my hand is useful."  The huge, ornate Catherine Palace at Tsarskoe Selo, used for receptions and balls before the war, was converted into a military hospital, and before the end of 1914 eighty-five hospitals were operating under her patronage in the Petrograd area alone.

Offline RichC

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #144 on: June 29, 2005, 10:18:45 AM »
In this work, Alexandra did not become simply an imperial patron.  She enrolled herself and her two older daughters in a nurses' training course, and every morning at nine, dressed in the gray uniforms of nursing sisters, they left the palace for the hospital.  The atmosphere in this place was shocking and brutal.  Every day, Red Cross trains brought wounded and dying men - dirty, bloodstained, feverish, and groaning- from the front.  The empress and her daughters cleaned and bandaged these mangled bodies.  "I have seen the Empress of Russia in the operating room," said her friend Anna Vyrubova, "holding ether cones, handling sertilized instruments, taking from the hands of busy surgeons amputated legs and arms, removing bloody and vermin-ridden field dressings."  (end quote)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by RichC »

Offline Georgiy

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #145 on: June 29, 2005, 04:11:21 PM »
I think Rsskiya has made a good point here - that Alix was a devout Orthodox Christian - and I would go further and say on top of being devout, she was also a sincere Orthodox Christian - none of it was for show, it was genuine and from the heart. There are some people who can be very 'Orthodox', and go through all the motions, but the heart isn't there, I think with Alix it was though.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Georgiy »

Offline pinklady

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #146 on: July 03, 2005, 04:18:40 AM »
I also agree, Alix was very sincere in her faith.

bluetoria

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #147 on: July 04, 2005, 04:44:42 AM »
I have been thinking more about Alix repeatedly urging Nicholas to 'be strong' & 'show them a strong hand' etc. etc. This has sometimes been described as a negative aspect of her, but in fact, considering the way in which some members of the family took advantage of his gentle nature, it may well be a positive attribute. Perhaps Alix could see that since Nicholas lacked his father's 'presence', certain members of the family - including his uncles - were likely to show him insufficient respect, and to dismiss his ideas.
Nicholas was in a very difficult situation because his uncles were all such strong characters &, combined with this, he had doubtlessly been raised to show deference to his elders. I cannot imagine how it must have felt to suddenly (at quite an early age) have to reprimand and stand up to one's own relations of an older generation.
Alix's prompting & urging may have shown greater insight than we have given her credit for. From the beginning of the reign, these older people - who should have supported him - were using him & playing him off against one another (e.g. the rivalry between Serge & Vladimir; the way Miechen used the Royal Box without permission, the way Pavel broke his allegiance and married...) When Nicholas did stand up to these people, the family divided against him. Vladimir, rather than accepting the reprimand of Miechen, wrote a very indignant letter to Nicholas. The dispute about whether or not to attend the Montebello Ball divided the family still further. No wonder Alix needed to urge Nicholas to, "Be strong!" I do not think this implied that he was weak, but rather as Alix said often, 'You are too kind...' meaning that the less scrupulous members of the family were taking advantage of his kindness.  

Finelly

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #148 on: July 04, 2005, 09:19:03 AM »
You have a point there.  Nicholas was so gentle that it really frustrated Alix and of course she was going to urge him to be strong.  Not just for him, but for the future of their son and his reign.

I think that this, combined with the fears she had for Alexei, the alienation she felt from the family, and the influence of Rasputin is what led, in large part, to the family downfall.  However, the urging to be strong alone is not a negative trait at all.

This just goes to show how the right intentions and reasonable desires can still lead one to do the wrong thing!

bluetoria

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #149 on: July 04, 2005, 09:44:06 AM »
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This just goes to show how the right intentions and reasonable desires can still lead one to do the wrong thing!


Hmm...perhaps...but the more I think of this, the more I believe that the 'fault' lay, at least in the early part of the reign, with the family who failed to show Nicholas the respect owed to him as Tsar. Had they done so, Alix would not have needed to 'push' him so much.  :-/
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by bluetoria »