Author Topic: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated  (Read 293808 times)

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Offline Janet Ashton

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Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #630 on: October 23, 2009, 03:21:48 PM »

Janet

I have no intention of any personal insults - I am simply disagreeing with you and using my own experience to justify my disagreement. If the way I express myself comes across as a personal insult, then I apologise

Ann

It's Ok - I didn't mean to sound as if I was offended - or attacking you with my view of "normal" kids! - I suppose I just feel that when we get into trading personal experience it doesn't really advance the argument in historical terms because it does come down to questions of comparing values and that can get dodgy!
(I wasn't planning not to read the thread again lest I was tempted to start arguing, but I'm glad I did as things have settled own - and if I hadn't I wouldn't have seen Alixz's news!)
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you -
Ye are many; they are few.

Offline Janet Ashton

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Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #631 on: October 23, 2009, 03:29:02 PM »


As to people dying from "imaginary" illnesses, it does happen.  Also medical mistakes can cause deafness and blindness and other physical impairments.

The example I was thinking of was this poor woman whose kids were at school with me. She was forever having treatment that involved being flown to London, and she looked ill and distracted all the time. Everyone was prone to doubt her and think she enjoyed her afflictions - until she died of a chronic kidney complaint.

Your bone problem sounds very alarming for you - of course you aren't thinking of the internet! The anticipation of a big procedure is always awful, but I am sure it will go swimmingly and you will be back on top of things in no time! It's very lucky they found it and your persistence paid off.
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you -
Ye are many; they are few.

Offline Janet Ashton

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Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #632 on: October 23, 2009, 03:41:45 PM »


Did Alexandra really come from a healthy family? We don't know what ages Alexandra and Ella would have reached if they had not been murdered, but your reference to Ernst Ludwig's, Victoria's and Irene's long and seemingly healthy lives does give a slightly distorted picture, as Ernst Ludwig, Victoria and Irene were just 3 out of the 7 children of Grand Duke Ludwig IV and Alice. Ella almost certainly had a hysterectomy in January 1908 and she may have suffered from kidney problems in earlier years, around 1895. Their brother Frederick was a haemophiliac, so wasn't a healthy child either. And May died from diphtheria as a child. Even if May had had a long and healthy life, the score would be that 3 out of 7 (42,9%) of the children were not the strongest and healthiest. And then there was Grand Duke Ludwig IV himself, who died relatively young, at the age of 54. I haven't seen his medical files, but Ernst Ludwig's biographer Manfred Knodt wrote that Ludwig IV died from a cerebrovasculair accident connected with a heart condition he had suffered from for quite some time.

Victoria also had problems with her circulation, and - I believe - both she and Ella had rheumatic issues which must have some relationship to Alexandra's sciatica - her first problem. According to Ilana, Irene had some form of gynaeological problem - and indeed Miss Jackson and others worried a great deal about her as an adolescent, around the time she began menstruating, and over-protected her (in the view of her sisters). As she was a haemophilic carrier, it may be that she was a symptomatic carrier who had very heavy periods. Alexandra seems to have had menstrual migraine, which is really common. As her children were all very large at birth, someone has suggested to me that she may have had gestational diabetes - and possibly even diabetes itself, which would explain the exhaustion at times. At any rate, I don't think it's too far-fetched to wonder if all those pregnancies - more than any of her sisters - damaged her health (possibly her heart).

Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you -
Ye are many; they are few.

Offline imperial angel

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Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #633 on: October 23, 2009, 03:42:36 PM »
I sometimes think the title of this thread should be changed to Alexandra: Controversial and Debated. For someone who has been dead for almost a century, she can still give rise to great debate. Alexandra in my view was a very rigid person who believed what she believed and that was it. She didn't listen to others, but she didn't have good judgment, and she could have had a better attitude towards life. In the end though, we will never know her, so opinions are just that.

Offline blessOTMA

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Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #634 on: October 23, 2009, 04:08:22 PM »
 
Quote
Alexandra in my view was a very rigid person who believed what she believed and that was it. She didn't listen to others, but she didn't have good judgment, and she could have had a better attitude towards life. In the end though, we will never know her, so opinions are just that.

Indeed. I was thinking being raised in the tiny duchy of Hesse and or  with Queen Victoria, would not prepare such a person for being a sovereign in Russia during  the 20th century  . In both those places the Duke or the Queen did as they liked  with little consequences to the throne. But in my opinion  Nicholas and Alexandra needed to be in St Petersburg more and hole up in Tsarkoe Selo less.

And I can understand St. P society condemning someone who wouldn't give her gown royal daughters balls or parties and yet right away, subjected them to WW1 war wounds and nursing.... Where is a healthy balance in that ?  It is said Alexandra  was planning parties and such for the big pair  for the fall of 1914...and yet her parents  were trying to get Olga engaged to Carol during the summer. How many balls and parties would an engaged woman go to? Not many I'm thinking.

I think it's wonderful the GD did nursing, but they should have had the fun times too.
Thankfully because of  their Aunt, Olga A ,and their grandmother steping  in , they did .
Other wise for Olga and Tatiana would have been dolls,  needle work and then....speed forward to war wounds
 

"Give my love to all who remember me."

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Offline historyfan

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Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #635 on: October 23, 2009, 09:27:40 PM »
Alixz!  I will be thinking of you on the 28th and I send you my thoughts and prayers for a quick and smooth recovery. 

Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #636 on: October 24, 2009, 05:21:52 AM »
Janet

'It's Ok - I didn't mean to sound as if I was offended - or attacking you with my view of "normal" kids! - I suppose I just feel that when we get into trading personal experience it doesn't really advance the argument in historical terms because it does come down to questions of comparing values and that can get dodgy!'

Don't worry - I'm just treading a little carefully at present.

Though I agree with you that comparing values can be dangerous when trying to come to a realistic conclusion about a historical person, it is rather difficult to avoid. I think we all tend to process information through our own mindset and though the factual information may be the same, the interpretation may be quite different. To take an example relevant to our differing views of Alexandra, some years ago the British politician William Hague had an operation on his sinuses, and the newspapers noted, apparently approvingly,  that Mrs Hague took a couple of days off work to look after him. Having had the same operation a few months before, I was of the view that Mr Hague was a big boy now and could quite safely be left for a few hours  in a centrally heated house with a jug of orange juice, and all that was needed from his wife was a quick telephone call at lunchtime! On the one hand, Mrs Hague - devoted wife. On the other - Mr and Mrs making a lot of unnecessary fuss. Same information, different interpretation.

Ann

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Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #637 on: October 24, 2009, 09:18:56 AM »
Alixz!  I will be thinking of you on the 28th and I send you my thoughts and prayers for a quick and smooth recovery. 

I send my prayers and thoughts too.

Alixz

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Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #638 on: October 24, 2009, 09:47:25 AM »
I am not sure why any of us should be offended by one anothers views on Alexandra.

They are just that, our views.

It is as if we take it all so seriously as if we are the ones being discussed not Alexandra and our views on her.

And I don't think it matters that she was Empress of all the Russians.  That shouldn't mean that she deserves more respect than anyone else than we would discuss here.

I want to thank everyone for their kind words and thoughts.  I am embarrassed now that I posted so much.  I normally don't get into personal problems on the forum.  But it is scary to think how many people get the wrong diagnosis or are written off as "complainers" by their doctors.

However, as I quote from the show ER.  "What do you call the med student who graduated last in his class?"

The answer is "Doctor".

Offline historyfan

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Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #639 on: October 24, 2009, 08:48:02 PM »
I am not sure why any of us should be offended by one anothers views on Alexandra.

They are just that, our views.

It is as if we take it all so seriously as if we are the ones being discussed not Alexandra and our views on her.

And I don't think it matters that she was Empress of all the Russians.  That shouldn't mean that she deserves more respect than anyone else than we would discuss here.

I want to thank everyone for their kind words and thoughts.  I am embarrassed now that I posted so much.  I normally don't get into personal problems on the forum.  But it is scary to think how many people get the wrong diagnosis or are written off as "complainers" by their doctors.

However, as I quote from the show ER.  "What do you call the med student who graduated last in his class?"

The answer is "Doctor".

Ha!  Good quote!

You're right.  It is being taken seriously, and I'm one of the guilty!  I don't know what it is, but I've mainly refrained from replying to this thread because it makes me angry!  I feel so defensive as regards Alexandra.  I don't understand it myself, so there's no way I could attempt to explain it to anyone else.  : P  I baffle me.  lol

Offline blessOTMA

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Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #640 on: October 24, 2009, 09:01:49 PM »
I'm not an admirer of Alexandra....however she produced OTMA and I have to highly  prasie her for that indeed ! ;)

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Offline wildone

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Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #641 on: October 24, 2009, 09:45:20 PM »
I've been reading this thread with fascination.  You all have such interesting arguments. : )  I sympathize with Alix, but I don't tend to feel defensive about her unless she is being compared disfavorably to Ella.  I just don't see what is so great about Ella.  She was more social and she hated Rasputin -- that's it.  Of course she started a convent and helped a lot of people, which is deserving of praise.  However, that does not make her better than Alix, who might have done the same thing if she did not have a family, and who did a lot of admirable work during the war.  Moreover, those who favor Ella tend to favor even pre-convent Ella over Alix, no doubt aided by accounts from people like Marie of Romania (who strongly favored Ella and disliked Alix).  Ella was prettier.  Ella was preferred by Russian high society.  Ella was more selfless.  Etc., etc.  Except for the views of Russian society, I don't think any of that is true.   

Offline blessOTMA

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Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #642 on: October 25, 2009, 01:02:36 AM »
  Moreover, those who favor Ella tend to favor even pre-convent Ella over Alix, no doubt aided by accounts from people like Marie of Romania (who strongly favored Ella and disliked Alix).  Ella was prettier.  Ella was preferred by Russian high society.  Ella was more selfless.  Etc., etc.  Except for the views of Russian society, I don't think any of that is true.   

Well if  one reads the account of another Marie,  "Education of a Princess" 1931  by GD Marie Paul....  one would see
she agrees with your view of Ella. Her portrait of Ella is chilling to say the least. Ella and her husband GD Serge raised Marie and her brother Dmitri...who spent much time with the IF. 

"Give my love to all who remember me."

  Olga Nikolaevna

Offline wildone

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Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #643 on: October 25, 2009, 01:40:25 AM »
  Moreover, those who favor Ella tend to favor even pre-convent Ella over Alix, no doubt aided by accounts from people like Marie of Romania (who strongly favored Ella and disliked Alix).  Ella was prettier.  Ella was preferred by Russian high society.  Ella was more selfless.  Etc., etc.  Except for the views of Russian society, I don't think any of that is true.   

Well if  one reads the account of another Marie,  "Education of a Princess" 1931  by GD Marie Paul....  one would see
she agrees with your view of Ella. Her portrait of Ella is chilling to say the least. Ella and her husband GD Serge raised Marie and her brother Dmitri...who spent much time with the IF. 

I haven't read the book, but I've heard that Marie Pavlovna is pretty critical of Ella (her account of kissing Ella on the neck and getting a harsh rebuke is repeated in book after book), and I'm not sure I would subscribe to her views either.  Ella seemed to have a sweet/kind/selfless side, and a myopic/cold/self-absorbed side... like many people.  The Ella who did so much work for the needy and during the war was the same one who desperately tried to overlook her husband's controversial role in the massacre of peasants, and who expressed profound relief at the murder of Rasputin.  She was in many ways admirable, but in my eyes (if not the Russian Orthodox believers'), she is no saint.

No problem, except that some people have elevated her high above Alix -- even based on their lives before they came to Russia.  As if it were a character flaw for Alix to be deep-thinking and serious, and to not want to play hostess at her brother's parties all night long (after he became Grand Duke).  Obviously her shyness did not help her in Russia, but it is not clear that she would have been so much better off if she had been more social.  (Note that mere shyness/lack of sociability is a different thing from isolating yourself completely, which the Imperial couple did later and which did harm them significantly.)  Ella was more social -- everyone (save Marie Pavlovna) seemed to love her, so therefore she would have made a better Empress, etc.  That she never would have been Empress seems beside the point.

Offline blessOTMA

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Re: Alexandra - Slandered and Hated
« Reply #644 on: October 25, 2009, 02:46:01 AM »
 
Quote
Well if  one reads the account of another Marie,  "Education of a Princess" 1931  by GD Marie Paul....  one would see
she agrees with your view of Ella. Her portrait of Ella is chilling to say the least. Ella and her husband GD Serge raised Marie and her brother Dmitri...who spent much time with the IF. 
 

I haven't read the book, but I've heard that Marie Pavlovna is pretty critical of Ella (her account of kissing Ella on the neck and getting a harsh rebuke is repeated in book after book), and I'm not sure I would subscribe to her views either. 



The book is quite good. I think anyone interested in this topic would enjoy it . It's an interesting account of being a child at the twilight etc and all that happened afterwards. Marie Pavlovna ( thank you for the spelling ) gives quite a few examples and maintains Ella was jealous of the children's place in GD Serge's affections. She also has much to say about Ella's religious streak . However she does praise Ella for her fortitude when GD Serge was assassinated.

Ella seemed to have a sweet/kind/selfless side, and a myopic/cold/self-absorbed side... like many people. 


I would say  Ella and Alexandra shared many traits! But even I say Alexandra seems  a good deal warmer. I think the difference was  that the children she was raising were hers. Ella seemed not able to connect with Marie and Dmitri at all.

If their positions were reversed, perhaps those who think Ella far above Alexandra  would change their minds . I frankly don't think either sister would excel at being the Empress  20th cent. Russia needed.

However Alexandra of the two,  was the  Empress , so she comes in for the criticisms. I think some people praise  Ella  merely a way to slam Alexandra as much if not more  than to just  praise Ella . But I do think the lack of a decent social season for 23 years created a great bitterness. There is our own likes and dislikes  and then there is our duty. It was Alexandra's duty get out of the mauve room more.  It's unfortunate she grew up  watching  Queen Victoria hide at Balmoral because she  drew the wrong lesson from it.


 

"Give my love to all who remember me."

  Olga Nikolaevna