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  #201  
Old 05-10-2010, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Hereditary Thane View Post
On the other hand, her mother in law cared more for ostentation and material goods, it is a wonder the British war ship sent to rescue her didn't sink with all the booty she escaped with.
She did escape with a lot.
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  #202  
Old 06-05-2010, 05:45 PM
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Don't forget that Alexis' hemophelia was the center of her life, and caring for him. After his bleeding episodes, she collapsed in exhaustion.
I don't think that anyone could forget that Alexei's haemophilia has shaped in many ways Alix's world and behaviour. I understand that it must be horrible horrible for any mother to live under constant fear that her child might bleed to death almost without a warning. On the other hand, I can't also stop thinking that her sister Irene had also passed the haemophilia gene not to one but two of her three sons, Waldemar and Heinrich and the youngest one Heinrich died from it at an early age. Still, even after Heinrich' death, she seemed to deal with Waldemar's haemophilia in a less stresfull way that Alix dealed with Alexei's .
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  #203  
Old 06-05-2010, 08:33 PM
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Alix was dour, overly religious and self-righteous. She was intolerant. Yes, she suffered with a very sick child, but many other coped with worse situations. Actually, she made the situation worse. She was the antithesis of the kind of wife Nicholas really needed.
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  #204  
Old 06-06-2010, 12:25 AM
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I'd read in a book years ago (unfortunately, I can't remember the name of it) that the Tsarina cried and cried and cried during her engagement. Perhaps there was something there besides "pre-wedding nerves."
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  #205  
Old 06-06-2010, 01:43 PM
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Alix was dour, overly religious and self-righteous. She was intolerant. Yes, she suffered with a very sick child, but many other coped with worse situations. Actually, she made the situation worse. She was the antithesis of the kind of wife Nicholas really needed.
Currently reading "Born to Rule". Seems that the granddaughters weren't made of as stern stuff. The engagement was the only thing Nicky put his foot down on.
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  #206  
Old 06-07-2010, 12:52 PM
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Yes, and look what came out of that. At the time, it seemed quite romantic that Nicky withstood his parents' opposition to the match but it becomes another fascinating "what if" of history to wonder what would have happened if Nicky never married Alix? No hemophilia in the royal family, no Rasputin and maybe no revolution (but the Russian monarchy still needed to change its ways, so revolution may have come regardless of any marriage between Nicky and whomever).
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  #207  
Old 06-07-2010, 03:16 PM
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Nicholas didn't have the stomach to be an autocrat regardless whom he had married. Russia was medieval in many ways and lets not forget the vast majority was living in awfull conditions. The Russian Empire was doomed IMO. If Alix hadn't existed in Nicholas' life the big difference regarding the revolution would be that Nicholas would probably had managed to walk out of Russia exiled with his family and alive. Nevertheless, it's amazing the fact that they were each other perfect mate. Even in exile that bond never broke.
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  #208  
Old 06-07-2010, 05:09 PM
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I'm at the part in the book where they described the bedroom and mauve room of the Alexander palace. I KNEW Alexandra was religious. I KNEW she was pious though I was not prepared for the description of the many, many icons everywhere. Seems she just went nuts over the Russian Orthodox Religion.
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  #209  
Old 06-07-2010, 06:18 PM
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Alix certainly went nuts over orthodoxy and Ella, Grand Duchess Serge, was similar, even selling off her worldly goods to start a convent. Prince Phillip's mother, the niece of Alix and Ella, had a similar immersion into religion, although in Alice's case, it did not take hold entirely.

I am currently finishing Carolly Erickson's bio of Alix. It is pretty good. I liked Born to Rule because not only is it a fresh look at Alix, it gives the histories of Marie of Rumania, Maud of Norway, Sophie of Greece, and Ena of Spain, all granddaughters of QV.
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  #210  
Old 06-07-2010, 06:22 PM
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I read Warwick's bio. on Ella and it seemed that when Serge died she went into another phase of her life and served, like her mother did. Alix, well, I don't know about that. It seemed like Alix lost a grip on reality almost. Or like some people who are "saved" HALLELUJAH! PRAISE GOD! And they become fanatical. They talk about it incessantly. . . .

BOrn to Rule has whetted my appetite with Maud. I think she's rather cheeky. I did NOT know about Marie and Boris' baby Mignon. I'll bet Alix and Nicky got wind of that and when he threw his hat into the ring for Olga's hand is why they poo-pooed it.
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  #211  
Old 06-07-2010, 06:46 PM
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I think Alix and Nicky, along with other European royals, looked disdainfully on the suspected "goings-on" of the Rumanian Court. QV worried about poor Missy being exposed to that court as a young, innocent bride. Me, I think Marie rocked that court! . . . after she found her sea legs. LOL
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  #212  
Old 06-07-2010, 06:57 PM
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One thing is for sure , Missy didn't stay innocent for a long time in Roumania . She actually flourished there and she was admired for her very own self not for being a good wife for their king. I believe that neither Sophie of Greece nor Alix had much respect for their roumanian cousins' lifestyle and ways. Surpingly, I found out some time ago that Missy was actually trying to orchestrate a marriage between Olga and Carol. Talk about a mismatched couple. Well, of course Nicholas and Alix never even thought about it seriously. (Although it makes one wonder , had Olga been married to Carol she might have survived the revolution . ) Sophie wasn't so lucky when Carol turned to her daughter unfortunately.
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  #213  
Old 06-07-2010, 09:25 PM
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Alix embraced orthodoxy wholeheartedly, perhaps more so than many Russians raised in the faith. This was not a bad quality to have, this love of religion, but her fatal dependency on Rasputin because he saved her son hurt her in the eyes of the public, especially once the rumors about Rasputin's lecherous behavior started circulating through St. Petersburg.

BTW, I am a lapsed Roman Catholic (like to think of myself as Agnostic now), so I totally get praying before icons as we RCs spend a lot of time praying before statues of saints. My partner is Greek by birth and has plenty of icons taking up one corner of the bedroom. A friend once saw the "shrine corner" and she asked me what that fetish was!

Anyhoo, Alix's faith was deep and sincere, which I am sure was a comfort to her after the revolution.
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  #214  
Old 06-08-2010, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Vasillisos Markos View Post
...it becomes another fascinating "what if" of history to wonder what would have happened if Nicky never married Alix?
Empires with established dynasties don't fall or collapse because of the Emperor's wife but because of the underlying political structure, the many imbalances in society and the pent-up demands of the populace for something different and better. While there may have been no great love for the Kaiser personally, 1918 saw all of the German monarchies swept away, and the Emperor Karl in Austria-Hungary fared no better although the Habsburg dynasty was comparatively benign.

If there had been no Alexandra (or Alexei or Rasputin) it's likely that Nicholas II would have remained a stubborn and remote Autocrat and the end result would have been the same, although he and his family may have been sent into exile rather than slaughtered.
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  #215  
Old 06-08-2010, 09:48 AM
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If there had been no Alexandra (or Alexei or Rasputin) it's likely that Nicholas II would have remained a stubborn and remote Autocrat and the end result would have been the same, although he and his family may have been sent into exile rather than slaughtered.
On the other hand, Nicholas was also easily influenced by those around him, unable to stand up for himself. First it was his mother, then his overbearing uncles and of course, Alexandra. While I think all of them had autocratic tendancies, Alexandra ended up being the most damaging in her influence. She was the one who pushed him to ignore all other's advice and make decisions for himself (or perhaps, carry out her and Rasputin's ideas). If Nicholas had been more politcally savvy or better prepared as Tsar, this might have worked out for the better. But as he and Alexandra both had little politcal acumen, it was disasterous.
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  #216  
Old 06-08-2010, 03:41 PM
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But really even if he had been better prepared I doubt he could save the monarchy.In order to have that monarchy saved , he would have to completely change the country into more democratic ways, finish his grandfather 's reformsand go even further perhaps and at the same time impose these reforms to the Romanovs, the aristocracy and all the other privileged people in the country who wouldn't be so happy . I doubt that the Russian monarchy would survive if Nicholas wished to keep the status quo. People didn't revolt just for the sake of revolting but because the era of autocracy was over for good , no more relevant to the country, and they weren't offered a better alternative than the one Communists promised. IMO, Nicholas wasn't the man who would have make all these bold moves and offer to his people a viable monarchical system, no matter whom he was married to.
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  #217  
Old 06-08-2010, 04:45 PM
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Empires with established dynasties don't fall or collapse because of the Emperor's wife but because of the underlying political structure, the many imbalances in society and the pent-up demands of the populace for something different and better. While there may have been no great love for the Kaiser personally, 1918 saw all of the German monarchies swept away, and the Emperor Karl in Austria-Hungary fared no better although the Habsburg dynasty was comparatively benign.
Quite right, Warren. I don't put all the blame on Alexandra but maybe with a different spouse, Nicky might have listened to others and made a better, if not successful, attempt to secure the throne. When Alexander, his father, took the throne, people were disappointed he did not continue the reforms of Nicky's grandfather, and people were disappointed that Nicky did not repudiate his father's views on autocracy. Nicky was cut from the same cloth as his father, he just did not have the personality to rule decisively.

I enjoyed reading Massie's Nicholas and Alexandra but I think he was too simplistic to assign Alexei's hemophilia as the cause of the couple's downfall. As history shows, there are usually several reasons behind major upheavals.
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  #218  
Old 06-08-2010, 07:10 PM
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Don't forget when reading Massie's work that since his son has haemophelia, he colored the book with experiences of his life. I have since read that there are varying degrees of this disease and the heir's condition may have been vastly different than Massie's sons.
Russo has been on the lookout for Firebird which Massie and his then wife Suzanne (author of Pavlovsk) wrote and cannot seem to find it!
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  #219  
Old 06-08-2010, 09:10 PM
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Remember Massie's son lived in a far more modern situation the Alexei, but they , also, knew the pain. Also, no matter what one says, Alexandra was a difficult person and not fit to work amongst those at the Russian Court. She was very judgemental. She was overtly religious, to a point of being obsessive. Nicholas was weak, easily swayed and ineffective. His mother would have been a much better ruler than he.
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  #220  
Old 06-09-2010, 01:02 AM
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Thank you for your illuminating post, Snowflower. I am not Orthodox but my emigre godfather was, and that is where I gained my meagre knowledge. I do believe that it is the liturgy and mysticism of the Church that attracts converts. How can anyone not be moved on listening to that very old recording by Feodor Chaliapin, Glory to God - the Domestica Liturgica.
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