Author Topic: Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna's memoirs (3 books total)  (Read 9510 times)

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Offline RealAnastasia

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Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna's memoirs (3 books total)
« on: June 23, 2005, 08:59:04 PM »
Hi:

     I have an interesting book whose title is "A Princess in Exile", by Maria Pavlovna, (not the elder, but the younger. I mean Dimitri's sister). Did someone read it? I have it in Spanish, and I found it amazing, for the author does an excellent analyze of Russian Revolution, and why the Romanovs were, at least some of them, one of the factors whom caused it. She claims that too many members of her family were snobs, selfish and unaware about how the world was changing around them. I don't agree with 100% of her opinions, but it's an interesting book to know better the Romanovs .

  I found touching the parts where she tell us how did she know about her father execution, and Ella's one, and her demi-brother, Volodia and when she meet Dimitri again, in London. She wrote a great deal about Princesse Paley, and she depicted her in a nice way, considering she was her father's second wife.

 Other interesting insight in the book is Maria Pavlovna proofs in the working world, and how she failed when she tryed to do a career in the mode. She even worked for Coco Channel. She finished her book with her travel to America, where she planned to live.

  If someone read this book, I would like to discuss it here. It's depictions of exiled noblemen and women are excellent.

    RealAnastasia.

Janet_W.

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Re: Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna's memoirs (3 books total)
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2005, 09:51:09 PM »
Yes, both of Maria Pavlovna the Younger's volumes of autobiography are well worth the reading. As is the biography of her posted on this website.

Offline Tsarfan

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Re: Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna's memoirs (3 books total)
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2005, 10:04:25 PM »
I read it some years ago and found it very interesting, although the details are now very fuzzy.

One of the points that still sticks with me was Maria's explanation of the stern discipline imposed on her and Dmitri by Grand Duchess Ella when they went to live with her and Serge.  Ella insisted that the children learn limits and self-discipline very early because, as members of the royal family, they would never hear the word "no" uttered to them outside the family circle once they attained majority.

One of the most memorable anecdotes was when, years later, Maria was working for a meager living in Paris.  She entered a storeroom and came across a stock of fabrics from which orders had been filled to upholster furniture she remembered from her family's apartments at the Catherine Palace.  I found it a particularly poignant juxtaposition of both time and circumstance.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Tsarfan »

Finelly

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Re: Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna's memoirs (3 books total)
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2005, 10:19:15 PM »
Both of her memoirs are very good.  They provide one with yet another perspective on the Romanov family.


Offline Belochka

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Re: Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna's memoirs (3 books total)
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2005, 01:47:05 AM »
Both volumes are nicely written and very informative. Highly recommended to all.  :) Her life in Paris was illuminating.

One feature which stood out for me was her attempt to mix with the "ordinary" Russian exiles. Difficulties ensued because she found that while their fate was a common one, they had nothing else in common.  


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Offline RealAnastasia

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Re: Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna's memoirs (3 books total)
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2005, 07:46:39 PM »
I liked her reflexions about Russian exiled nobles ideas. She explained that they couldn't realize (herself, of course included) that they were, in a certain way, the major guilty of the Revolution. They were too selfish, and didn't know anything about Russian people's life out the ruling classes.  And even when the evolution made them run out Russia, they didn't aware about their own mistakes. Some exiled nobles have their hopes in the White Army and Kolchak, and they didn't realize, after a great deal of time later, that communism was a strong power in Russia and that it was far from falling at all. They speak about comunism as it only was a nightmare, and shortly after they could regain their palaces and old way of life...

Really interesting.

RealAnastasia.

lexi4

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Re: Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna's memoirs (3 books total)
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2005, 09:28:12 PM »
Quote
Yes, both of Maria Pavlovna the Younger's volumes of autobiography are well worth the reading. As is the biography of her posted on this website.

Janet, Could you provide the link to this site??? I can't find it.

Sarai_Porretta

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Re: Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna's memoirs (3 books total)
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2005, 07:03:54 PM »

David_Pritchard

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Re: Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna's memoirs (3 books total)
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2005, 02:53:48 AM »
Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna's second son.

While looking through a Russian language genealogy book, I came upon a rare reference to the second son of Grand Duchess Maria of Russia and her second husband Prince Sergei Mikhailovich Putyatin (7.12.1893- 26.02.1968). Their son was named Prince Roman Sergeevich Putyatin (1918-1919) . He died of illness in Roumania after having escaped from the Bolsheviks with his family.

AlexP

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Re: Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna's memoirs (3 books total)
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2005, 02:23:54 PM »
Quote
Hi:

      I have an interesting book whose title is "A Princess in Exile", by Maria Pavlovna, (not the elder, but the younger. I mean Dimitri's sister). Did someone read it? I have it in Spanish, and I found it amazing, for the author does an excellent analyze of Russian Revolution, and why the Romanovs were, at least some of them, one of the factors whom caused it. She claims that too many members of her family were snobs, selfish and unaware about how the world was changing around them. I don't agree with 100% of her opinions, but it's an interesting book to know better the Romanovs .

   I found touching the parts where she tell us how did she know about her father execution, and Ella's one, and her demi-brother, Volodia and when she meet Dimitri again, in London. She wrote a great deal about Princesse Paley, and she depicted her in a nice way, considering she was her father's second wife.

  Other interesting insight in the book is Maria Pavlovna proofs in the working world, and how she failed when she tryed to do a career in the mode. She even worked for Coco Channel. She finished her book with her travel to America, where she planned to live.

   If someone read this book, I would like to discuss it here. It's depictions of exiled noblemen and women are excellent.

     RealAnastasia.


Dear RealAnastasia,

I don't know if you are "portena" or not, but the Grand Duchess lived for years and years and years in Buenos Aires, in Barrio Norte,   in the Recoleta Section.   She ran a very respectable fashion shop in Buenos Aires off of Avenida Liberator.

She was a Grande Dame if there ever was.  Her Spanish-speaking staff has to call her "Vuestra Alteza" and the Russian-speaking something equivalent.  She attended church at the beautiful Russian Orthodox Church right off the Parque Lezama near the big railway station.

With all the best,


A.A.

Finelly

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Re: Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna's memoirs (3 books total)
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2005, 04:21:23 PM »
Actually, she manufactured and sold cosmetics, of which she created her own line.

She lived in a small apartment with only one maid.  For awhile, she lived with a friend and daughter, and only the daughter was required to address her formally.

By all accounts, she was extremely kind to her servants.  With others, she was to many very down-to-earth and humble, but some reported that she became "haughty" at times, which was quite a striking change from her usual attitude.  

Of all the Romanovs, she was the most aware of the "ivory tower" in which the imperial family resided, and the most sensitive to the "regular" people of the world, forming strong and lasting friendships with many.

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Re: Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna's memoirs (3 books total)
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2005, 05:35:44 PM »
Actually,
The friend she lived with in Buenos Aires was my Tante Lilly. They were partners in the cosmetics firm. Her daughter, Odette, told me that all the servants were required to address her formally, as was Odette, and that Odette lived in fear of Maria, as she was cold, aloof and demanding. Now, Tante Lilly had a different side of her to tell me about, and was devoted to her.

Arleen_Ristau

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Re: Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna's memoirs (3 books total)
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2005, 06:35:44 PM »
There is a chapter on The House of Kitmir, GD Marie's fashion house in Paris from 1921 until 1928, in the wonderful book BEAUTY IN EXILE, by Alexandre Vassiliev.  I love this book.  It covers the fashion scene of most of the emigres after 1917 who settled in Paris.  The pictures are spectacular!!  Felix sent me my copy, he is very dear that way.

Rob, how wonderful your Tante Lily must have been....how interesting it is to me that she housed GD Marie in Buenos Aires!!  What great stories you must have heard.

Alex you sound like you might have lived in Buenos Aires too??

Cheers!
Arleen

Finelly

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Re: Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna's memoirs (3 books total)
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2005, 06:54:09 PM »
Actually, Odette had an axe to grind.  When she was questioned by a reporter about her recollections of Maria Pavlovna, she ultimately admitted that she had made up the part about the servants.  Marie had been extremely distant with her (she never did relate well to children) and Odette harbored a grudge.  Apparently Odette had to live with Marie for awhile when her mother was stuck in the United States, and they didn't get along.

But the maid, who was also interviewed by the reporter (Javier Oldivar of one of the Argentinian papers) reported that she had been extremely well treated by Marie and had no complaints.  "I wasn't allowed to call the Sra by her first name, of course, but she was never cold or brusque with me, nor did she behave in any way other than humbly and as a lady should."

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Re: Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna's memoirs (3 books total)
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2005, 08:34:45 PM »
Interesting that you somehow presume to "know" Odette. She had no "axe to grind". Quite the opposite. Tante Lilly went to New York for her sister's wedding. Odette was left in BA. Peron took power and Odette was left in BA for months unable to get out of BA and Tante Lilly unable to get to BA to fetch her. Odette recalls this period as an awful one, and GD Maria was as she still reports cold, uncaring, aloof and still forced her to call her by formal titles. Do you know Odette?have YOU spoken to her? I have. Often. She has dined at my table on numerous occassions. I will take first hand accounts over what some "Argentine reporter" says any day.