Author Topic: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad  (Read 271768 times)

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Offline reashka

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #270 on: May 18, 2006, 11:51:50 PM »
I would, some people misunderstood her because they didn't know her that much or maybe they didn't seem to get her attitude or something like that.
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Offline Grace

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #271 on: May 19, 2006, 01:51:30 AM »
Alexandra's modern day supporters seem to think she was not generally liked because she was "misunderstood" but I think she frankly came across as stiff, cold and uninterested in those around her and, empress or not, those are not characteristics that most people find appealing.

Offline Mazukov

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #272 on: May 19, 2006, 08:47:26 AM »
I suppose that given what we have to go by, historical accounts from both friend and foe, we can only draw conclusions based on if you’re a Alex fan or not. Given the fact that she didn't enjoy court affairs, does that make her a bad person? No, was she a good mother and wife? Absolutely. Did she meddle In state affairs? Tried,  Was she effective not really. Does that make her a bad person? No. she didn’t do what any other mate would do when your significant other is in position of power.

I think that Alex, indeed did get  a very bad rap no doubt in my mind about that fact, so sometimes to me that misconception about her,  always leaves doubt in my mind if she was really ever that hard to understand. Like any other Mom. Her focus was her children producing an heir and her husband. Once the heir had been produced her main focus was his health. Like any other Mom she did everything in her power protecting his health. And she tried everything known at that time. Along comes Rasputin, this man has the ability to aid the heir health. As a mother she did what another parent would do. She protected her family.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2009, 06:45:20 PM by Alixz »

Offline Grace

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #273 on: May 19, 2006, 09:21:25 AM »
I am no Alexandra fan but I don't think she was a "bad" person either.  I just completely fail to see the positive qualities in her that others do, that's all.  :-/

It's not agreed by everyone that she was a good wife and mother.  Some have queried her manipulation of her husband, for instance, and have claimed she isolated and kept her children as children far longer than she should have.

Her focus should not have been 100% only on her husband and children.  She was the Russian Empress.

I can't agree that she protected her family.  She allowed an immoral, unwashed charlatan to control their lives when, as such a devout woman, she surely should have placed her faith in a higher source, though I don't pretend to understand the anguish she went through during her son's illnesses.

I think her very few friends were ones who would not challenge her in any way, and I don't think that's true friendship.    

 






Offline imperial angel

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #274 on: May 19, 2006, 10:08:58 AM »
Well, I don't think any friends would have challenged her, given her position. There are different definitions of true friendship as well. Doubtless, we either see the negative or positive side of Alexandra based on what we think of her. Like any other person she had bad and good sides, we see what we want to see. She had a difficult character to suit her position as Empress well, but she did have many odds against her, and she tried her best. As a wife and mother, perhaps she was sometimes over possessive, but she had many traits that were good. She cared about her children, and tried to do everything to benefit them, whether what she did as a mother can be seen as good or bad by people.

Offline Ra-Ra-Rasputin

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #275 on: May 19, 2006, 10:18:04 AM »
I agree 100%, Grace.

Alexandra did what she thought best, but that doesn't mean she did what was right.
She KNEW when she married Nicholas what her life was going to be.  If she didn't want that life, she had the CHOICE not to enter into it.  Unlike Nicholas, she was not born into that role, and she didn't have to accept it.  But she did, and in doing so, she should have been prepared to take on all of the responsibilites and duties that came with it.

Alexandra was domineering, stubborn and fanatical. She hid her children away and prevented them from having any real understanding of the world.  She tried to manipulate her husband into doing what she wanted.  She refused to heed the warnings of those around her that she was dragging her and her family's name into the mud through her relationship with Rasputin.  It was her way or the high way.  And you cannot get on in life with such an attitude.

When you are an Empress, your job comes first.  If Alexandra just wanted to be a wife and mother, she should never have gotten engaged to the heir to the Russian throne.

Yes, Alexandra was loving towards those she cared about, but she wouldn't allow any contradiction of her beliefs. She befriended those, like Lili and Anna, who needed a mother figure and who were so in awe of her that they wouldn't dare to ask questions.

Alexandra was not a bad person.  But she was a bad Empress and I don't think she was a particularly good mother.  She loved her children, but she didn't do what was best for them.  She did what was best for her in moving to Tsarskoe.  There is a difference.

Rachel
xx
« Last Edit: April 28, 2009, 06:46:38 PM by Alixz »
'History teaches that history teaches us nothing' ~ Hegel

Offline imperial angel

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #276 on: May 19, 2006, 11:49:33 AM »
I think as a mother, she was very good. All mothers have failings, and sometimes good intentions don't equal good parenting. For Alexandra, sometimes she had challenges to her role as a mother. But I have always thought of her as a pretty good mother, regardless. She did what was best for her children, I've never doubted it. As an Empress, she may not have been as good; her personality and her situiation were such that that made that hard. Of course, it is true she could have tried harder in the role of Empress. Friends never questioned her, but then whoever they were, they woudn't have questioned her anyway.

Offline Ra-Ra-Rasputin

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #277 on: May 19, 2006, 12:27:23 PM »
I'm surprised you think she was a good mother, Imperial Angel.

I think Alexandra was certainly a loving parent, but from what I've read,I don't think she was a very good one.

For starters, both Anastasia and Maria felt unwanted by their mother, and Maria's letter to her mother I read in one of my books where she basically says she doesn't feel loved by Alexandra is really heartbreaking to read.  As her 'health problems' bothered her more and more, Alexandra resorted to sending letters to her children rather than actually speaking to them.  In keeping them at Tsarskoe Selo and preventing them from having friends of their own and any sort of independent life made them very underdeveloped emotionally and intellectually.

Plus, Alexandra spent most of her energies on her son; how do you think that made the girls feel? I know it is said they felt no resentment, but we don't know that for sure.

The way I see it, Alexandra was not a very good mother.  She undoubtedly cared for her children and wanted to keep them safe, but in doing so she prevented them from developing and from having access to ideas outside of her and Nicholas' own.  A good mother allows her children to grow and learn and spread their wings.  Alexandra wanted to keep her children children, and she treated them as such, even when her elder daughters were going into their twenties.

As I said, Alexandra I am sure thought she was doing the best for her children.  But it's quite clear to me that she wasn't.  Children with hardly any friends outside of their own siblings make for very emotionally and socially retarded individuals, and we know that was the case with OTMAA.  I can't remember who said it, but I distinctly recall someone stating that Olga and Tatiana, when in their late teens/twenties, spoke like 'twelve year olds'.  You can't protect your kids forever.  You have to let them go at some point. Alexandra seemed incapable of doing so; she reminds me a little of Nicholas' own mother, and her sister Queen Alexandra.  The suffocating and selfish type.

Rachel
xx
'History teaches that history teaches us nothing' ~ Hegel

Offline Tania+

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #278 on: May 19, 2006, 12:29:38 PM »
Dear Alicky,

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I couldn't have said it better, or agree with you more when it address that of addressing someone 'being equal'. In those days, one was never, ever at all, considered 'equal' in the instances and of those you have listed, overall. It was a different time, a different social standing, etc. [Today, people want to be more than equal, even perhaps to the point of almost making choices for you...]
But as to her motherhood; I think she was an excellent mother, and true to her faith, and a very moral person. For me, one baptized Russian Orthodox, it is of importance, and someone to look up to. Her children were delightful, and very sharing, and together. That to me is what family is all about. As a wife I think she was true in her feelings, and her husband and children were always first. Putting aside that of her being more a homebody than a Tsarina, I can understand her perfectly. I only hope I can protect my family as well as she did. God rest her soul !

Tatiana+




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.





.



[/quote]
« Last Edit: April 28, 2009, 10:25:04 AM by Alixz »
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Offline imperial angel

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #279 on: May 19, 2006, 03:33:41 PM »
Nothing could change my view that Alexandra was a good mother, although that is not the subject of this thread. So many say she might have had good intentions but she could never carry them out or whatever. They might say she was selfish. But all parents are not perfect, and compared with the majority, Alexandra was far better than most, I believe. She got wrapped up in her son, but he was ill, and the heir, what she had struggled so long for. She was reacting normally there, even if perhaps her other children felt that she was centering herself towards him at times. As an Empress, she was not as good in that role as a mother. As a friend, she was defintely not very tolerant of bluntness and such, but she had never been raised to accept that. She was caring and loyal as a friend, but few could get close to her given her position. But those who did, I think, valued her friendship.

Offline Mazukov

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #280 on: May 19, 2006, 08:34:03 PM »
Well she had to focus her attention on the heir, he was the heir and ill. As an empress she was, well. Awful no other way to put it really. But as a mom I can’t see how some say she wasn’t, a good mom  also because of there position having friends from outside the family would have been difficult at best. Between the police scrutiny and pressures having friends outside the family would have been very difficult  

Offline Tania+

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #281 on: May 19, 2006, 11:12:12 PM »
[size=10]Hello Rachel,

Gee, I could have sworn that this was offered earlier in terms of why many on the AP Thread read Alexandra's different than what the history books you may have read offered. I'm sure if past and future readers dig, they will find that we have gone over this stretch of issues, and what others had to say on this.

Anastasia and Maria were very young girls at the time you are refering to in terms of the letters received by their mother. In those days, and in those social norms, writing to one's children was not unheard of. [It is of vast difference today, and not the norm of course] But we are looking at a different age, and households that did not run as they are today in the 'modern' world. For anyone of today's world, reading what they think is being offered to a child of those days, it might sound heart breaking.
As their letters attest of the children, and their family values, and words of many others who knew them, they can attest, and did, that the childlren and family were all loving and very close knit family. Nothing was abusive, nor degrading. I think you are reading something into these issues that do not make sense at all, and never happened.

It is not fair to twist something in meaning or of what has happened to make it seem as if it were truth.
These are entirely your take only of the situations you speak about in your post to the forum, based of course on what other writers of history books may have tried to impart. But they were also way off base.

How do you know she resorted to just letters, and did not speak to her children. That does not make sound reasoning at all, or stand firm in terms of truth. I believe this to be far from actuality ! I don't see any resentment that the children had with one another, or to their parents. Again, you are misinterperting what was. In all of their years, where did any servent, family member, extended family member, friend or anyone find these children so greviously harmed, resentful, etc.

You are trying to read a normal way of life of what is the now, into a generation that had anything but the way they thought, acted, behaved, and carried on their lives then. In Russia, men lead the family lives, not the women...Children were seen, not heard...The parent's new best....The children were not equal to parent's or to any adult...

As well they were children of royalty, and in those days, the parent's had the right to select whom their children saw, or did not see, etc. In those days, Parent's still had complete control over their children's lives, education, and yes social lives. I know that is still not understood today, but that's the way it was, like it or not. Even in households who were not the priviledged classes, children still lived at home, well into and past their 20's. I think that in today's world, this is why so many women are upset, that some men choose to lead the family, and make the decisions. I'm not saying it is right or wrong, simply that this is why in reading about historical circumstances, and issues as this, it is why posts as yours come to find fault with families, as this. But again in reality, this was a totally different world, hemisphere. Also one more thing, in Russian families today, many still have this absolute rule, and many women in Russia as elsewhere still hold to these norms...Also, in the marriage contract, it reads that the women will be subserviant to their husbands. That's the way it was, and still is in some nations.

I'm sorry Rachel, but this centuries reasoning, is way past that of those yester-year's, especially if you live in western civilizations. Today many western psychologists make a hefty living quoting what is good and what is not good for children, and why many of today's children have so much freedoms, etc.

But, to go back to the purpose of the title of this thread, of just the simple question, 'would you befriend or not befriend Alexandra'.

The question was not was she a good mom, a good wife, how her childrlen felt, did not feel, or specifically making inuendo's that the children may have been retarded, etc.

Thanks  Rachel for your time in taking time to reading my response.

Tatiana+[/size]
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Offline Ra-Ra-Rasputin

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #282 on: May 20, 2006, 04:40:44 AM »
As always Tania, I respect your opinion, but I think you misunderstood my post.

I made it very clear that my opinion of Alexandra's skills as a mother was just that; my opinion.  I don't know everything that went on behind closed doors and I didn't claim to.  And seeing as neither do you, I don't think you can really claim that my opinions are 'way off base'.  I also didn't suggest anything to do with abuse or degrading behaviour; I don't know where you found those insinuations, because I said nothing of the sort and didn't imply anything of the sort either.

The way I see it, regardless of what time they were living in, Alexandra did not raise her children in a way that was healthy for them.  There is so much documentary evidence that the children were emotionally and socially retarded that it is near impossible to refute it.  That does not mean they weren't loved or cared for; I have said quite clearly that I don't doubt that Alexandra was a loving mother and thought she was doing the best for her children.  But, from what I know about the family, I don't think what she thought was best was right, and I am perfectly entitled to that opinion.  

As far as I'm concerned, investing most of your love and attention on one of your children to the detriment of the others, inviting a man of questionable reputation into your home and letting him mix with your adolescent daughters, locking your children away from the outside world and failing to give them an adequate intellectual, social and emotional education is not very good parenting, regardless of what age you live in.  Alexandra loved her children dearly, I have no doubt of that.  But was she a good parent, ie did she provide the best possible care and upbringing for her children? Did she put her children first? No she did not, in my opinion.  

I think some of us let our religious and perhaps emotional views of Alexandra cloud our judgement.  I am not emotionally or religiously attached to Alexandra and so I find it easy to take a step back and analyse her behaviour dispassionately.  What I see, I don't like, especially when it comes to her parenting skills.  If others want to believe she was a good parent, then I am fine with that.  But please don't tell me my opinions are 'way off base', as you don't know that.  You might think it, but thinking and knowing are two different things.

And I know this was not the original topic of the thread, but sometimes the best discussions come about when we go off on a bit of a tangent, don't they?

Thanks,

Rachel
xx

'History teaches that history teaches us nothing' ~ Hegel

Offline Mazukov

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #283 on: May 20, 2006, 09:50:46 PM »
Excuse me here but I’m going to go somewhat off base if allowed. Rachel, had said something that Alex started sending letters to her children. Ok this is the point I would like to make. With my daughters who live in our house. I’m always shooting an email over to them almost daily, yet I’ll see them and talk with them constantly through out the day. to me an email is like sending a letter. So I don't find that very odd.

In thinking of this  I'm going to have that say that perhaps she was a little lazy if not a lot. I myself, have always had difficulties when relating to or being with acquaintances whom I feel are lazy.


« Last Edit: April 28, 2009, 10:27:20 AM by Alixz »

Offline imperial angel

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Re: Alexandra's Personality Traits - Good & Bad
« Reply #284 on: May 22, 2006, 12:30:03 PM »
I think it is true that we should not let our modern notions of what good parenting consists make us judge Alexandra or her parenting by the values of this time, rather than the historical values of that time. I's easy to do, especially when books we may have read have such modern assumptions. History might feel close and near, and in many ways it is. But it also happened a long time ago, and many things have changed, not least attitudes towards parenting. Judging one age's values, or one age's actions by those of another isn't really fair. Not everything is universal, but many things are. Alexandra was from a different age, class, and position. I don't think it is fair to read too many modern assumptions into things. We have already debated this, yes. Tania's post was the best I have read, and word for word I agree. She is totally right about this issue.