Friday, February 19, 2010

anastasia's quirks

Marie, top, and Anastasia making faces during their captivity at Tsarskoe Selo

Anastasia Nicholaevna was a jokester. One of her family's nicknames for her was shvibzik, "imp" in Russian.

She was not the best student. Her French tutor Pierre Gilliard described her as "... almost a wag. She had a very strong sense of humour, and the darts of her wit often found sensitive spots. She was rather an enfant terrible, though this fault tended to correct itself with age. She was also extremely idle, though with the idleness of a gifted child."

Like all her family, Anastasia loved taking pictures - and she often used to color her hats or clothes after the photographs were printed.

She also enjoyed painting, though she admitted she was not as talented as older sister Olga.

Despite stories, rumors, accounts and movies all pointing to the contrary, Anastasia did not survive the shooting in the cellar in 1918. That story, which has persisted nearly 100 years after the family's deaths, was finally put to rest in 2008. More about this soon - though I doubt one blog entry will be enough!

Thanks to Pierre Gilliard's wonderful memoirs, "Thirteen Years at the Russian Court." You can read Pierre's memoirs here.

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