Author Topic: Dubious quote attributed to Aleksei's 1917 diary  (Read 3367 times)

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Offline Sarushka

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Dubious quote attributed to Aleksei's 1917 diary
« on: March 28, 2009, 07:53:14 PM »
On page 232 Romanov Autumn, Charlotte Zeepvat quotes an entry alleged to be from the autumn of Aleksei's 1917 diary:

"In this place I am beginning to understand the worth truth. At Tsarskoe Selo everybody lied. If I become Tsar one day, no-one will dare lie to me. I will sort things out in country."

It's a very affecting sentiment, but after having read Aleksei's 1916 and 1918 diaries, I'm almost certain Aleksei never wrote this in his diary. The tsarevich's diaries are overwhelmingly an account of his daily activities, not his thoughts and feelings. I can't think of a single entry vaguely like this -- not one instance in which he considers an abstract idea like truth, or speculates about the future, or even his own position. According to Nicholas and Alexandra: The Last Imperial Family of Tsarist Russia, the whereabouts of Aleksei's 1917 diary are not even known.

The reference given for the quotation is page 198 of Le Tsarevitch, enfant martyr, which in turn refers to page 63 of Wilton's The Last Days of the Romanovs as its source. Perhaps I'm looking at a different edition of Wilton, but there is nothing to do with Aleksei or his diary on page 63.

Has anyone else seen this quote in a print source?
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Offline nena

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Re: Dubious quote attributed to Aleksei's 1917 diary
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2009, 08:12:22 PM »
Interesting quote. I also doubt he wrote it. I have always doubt in that his 1917 diary, maybe someone said to him what to wrote in it, or even he heard stories about Tsarist Regime and him included, so he may wrote something he heard.

I think in his 1916 diary, some entries are very hard to understand, since, it was said sometimes he dictated, and person who wrote down lines  maybe change words, and made them different from his own ones. Understand what I mean, OK?

 
But, his handwriting is in his diary, and even I didn't see handwriting about date you mentioned, it seems unlikely who wrote it. Right?

Even I don't know if one book/diary (same one), he used for both 1917 and 1918, or not> One which was found at Letemin's house was 1918 one, or both 1917/8? I think only his 1918 volume.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2009, 08:35:14 PM by nena »
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Offline Sarushka

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Re: Dubious quote attributed to Aleksei's 1917 diary
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2009, 08:22:48 AM »
I eventually found the quote in Wilton's book last night. The online edition I was browsing shows it on page 274:

"Alexis astounded the household by his precocious understanding. 'I begin to know the truth here. At Tsarskoe everyone told lies," he remarked one day. "If I become tsar, no one will dare to tell me lies. I shall make order in the land.'"

So Zeepvat was indeed incorrect in attributing this remark to Aleksei's 1917 diary. I suppose it's possible that Aleksei said it, but I still have my doubts. Wilton gives no source notes, and doesn't say which of member of the household reported this speech. The section in which Wilton narrates the events of the Romanovs' exile contains a number of myths regarding the IF's captivity, as well as blatant anti-semitism regarding execution squad and the decision to murder the IF, making Wilton's account not entirely reliable IMO. I'd be much more willing to believe in the authenticity of this quote if it were part of the witnesses' (Gilliard, Gibbes, Kobylinsky and others) depositions in the first section of the book.
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