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  #61  
Old 01-02-2012, 06:08 AM
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Added to which, AristoCat, had Nicholas been the Alpha male we would like him to have been, he would not have allowed her to get away with such behaviour BUT, had he been that man, the marriage would probably never have taken place.
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  #62  
Old 01-02-2012, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Vasillisos Markos View Post
... I for one do not see that she died for her Orthodox belief.
She is not praised as a martyr in Russian Orthodox Church, but as a passion bearer.
Unlike martyrs, passion-bearers are not explicitly killed for their faith, though they hold to that faith with piety and true love of God. Thus all martyrs are passion bearers, but not all passion bearers are martyrs.
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:26 AM
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Added to which, AristoCat, had Nicholas been the man who wore well his title TSAR of ALL the RUSSIAS, he would not have tolerated such behaviour from a wife and likely would not have married someone who displayed such tendencies. Had Alexander lived longer, Alexandra would have been able to dip her toes into the Imperial water at her leisure rather than being pushed in from the highest diving board which MAY have made her more ameanable to Russia's high society.
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  #64  
Old 01-02-2012, 10:24 AM
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Added to which, AristoCat, had Nicholas been the Alpha male we would like him to have been, he would not have allowed her to get away with such behaviour BUT, had he been that man, the marriage would probably never have taken place.
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Added to which, AristoCat, had Nicholas been the man who wore well his title TSAR of ALL the RUSSIAS, he would not have tolerated such behaviour from a wife and likely would not have married someone who displayed such tendencies.
I think Nicholas has been an example of a royal who viewed his royal role as a misery and married unwisely and wrecked his life and dynasty as a result. Both his parents were adamant that he not marry her but he insisted and I think that he refused to accept that being Tsar was a huge blessing and privilege. Louis XIV never complained about his royal role and neither have the best monarchs that this world has ever seen. Russian society knew that she would never be a good choice as Consort and I do not think Nicholas really wanted to be one, but I think Alexandra made things a lot more complicated than they had to be. IF she had provided a healthy social life and been more open to the interest of getting along and making a genuine effort, well, quite frankly things would surely have been different.

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Had Alexander lived longer, Alexandra would have been able to dip her toes into the Imperial water at her leisure rather than being pushed in from the highest diving board which MAY have made her more ameanable to Russia's high society.
Either way she was not sociable and being raised to her rank was no real excuse. She was royalty and had lived royalty ehr entire life and knew the expectations. She had a social life all her own and she knew the social routine and knew all about etiquette. She did after all live among reigning royalty her entire life and was close to Queen Victoria. There was nothing new about her life in royal life. She wasn't unaware of the squeamish side of life and she wasn't unaware of how things went in that area. She kept creating more and more secrets, which just increased pressure and pushed Nicholas to new heights of stress. IF she had provided a fun social life it would have enabled him to relax more and enabled him to get help as he needed it. To me the continuation of the autocracy was for her own ego as much as it was for the prestige of the dynasty. She really, really could have done things differently and been an exceptional wife and Tsarina, but go figure, she squandered it on petty spite and her own ambitions. I mean, when Nicholas' father was dying, Alexandra resented that everyone was paying more attention to Marie rather than licking nicholas' boots. I mean really, that petty almost right away?

She should have been better than to actually think that and quite frankly I don't think it was a win-win situation either way.
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Old 01-02-2012, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Kasumi View Post
She is not praised as a martyr in Russian Orthodox Church, but as a passion bearer.
Unlike martyrs, passion-bearers are not explicitly killed for their faith, though they hold to that faith with piety and true love of God. Thus all martyrs are passion bearers, but not all passion bearers are martyrs.
My dear Kasumi,

Thank you for the correction. It is undeniable that Alexandra was a passion bearer; her religious beliefs colored every thing she did. It is a pity that she could not combine those beliefs with a better attitude towards her role in society and worked to improve the prestige and popularity of the throne.
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Old 01-03-2012, 12:59 AM
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In the little I know about being an autocrat it is not a blessing to everyone. Like Louis XVI there are some people who are not cut out to rule; Nicholas definitely does not strike me as someone who could successfully be an autocrat. It has often been said that he wasbetter suited for the job of a constitutional monarch. Nicholas' shortcomings were exacerbated by a wife, who as AristoCat said, wanted the privileges and authority of an Empress without learning what the job actually requires.
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  #67  
Old 01-03-2012, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Vasillisos Markos View Post
My dear Kasumi,

Thank you for the correction. It is undeniable that Alexandra was a passion bearer; her religious beliefs colored every thing she did. It is a pity that she could not combine those beliefs with a better attitude towards her role in society and worked to improve the prestige and popularity of the throne.
It was the fatalism she shared with Nicholas that ended up bringing them both down (along with their children) in the end.
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Old 02-14-2012, 02:28 PM
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From the link posted in the Romanovs and Russian History thread in the Royal Library, a few excerpts from the review of "Alix and Nicky: The Passion of the last Tsar and Tsarina" which may have relevance to this thread topic...

"While Massie was primarily interested in the effect of the heir to the throne’s hemophilia on the Imperial marriage and the broader course of Russian history, Rounding devotes an entire chapter to Alexandra’s health. She notes that the Empress suffered from various mysterious ailments prior to her son’s birth and weighs the various theories concerning the the Empress’s physical and psychological health.

...Queen Victoria’s influence over her granddaughter, Alexandra. Other authors who have addressed this subject...have argued that the Queen exerted a positive influence over the young Empress. In contrast, Rounding argues that the example of Victoria’s comparative seclusion from her subjects and belief in bed rest as the cure to every health problem actually hindered Alexandra’s integration into the Russian court.

Queen Victoria’s well known distrust of the Russian aristocracy and Nicholas II’s relatives may have also influenced Alexandra’s decision to raise her family at a comparative distance from the court in St. Petersburg.

...the contrast between their enjoyment of mainstream Tchaikovsky ballets and the avant garde tastes of the broader Russian court receives sustained attention. Rounding’s use of memoir literature and newspaper articles of the period illuminates the reasons why their living spaces were considered “bourgeois” to aristocratic observers and appeared to emphasize the Imperial couple’s separation from the larger court."

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  #69  
Old 02-14-2012, 04:04 PM
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According to Helen Rapaport in 'The Last Days of the Romanovs', when Victoria found out that Alix was going to marry into the Russian aristocracy, she was 'horrified' over the whole matter.She thought the Russian throne was a 'dark' monarchy. But, when Alix and Nicky came to visit her with their daughter, Olga,in 1896, she grew fond of Nicky. If she had lived until 1905, her opinion may have changed with the start of the Russo-Japan war and 'Bloody Sunday'. If Alix had married a prince from a smaller German state, history may have been kinder to the Romanovs. You made an interesting post, Warren, about the latest author of the latest 'Alix and Nicky' book. Do you think that any more books about the Romanovs as a whole, not just Nicholas and Alexandra, will ever be written?
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Old 02-14-2012, 04:49 PM
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My guess is that future books will largely concentrate on the fall of the dynasty, the reasons for it, and the resultant Soviet state.

There is probably now a mass of archival material available to historians which would shed light and greater detail concerning the relationships between members of the extended Imperial Family. However, as time passes it is likely that the focus of authors - and more importantly, publishers - will be on the end game, ie Nicholas and Alexandra.
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  #71  
Old 02-14-2012, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Alexey 1904 View Post
According to Helen Rapaport in 'The Last Days of the Romanovs', when Victoria found out that Alix was going to marry into the Russian aristocracy, she was 'horrified' over the whole matter.She thought the Russian throne was a 'dark' monarchy. But, when Alix and Nicky came to visit her with their daughter, Olga,in 1896, she grew fond of Nicky. If she had lived until 1905, her opinion may have changed with the start of the Russo-Japan war and 'Bloody Sunday'. If Alix had married a prince from a smaller German state, history may have been kinder to the Romanovs. You made an interesting post, Warren, about the latest author of the latest 'Alix and Nicky' book. Do you think that any more books about the Romanovs as a whole, not just Nicholas and Alexandra, will ever be written?
My recollection is that QV always liked Nicky on a personal level.

However, she thought Russia was not a stable place and did not want any of her granddaughters to marry into a place like that. Her concerns were certainly justified imo. Russia was a mess. And it took a LONG time and a lot of help to get that way.

Personally, I think Revolution was coming whether Alexandra was Empress or not. One person can't bring about something like a Revolution anyway. Certainly her inability to socialize and fit in in Russian society and people's inability to understand why she kept Rasputin around didn't help her much and just added to the list of "issues" in Russia, but that's not going to bring down an Empire imo. Furthermore, she didn't influence Imperial policy that much, or that long, really imo to bring the system down. (I won't say she influenced things positively though.)

She is an easy scapegoat though. She really did make so many mistakes, as did Nicky, as did many people before them and during Nicky's rule. She was a very complicated, though well-meaning imo, woman. She was also quite difficult to get to know.

I definitley think that Alexandra thought that if QV could be secluded and be okay, she could be too. It makes sense.

You didn't ask me, but I'm sure there will be more books about the Romanovs--with a particular focus on Nicholas and Alexandra simply because their overthrow radically changed the world. And there will be different interpretations. I find it entertaining and interesting to see how different historians interpret the same person--often using the same, or similar, evidence. Or how some just seem to follow each other around with their interpretations.lol Then there is how different generations interpret a person.
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  #72  
Old 02-14-2012, 05:46 PM
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So, Erin9 and Warren, it's safe to say, in your opinion, you don't expect any books about GD George(Nicholas' younger brother) to be flying off shelves any time soon, correct?
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  #73  
Old 02-14-2012, 06:08 PM
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I doubt it. I think whatever books are written about the Romanovs, the main focus will be on the higher profile ones. But, you never know. There are plenty of books out about "lesser" royals. That is to say--I don't consider it hopeless at all.
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  #74  
Old 02-14-2012, 11:36 PM
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Alexandra's biggest mistake is that she misinterpreted her role as Empress. She let her British Victorian heritage dictate her public behavior, which to the Russians (and Eastern European culture in general) is viewed as cold and withdrawn and uncaring. She didn't let Russian society get to know her and she didn't just enjoy what she had. Each Empress before had been very public figures socially as well as appearances and were loved for it. The Dowager Empress made the Russians love her because she made sure that she was out there, among the aristocracy as well as the public. Each empress before loved every bit of it and every minute of being an Empress. Alexandra treated it like some horrible burden adn that the public appearances were a burden and going to balls were a burden. By default, the public sensed that they were a burden and bother and then society interpreted it as that THEY were an unwanted burden and a constant trial and acted accordingly. During the problematic times, she should have been out there, getting in touch, making an effort, and making she was seen as human and seen as a good part of Russian life.

As for Marie Antoinette, Marie did the same, shutting herself off from the arisotcracy (who could have protected her), or the people, who might have ended up not revolting.
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  #75  
Old 02-15-2012, 01:26 AM
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Originally Posted by AristoCat View Post
Alexandra's biggest mistake is that she misinterpreted her role as Empress. She let her British Victorian heritage dictate her public behavior, which to the Russians (and Eastern European culture in general) is viewed as cold and withdrawn and uncaring..
Similar to her cousin who became Queen of Spain. Ena was considered cold and unfeeling because she didn't wail and carry on over the victims of the bomb that was thrown on her wedding day.
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She didn't let Russian society get to know her and she didn't just enjoy what she had. Each Empress before had been very public figures socially as well as appearances and were loved for it.
..
I know nothing about the wife of Alex II other than that she was also a hessian Darmstadt by birth and very unwell in her later life. Was she as loved as Marie was?

.[/QUOTE]
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  #76  
Old 02-15-2012, 05:44 AM
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Alexandra's biggest mistake is that she misinterpreted her role as Empress. She let her British Victorian heritage dictate her public behavior, which to the Russians (and Eastern European culture in general) is viewed as cold and withdrawn and uncaring. She didn't let Russian society get to know her and she didn't just enjoy what she had. Each Empress before had been very public figures socially as well as appearances and were loved for it. The Dowager Empress made the Russians love her because she made sure that she was out there, among the aristocracy as well as the public. Each empress before loved every bit of it and every minute of being an Empress. Alexandra treated it like some horrible burden adn that the public appearances were a burden and going to balls were a burden. By default, the public sensed that they were a burden and bother and then society interpreted it as that THEY were an unwanted burden and a constant trial and acted accordingly. During the problematic times, she should have been out there, getting in touch, making an effort, and making she was seen as human and seen as a good part of Russian life.

As for Marie Antoinette, Marie did the same, shutting herself off from the arisotcracy (who could have protected her), or the people, who might have ended up not revolting.
All you say is correct BUT, there is another side to the coin. Alexandra WAS her Brithish Victorian heritage. She had no other way of being and in the way that children emulate the significant adult in their life to gain their approval, so Alexandra did with Victoria, her beloved Granny. However, it is very doubtful that she ever learned the art of socializing from Victoria, who famously kept herself away from the public gaze. Having this knowledge, though, would not, IMO, have changed the final outcome, but it could have made her less isolated. Her M in L had many years in which to hone her social skills and learn the ropes before she
became Tsaritsa-carefree years. Compare that to Alexandra's immediate entry to the Imperial family. Denied the relative freedom of being wife to the Tsaravitch, during which time she could have been given instruction, the lofty position of wife to the Tsar both raised and set her apart to the point that convention decreed it inappropriate for anyone to instruct her. Had this been attempted, I feel, that from embarrassment at being found wanting, she would have retreated behind the "safety" of her title and whilst I feel that some of her behaviour was seen as uncaring, in her defence, I feel that "during problematic times" she came up trumps, admittedly, not perhaps within the Imperial circle with its' limited perameters, but in hospitals, unafraid to get her hands dirty, seeing things and performing tasks that many others of her class would have eschewed. It seems to me that she never understood the importance of "working a room," maybe saw it as vacuous frivolity that Queens/Empresses didn't indulge in but when the chips were down I believe she exhibited a strongly defined sense of duty.
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Old 02-15-2012, 10:44 AM
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^ Your assertions are most correct, but even after so many years, she still didn't let herself enjoy her title and have fun with it. She could (and should) have found an elderly dowager to befriend and help her out with the issues. Her mother should have been a help, but Marie was impossible to deal with. Marie never should have stoked the resentment, but she did and ended up sometimes excabarating the problems that already existed. It was however customary that young women of society know how to end up socailizing and conversing, something that Alexandra was tutored in before her 'debut' in society.
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Old 02-15-2012, 07:51 PM
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She could have turned to her sister Elizabeth who charmed the Russian court when she first arrived and was very social. Ella loved the jewels and the gowns and the balls and skating parties of the Imperial Court. Even after Ella moved to Moscow Alex could still have reached out to her for advice. They shared the same background, but were obviously different people who reacted differently to life in Russia.
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Old 02-16-2012, 03:29 AM
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She could have turned to her sister Elizabeth who charmed the Russian court when she first arrived and was very social. Ella loved the jewels and the gowns and the balls and skating parties of the Imperial Court. Even after Ella moved to Moscow Alex could still have reached out to her for advice. They shared the same background, but were obviously different people who reacted differently to life in Russia.
I think we have to strip away the trappings to see what was really going on. I feel very strongly that what Alexandra want most from Ella was to be seen and respected for what she was-an Empress. I suspect that Ella never saw her as being more than WHO she was-her little sister. I have a view of Alicky as a small girl looking in at the unity between her three big sisters, made stronger by the tragic deaths of their siblings and mother, longing to be one of them, but being disregarded by them, not deliberately perhaps, well, no more than other siblings!!! but because of the dividing years. The three big girls learned, with and from each other, all that is necessary in a childs' social development. Rough and tumble, squabbling, making up, sharing, learning to deal with problems which arise from sisterly intimacy. Alexandra, left on the outside, looking in, never learned these lessons, never knew how to fit in, but I think she may have learned resentment. So we see her as an adult, elevated to the most exalted position a woman can hold, but STILL unable to be a part of a group, though she can now use this position as a reason not to. I suspect, however, she was watching Ella's popularity with jealousy-how dare she have the temerity to outshine her? It comes as no surprise at all that she didn't turn to Ella for advice on "how to."
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Old 02-16-2012, 03:45 AM
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Alexandra has problems with everyone, she couldn't ask for help from Maria because of one reason, she couldn't reach out to Ella for another reason. She hated her husbands cousins, uncles, nephews or whatever. After awhile the one thing all these bad relationships have in common is Alexandra.
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