Author Topic: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated  (Read 293810 times)

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Offline historyfan

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Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #540 on: October 05, 2009, 08:31:15 PM »
I'm happy to join Pavlov in the firing line!

Alexandra's period of political power was a disaster. Obviously her actions were not the sole cause of the Revolution, but were certainly one of a number of major factors (of course, Nicholas was partly to blame for leaving her in charge).

I also agree with Pavlov that Alexandra was by no means a perfect parent. Machine gun nests will no doubt spring up in front of me when I say that I am not a parent myself, but to my mind a good parent needs to have some objectivity about their children and to be able to step back from them, particularly once they are teenagers. What is best for an individual child is not necessarily what their parents want for them (just to take a fairly mundane example, one of my current students spent a period unhappily studying dentistry because that was what her parents, both dentists, wanted, despite her having no interest whatever). Alexandra had no objectivity at all. Oh yes, she loved her children, obsessively so, but she isolated them from ordinary life, she over-protected Alexei to an extreme degree, and fell under the spell of a charlatan, for that, to me, is what Rasputin was. Pavlov makes the very good point that Alexei was in good health from the time of Rasputin's death up to the accident in Tobolsk 16 months later. He also spent several months in total at the Stavka, and was in good health for most of that time, in fact, apart from the nosebleed at the Stavka, he enjoyed the best health of his life from 1915 up to March 1918 (and the Tobolsk accident looks largely self-inflicted). Partly, of course, that was because he was getting older and less likely to have minor knocks, but he was still managing without Rasputin. I would be most interested to see how Alexandra's sister Irene dealt with having not one but two haemophiliac sons - I suspect very differently.

I, for one, become incensed when her parenting ability is criticised.  Not you, Kalafrana, but generally.  Only because parents, mothers in general, are judged constantly, and harshly.  Then, and now.  The judgment doesn't let up.  I don't know one mother who would disagree with me.  And I know no mothers who are Empresses.  : P  Her parenting ability has no bearing whatsoever on her ability as an Empress, just as any working mother's parenting has no bearing on her job as a lawyer, or teacher, or cocktail waitress.

We can all say what she "should" or "should not" have done differently in regards to her children, but we can say the same about any one of us.

Offline Terence

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Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #541 on: October 06, 2009, 12:15:45 AM »
I never suggested that anyone should take my opinion or anyone else's as solid truth, I was only mentioning that the same questions have been asked of me and answered by me several times.  i.e. why I think it was "child abuse" etc.  I have explained that many times.

Ah - I see now that your previous post was a reply to Terrance; I had thought it was directed at the whole board....

Huh?  Where did I suggest that Alixz said "anyone should take my opinion or anyone else's as solid truth".  Here's my post..

In the end no matter how wonderful she was in her personal life, I believe that subjecting her children to the likes of Rasputin was akin to child endangerment and child abuse.  I believe that showed her selfish side.

The only thing Rasputin did as "her anchor" was to pull her down to his level and in the end to drown her.

Well we all know it didn't end well, that's certainly an understatement.  But IMO to raise these charges is too much.  She used this man to save the life of her child.  I don't see where it endangered her other children unless you assume Rasputin was the cause of the Revolution, and I find that very tenuous.  There was a lot more involved than Raspy!

T

I simply expressed an opinion on another's opinion.  Her charges seemed excessive to me, as apparently they did to you.  Since then Alixz has explained that opinion in more detail.  Such is the exchange of ideas.  I thought that was what you found lacking here lately Janet.

I guess Alixz can explain, but I certainly didn't it take as directed at me in particular, but rather at the the general discussion.  Ah, the fun of message boards when you can't get the in person nuances. :)

Best regards,
T

BTW it's TERENCE, but Terry or T is just fine
« Last Edit: October 06, 2009, 12:18:31 AM by Terence »

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #542 on: October 06, 2009, 03:47:17 AM »
Janet

I am trying to have a sensible debate, and would be happy to see the points you would like to make.

Kalafrana

Alixz

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Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #543 on: October 06, 2009, 09:34:09 AM »
I think that the replies are getting tangled.  What might have been meant as a reply to me is being taken as a reply to an other's post.

Alexandra has been slandered and hated over the past 100 or so years.

Many mothers have children with disabilities and do not run to the nearest two faced "starets" to get help.

I just said that I don't buy the "sterling mother" mitigation for her other mistakes.  She was not a private person.  She was not first a parent but an Empress.

I truly believe that Rasputin did nothing for Alexei.  He did more for the mental attitude of Alexandra.  Ultimately he dragged her down to his level whether she deserved to be there or not.

Alexandra's whole reaction to Alexei's illness was one of hysteria - not common sense.


Offline PAVLOV

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Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #544 on: October 06, 2009, 09:44:04 AM »
Here is a quote from a book written by a senior member of the court, which relates to the general behaviour of Tsarevich Alexis, who by all accounts sounds like a spoilt brat :

   " From morning to night the Tsarevitch is told that his existence is so precious to his parents and that no caprice of his is to be allowed to pass without being at once gratified. He is constantly impressed with his own importance, and already knows very well his rights, though he entirely ignores his duties. Arrogant by nature, this arrogance is fostered instead of being corrected. No one is allowed to rebuke him, or even to contradict him. The Tsarevitch beats his sisters, tyrannises over his servants, and whenever anyone attempts to correct him he instantly threatens the unfortuanate person with all kinds of punishments " Training he recieves none, and education very little.

This together with appalling table manners, licking plates etc, and humiliating senior ministers in public, in the presence of his father, who's only comment was " You will find it more difficult dealing with my son than with me" certainly indicates a lack of basic parenting skills, irrespective of whom they were.

So was she such a great parent ?

This together with the fact that the 4 girls were separated from children their own age, denied access to the real world, and having to live in their mother's " dream world" does not seem to me to be what a parent should do for their children.    


Alixz

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Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #545 on: October 06, 2009, 09:49:17 AM »
I do not take it personally. You are just impolite, and offensive. It is clear that you are rude.  I think we should all respect each others opinion on this forum. If we don't, there is no point is there ?
Please don't be rude in future, you turn people off.

If you find this Forum boring, go away and post on a forum that is more interesting, and where you can insult people.

The people on this forum are all very nice, and your attitude is uncalled for.
 
Subject closed.


Pavlov - the people on this forum are very nice but everyone is entitled to disagree for what ever reason.

I don't know who you were telling to go away, and that is why I said that the replies seemed to be getting tangled.  Please use the name of the person you are replying to or the reply# so that we can all get on the same page.

As for me, I can't go away.  In case you missed it, I am one of the moderators here.  I would be remiss in my job if I "went away".

But even though I am a moderator, I am still entitled to my personal opinion which I always designate as mine and not historical fact or the opinion of the Forum by adding IMHO,

So  IMHO - Alexandra was at least one can short of a six pack when she was dealing with Rasputin.  Her "sterling parenting" skills (which I still don't believe in) do not mitigate the impossible situation she created by trying to run a country she had never taken any interest in before the war.

Nicholas is to blame.  If believed himself to be an autocrat, then he could not turn over his duties in St. Petersburg to "wifey - who wears trousers unseen".

And finally, I could be a "sterling parent" and a terrible accountant.  Hopefully I am neither.  I would like to think that I handle both jobs with equal aplomb.  I would not want to leave either my son or my fellows employees in the mess that Alexandra left hers in.  

Her children were raised in a cloistered existence which left them young for their years and she made political decisions that she then thrust on her "weak willed hubby".  All the while hysterically trying to "protect the dynasty for Baby".

Can one ever be a "partner" to an autocrat?  I don't know since I have never been one, but Marie Feodorovna did a pretty good job of it and she lost every one of her sons without running to a "two faced starets" for help in coping.

« Last Edit: October 06, 2009, 09:53:18 AM by Alixz »

Alixz

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Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #546 on: October 06, 2009, 09:54:10 AM »
Oops - looks like we crossed replies again.

Alixz

Offline PAVLOV

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Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #547 on: October 06, 2009, 10:02:24 AM »
By the way, I dont think that it is a prerequisite for anyone to be a parent to be able to judge what is right or wrong in the upbringing of children. We were all brought up by parents who made mistakes. I think all that is needed is intelligence, dicipline and good old fashioned common sense, and needless to say many other things you learn as you go along. Most parents learn as they go along.

I agree that Rasputin had very little influence on Alexei,and more on her. Before Rasputin, came all the other "mystics" and spiritualists. So she was vulnerable to mysticism already, and I think easily influenced by this sort of thing.
I venture to agree strongly with Alixz that Alexandra's response to her sons illness was not normal. Instead of being level headed and sensible, she was hysterical and irrational. What a disaster, she may have been well intentioned, but had no guidance from anyone. If only she had a had opened herself to a circle of intelligent supportive friends she may have handled the situation differently. But she shut everyone and everything out.        

Offline PAVLOV

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Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #548 on: October 06, 2009, 10:14:07 AM »
Alizx, my comments were not directed at you ! And yes,I can see you are a moderator. It was directed at someone who was in my opinion impolite.
The answers and posts are certainly getting tangled here.
 
My apologies to you, if you thought I was targetting you. 


Alixz

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Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #549 on: October 06, 2009, 10:25:02 AM »
PAVLOV

Thanks you for your kind clarification.  I think we are all beginning to react like the famous dogs.  Jump first - think later.

Being a parent is the one job that no one ever needs or gets a degree for.  One needs a license to drive and one must register to vote, but one need not have any kind of certificate to become a parent.

It is so sad.

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #550 on: October 07, 2009, 03:29:23 AM »
'Alexandra's whole reaction to Alexei's illness was one of hysteria - not common sense.'

This sums up Alexandra's attitude entirely. This is one reason why I would be most interested to know how her sister Irene managed with two haemophiliac sons, also Ena of Spain (two haemophiliac sons and a third who became deaf-mute as a result of measles). Alice of Athlone also had a haemophiliac son, though she does not say in her book that that is what he had, and makes no mention of his health except in connection with his death (after a car accident, aged 21). Not much is written about Alice's son Rupert, but he seems to have grown up to have been a reasonably well-balanced and pleasant young man, certainly nothing like as spoilt and badly behaved as Alexei was wont to be when not getting his own way.

Shutting her daughters off from ordinary friendships with girls their own age is pretty unhealthy. Their only girl first cousin was Irina, but surely there were plenty of well-brought-up girls of about the same age among the daughters of the household. And then there was the absolute terror of the influence of Russian aristocrats. There were a lot of dubious goings-on among the aristocracy, but all I have read suggests that aristocratic men did not have affairs with unmarried girls of their own class (this was one reason why Alexander II's liaison with Ekaterina Dolgorukaya was so scandalous). Surely the worst that was likely to happen was that one of the girls might be held a bit close in the waltz, or spend rather a long time chatting in the garden between dances.

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Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #551 on: October 07, 2009, 07:44:13 AM »
While I know that Olga N and her sisters were very happy in Russia, by the time Queen Olga of Greece was 16, she was married to Alix's brother.  I would have thought that visits between the Grecian relatives and the Russians would have been more common.  Not just between Prince George of Greece and the Tsarevich Nicholas.

How cool would it have been for Olga N and Tatiana to visit their somewhat young "Aunt Olga" and Olga's children who were also their first cousins.

Because Alix had many siblings and everyone of them except Ella had children their were many "first cousins" not just the Russian ones on Nicholas's side.

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #552 on: October 07, 2009, 08:49:35 AM »
Alixz

I was thinking of the Russian first cousins, as the ones who lived close by and were in a position to see regularly and have ordinary friendships with. They had plenty of first cousins outside Russia, but could only have seen them occasionally. 

Offline historyfan

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Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #553 on: October 07, 2009, 08:19:13 PM »
How cool would it have been for Olga N and Tatiana to visit their somewhat young "Aunt Olga" and Olga's children who were also their first cousins.


They did - before WW1, they visited Aunt Olga lots.  This according to Ian Vorres in his biography of Olga A.

Olga's children were born during the Revolution - they never knew the Grand Duchesses.  : (

Offline Helen

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Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #554 on: October 08, 2009, 02:41:09 AM »
While I know that Olga N and her sisters were very happy in Russia, by the time Queen Olga of Greece was 16, she was married to Alix's brother.  I would have thought that visits between the Grecian relatives and the Russians would have been more common.  
Alixz, which Alix were you referring to? Alix - as in Nicholas II's wife - had one brother, Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig of Hesse, who was first married to Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and then to Eleonore of Solms-Hohensolms-Lich, but not to Queen Olga of Greece.
"The Correspondence of the Empress Alexandra of Russia with Ernst Ludwig and Eleonore, Grand Duke and Duchess of Hesse. 1878-1916"  -  http://www.bod.de/index.php?id=296&objk_
"Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig and Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine in Italy - 1893"