Author Topic: The Fate of The Romanovs,Greg King,Penny Wilson  (Read 284579 times)

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Richard_Cullen

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Re: The Fate of The Romanovs,Greg King,Penny Wilson
« Reply #120 on: November 09, 2004, 07:59:02 AM »
I want to lend my support, for the little it is worth to Greg's comments above

Richard

helenazar

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Re: The Fate of The Romanovs,Greg King,Penny Wilson
« Reply #121 on: November 09, 2004, 08:19:25 PM »
I want to add my two cents here, as AnastasiaFan and I started to discuss this topic on a different thread.

One of the reasons I liked FOTR is because until this book came out, I always felt like something was missing from the portrayals of the characters in other Romanov- related books. The personalities were often polarized, either too stereotypically good or too stereotypically bad, kind of flat even because of that. The authors always seemed to take sides and go out of their way to show either the angelic IF or the evil revolutionaries. To me, somehow something was always missing in these portrayals, something I couldn't quite put my finger on but I always felt that there must be more to it. In FOTR we saw things that were different. We saw the IF members that were not such an ideal family after all, instead a normal human one with all the issues and problems of a normal family. They had issues like normal teenage daughters have with their mother (who doesn't?). This of course didn't  mean they were matricidal, or that they couldn't stand the site of her or would never write loving notes or letters to her, they just mean that there were normal tensions between the mother and her children, as we can witness across the board in a common human experience, royal or not they were human. Somehow the portrayal in FOTR seemed more realistic to me. I know there have been many accounts of the IF being the most harmonious and the most ideal family ever, who never had any discords among each other or any disagreements and who all loved each other at all time and never argued. This is all very nice, and I am sure some people really did see them that way. But we all know that things are rarely, if ever, what they appear to be. I am not saying that this means that things behind the royal doors were totally different than they seemed, or that when no one was looking Nicholas would get drunk and beat his wife and children or something like that, but I am fairly sure that they were not as ideal as they have been described in the past. I am certain that beyond the "facade"(for the lack of better term), they were real human beings - teenagers or young adults, with mood swings and all. I don't think that makes them seem any less admirable in certain ways that they were, and it doesn't make them any less likable. In fact, quite the opposite, it made them seem more real and more interesting. I think this was the first book that actually addressed many of these things, and maybe this is why many people were taken aback by it. But just because something was never addressed in other books before, it doesn't mean at all that it must be false information. In fact, from what I understand, Penny and Greg were two of very few Romanov historians who actually went to primary sources for their references, and this makes it more credible to me.

Helen
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by helenazar »

helenazar

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Re: The Fate of The Romanovs,Greg King,Penny Wilson
« Reply #122 on: November 09, 2004, 08:59:02 PM »
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My questions were just about information not being cited. I had been talking about that with a few of my Romanov friends who also thought there were no sources for a lot of the information. None of them wanted to ask why, so I decided to do it (I'm more vocal than them anyway). But I plan to wake up a little earlier tomorrow and go check out the book so I can see the sources myself. And getting up an hour early to check out a book can be seen as a very weird compliment. You have no idea how hard that is for me!  ;)


To be honest, I don't remember what was cited and what wasn't, I got too involved with reading it to notice. I don't own a copy of FOTR so I can't check now either. But I just remember thinking when I was reading it, "well it's about time someone addressed some of these issues and talked about some things that may have gone on between the girls and their mother, etc.", no one ever has before as far as I could remember! This is especially true for the four girls, their personalities have always been kept so two dimentional, to a point where all four seemed interchangable, kind of like when they are referred to as OTMA, one entity. Yet, I am sure each one was very distinct. I mean they have been described as different superficially, but not really sufficiently. I was kind of happy to see in FOTR that some of the girls showed a little bit of a rebellious spirit towards their mother, because let me tell you, as a mother Alexandra seemed to have been a real pain in the-you-know-what at times! And as a spouse too for that matter. I know she loved them all very much, but talk about controlling... Coming from someone who grew up with a very controlling mother, believe me I know what I am talking about  ;). Plus, I think the fact that there had to be at least some amount of feeling of being neglected on the part of some if not all of the girls, that would have been very normal, almost unavoidable I would say. Think about it, not only were they treated (at least subconcsiously) not nearly as important as their brother just because they were females, not only because there were four of them and only one Alexei which automatically made him the center of attention, but also they were four healthy girls trying to "compete" for attention with a boy, the heir to the throne no less, who was so often on the verge of death! Yes, of course they loved him, but I am sure that at times they had to resent him on a certain level too, at least subconciously. I would be surprised if they didn't feel some sort of a complex about that situation and act it out in some ways. They would not be "normal" if they didn't act sometimes the way it was described in the book. So this is part of why I was very happy when I came across this book and started reading it and learned that all this may have been the case. Frankly, I couldn't understand why some people had a problem with any of this...

Well, AnaFan let us know about the citations, I'd be curious to hear about that too. And yes, I can fully understand the tortures of having to wake up an hour earlier just to check book citations!  ;) ;D

Helen

helenazar

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Re: The Fate of The Romanovs,Greg King,Penny Wilson
« Reply #123 on: November 10, 2004, 09:09:26 PM »
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Well Helen, it turns out much was cited in the first chapter, however what was cited was pretty much quotes we have already read before. It didn't appear to be anything new. I can't really sit here and type it all, because that would take way too long, but I will tell you it's between pages 45 and 51. I did realize something though. Much of what was stated about Alix and OTMA comes down to one's own opinion. For example I'll go back to the glorified maid statement. I can understand how a person may or may not view it that way. I guess I can see both points of view. If that is one's take on the relationship, that's fine. However, it is my opinion that that just wasn't the case, since I don't see any real comparison between the two Alexandra's and their daughters. Infact, I see the exact opposite. As stated before, unlike Queen Alexandra and Toria, Empress Alexandra never forced any of her children to be her servants. As Gillard said, it was the girls themselves who came up with the decision to help her when she was ill. Also Empress Alexandra said she would allow all of her daughters to marry, which was the exact opposite of what Queen Alexandra (and many other royal mothers) did. So no, I don't see the comparison between the two at all. But like you said Helen, the children do seem to come more to life in this book because they come across like many teenagers and young adults we know. The bad they experienced in their home life is like many families, and I do like the fact that was added in the book since it does make them more "real." However I won't tip toe around the fact that I am disappointed that none of the good was really mentioned, and we know from the girls' letters and diaries that there was also a lot of happiness concerning their relationship with their mother as well as with the rest of their family. I will probably finish reading the rest of the book today, because the last time I read it was about 8 months ago, and all I really remember was something about bears in a hallway and Marie trying to open the cellar door.  


AnFan, thanks for looking that up for us.

It's hard to say about that whole Tatiana/Alexandra dynamic ( I think it was Tatiana who was compared to Queen Alexandra's daughter, right?) because as you say, it would be pretty subjective, even if you were there to witness it, let alone if you are just looking at someone else's accounts of the situtation. Stuff like this always is subjective and you can't really prove or disprove it. Some people will see it one way and others another way, so when you are looking at something like this from a historical perspective, it just depends on whom you are talking to. There was probably some truth to the interpretation, although whose truth? There really is no absolute truth to this... One of the most frustrating things for me has been switching over from the field of hard science to the humanities field, namely history. Some things are just so hard to accept about humanities research, because everything is pretty subjective, whereas in science it isn't usually. In science you have a hyporthesis and you can test it and find out if your hypothesis is valid based on your results. With humanities you can't do that because your results are only as good as your sources, so there is a lot ambiguity going on. The same can be said for psychology I guess, and a lot of what we have been talking about is along the lines of psychology, I suppose. You can sort of look at the IF and figure out what the deal may have been based on what you know about them through psychology. Of course you can't prove anything, but you can assume some things with a reasonable amount of certainty. So this how we have to look at this, because even with citations and sources, history is not really provable like, say, chemistry is. I am sure that there was alot of good and also bad inside that family just like with any other family, and I am pretty sure they had similar, to a degree, dynamics as any other family.
BTW, I know what you mean about grad school, I am currently in grad school too, and to me it's more like boot camp than anything else!  ;)

helenazar

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Re: The Fate of The Romanovs,Greg King,Penny Wilson
« Reply #124 on: November 10, 2004, 11:00:48 PM »
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Yes, there was good and bad in the IF like any family. But like I said, I didn't like the fact that the good was never mentioned. We have so much evidence -- from letters, to diaries, to eye witness accounts -- of not only the good between Alix and OTMA, but the family as a whole. It just would have been nice if the good had been added in there as well. It would have been balanced then and not so one-sided, truly making them like all families.
  


You know, while I was reading about this stuff, I didn't even think that what they were talking about was bad, I just thought it was something different, and found it more interesting than the usual. Perhaps the reason G and P didn't talk about the other stuff is because it has already been talked about so much that there was no point to bring it up again, maybe they wanted to bring in only fresh information that was never talked about. I mean, every Romanov book has the same staple stories about the family that everyone knows by heart about, so I actually thought that it was refreshing to read something different. And as I mentioned, it didn't occur to me that it was anything bad, I just saw it as new information. Maybe I am just not so sensitive to that kind of stuff because I grew up in a very insensitive household where no one really realized it nor cared. Our family motto was "Just get over it!"  ;)

Helen

P.S. I guess everyone has a shared experience in grad school, my own three hour classes cause much the same reaction in me!  :-/ ;)

helenazar

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Re: The Fate of The Romanovs,Greg King,Penny Wilson
« Reply #125 on: November 11, 2004, 09:46:41 AM »


"I as talking about the full depositions of Gilliard, Bittner, Gibbes, and Kobylinsky he said he read. "


Ok, I see. That makes sense.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by helenazar »

helenazar

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Re: The Fate of The Romanovs,Greg King,Penny Wilson
« Reply #126 on: November 11, 2004, 10:27:37 AM »
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I know there are even more unpublished letters and journals out there written by the IF that do speak of the good times they had together, and I just think it would have been interesting to read that as well.
I'm still curious to know where these unpublished documents are located!


Yes, I would love to find out about this too. Do you know if they are in Russia somewhere or were they exported after the revolution?  
Did you know that Yale University Library has a collection of the IF pictures and letters that were never published (from what I understand they weren't). I would love to take a ride up there and check them out, apparently they let you literally go through them with special permission! I tried contacting Yale by email about this a while ago, but never got a response, but I still haven't given up on this. I wonder if anyone knows more about this collection. Maybe I should make a posting about this, but I am not sure if it already has been posted somewhere, I am just not sure where to look for it.  

helenazar

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Re: The Fate of The Romanovs,Greg King,Penny Wilson
« Reply #127 on: November 11, 2004, 10:35:09 AM »
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I asked Greg a couple of times in an earlier post, but he hasn't responded.


Do you mean you asked him about the unpublished letters and journals or about the Yale collection? I am assuming you are talking about the former. Maybe Greg doesn't know. Greg, are you there?

Abby

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Re: The Fate of The Romanovs,Greg King,Penny Wilson
« Reply #128 on: November 11, 2004, 02:25:25 PM »
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Did you know that Yale University Library has a collection of the IF pictures and letters that were never published (from what I understand they weren't). I would love to take a ride up there and check them out, apparently they let you literally go through them with special permission! I tried contacting Yale by email about this a while ago, but never got a response, but I still haven't given up on this.


Do you mean the Beinecke albums, Helen? You can view them online...i was going to give you the link but i can't find it no matter how much i 'googled'!
i cannot find the link that takes you to the page that had the 5 albums and you could click on them and go through all the pages. does anyone know what i mean? I used to look through the albums and it looked different. i think maybe they changed their website?

I really want to go to Yale and look through them, if they allow you to! I live in Northeast PA and Yale is about a 2 hour drive.
I call for a field trip!!!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Abby »

helenazar

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Re: The Fate of The Romanovs,Greg King,Penny Wilson
« Reply #129 on: November 11, 2004, 02:31:28 PM »
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Do you mean the Beinecke albums, Helen? You can view them online here:
http://highway49.library.yale.edu/romanov/SearchExecXC.asp
i cannot find the link that takes you to the page that had the 5 albums and you could click on them and go through all the pages. does anyone know what i mean? I used to look through the albums and it looked different. i think maybe they changed their website?

I really want to go to Yale and look through them, if they allow you to! I live in Northeast PA and Yale is about a 2 hour drive.
I call for a field trip!!!


Thanks, Abby, I think this is it. I think a field trip is a good idea, and it sounds like you and I are practically neighbors. I just wish someone replied to me from Yale and let me know how this works. Someone told me that they visited the library and saw the collection and were able to look through it, but this was years ago, I am not sure if this is still the case now. Would anyone else be interested in a field trip?


Offline Lanie

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Re: The Fate of The Romanovs,Greg King,Penny Wilson
« Reply #130 on: November 11, 2004, 02:37:56 PM »
Here is the link for the albums: http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/dl_crosscollex/romanov_album.htm

If your browser is like mine and fussy you might have to click on the album and whe nyou click to go to another page of the album you have to let it load (it'll be the same 1st page) and refresh the browser and it'll show up.  Blah.

helenazar

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Re: The Fate of The Romanovs,Greg King,Penny Wilson
« Reply #131 on: November 11, 2004, 02:43:33 PM »
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Here is the link for the albums: http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/dl_crosscollex/romanov_album.htm



Thanks!

Abby

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Re: The Fate of The Romanovs,Greg King,Penny Wilson
« Reply #132 on: November 11, 2004, 02:52:25 PM »
YAYYY LANIE FOUND IT!!! :D

Now I know what I am doing tonight instead of studying for my biochemistry exam.... hahha

helenazar

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Re: The Fate of The Romanovs,Greg King,Penny Wilson
« Reply #133 on: November 11, 2004, 02:53:23 PM »
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Hey, I'm down South, but not too far from y'all! I would join this field trip as well! Is it just pictures there, or documents as well?


It would be awesome if we could get a small group together and carpool up there. Maybe during the Christmas- New Year break or something like that? I think that they also have documents not just pictures, but I am not 100% sure. But even if just pictures, it looks like a great collection!

helenazar

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Re: The Fate of The Romanovs,Greg King,Penny Wilson
« Reply #134 on: November 11, 2004, 02:55:53 PM »
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YAYYY LANIE FOUND IT!!! :D

Now I know what I am doing tonight instead of studying for my biochemistry exam.... hahha

Abby, I just sent you an email to your school email address...