Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Memories of the Russian Court

Memories of the Russian Court - This online book was written by Anna Vyrubova and is the most famous first-hand account of the tragic lives of the last Imperial family of Russia. Anna was a close friend of the Empress Alexandra and this book gives many details on Rasputin and his influence on events associated with the Russian Revolution.

From the site:

It is with a prayerful heart and memories deep and reverent that I begin to write the story of my long and intimate friendship with Alexandra Feodorovna, wife of Nicholas II, Empress of Russia, and of the tragedy of the Revolution, which brought on her and hers such undeserved misery, and on our unhappy country such a black night of oblivion.

But first I feel that I should explain briefly who I am, for though my name has appeared rather prominently in most of the published accounts of the Revolution, few of the writers have taken the trouble to sift facts from fiction even in the comparatively unimportant matter of my genealogy. I have seen it stated that I was born in Germany, and that my marriage to a Russian officer was arranged to conceal my nationality. I have also read that I was a peasant woman brought from my native Siberia to further the ambitions of Rasputin. The truth is that I am unable to produce an ancestor who was not born Russian. My father, Alexander Sergievich Taneyev, during most of his life, was a functionary of the Russian Court, Secretary of State, and Director of the Private Chancellerie of the Emperor, an office held before him by his father and his grandfather. My mother was a daughter of General Tolstoy, aide de camp of Alexander II. One of my immediate ancestors was Field Marshal Kutusov, famous in the Napoleonic Wars. Another, on my mother's side, was Count Kontaisov, an intimate friend of the eccentric Tsar Paul, son of the great Catherine.

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