With love fr.
Easter note to Louis Mountbatten.
"I am leaving a glittering world where I had a glittering position, but with all of you I am descending into a greater world - the world of the poor and the suffering." - St. Elizabeth Feodorovna
"We lived those days not long ago, and yet it seems a hundred years have passed since then."
- Ivan Burnin, The Scent of Apples (x)
"Sweet Mama and Papa! Today I have guests: Maria and Anastasia. They drank tea and played hide and seek, Indians, and dolls. Anastasia was the patient, Maria the nurse, and I the doctor…"
Letter of little Vera Konstantinovna from Pavlovsk, 10th of November 1912. (via romanovrussiatoday)
Princess Vera died in 2001 (within the lifetime of most of us). When the Family was reburied (except Maria and Alexei) I believe she was the only Romanov (or pretty much anyone) still alive who had actually intimately known Nicholas, Alexandra and OTMAA (who of course she played with).
As things actually stood in 1917-1918, Grand Duchess Olga was relatively irrelevant in political terms. She was murdered along with her parents and siblings not because of what she did of could have done, but because of who she was.
The Diary of Olga Romanov - Helen Azar
30 Day Romanov Challenge 2 ~ Recent Biography You’ve Read
Long over due work (the previously untranslated wartime diaries of Olga) finally gifted by the amazingly talented Russianist writer Helen Azar in The Diary of Olga Romanov: Royal Witness to the Revolution. I have been a Romanov fanatic since age 14, and have always had an “obsessive” special love for Olga. Olga’s voice is not only NOT lost in translation (as is so sadly the case in many Russian to English translations i.e. Tolstoy) but Helen brings the voice of this surprisingly modern, beautiful, witty, compassionate, independent-minded kind young woman who declared her individuality in time when women were expected to be adornments to men, vibrantly alive. Helen’s translation seamlessly tells a story worth telling, pulling together the pieces of Olga’s fascinating life and journey through not only her diaries but also her letters and other first hand accounts… (read full review here)
In August 1914, Russia entered World War I, and with it, the imperial family of Tsar Nicholas II was thrust into a conflict they would not survive. His eldest child, Olga Nikolaevna, great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria, had begun a diary in 1905 when she was ten years old and kept writing her thoughts and impressions of day-to-day life as a grand duchess until abruptly ending her entries when her father abdicated his throne in March 1917.
The Diary of Olga Romanov: Royal Witness to the Russian Revolution, translated and introduced by scientist and librarian Helen Azar, and supplemented with additional primary source material, is a remarkable document of a young woman who did not choose to be part of a royal family and never exploited her own position, but lost her life simply because of what her family represented.
collage inspired by historyofromanovs
Nicholas II with his daughters Olga, Tatiana and Maria in 1912.
“He thoroughly enjoyed life when it let him, and he was a happy, romping boy. He was very simple in his tastes and he entertained no false satisfaction because he was the Heir; there was nothing he thought less about.” - Pierre Gilliard
"She was the imp of the whole house, and the glummest faces would always brighten in her presence, for it was impossible to resist her jokes and nonsense. She was aflame with life and animation. Even at sixteen she still behaved like a headstrong young foal that has run away from its master. For all her weaknesses you were bound to love this child, because you could not escape from her irresistible charm, made up of freshness, enjoyment of life, ingenuousness and simplicity." - Pierre Gilliard