Author Topic: The influence of Pierre Gilliard on Alexei  (Read 7727 times)

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Pravoslavnaya

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The influence of Pierre Gilliard on Alexei
« on: January 21, 2005, 09:57:07 PM »
Sometime after Pierre Gilliard began instructing the Tsarevich, he made a suggestion to his parents that the constant supervision imposed on the boy might be relaxed in order that he might develop a more self-reliant and agreeable character.  Their Majesties decided it was worth the risk, and Alexei Nikolaevich is said to have been delighted with this, repaying Gilliard's trust and warming up to both him and Sydney Gibbes considerably.

Is it safe to say that all Gilliard wanted when taking a sabbatical from his duties at Mogilev was to take a break and follow a rotation with Gibbes, rather than being overtaxed by the exuberance and overexcitement of his charge?

How were his overall relations with Alexei once he had gained the boy's trust?  How did Alexei change for the better?  How much milder was his mischief as he grew older with Gilliard as his governor?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Pravoslavnaya »

JaneEyre5381

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Re: The influence of Pierre Gilliard on Alexei
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2005, 10:18:40 PM »
Hi Elizabeth,

Once again, another good question.  I'll take a shot at answering it.  

Aleksey trusted Gilliard probably because the tutor made him feel more "grown up" by asking Nikolai and Alexandra to loosen the supervision a bit.  It is said that prior to that occurance Aleksey saw Gilliard as someone who was there to make him work and to nag him, so to speak.  After the request, however, the boy may have felt more in control of his life and actions.  That may have helped to stop the acting out to some extent as well.  He opened up to his tutor, and the latter stated that Aleksey was very intlligent, had great insight, and asked questions that were unusual for a boy of only eight and a half.  

The sabbatical that M. Gilliard took while at Mogilev was atributed to the fact that Aleksey was too distracted and didn't pay any attention to his school work.  The tutor said that there were too many distractions and too much excitement for the boy to concentrate on lessons or anything else for that matter.  Gilliard also stated that the boy was rude when asked to do anything lessons related, and the Tsar wasn't all too helpful in terms of discepline.  So, Gilliard basically decided that it was better for him to take a break and let Mr. Gibbes take over.  However, after Gilliard returned, he said that the boy behaved better and was glad to see him again.

I hope that this answers your question to some extent.  As always, feel free to correct me, because yet again, I'm going based on memory alone.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by JaneEyre5381 »

AaronGlaeser

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Re: The influence of Pierre Gilliard on Alexei
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2005, 06:02:29 PM »
It is with a certain degree of confidence that I say that there was no man other than his own father who effected the development of Alexei Nicholaevich than that of Pierre Gilliard.  The news which sparked the largest paridigm shift in his life was delivered in 1917 by Pierre Gilliard.  The sole fact that the news of the monarchy's fall from power was delivered by Pierre Gilliard is a testament to the fact that there was a closeness and trust between the two.  Pierre was not only Alexei Nicholaevich's tutor, but his vospitatiet--as it were.

Pravoslavnaya

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Re: The influence of Pierre Gilliard on Alexei
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2005, 06:53:21 PM »
Dear Mr. Glaeser :  I was hoping that you would reply to this!  :) Could you tell us more of your insights about M. Gilliard's influence on Alexei Nikolaevich, starting with a translation of the term 'vospitatiet'?  I think it meant something like "Mentor to the Heir to the Throne", but I could be wrong.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Pravoslavnaya »

mr_harrison75

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Re: The influence of Pierre Gilliard on Alexei
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2007, 07:53:05 PM »
I really want to know what are your insights on this!

I think that Pierre Gilliard and Alexei were more than master and pupil; they became friends! Gilliard trusted and had faith that Alexei would behave if trusted, and Alexei was touched by this gesture of confidence, and repayed it in full...

What effect it had on him, though, I can't tell. Any ideas?

Offline RealAnastasia

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Re: The influence of Pierre Gilliard on Alexei
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2007, 07:36:15 PM »
I think that Gilliard was the first human being who fighted for seeing Alexei more free and independent. Alexei was fully aware of it, and I suppose, very grateful to his teacher, since he could live more like an average children only for his influence. Not so strange that the Tsarevich would be under his teacher influence (in the good sense) and consider himself more a friend than a pupil. Specially when Alexei became more grown-up.

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Offline Sarushka

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Re: The influence of Pierre Gilliard on Alexei
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2007, 07:52:06 AM »
The news which sparked the largest paridigm shift in his life was delivered in 1917 by Pierre Gilliard.  The sole fact that the news of the monarchy's fall from power was delivered by Pierre Gilliard is a testament to the fact that there was a closeness and trust between the two.
I think it also speaks to the trust between Gilliard and the imperial couple. Alexandra would probably not have entrusted that news to anybody *she herself* was not also completely comfortable with and confident of.
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rosieposie

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Re: The influence of Pierre Gilliard on Alexei
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2007, 07:21:42 AM »
I have to say there is some great photos of Alexei with Pierre Gilliard.  Their body language speaks for it self they were great friends even though they were ment to be Teacher Student.

AaronGlaeser

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Re: The influence of Pierre Gilliard on Alexei
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2007, 12:15:09 PM »
Sorry for the late reply.  I have been dreadfully swamped at work, and with numerous personal issues. 

With regards to the question of the translation of the word vospitatiet, that is correct.  In this role, Pierre had a great influential role over the development of Alexei.  However, part of that was to be a source of discipline.  This was a difficult role for Pierre to assume, and at times posed quite the rift between the two.  Apart from the role of  disciplinarian, Pierre was also a great source of information for Alexei.  Their was a mutual trust and understanding.

Mr Harrison’s question about the effect that this relationship had on Alexei is a great question.  I fully believe that the relationship between Pierre and Alexei transcended the typical teacher/student relationship.  There was a definite friendship between these two kindred spirits.  From Pierre, Alexei learned knowledge of the world around him.  Pierre, as opposed to the Russians present, did not totally fear saying things are they were.  He would not shy away from presenting the absolute truth to Alexei.  From Alexei, Pierre learned the true meaning of faith and charisma.  In all of the suffering that he had witnessed Alexei experience, he also witnessed an unwavering faith in God.  So in a nutshell the pupil learned much from his teacher and the teacher learned much from his pupil.  There was a move made over ten years ago with the American Actor, Mel Gibson(He also directed it), it was called, ‘The Man Without a Face’.  I would equate the relationship between Pierre Gilliard and the Tsarevich as being close to the teacher/student friendship present in this film—of course without the controversy at the end. 

Sarushka, also mentioned the trust that the IF placed in Pierre.  This is ABSOLUTELY the case.  There is no way that if Nicholas and Alexandra did not place the utmost of trust in Pierre Gilliard that he would have never been appointed to such a position.  I believe that given the trust placed in Pierre, by the IF, as witnessed by Alexei further developed and enforced the blossoming friendship between the two.  As overbearing and overprotective that Nicholas and especially Alexandra were with regards to their son, for them to so fully endorse Pierre, shined fully as a sign to Alexei that Pierre was trustworthy. 

I hope this helps,

Aaron Glaeser

azrael7171918

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Re: The influence of Pierre Gilliard on Alexei
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2007, 01:57:59 PM »
 OT

 Mr Glaeser what ever became of your film about Alexie?

Azrael

dmitri

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Re: The influence of Pierre Gilliard on Alexei
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2007, 01:04:00 PM »
This was quite substantial. Gilliard knew all the imperial children extremely well. No doubt that is the reason why those who support imposters choose to insult him so much as he knew these children and could tell an imposter a mile off. He exposed them and for his honesty he was villified. It must have truly been heartbreaking for him to know the fate of these children who he knew so well. 

lulururu

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Re: The influence of Pierre Gilliard on Alexei
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2008, 03:48:05 PM »
Nicolas II knew that his own education had been really bad. He didn't really leave his palaces to encounter people. His father Alexander III was much more charismatic than him and didn't let Nicolas exercise the power. His tutor, Pobiedonostsev, was a real defender of the absolute dictatorship. Since he was 11, Nicolas had to follow a strict military and ideological education. There are other examples but Nicolas knew that this education was very bad and he didn't want his son to receive the same education.
Pierre Gilliard, who was an excellent teacher, understood the problem of Alexei's personality : first he seemed to hurt himself (at the beginning Gilliard didn't know that Alexei was hemophiliac but at least he knew that the health of Alexei was fragile), he felt intentionally, jumped into water without precaution etc, but in fact Gilliard understood that the problem wasn't Alexei but the fact that he was protected day and night by bodyguards ! In a way, Alexei felt invincible. Then, Gilliard noticed that Alexei was totally alone (Nicolas II knew it was a bad thing but his son's illness prevented him from letting Alexei play with other children) and it's a very bad thing for a future emperor who has to be close from his people in order to understand their problems !
Gilliard decided to show the "real" Russia to the tsarevich (most of the time without bodyguards and with the tsar's and empress' approval !) and made him talk with ordinary persons (who didn't recognize him... but once they recognized him and Alexei was terrified by the extreme excitement around him even if, at this time, the persons were happy to see him...). Gilliard also allowed Alexei to have friends : he could discover the house and the life of an ordinary Russian family.   
Well, Pierre Gilliard had a huge influence on Alexei and he knew it ! He didn't want the tsarevich to deny the tsarism (Gilliard was a democrat) but he wanted Alexei not to be alone or far from the Russian people in order to be as well prepared as he could be to become an excellent emperor ! And, yes, they must have been friends because they knew each other since Alexei's birth (or since Alexei was 1) !

AaronGlaeser

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Re: The influence of Pierre Gilliard on Alexei
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2008, 08:14:47 PM »
LULURURU,

Thank you for your insights.  As someone who has put much time and research into the lives of Alexei Nicholaevich and Pierre Gillaird, I would have to say that you almost hit the nail right on the head(I don’t mean this as sarcastic or an insult.  I sincerely appreciate what you wrote.). 

I rarely post on this forum.  However at times I become very compelled to do so.  This is one of those times. 

The main thing that inspired me to research and write The Testament, a screenplay about the lives of Alexei and Pierre, are the countless questions of the true nature of their friendship.  As I moved deeper and deeper into this wonderful story, I discovered an untold drama at its epicenter. 

In addition to what I previously wrote on this thread, I would like to add another aspect of it as well as add to what lulururu said.

In the United States, among the fans of sports there are, what we call fair weather fans.  These individuals only cheer for the winning and chic sports team.  If Pierre’s motives were anything but genuine, he would have left when the IF fell from power, just like Derevenko(The sailor, not the doctor).  Then the question becomes, were Pierre’s motives genuine from the beginning?  Well that’s up for much debate.  I for one think that they were.  However, as Pierre got to know more and more about Alexei, those motives became exponentially more genuine than they were before.

By lulururu saying that he would need to understand Russia in order to be an effective leader, is, like I said almost hitting the nail right on the head.  You were almost there lulururu.  In Pierre’s own words as written in his memoirs, ‘he is sensitive to the suffering in others, simply by the fact that he has suffered so much himself.’  Alexei already had the personal experience to lead Russia into the 20th Century.  Pierre saw that this difficult foundation was already in place.  That is why, in addition to a genuine friendship, he was not a fair weather fan.  He knew Alexei could be an excellent leader for Russia.  That is why he worked so hard to give Alexei the knowledge to attain this goal.

How do we grow as people . . . through our life experiences.  How do we become more productive in society . . . through knowledge.  Knowledge can be gained through studying and reading books, yet life experiences are gained through rare acts of fate or God.

I'm adding this as a last minute addition:  There was a point, I don't recall off hand when this occured, but Alexei became very uncomfortable when some Russians bowed before him--Pierre witnessed this and is described in his memoirs.  In addition to what I previously wrote this also had a profound influence on the nature of Pierre's relationship with Alexei.  In this simple act of nervousness, I am compelled to believe--as written in the screenplay-- that this furthered the conviction of Pierre.  What Russia needed at this point in history was a leader who understood the sufferings experienced by decades of survitude(sp?--typing right now like shooting from the hip without spellcheck--I love the hell our of some spell checking those red lines are awesome), also at this point in history they wanted and desired--the Russians that is--for a leader who was not above them, but who was their equal.  Alexei's nervousness when being reveared(sp?) was a definite indication of someone who could have lead the Russian People into the 20th Century in a peaceful way so as to avoid the suffering of decades of oppressive communist dictatorship and restored not only faith in the monarch but faith in themselves as a country; something that was quite deficient(sp?) during the cold war.  After the spelling disaster of this paragraph, without Microsoft word spellcheck my name is Aaron Glaeser and I am not smarter than a fifth grader.  LOL!

Anyway, back to the point at hand.  The main thing that separated my screenplay from other film attempts regarding the IF was that I ripped them from the history books and gave them their emotions and feelings back.  That is why I have the entire screenplay told(The begining and the end) from the 1960s in the year the Pierre died(Titanic style).  His tragedy here is that not only did he loose friendships when the IF was assassinated, he saw all of his efforts over 13 years turn out to be in vain, plus he know what Russia could have been under the leadership of a Tsar Alexei II, yet witnessed the suffering of a nation at the hands of the communists. 

Aaron


« Last Edit: February 19, 2008, 08:33:25 PM by AaronGlaeser »