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  #81  
Old 02-16-2012, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Alexey 1904 View Post
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?
There was speculation that Georgie had contracted 2 morganatic marriages (see Warwick's book on ella and the Crawfords on GD Michael) however unless that information is verified and comes to light then no, I don't think any books on Georgie are forth coming.
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  #82  
Old 02-19-2012, 01:50 PM
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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."
That is such an intelligent observation.

Alexandra did strike me in a lot of books as really, really disliking the rest of the world for some intangible reason. That is why I mentioned taht she never gave society a chance and never let them befriend her. The Dowager Empress made friends and reached out despite her exalted position, as Grand Duchess and then as Empress. She never let her rank get in the way of a good time and a good life. I'ts too bad she was so bitterly alienated.
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  #83  
Old 02-20-2012, 03:11 AM
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I don't blame Alexandra but she didn't help much. I think the Romanovs would have fallen anyway, it's just so sad it had to end the way it did. They even shot the children, I mean I get the tsar and his wife and maybe their son but the grand duchess, they never did anything bad it's just so sad. But I don't think Alexandra is to blame.
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  #84  
Old 02-20-2012, 05:08 AM
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Originally Posted by AristoCat View Post
That is such an intelligent observation.

Alexandra did strike me in a lot of books as really, really disliking the rest of the world for some intangible reason. That is why I mentioned taht she never gave society a chance and never let them befriend her. The Dowager Empress made friends and reached out despite her exalted position, as Grand Duchess and then as Empress. She never let her rank get in the way of a good time and a good life. I'ts too bad she was so bitterly alienated.
AristoCat, thankyou for your kind, supportive words. I am very aware that my views are not "mainstream" but I remain convinced that NONE of us get to be who we are by accident, that we all have a life story, colloquially called "baggage" and what I understand as internalized processes implanted by "significant others" during our formative years. It's these processes which direct our reactions, form our fears and prejudices, it informs how we cope. It makes no difference whether we're born to aristocracy or anonimity. So I fight Alexandras' corner because even if she IS nothing more that all the negative things she is accused of being, she didn't just HAPPEN to be.
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  #85  
Old 02-20-2012, 09:55 AM
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I think she may have distrusted the world-- but I also think that evolved over many years. And, having read a lot about her, I can see how it happened.

I don't think society gave her much of a chance either. (IOW- it was a two-way street.) They didn't like some of the charitable projects she suggested doing. They took her shyness to be aloofness. I don't think she was ever that comfortable speaking French or Russian.

Her problems interacting in society seemed to go beyond shyness--I think she actually had some form of anxiety about being in public. That probably got worse over the years, too, especially as she realized how poorly she was being receieved.

I think, also, the Dowager Empress was just a more outgoing person to begin with. She always loved a good party. Some people are more social than others. Some people are never going to enjoy going to lots of big parties; they just prefer a quieter life. I guess what I'm saying is that the Dowager Empress was never "out of her comfort zone" being a public person. Alexandra clearly was waaaaaaaaaaaaaay out of hers.
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  #86  
Old 02-20-2012, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Tsaritsa View Post
...I remain convinced that NONE of us get to be who we are by accident, that we all have a life story, colloquially called "baggage"...
I think that's well said. One of the reasons I try to defend her is I look at her life and try to see HOW and WHY she evolved as she did.

I generally find myself feeling sympathy for her. It just seemed like people complained no matter what she did; it was never good enough. It must have been exhausting. (This is minor, but for instance, while she dressed nicely, it wasn't cutting edge enough, like Ella.)

Besides....I've found a number of qualities in her that I like--and/or can identify with. I like her love of books, her desire to spend time doing useful things, her love of her family, that she actually learned how to nurse in WWI and had her daughters learn how to as well, her deep faith, her values, etc. Of course, some of the things I listed also further explain her alienation from Russian society. I can identify with some of her stubbornness and shyness. And so on.
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  #87  
Old 02-20-2012, 08:49 PM
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generally find myself feeling sympathy for her. It just seemed like people complained no matter what she did; it was never good enough. It must have been exhausting. (This is minor, but for instance, while she dressed nicely, it wasn't cutting edge enough, like Ella.)
I have ot agree; she could never do a single thing right with them.
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  #88  
Old 02-20-2012, 08:56 PM
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Another issue with Alexandra was that while she converted to Russian Orthodoxy as was required she became something of a religious zealot embracing the mystical part of Orthodoxy. Essentially she became "more Catholic than the Pope" as the saying goes, which offended some of her inlaws and courtiers who were born into the faith.
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  #89  
Old 02-21-2012, 02:35 AM
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I think that is par for the course. Converts to any cause are usually fully committed, where as those born to it do little more than pay lip service and resent being shown as wanting by the converts' dedication.
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  #90  
Old 02-22-2012, 01:32 PM
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The probelm with Alix is that she didn't find any balance and moved her sense of fatalism into her religious beliefs; she let it reinforce her belief in her own divinely guided guidance.
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  #91  
Old 02-22-2012, 02:09 PM
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The probelm with Alix is that she didn't find any balance and moved her sense of fatalism into her religious beliefs; she let it reinforce her belief in her own divinely guided guidance.
Exactly. It was black or white with Alix. No in between in anything in her life.
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  #92  
Old 02-22-2012, 08:00 PM
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I am glad Alexandra has her defenders but what do you think of her interference in governmental affairs? Can you also defend her actions there as well? The shyness could be viewed as aloofness; her social awkwardness could be made fun of and would explain her withdrawing from society. But where Alexandra crossed the line, in my opinion, was interfering disastrously in the running of the country. She got many people fired because they did not trust Rasputin. And please don't shift blame because Rasputin saved Alexei from death. She could have accepted Rasputin's help, give him gifts, be pious and still refuse to interfere in her husband's government. But she did not. To persuade Nicholas to sack people because "our Friend" says so is not very defensible.
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  #93  
Old 02-22-2012, 08:09 PM
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Obviously she was totally unfit to be involved in the government of the empire, but that was as much Nickys fault as hers. He should not have listened to her and certainly never allowed her to act in his place while he was at the front.
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  #94  
Old 02-22-2012, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by NGalitzine View Post
Obviously she was totally unfit to be involved in the government of the empire, but that was as much Nickys fault as hers. He should not have listened to her and certainly never allowed her to act in his place while he was at the front.
My dear NGalitzine,

That is very true but don't you think Alexandra made it worse? Nicholas could have at least listened to his advisors but there were instances where Alexandra hectored him night and day until he gave in and removed a person she believed to be unworthy. If Nicholas had a backbone, he would have stood up to Alexandra but he did not. However, this thread is devoted to Alexandra's responsibility for the downfall and I attribute her interference as part of the problem.
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  #95  
Old 02-22-2012, 11:09 PM
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Yes, Nicholas was pretty unfit to be Autocrat of all the Russias and should have stood up to Alexandras hectoring. Neither one was really fit to sit on the throne of Russia, but doubt of the end result (fall of the moanrchy) could have been avoided.
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  #96  
Old 02-23-2012, 12:15 AM
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That is very true but don't you think Alexandra made it worse? Nicholas could have at least listened to his advisors but there were instances where Alexandra hectored him night and day until he gave in
Which is what makes her so much a part of the collapse; she never provided a quiet home where he could retreat, she just wore him down, time and time and time again and frankly I have to wonder, if he hadn't married her, just how different things might have been. She never socialized, never made many appareances, never let up on her nagging about ministers and his family, so is it any wonder he collapsed or was so influenced by her? There were escapes from ministers, but not his wife.
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  #97  
Old 02-23-2012, 04:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Russophile View Post
It was black or white with Alix. No in between in anything in her life.
And in those few succinct words lay all of Alixandra's many insecurities. Throughout their marriage we see Nicholas running around like a headless chicken carrying forward the thoughts of the last person with whom he spoke......and we have his little wife, magnificently equipped for the position of nag (a talent gleaned from Queen Victoria, perhaps?) because of her belief in "absolutes." Not an uncommon coupling and works when one partner neither wants, or has no capacity for leadership. How true of Nicky. I absolutely believe it may have been a question of "someone has to do something" and despite their ongoing passion, they had been married for long enough for her to know he wouldn't and for him to know she would, which isn't to say he believed she would get it right, but I suspect, that by this time, he was so close to breakdown that all he wanted was to get away.
I think her entrenched views may have been a safety blanket and if she could force those views on "everybody" it reinforced her fragile belief in herself and as Empress, she was in an ideal position to do it. However, I believe her decisions, at this time, to have been informed by the chancer, Rasputin, in the belief that if she lost contact with him for any reason, Alexei would die, such was her emotional turmoil regarding her sons' health. I suspect she was terrified and I suspect she didn't know which way to turn, she didn't run her household without help and now her husband had left she was supposed to make decisions about a country which was rapidly disintegrating around her. Every situation requires a scapegoat-Alexandra became Russias-but having looked at all the variables, at most I think her guilty by default.
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  #98  
Old 02-23-2012, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by AristoCat View Post
Which is what makes her so much a part of the collapse; she never provided a quiet home where he could retreat, she just wore him down, time and time and time again and frankly I have to wonder, if he hadn't married her, just how different things might have been. She never socialized, never made many appareances, never let up on her nagging about ministers and his family, so is it any wonder he collapsed or was so influenced by her? There were escapes from ministers, but not his wife.

I don't get the impression that he minded too much her "nagging" him. I don't read much annoyance in their correspondence. I think, perhaps, he liked that she at least was willing to "help" him. Nicholas could be quite stubborn on some points (like his general belief in autocracy--which Alexandra agreed with.), but he was never a strong leader.

And, he certainly did pick and choose what advice he took and what advice he ignored from her. Entering WWI is a great example of that. He certainly TRUSTED her. He did put her in charge of the government while he was at the front. And I don't think that was because she pushed him into it.

I don't think he wanted to escape from his wife's influence. He loved her. My impression is that their home life was, over-all, quite happy.

I don't think they talked politics 24/7 iow. So much of what we read about them is just from the last couple of years of their rule--which is when they were separated the most, during the war, and when things were rapidly disintigrating. And, the writers are FOCUSING on the political aspects of their correspondence, too. They did talk about other things--their children, how much they missed each other and longed to be together again.
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  #99  
Old 02-23-2012, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Tsaritsa View Post
And in those few succinct words lay all of Alixandra's many insecurities...
That was so well said. I can't think of anything to add--except to just agree with you.lol

You make a very good point: Nicholas wasn't going to take the lead much. He knew it. He knew she knew it. So, she did (or tried to)....as he knew she would. And, as you said, she had the personality suited for it. So many of her letters urge him to take a strong stand....more or less knowing he wasn't going to. And, well, someone really had to.

That being said, I do think her influence on decision-making in Russia is over-stated. For one thing, I don't think she did THAT much over-all. Furthermore, with or without her, I don't see Nicholas making GOOD decisions, nor do I see the future of Russia as being much different. They were both quite conservative in their approach.

I think Nicholas believed, if nothing else, that Alexandra had his, their family's, and Russia's best interests at heart with her suggestions. He was right in that respect imo. Right or, mostly wrong, as her solutions may have been.

I think you make a great point about her "entrenched views being a safety blanket." That makes sense, as well. I don't think ANYBODY really had the answers. Things were so messed up. For instance, as much as people complained about Rasputin, getting rid of him was hardly the solution for all of Russia's problems. Yet, a lot of people seemed to think that would just about do it.
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  #100  
Old 02-23-2012, 07:39 PM
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Nicholas was retreating into the role of a constitutional monarch, but ALix kept reinforcing his belief in the autocracy. When he signed for the creation of a Duma, Alix was in tears and still refused to accept it as possible and egged her husband on to end up resisting every little thing, leaving the Duma with no choice but to be confrontational with the Tsar. Alix made the mistake of pushing him to refuse to work with the Duma, whihc had every intention of at first working with Nicholas and if Nicholas had been able, I am sure he would have gratefully given full legal power and ended up spending his time cutting ribbons, posing in uniform, and also spedning time with his family and traveling overseas. He would have been happy and then ended up alive, along with his family. However, he was pushed (by his wife and because of Rasputin) to protect his powers and prevent the sharing of power. I am sure the Duma would have removed Rasputin, but go figure, Alix fought back using her husband's position as a shield.
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