Author Topic: Riding his sled/sledge down the stairs at Tobolsk  (Read 64428 times)

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Offline Lanie

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Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2005, 12:53:12 AM »
Seeing as Nicholas mentioned it in his diary (I believe he did!), it took place.  He was probably bored.  It was right after their snow mountain was destroyed, as I recall.

Offline RussiaSunbeam1918

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Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2005, 07:14:34 AM »
I agree...I have a friend who is usually a somewhat sensible girl (at 14) but that didn't stop her from getting in a fight with a staircase last month.  ::) But I think Alexei had more common sense than that.

So, yeah, I personally think that it was boredom. (Just to throw in my 2 sense)

Offline Georgiy

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Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2005, 03:18:17 PM »
But didn't the diary say that Alexey is bleeding in the groin as aresult of coughing? Please someone post something definate about this.

Offline Grand Duchess Marishka

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Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
« Reply #18 on: October 26, 2005, 04:57:11 PM »
Quote
I know this has been discussed before, but between other topics, and not very deeply. I thought it was interesting enough to have its own thread. Why does everyone think he did this? Boredom maybe?


OH I KNOW THIS!!!
In the early movie, Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna, the one with Amy Irving, they show Alexei going on the stairs.
He was bored (definitely) but he also mentioned he wasn't afraid to die. He had a feeling that they were all going to get hurt in some way. He told this to Anastasia in the movie (which was based off of fact) and said," I love you, Ana" before running to the stairs and sliding down on the sled.
He was obviously both bored and knowing in the fact that some harm was to come to his family anyway. He had come so near to death before, he was no longer afraid probably.
Hope that helped.

Offline Georgiy

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Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2005, 05:17:07 PM »
Yes, but that movie is fiction. I want facts from the horse's mouth so to speak. Not from a movie, but from a direct source.

Offline Russian_Duchess_#5

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Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
« Reply #20 on: October 26, 2005, 06:04:58 PM »
 ::) Think about the last time you were bored and tried something that might have ended up dangerous... I once built a campfire that almost burnt down my grandmothers house :P While youre actually doing it your thought is not, "Oh, I know i'm going to die", it's more like, "Nothing bad will happen, what are the odds in that?" So it was just as fate would have it with Aleksey.

Offline Sarushka

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Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
« Reply #21 on: October 26, 2005, 10:05:18 PM »
I'm afraid neither Massie nor King quote Tatiana Botkina's book directly. Here's how they describe the incident, though.
Massie:
Just at this point, and enemy older than the Bolsheviks rose up to shatter her [Alix's] hopes. Alexis had been well all winter and was filled with energy and high spirits. The destruction of the snow mountain had deprived him of an activity which had absorbed much of his vitality; in its place, he was devising new and reckless games which no one seemed able to inhibit. One of these - riding down the inside stairs on a boat with runners which he had used on the snow mountain - led to calamity. He fell and began to bleed into the groin.The hemorrhage was the worst since Spala five years before.

King:
Alexandra also faced a potential crisis with Alexei. A week earlier, the tsarevich had used a sled on the interior stairway of the house and fell; a severe hemorrhage in the groin began immediately.

On the bright side, a library in my county has Botkina's book. I've put a hold on it, so once it comes and I have a chance to translate page 56, I'll let you know what I find.  :D
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Offline RussiaSunbeam1918

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Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
« Reply #22 on: October 27, 2005, 07:12:49 AM »
That last quote doesn't say *why* Alexei decided to sled down the stairs, but it was interesting all the same. I can't wait until you get that book...that's awesome! Hope you like it!

Offline Georgiy

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Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
« Reply #23 on: October 27, 2005, 03:11:06 PM »
Yes, it will be good to hear what Tatiana Botkina-Melnik has to say. I won't deny the possibility it happened (for the reasons that Massie gives, and not that he was suicidal - someone that has got through crices like Alexei had I think is less likely to be suicidal than someone to who something terrible happens to all at once and are unable to cope...)

However, the diaries of both the Tsar and Tsaritsa state that he has developed a haemorrhage in his groin through coughing. This strikes me as interesting, because if they were trying to subterfuge any potential readers of their diaries, why not just say he has a bad cold and leave it at that. Why mention he has a haemorrhage at all? Also the fact that the Empress was writing in English suggests to me that people would have trouble reading what she wrote anyway, as well as the fact that that probably wasn't an issue with them until Ekaterinburg.

It could well be he took to sledding inside as a daredevil kind of activity, but the cause of the haemmorrhage was severe coughing and straining of his inner parts thus and not because of any accident on the sled. Perhaps Botkina-Melnik made up that part to make an interesting story. Was she in contact with her father, or just by letter? If just by letter, it hardly seems credible that the Doctor would write something like that which could be intercepted and read. If there was personal contact however, I can understand there would be opportunities to talk about incidents.

Offline Sarushka

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Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
« Reply #24 on: October 27, 2005, 06:03:17 PM »
Even though the Tsar doesn't mention the sled, I think it's possible that the coughing aggravated a hemorrhage that was already in progress. As many of his biographers complained, we can rarely rely on Nicky's diary for a complete picture of anything -- in this case, for example, he hardly hints at the fact that this was Aleksei's worst attack since Spala. Alix's diary also indicates little as to the severity of the hemorrhage -- it's only in a letter to Anna Vyrubova that she makes the comparison to Spala. I don't remember her diary stating the cough was the cause of Aleksei's attack, but I will double-check.

I don't know enough about Tatiana Botkina to know if she's thought to be a reliable source or not. It should be easy enough for me to dig up the dates of when she was living with her father and when she wasn't, though. If they were in direct contact, Yevgeni Sergeivich might well have shared the cause of the tsesarevich's illness with Aleksei's sometime playmates. After all, Gleb Botkin was composing stories for Aleksei's entertainment at this time, wasn't he?

For now, I still think the daredevil explanation is a feasable one. In Ekaterinburg, Nicky mentions a time when Aleksei knocked his leg against something, as if on purpose...
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by sarahelizabethii »
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Offline Sarushka

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Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
« Reply #25 on: October 27, 2005, 07:02:41 PM »
Here's the excerpt from Alix's letter to Anna Vyrubova regarding Aleksei's illness:
Sunbeam (Alexei) has been ill in bed for the past week. I don't know whether coughing brought on the attack, or whether he picked up something heavy, but he had an awful internal hemorrhage and suffered fearfully. He is better now, but sleeps badly and the pains, though less severe, have not entirely ceased. He is frightfully thin and yellow, reminding me of Spala. Do you remember? But yesterday he began to eat a little, and Dr. Derevenko, is satisfied with his progress. The child has to lie on his back without moving, and he gets so tired. I sit all day beside him, holding his aching legs, and I have grown almost as thin as he. It is certain now that we shall celebrate Easter at home because it will be better for him if we have a service together. I try to hope that this attack will pass more quickly than usual. It must, since all Winter he was so well.

This came from Memories of the Russian Court, on the main AP site. Unfortunately, Vyrubova doesn't give an exact date for the letter -- only March 1918. I will look at my copy of Pered Rasstrelom and see if the letter is there & is dated more specifically.
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Offline clockworkgirl21

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Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
« Reply #26 on: October 27, 2005, 07:15:30 PM »
There's another case that makes me wonder. Aleksey hitting his leg "as if on purpose." It's different from the other accidents. Riding the sled down the stairs could have been him trying to have fun. His bumping his leg against something would be him trying to hurt himself.

Offline Grand Duchess Marishka

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Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
« Reply #27 on: October 27, 2005, 09:39:22 PM »
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Yes, but that movie is fiction. I want facts from the horse's mouth so to speak. Not from a movie, but from a direct source.



I've seen many Romanov movies and all seemed to give reliable information at points. No need to be rude. I was only making a suggestion.

Offline Eternal_Princess

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Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
« Reply #28 on: October 27, 2005, 11:18:35 PM »
As I start laying out drafts and notes for the novel I'm writting about Alexei and his family, I'm finding the more I learn about them, the less I actually know!

There are so many myths, secrets and lies that are promoted by the movies hollywood types make, the truth is that I have had to ignore a lot of it.

There is not actual sentence in any of Alexandra's letters or Nicholas diary, that say Alexei rode his sled down the staircase. It's not to say it may have not happened, there is every chance it did.

But when neither of the parents mention it specifically you have to be a little curious.

They say he had a terrible cough, and if Alexei had a delicate stomach lining, (which he did, his medical report says it.) A cough would have easily aggrivated it and caused hemorging in his lower abdomen.

Most people at the time this information was released, believe the story because they still envisioned Alexei as a small boy.

He was a teenager, and yes I agree with everyone else, I was young teen not that long ago, and I did do very stupid things. But I'm convinced he would not have done something like that, esspecially as if the movies claim, his beloved Naysta or other sister's were around to see it.

Why would he want to upset his sisters, who loved him like crazy, like that by seeing what might have very been his death?

I'm still not convinced. There is not enough evidence,  most of it is just copied from other accounts.  :-X
The little Tsarevich is still so young!
Alexei's a fledgling, an innocent son.
Holy Russia, pray for this little one.

(Marina Tsvetaev)

Offline Sarushka

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Re: Riding His Sled Down the Stairs
« Reply #29 on: October 28, 2005, 12:11:41 AM »
Alix's letter to Anna Vyrubova is dated 6/19 April, 1918. At that point, Aleksei had been ill for a week, so it seems 30 March was the beginning of his trouble.

The Botkina version is loooking less and less likely, isn't it?
THE LOST CROWN: A Novel of Romanov Russia -- now in paperback!
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