Author Topic: Alexandra as Empress and Mother  (Read 123098 times)

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Offline Raegan

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Re: Alexandra as Empress and Mother
« Reply #210 on: November 19, 2007, 08:41:02 AM »
I believe you all are referring to a letter Tatiana wrote to her father.

October 27, Tsarskoe Selo, p.262. no date

"Yesterday we were playing with the pillows. Mother was with us. She jumped into the pillows and fell through them."

http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/tdiaries.html

Offline koloagirl

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Re: Alexandra as Empress and Mother
« Reply #211 on: November 19, 2007, 07:13:57 PM »

Aloha all!

Well it certainly appears that Alexandra was playing with the girls - and with pillows -- so I'll keep my mental image of her enjoying a good old-fashioned pillow fight after all!

Janet R.


Sometimes it doesn't seem all that hard to imagine - at least in some of her pictures!
Janet R.

Offline anna11

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Re: Alexandra as Empress and Mother
« Reply #212 on: November 24, 2007, 05:29:21 PM »
I think the 'isolated' Romanov children is a bit of a myth. Certain isolation would come from their position, don't you think? Daughters of the Tsar? They talked with officers freely on the Standart, Aunt Olga took them out to town, they were allowed to wonder around by themselves on visits to England etc. And if Alexandra was as over protevtive as people say, I don't think she would have let them be exposed to bleeding dieing, and probably naked men.

I don't think 'good mother' can really be defined. Certainly Alix was not a 'bad mother', but I don't think you can define that either. Alix raised her children how she thought was best, she spent time with them, looked after them and tried to turn them out as good as possible. That's all any mother can do.

And again, sorry about spelling.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2007, 05:36:23 PM by anna11 »


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Offline pandora

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Re: Alexandra as Empress and Mother
« Reply #213 on: December 08, 2007, 09:26:19 AM »
I agree with you, Anna11, regarding the "good mother, bad mother" judgement. Since there isn't a book, per se, one has to go by when being a mother this responsibility is sheerly a stab in the dark in what not to do. For the era Alexandra lived, I personally believe she was an excellent mother. Protocol required her to place Alexei ahead of her daughters because of his future in Russia. As far as the girls being isolated or overprotected, I think again the era required girls of their station in life to be protected or shielded from the world. Making good marriage matches was the primary goal of royal daughters.

Offline anna11

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Re: Alexandra as Empress and Mother
« Reply #214 on: January 12, 2008, 02:16:43 PM »
And also, the good mother bad mother judement aside, Alexandra was very good with her children, (and children in general I think) as in playing games with them and talking and joking with them. And they obviously really enjoyed her company, as she did them.


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Offline NAAOTMA

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Re: Alexandra as Empress and Mother
« Reply #215 on: January 13, 2008, 12:03:38 PM »
An important point has been made that Alix needs to be evaluated in terms of her peers and her era.

As far as being overprotective of her daughters, she does not seem to be any more than her Aunt Alix or her mother-in-law were.

Compared to the nonrelationship between MF and GD Olga, she was an involved parent in her daughter's everyday lives.

Her relationships with her children, when compared to those of Queen Mary, seem to be more natural and involved than Queen Mary's when set against modern standards.

Offline pandora

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Re: Alexandra as Empress and Mother
« Reply #216 on: January 20, 2008, 03:56:47 PM »
I can't agree with you more, NAAOTMA. In comparison to what I've read about Queen Mary for example, Alexandra would almost be viewed as a "hands-on" mother. She seemed to consider herself a wife and mother first then an Empress.

Offline dmitri

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Re: Alexandra as Empress and Mother
« Reply #217 on: January 20, 2008, 06:56:18 PM »
Yes this probably was the cause of her undoing. She needed to pay far more attention to undertaking in an appropriate manner with good advisers her role as Tsarina. Avoiding the task placed her beloved children in jeopardy.

Offline pandora

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Re: Alexandra as Empress and Mother
« Reply #218 on: January 20, 2008, 09:09:41 PM »
I seriously doubt being a wonderful mother was her "undoing" since she had nothing to personally "undo". As in any culture, being a wonderful mother, wife, help-mate is never considered wrong.

Offline dmitri

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Re: Alexandra as Empress and Mother
« Reply #219 on: January 20, 2008, 10:57:12 PM »
Of course not. Being a neglectful and inept Empress though tends to bring the entire society down.

Offline ChristineM

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Re: Alexandra as Empress and Mother
« Reply #220 on: January 21, 2008, 08:20:35 AM »
dmitri

YOU ARE GOING RATHER TOO FAR REGARDING YOUR NARKING CRITICISMS OF EMPRESS ALEXANDRA FEODOROVNA - MUCH OF IT BASED ON BOLSHEVIK PROPAGANDA AND INTER- FAMILY JEALOUSIES.

IF YOU - and any others who air similar views - DO NOT KNOW THAT BOB ATCHISON CREATED THIS ENTIRE WEBSITE (long before the Forum) IN MEMORY OF ALEXANDRA FEODOROVNA..... YOU DO NOW.

KINDLY BEAR THIS IN MIND AND DO NOT OFFEND YOUR HOST.

tsaria

Offline dmitri

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Re: Alexandra as Empress and Mother
« Reply #221 on: January 21, 2008, 09:57:21 AM »
I'm hardly offending any person who objectively examines Russian history. It is bizarre is the attitude that Alexandra Feodorovna was some sort of lily white innocent. That has never been the case. Historical fact clearly shows the role Alexandra Feodorovna played and that is not Bolshevik propaganda by any means. To suggest such is some form of unusual paranoia based on no historical fact. One would hardly call W.Bruce Lincoln, Robert Massie, Orlando Figes  and so many other reputable historians Bolsheviks. That is greatly offensive and grossly inaccurate. I have a great deal of sympathy for Alexandra as a mother and a wife and of course her end was absolutely dreadful. She was however hardly a success as Empress. In fact Alexander III and Maria Feodorovna tried to prevent the marriage with all possible means until his ill-health forced their hand. Of course the majority of the Romanov family turned against Alexandra Feodorovna as well. That is well documented. They can't have all been wrong either. Even her sister Elizabeth was rejected and admonished by Alexandra when all she was doing was trying to warn her. Everybody who wanted to help tried to warn her. The Russian people called Alexandra "Nemka" and other charming terms. She was not at all popular. Even early on in the reign it was widely stated that she came to us behind a coffin. That is not Bolshevik propaganda either. It is well worth doing research to note that Alexandra was deeply flawed. It is worth watching "Love and Revolution" in theexcellent  "A Royal Family" series made for Danish Television. It is very well made and gives a very good view of Alexandra and other Romanovs including her mother-in-law who many here deeply malign in an unusual attempt to make it all Maria Feodorovna's fault for poor Alexandra experiencing problems. Others also put the entire blame on Alexander III. Very few historians would take such a viewpoint at all seriously. An accompanying book is also available. I wonder how many who come out with the angelic Alexandra ideas have ever been to Russia and made any attempt to investigate Alexandra seriously? She is not viewed with any great care apart from her devotion as a Mother and wife. I would suggest some examination of how the Romanovs today view Alexandra as well. There is sympathy for her as an individual, but a thorough understanding of the role she played in causing great problems for Russia during the last reign along with her husband is a common and accurate assessment. In fact members of the Danish Royal family have described her as an hysteric. That is based on numerous relations and their recorded viewpoints. Kaiserin Friedrich and Queen Victoria also had a clearer opinion of Alexandra than some do here. She was not an angel although she has been declared a passion bearer Saint many decades after her tragic end. I would hope people look beyond the love story and search for historical truth. The role of mother and wife was only one aspect of Alexandra's life. It is perhaps not wise to concentrate on the role of mother for too long as when she wedded Nicholas she became Empress of Russia. Even before this she was created a Russian Grand Duchess by Alexander III. Alexandra was not a private citizen. She had enormous influence and power with her husband Nicholas II over the destiny of millions of ordinary Russians. I wonder how many truly care for those who died or lived inappalling squalor due to inept and incompetent policies? Many also had no luxury lifestyle and worked under shocking conditions. Their names are sadly forgotten along with the brave soldiers who were not even equipped with proper weapons or sufficient ammunition during both the Russo-Japanese war and the first world war . Perhaps they are indeed far more worthy of memory than Alexandra Feodorovna. Historians look at matters objectively and not through romantic rose-tinted glasses.

Offline Janet Ashton

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Re: Alexandra as Empress and Mother
« Reply #222 on: January 21, 2008, 12:15:35 PM »
I'm hardly offending any person who objectively examines Russian history. It is bizarre is the attitude that Alexandra Feodorovna was some sort of lily white innocent. That has never been the case. Historical fact clearly shows the role Alexandra Feodorovna played and that is not Bolshevik propaganda by any means. To suggest such is some form of unusual paranoia based on no historical fact. One would hardly call W.Bruce Lincoln, Robert Massie, Orlando Figes  and so many other reputable historians Bolsheviks. That is greatly offensive and grossly inaccurate. I have a great deal of sympathy for Alexandra as a mother and a wife and of course her end was absolutely dreadful. She was however hardly a success as Empress. In fact Alexander III and Maria Feodorovna tried to prevent the marriage with all possible means until his ill-health forced their hand. Of course the majority of the Romanov family turned against Alexandra Feodorovna as well. That is well documented. They can't have all been wrong either. Even her sister Elizabeth was rejected and admonished by Alexandra when all she was doing was trying to warn her. Everybody who wanted to help tried to warn her. The Russian people called Alexandra "Nemka" and other charming terms. She was not at all popular. Even early on in the reign it was widely stated that she came to us behind a coffin. That is not Bolshevik propaganda either. It is well worth doing research to note that Alexandra was deeply flawed. It is worth watching "Love and Revolution" in theexcellent  "A Royal Family" series made for Danish Television. It is very well made and gives a very good view of Alexandra and other Romanovs including her mother-in-law who many here deeply malign in an unusual attempt to make it all Maria Feodorovna's fault for poor Alexandra experiencing problems. Others also put the entire blame on Alexander III.

If you believe that the four-year old post of Greg King's criticising Alexander III which you commented on in another thread proceeds from some hagiographical intent on Nicholas II's behalf, let me assure that this is not the case......
Otherwise, this is one of your posts in which you make many points with which I agree.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2008, 12:18:05 PM by Janet Ashton »
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Offline Helen

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Re: Alexandra as Empress and Mother
« Reply #223 on: January 21, 2008, 12:21:51 PM »
It is perhaps not wise to concentrate on the role of mother for too long as when she wedded Nicholas she became Empress of Russia.
??? Different threads in the Alexandra section of these boards discuss different aspects of Alexandra, so why shouldn't there be an 'Alexandra as a mother' thread? After all, she was an empress and  mother.
"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"

Offline Helen

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Re: Alexandra as Empress and Mother
« Reply #224 on: January 21, 2008, 01:16:29 PM »
Dmitri, 
I can only speak for myself, but I have never seen Alix as a lily-white person. She was a human being with good qualities as well as shortcomings, just like you or me. I don't see her as an angelic person, but neither as the bad person you seem to take her for.

You are right in saying that it is not Bolshevik propaganda that Alexandra more or less came to Russia behind a coffin. In my opinion, it was not the most delightful, enjoyable way for her to enter the country, and it was unfortunate that some people saw it as a bad omen, but it's not something to hold against her.

You mentioned the A Royal Family series. I have watched it two or three times. To some extent I agree with you that it is a 'well made' series. The film footage is wonderful. I thought the narrative rather superficial and biased, though. Imo, the series was clearly meant to put various princes/princesses of Danish birth in a favourable light.

According to you, Kaiserin Friedrich had a clearer opinion of Alexandra than some people on these boards do. Kaiserin Friedrich seems not to have been very fond of Alix. But she wasn't very fond of the other Hessian princesses either, was she? And are you sure that she had a 'clearer' opinion? Or does her opinion of Alix just suit your agenda better?

You wrote that no serious historian would put the entire blame on Alexander III. I fully agree. I don't recall anyone on these boards ever doing such a thing, though. On the other hand: no serious historian would ignore Alexander III's reign and its results - or lack of results - as a factor relevant to Nicholas' reign either. Earlier today or yesterday you complained that Alexandra had failed to understand the need for reform. Irrespective of Alexandra's views, this need for reform did not arise overnight when Alexander III died. It already existed when Alexander III was still alive.  Alexander III failed to understand the need for reform too. Historians look at matters objectively, as you said, and don't ignore such facts.

You mentioned the people who died for their country in the Russo-Japanese War and WWI. I am in heartfelt agreement with you that their lives are worth remembering.
"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"