Author Topic: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad  (Read 271715 times)

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Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #255 on: May 07, 2006, 05:42:47 PM »
Yes, perhaps it's time to get back on topic.

David does have a very sharp sense of humor and I think, via cyberspace, it can be misinterpreted. Nonetheless, it was obviously received badly and I can see why and understand while it could be construed as offensive.

Not all of us can speak Russian (or any other foreign langauge) despite our presence on the site and I don't think should be faulted for that--while at the same time having admiration for the multilingual. I didn't understand what the comment was and, if MM hadn't already clarified, I would've looked it up. I would suggest that cutting & pasting comments into babelfish is a great help for smaller blocks of texts--not so good for larger ones as meaning can be lost in translation.  :)

I think everyone know understands the well-taken caveat of the difficulties in ever being in the situation to have a chance to befriend the Empress and perhaps the discussion can return to the strictly hypothetical one it was intended to be.
They also serve who only stand and wait--John Milton
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Offline imperial angel

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #256 on: May 08, 2006, 08:21:46 AM »
Yes, if we could go back in history, none of us would have had the chance to be presented to Alexandra, let alone become friends with her. I think it's a good idea for a hypothetical thread though, keeping that word in mind. Some of us belong on threads like this, perhaps others of us belong on more serious threads. We ought to respect each other.

Offline s.v.markov

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #257 on: May 08, 2006, 10:47:58 AM »
Yes, absolutely right. The great thing about this forum is that it is accessible to everyone, from the youngest or most inexperienced member just beginning to acquire an interest in the subject, to the expert researcher and academic who has been working in this field for years and years. And in between, of course, the majority of us pursue our various interests and gain such a lot of help and knowledge from one another ~ that is why the AP is so popular all over the world. If a question on a thread appears at first sight simplistic or naive, or if it is a point of view from a young person just beginning to think about a subject,  it still deserves a clear, serious and considered response, without recourse to long critical diatribes which will go over that person's head and, perhaps, make him/her hesitate before asking anothjer question.  These beginners are the historians of tomorrow, who will continue to keep alive the themes we discuss here on a daily basis. And we all had to start somewhere!

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #258 on: May 09, 2006, 07:13:26 PM »
Ok ...
Even IF we suspend all the dynamics of cultural experience and worldview  that make us creatures of another century than AF - and if we also imagine that we could have had the opportunity and social status to have ever even met this lady - friendship is a relationship between two people- she might not care for any of us.

Sorry....I'm afraid that I cannot honestly pretend to have anything in common with AF. I'm not religious and I don't have children. (wink! ;) -But I guess I am a little paranoid!  ;D ;))

This is an interesting topic - but I think it would be better served in the Having Fun" sector .  


Offline grandduchessella

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #259 on: May 09, 2006, 11:03:59 PM »
There was a story told in the memoirs of Baroness Agnes deStoeckl that was illuminating when it came to whether one could get close enough to the Empress to befriend her.

The Baroness's husband was attached to GD George M and she was very close to GDss George (Greek Minny). One day she suggested that Minny and the Baroness's daughter Zoia should stop at Livadia on their way home. Minny 'hesitated; she had never been there uninvited. 'But surely', I suggested, 'you are intimate enough to visit the Empress.' Zoia was most anxious to see her friends, so they started.' Agnes returned to Minny's home, Harax. 'A little later they both came to my room red and angry. The Grand Duchess burst forth: 'I told you so. You are a fool to make me do such things.' Zoia also stood startled and upset. 'What is the matter?' I asked. Then the story was told. The Grand Duchess and Zoia drove to Livadia. They perceived the Emperor playing tennis with two of his daughters and an officer of the...Standart, the Empress reclining on a chaise lounge, and near her the Tsarevitch....The two visitors, rather quaking, went towards the players. The game stopped, the Emperor as usual charming advanced, followed by the young girls, and greeted them. Then they went up to the Empress. She scarcely looked at them, murmured something with an icy look. She did not ask them to sit down. The Grand Duchess, feeling her anger rising yet such was the aureole around the Emperor and Empress that she would never dare to show it. The game was resumed. Still not a word from the Empress. Zoia whispered: 'Let us go.' The Grand Duchess did not know what to do. The officers noticed the situation and felt uncomfortable, so the Grand Duchess waited until the set was over, said good-bye and left. She said: 'I knew it would be like that. Why did I listen to you? The Empress never will allow anybody to intrude on their privacy.' And such was her nature that, although the most sensitive of women, she could put this armour of steel around her...Anyhow, she showed that day to her own cousin that no one, not even her family, could come uninvited. All this fell back on the Emperor who was so different, yet loved his wife too dearly to go against her wishes.'
« Last Edit: April 28, 2009, 10:20:28 AM by Alixz »
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Offline Tania+

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #260 on: May 10, 2006, 12:52:02 AM »
I don't know, I guess there are several ways of looking at what transpired. Of course in looking back, what and how protocol was, and perhaps in regards to imperial protocol, it does not seem so unusual. I would imagine that 'family day' was just that, for the immediate family, and in regards to this especially The Tsarina felt it to be an intrusion. Then as now, it was and would be advisable to call or write ahead to see if others [even extended family] would be or could be included for the day that they wished to visit. I don't see this as something to be out of the ordinary. It looked as if this was a split second decision, and she was pressed to try her hand at being intrusive. Naturally, she failed.

I think they, the IF, as anyone else, deserved to have family time to themselves. I don't think anyone can find fault with that. Perhaps, this was why she felt her cousin came without proper protocol.

I know for our family, we have a special day, usually Sunday. We stick to having just the immediate family to be together. People outside the family know that this is our together time and respect our wishes. I wonder if this is just something we do, or if others here or globally have their special only immediate family days ? One does not have to be royal to respond...

Tatiana+
« Last Edit: April 28, 2009, 10:21:09 AM by Alixz »
TatianaA


Offline imperial angel

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #261 on: May 10, 2006, 10:35:44 AM »
Well, Alexandra was a very private person, and liked to keep her family to herself. She liked to live quietly with her family, as some do, and wasn't what we would call a social person. Some families and some people are more family oriented than others, and Alexandra was one of them. But even many who may not be particularly family oriented like to spend time with their family. Alexandra was a very loyal friend, but she liked to be close to her family. But sometimes it would be hard to make friends in that era if you were royalty anyway, as you had a tight circle around you of people, especially for the Imperial Family.

Offline Grace

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #262 on: May 12, 2006, 05:13:39 AM »
Yes, with respect, we know she was an intensely private person who just wanted to be with her family...that was her main problem...

I think it was Willy who said that Nicholas should have been a farmer digging turnips, rather than Tsar...well, Alexandra should have been cooking them, in my opinion.

Her total dismissal of anything remotely required of her as Tsarina makes me so cross.  She didn't have to be a second MF but she didn't do ANYTHING.  >:(

Offline Mazukov

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #263 on: May 12, 2006, 06:08:00 AM »
I’m not really an Alexandra fan. But in all fairness to her she was placed in a rather unique situation. First of all she came to Russia behind a coffin. The peasants on the streets were saying  she entered our land behind a coffin she brings misfortune.

Also given her isolation when she first came to court. The dowager empress assigned Alexandra  a first  mistress without asking her. At one point Alexandra had asked princess maria galitzine  (I whish you would tell me something about these people then I would know what to talk to them about) what does it matter was the reply maria gave her, it’s an honor just to be in the same room with you.

So to me she did try to reach out but given the nature of the Russian court they didn’t help her at all that much. I was indeed impressed with her when the dowager empress tried to keep the crown jewels and Alexandra reply to her was Keep them. By doing that she shamed the dowager in giving them back seeing how the crown jewels were not her but belonged to the state.  

I do think that she was handed a tough situation and I think early on she made efforts to do what was right but between the two camps of her and the dowager empress she was caught in a no win situation. Which over time she managed to make even worse. But it was not entirely her fault.

I could be friends with her but I’m not sure I could be close friend. I’m rather blunt in nature and I think that wouldn’t have gone over well with her.

Offline Grace

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #264 on: May 12, 2006, 06:27:41 AM »
I have taken on board your comments, Mazukov.

I do realise the disadvantages she had when she and Nicholas came to the throne so early and with no experience of the Russian court, trying to embrace a new religion etc. and she did make some tentative steps early on in as Tsarina.  But she gave up so easily with everything!  Surely she would have realised that being Empress of all the Russias entailed more than just being a wife and mother some years into the role?  Just can't understand it...never will.

Offline Mazukov

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #265 on: May 12, 2006, 06:32:24 AM »
Oh yes I do agree with you grace that she gave up way to easily to me it was a babyish reaction on her part it was more like Oh yea well take this I’ll give you all nothing. Plus I think the isolation of being always at the AP rather than in the capital brought further the distance between her the court and the most importantly the people.

Offline Grace

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #266 on: May 12, 2006, 06:58:13 AM »
I am sure that she would have known deep down that more was expected of her as Empress than she gave and this would go some way to explaining the stress she always felt.

If you have an unpleasant job to do and continue to put it off and put it off, you feel worse about it than you would have if you just plunged in and did it.  

She knew she wasn't performing and as time went on, she got more and more nervous and withdrawn about reactions and what would would happen if she did try to do something worthwhile.  At least that's my opinion.  ::)

Back to topic - I don't think I would have "befriended" her exactly, if I had the chance, but I probably would have made some effort to try to understand her...then maybe or maybe not, I would have shaken her!

Offline Mazukov

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #267 on: May 12, 2006, 12:34:24 PM »
I wonder what would have happened if she had gotten a decent answer when she had asked about "those people" so that she could have something to talk to them about. As do she could have tried harder which she didn’t it was nothing less than a haphazardly approach to affairs of court and state.

It’s hard to say how I would be with a friendship with her. I’m way too blunt and outwardly in my approach to life in general. But then in private one on one she may have been very different and I probably would have had something in common. But that’s just remotely thinking on my part.

Offline Alicky

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #268 on: May 16, 2006, 10:13:25 PM »
One may as well ask if one could ever imagine being friends with (and therefore, feel equal to) one's bosses, teachers, "democratically elected" political leaders, favorite performers, or even one's own parents or some of one's in-laws.  

In most cases, probably not, but life can throw one surprises, and sometimes so-called "superiors"  have more of an egilitarian attitude than their intimidated "inferiors".  And sometimes the "inferiors" have more attractions of personality, if not of body, than they may believe possible, if they manage to catch their "superior's" eye.  Look at the relationship of Alexandra and Anna Vyroubova.  Sure, they might have attended the same social events at some time, but they were not of equal rank or education, experience, age, etc.  Still, something apparently, unexpectedly, clicked--- whether fortunately or unfortunately for either one, isn't the point.
  
I am afraid of my boss, but SHE apparently thinks well of me (however, I'm never going to tell her all the juicy tidbits of my life like some of my co-workers do.)  In my time, I was also befriended by one of my lifelong favorite actors and somewhat befriended by one of my favorite singers.  Sadly, this does more for one's ego than it probably should--- but again, that's not the point.  Since it's clear what THEIR special attractions and advantages are, what on earth made them notice ME?

Would I have befriended Alexandra if we shared the same timeframe and social contacts, and  if the opportunity had presented itself?  Probably would have been as kind and understanding as she was to me, assuming she'd be kind and understanding, but No... Because while I'm not blunt, I too have ways of communicating impatience with certain conditions and a hopefully tactful way of trying to get the conditions changed or ameliorated--- and resentment when things stay the same or get worse as I perceive it.  It doesn't make me right all the time, but it makes me too uncomfortable to endure the situation for long.  

Which perhaps means I have a lot more in common with Alexandra than previously suspected--- except for the religion part--- I am agnostic and neither wish to be convinced, nor to convince others.   There's such a thing as being so much like another person that you can never get along because it's in all the wrong ways.  Actually, when I was younger, I wished I had friends like the Grand Duchesses and Alexei--- they reminded me of how it was with my own sisters and one brother.  And being born on the cusp of the 20th century as they were, if they had lived, who can say what their fortunes might have been?  Maybe one or more would have ended up marrying below their station, as their own relatives did, and/or pursued careers, all of which might have made them that much more accessible.  And to add to their charms, they were very fond of animals, as I am.

I'm not sure if, having survived and lost her throne, Alexandra would have been any more accessible--- she seemed both too stubborn and sensitive to have adjusted and become even as comfortable as one suspects Nicholas might have been.   If she lost her son too, who knows, but that she might have broken down completely.   One would have to be a very special friend to rise to that challenge.

In conclusion, how one speculates s/he might have gotten along with Alexandra tells as much about himself of herself as it does about Alexandra's probable capacity for reciprocating a hypothetical offer of friendship.





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

Offline imperial angel

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #269 on: May 18, 2006, 03:32:29 PM »
Great post, Alicky. We always speculate about friendship with the rich, amd famous. I suppose, chances are that we have little in common at all, if we had the chance of friendship. But then we might. Alexandra may have indeed been more different in private ( if you could get there), than in public as a friend. She had a giving, caring, nature and that certainly makes a good friend. But being blunt was not her way, nor the way of those around her. She woudn't have tolerated it, for sure. I myself am not blunt- I like to put life in fantasies and mute it a bit. Alexandra may not have been that way, but she was an Empress, imperial royalty. She had always somewhat lived in a illusion atomsphere, with no one around her saying anything bluntly, nor perhaps telling her the truth at times. I think she recognized the truth, but may not have wished to face it sometimes. I suppose most people may have a moment of that, although if you are blunt, perhaps not.

She entered Russia with many disadvantages of sitiuation, and she tried. She did get very wrapped up in her son ( completely understandable), and overly isolated. But, if a shy person had to deal with all she had to deal with, would they do better? As well, although she very much concentrated on her role as wife, and mother, she was encouraged to do so, pressured to produce an heir. No wonder she thought it was her main role as Tsarina, which perhaps it was.