Author Topic: How did you become bitten by the Romanov bug  (Read 18554 times)

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Offline rlbumich

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How did you become bitten by the Romanov bug
« on: November 13, 2004, 03:23:05 PM »
Hello all! Greatings from the Wolverine State!

I just looked through the threads and I have not seen a thread on how many of us became interest in the Romanovs?.

Well,  here is my peculiar story.

At the age of 13 I read a book by American journalist/radical John Reed called " Ten Days that shook the world". From that point two things happened in my life. First, I became fasinated in the Russian Revolution which I began to learn everything I could about its cause and effects in the last century.  Second, I became( at the age of 19) a Marxist/Leninist.  I had my copy of Mao Ze dong's "Red Book", Ernesto"Che" Gurvarra etc... I became a member of many leftist organizations.

In 1972, (I will never forget this) I was riding a bus home from one of my "meetings" and I noticed a book lying on the floor of the bus. It had a black HB cover. I guessed that someone might have lost the book. So, I began to read some of the chapters in this "book".  For some reason I could not put that book down. It grabbed me! The book was in relation to (at that time) the Soviet Union's history and the Revolution. So, I kept reading.  I kept the book.

Later that night, as I continued to read the book, I began to see somethings that I did not understand before or some of the things I held to be true were not true. I did not know that the person I was reading about was just doing what he was tought--handed down to him from his family.  Also, as I read further, I could not understand why he did not want to change with the times. Why?  I just wanted to find out more about this man and; why he held on so hard to outdated beliefs that eventually cost him and all those he loved their lives. So, after I finished reading that book, I wanted to learn more about this tragic figure and his family.  At that point my long held ideas and beliefs began to change gradually.

That was in 1972. There has been many changes in the world since I read that book. There is no more Soviet Union  or the "Iron Curtain".  I no longer have leftist beliefs. They were thrown into the "dust-bin of history" just like the Soviet Union in 1989.  

That book I found. I still have it. It is very worn. But it is in good company with its many many Romanov friends in my library.

"Nicholas and Alexandra" by Bob Massie was the book that started it all. The Romanov "Bug" bit me in 1972.  Was it coincidence that I found that " book"? I can not say. But it is a very facinating story! :)
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Re: How did you become bitten by the Romanov bug
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2004, 03:32:28 PM »
I read Nicholas and Alexandra on the kitchen floor of my stepmother's Allenspark, CO cabin. It was at Christmas time in 1983. I was just past my tenth birthday.

I have to tell you that N&A has become almost like the Bible for me. I mean, I've read it in the kind of way that most people only read religious texts- always owning a copy, and from time to time picking out selections to meditate on. I think Nicholas [as I have written in my own unpublished autobiography] has become one of my greatest heroes.

You might say that the faith of Nicholas and his wife, as so wonderfully recounted by Massie, brought me to an understanding of a more mystical, other-worldly Christianity. I love Nicholas because of his values. What a truly good man-

I do not know if Massie is Russian Orthodox, but irregardless, his book should be lifted up as a masterpiece of religious hagiography, especially his statement [in the introduction] that in the end the values that they lived by redeemed everything else, and that in the end Nicholas did succeed.

How man kings have ever lived who are truly and sincerely remembered for who they were as Christian men?

Offline Merrique

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Re: How did you become bitten by the Romanov bug
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2004, 03:43:31 PM »
Actually there is already a thread concerning this.It's called "What got you interested in the Romanovs?"

You can check it out here.;action=display;num=1076602118
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Offline Tsaritsa

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Re: How did you become bitten by the Romanov bug
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2004, 09:32:16 PM »
I was a sophmore in high school.  I was in a Modern Europe class.  At the time I was only interested in American history.  I only had two choices for history that year and the other one was Asian history.  So I chose the lesser of the two evils.  I was bored silly until we began to learn about Lenin and the Russian Revolution.  I read several books about Lenin and even the Communist Manifesto.  The teacher and I to the exclusion of the class used to discuss Lenin and the Revolution endlessly.  I was hooked.  I thought of Nicholas as being a blood thirsty brute.  

I continued to read about the Soviet Union and be fascinated by anything dealing with communism and the Soviets.  

When I was a senior I was in a study hall.  A sophmore had a list of books for required reading.  I was reading the synopsis for Nicholas and Alexandra.  I thought I really should read about the Romanovs so I would have the full picture of Russia.  I checked the book out immediately.

How could I have been so wrong?  I fell in love with the Imperial family.  I read every book I could find about the family.  I would literally bring home stacks of books about them.  I kept the library busy through inter library loans!  

No matter how many books I read, no matter how much I hoped and prayed it always ended the same, in a celler in Ekaterinburg.  

For 25 years it has been my passion.  I have had other interests in that time, but I always return to the Romanovs.  

I was thrilled when I found this website.  To find other people who share my passion.  I can't describe my joy.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Tsaritsa »
"Somehow it's always easier to talk brave than be brave."  Hannibal Heyes


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Re: How did you become bitten by the Romanov bug
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2004, 10:30:50 PM »
I have been hearing about the Romanovs pretty much all my life.  While growing up in Russia, I heard many stories about various Tsars, and names like Piotr I, Yekaterina II, and Nikolai II were pretty much common knowledge.  Those names were the reason that I fell in love with history at the age of five.  

My interest in the last Romanovs really soared last January when while searching for information for my British History term paper I came across a site dedicated to Nikolai II and his family.  I wasted very little time and dragged my Mom to the book store and bought Peter Kurth's "Tsar"and Massie's "Nicholas And Alexandra".  I have acquired other books since then, and in my close circle of friends I'm known as the Romanov Nut.  I guess with my love for history I would have become interested in the topic sooner of later.



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Re: How did you become bitten by the Romanov bug
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2004, 10:16:30 AM »
I have always been interested in so-called unsolved mysteries, and when Peter Kurth's book came out on Anastasia I gobbled it up.  I was hooked.  The story of the last IF was so tragic and the idea of survival so miraculous!!  

Then, I went on with my life for 10 years, but after the bodies were found and the DNA tests done I began to buy up books on the IF as a whole--Massie, Klier, etc.  But again, graduate school and working kind of pushed all research to the side.

Now, after having 2 children and finding this Forum, I am immersing myself once again.  It gives me adult conversation on my interests and a chance to research history that has fascinated me for 22 years.   :)


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Re: How did you become bitten by the Romanov bug
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2004, 10:05:39 AM »
When I was a young boy, I was sitting on the floor of my bedroom paging through the "N" volume of the World Book Encyclopedia.  Suddenly I turned the page and here was this very interesting family photograph taken in the early years of the 20th century.  It was the very well-known picture of the Romanovs with AF wearing the small circular crown and long strings of pearls.  I've since seen another picture taken at the same time but with a different seating arrangement.  In the one picture AF sits in the midst of the family, in the other she stands behind.

Then, in 1963, LIFE magazine appeared with a picture of OTMAA on its cover and the "Case of a "New Anastasia" -- Eugenia Smith and her publisher Robert Speller.  I still have the magzine somewhere.

Then, it was on to read N & A by Massie, seeing the movie, and more and more.  My son gave me the beautiful N & A coffee table book based on the exhibition that came to the U.S. a couple of years ago.  And, I have truly enjoyed reading the excellent book on N & A "A Lifelong Passion."

My interest in N & A spilled over into other European royalty.  

I have never been introduced to royalty but was present in 1996 for Trooping the Colour, and in 1982 saw King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden in Minneapolis.


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Re: How did you become bitten by the Romanov bug
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2004, 08:51:57 PM »
2 months ago, I saw the Fox animated movie "Anastasia" on television. Then, I looked them up, and I found out the true story of the Romanovs. I was instantly hooked! Just looking at their luxurious rooms and the Fabrage eggs made me interested even more!


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Re: How did you become bitten by the Romanov bug
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2004, 06:03:23 PM »
The Twentieth Century Fox Film, "Anastasia", also got me interested.  I watched it all the time when I was younger.  I heard it was based on true events, but I was like, "How in the --- was that based on true events?  A talking bat and some kind of zombie-sorcerer Rasputin, (Although, I must admit that it was a good movie, highly impractical, but good)!  After I started researching I haven't stopped yet.

Offline Galactic_Misfit

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Re: How did you become bitten by the Romanov bug
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2005, 02:26:47 PM »
When I was in grade 9, my English teacher was playing "Rasputin" during homeroom, and the words sounded cool. He also played a video (I can't recall the name), and there was a scene with Alexei roller-sakting around the palace. I decided to learn more about him (Alexei). Then in grade 11, during history class, I came across an engagement picture of Nicky and Alix in my text book. I read the caption and text around the picture, and that's when the connection hit me. I went to the library to learn about Nicky, and that's when I heard about OTMA. I've been hooked since.


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Re: How did you become bitten by the Romanov bug
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2005, 05:29:34 PM »
Well my obsession started in the most strangest place; in the dentist's chair, I was at a dentists apointment and she asked me what movie I wanted to watch while I was there, there wern't many picks so I decided to watch FOX's Anastasia, I have watched little parts of it before at a friends house, but I've always wanted to see the full movie, so when it finally ended, and at the same time my appointment ended I was all teary and felt like crying, I don't know really why, I mean it was just a cartoon, but I guess the somewhat true history of my country made me sad. So I came home and just simply forgot all about it, I didn't really feel like doing any research, I was only 11 and all I was interested in was hanging out with my friends at out complex. (We always got in trouble, we once even stole some bikes from the bike shed and when we got cought by the mahager the bikes turned out to be her son's, and at other times it would get so bad that we would get visits from the manager telling our parents that if we get into anymore trouble then we would be avicted, so my mom decided that it was for the best that I stay away from them for a little while (it only turned out to be for like a week and then we went back to all hanging out, but I know we might seem like little dilinquents, but no we were pretty much normal little kids I guess)

So while I was so called "grounded" from the outside, I asked one of my friends that lived at our complex to bring over FOX's Anastasia cause I really wanted to see it again, and so she did and I watches it over and over and then there was a little spark that eventually burned out again, I started to show some interest in the Imperial Family, but not enought as to actualy go out and borrow a book from the library, I wasen't even part of any library at the time.

My step dad decided that it was time for me to get my first library card (lol) and so we went to the local library and I got my card. The first book I took out was Anastasia the Last Grand Duchess (and at the time I suprisingly didn't know that this was the Anastasia from the cartoon that I liked to so much) I read it and fell in love with her family and especialy the adorable Alyoshenka (lol)

So since then I've been researching everything I could about the Romanovs! I've tried to get hooked on something els just to see if it was possible, like for example the Greek royal family or Egypte, but the Romanovs are the only ones that have truly stayed in me and that i hope will stay in me for the rest of my life!

They have really changed my life!

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


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Re: How did you become bitten by the Romanov bug
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2006, 11:16:20 PM »
I got bitten by the Romanov bug when in 1997, I watched the animated film, Anastasia at the cinemas. While watching it, my mum next to me, whispered: "This is based on a true story, you know?" After the movie was finished I got my mum to tell me the whole story. I found it really interesting and ever since then we have been buying books on the Romanovs.


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Re: How did you become bitten by the Romanov bug
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2006, 03:16:07 PM »
My ninth grade world history teacher got me interested in the Romanovs. I've always enjoyed history but until then had never really paid much attention to the story of the Romanovs. My  favorite historical topic before that was the Wild West and the pioneers. But this particular teacher was a big European history fan and her favorite topics to talk about were the Romanovs and WWI. She told us the story of Nicky and Alix, Alexei, Rasputin, OTMA, and the tragedy of their murders.  The whole story just moved me somehow and  I wanted to learn more. She suggested I read Massie's Nicholas and Alexandra and I did so. I did my term paper the next quarter on Rasputin.   I've been a Romanov fan ever since.  In fact when I first joined this board my username was RomanovFan318 but I decided to change it because we have so many "Romanov Fans" here. I chose the name Joy because of Alexei's dog. ;)


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Re: How did you become bitten by the Romanov bug
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2006, 10:13:04 PM »
My story's a bit strange, really...

I honestly used to be a Russian history fanatic back in elementary school, my family being mostly from Russia...but then I kind of drifted away from it by middle- and high-school.  However, in my last year there (I'm in college now) my friends and I were having a bit of fun on the internet by Google-imaging each other's names and so on; my girlfriend's name is - no joke - Marie Nikolaevna, born July 17.  We found the picture of the Romanov Marie, in which she is sitting on the railing at Alexander Palace in 1914 (I think).  There was such a similarity in appearance that I found rather interesting (others agree they look similiar, check the "which romanov do you look like" forum) that I pursued the link, which got me to thinking, wow, haven't looked at this in a long time.  I then started studying the Romanovs specifically, although I still enjoy the pre-revolutionary and Soviet eras.

I have a few old artifacts of Russian clothing and military...umm...stuff (I forgot the word for it, memorabilia or something like that), mostly Soviet, too - and they fuel the obsession with Russia, considering I wear some of them on a regular basis.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by komarov »


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Re: How did you become bitten by the Romanov bug
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2006, 12:04:52 AM »

My story is quite common! I first heard of the Romanov in History classes, but I can't remember weither it was in 8th or 10th grade. Anyway, what puzzled me is that the teachers always talked about Nicholas II only. They told us that he and his family had been killed, but when somebody asked about the family, they couldn't give us answers.

I was still a kid myself, so it's the kids that interested me! Not rulers from far far away countries. I forgot the whole story.

Weeks later, when I went to the library (I'm kind of a ridiculous reader: one book each week), I fell on a book called Anastasia's Album. The photos fascinated me.
I still don't know why. Maybe it's the fact that this family looked so normal, so real. Strange how life can turn, huh?

Here are the photos that hooked me first.
First, there was this one, of course: it's the cover of the book:

Then there's been this:

And this one too!

And finally, here was my favorite (don't have any now)