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 Post subject: Re: Speaking of royal questions: Robin's secret past...
PostPosted: 30 Nov 2011, 22:37 
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Alison H wrote:
Interestingly, Anna Anderson turned out to be a Polish woman who'd moved to Germany. It's possible that Marya Humphries, whilst she in fact wasn't the Grand Duchess Maria, claimed to be her and convincingly fooled Ted, who in turn passed the story on to Jem and Jack.

I think this is, on the face of it, a compelling theory - and more realistic than Marya being Maria.

However...

There are only two reasons Marya would lie about being Maria. Firstly, she was a con woman, or at any rate an opportunist, looking to cash in on Romanov tragedy. This is not a feasible theory, given that she only told Ted*, and never made a public claim, or sought money etc (we know they live happily in relative poverty).

The second, and more likely, reason for her to lie is that she was delusional. It would certainly explain why the authorities were anxious that the Robin should not be upset or, later, have children (mental instability, in the novel world, always in danger of being passed from mother to daughter). The only problem is that we are told consistently that the Robin has never known anything but love, that she came from a loving family etc. In the context of the Chalet School world, I do not believe it is possible that the Robin would have passed such a loving childhood, and evidently, in Jo of, been such a settled and content little girl, if her mother, to whom she was so close, was mentally unstable and delusional.

And it is in this context, that of the Chalet School world firstly, and the wider GO world secondly, that I think it is more realistic that Marya is Maria. The imperial family was murdered in hideous fashion (whatever one might think in terms of the righteousness of the revolution and Nicholas' removal from power and even his execution, the way those poor young people died was horrendous) and yet a story emerges that a grand duchess may have survived. In this GO context, with such a story, it is near inconceivable that it be untrue, and the grand duchess killed with the rest of family. The "mysteriously missing heir"-character always triumphs, and that is why, in the Chalet School world, the second grave would never be there.


*In the world in my head.
I'm sorry, "over invested"? I don't understand these words...

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 Post subject: Re: Speaking of royal questions: Robin's secret past...
PostPosted: 30 Nov 2011, 22:45 
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I love this and am going to go and read what you've written in the SDL straight away!


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 Post subject: Re: Speaking of royal questions: Robin's secret past...
PostPosted: 30 Nov 2011, 22:53 
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And this, of course, is the explanation for Robin's 'trinkets', recently discussed on another thread. Maria managed to escape with a few pieces of jewellery sewn into her corsets, as suggested above. Even though the Humphries were hard up, it was too risky to try to sell the jewellery when Marya was alive, or soon after she died, as it might be recognised and traced back to them. Then Ted died and the War intervened, and possibly Robin never knew the truth about her mother and where jewellery had come from.

(By all accounts the four Grand Duchesses were lovely young women, quite simply brought up, in a close, loving family. I can quite believe one of them could have been Robin's mother.)


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 Post subject: Re: Speaking of royal questions: Robin's secret past...
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2011, 00:19 
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I'm trying desperately (my true destiny in life was not to do boring accounts but to be a Russian-specialist historian, to the great despair of my university tutor whose family were Polish) to think of a Cecilia in the Romanov family, but I'm not succeeding. Having said which, there've been plenty of Ceciles/Cecilias in various other royal families, including the Tsarina's great niece (one of Prince Philip's sister), so it wouldn't have been an unsuitable name.

I still think Ted was murdered. Even if he wasn't murdered, he was clearly up to something very strange in the Stalinist Soviet Union. There is no logical reason whatsoever for his having gone there (although I suspect EBD may have been reading Arthur Ransome books at the time).

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 Post subject: Re: Speaking of royal questions: Robin's secret past...
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2011, 00:31 
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Well, naturally she met Ted on St Cecilia's day... :D

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 Post subject: Re: Speaking of royal questions: Robin's secret past...
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2011, 14:45 
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Quote:
...he was clearly up to something very strange in the Stalinist Soviet Union. There is no logical reason whatsoever for his having gone there.

There were various trade delegations, and missions trying to recover British property and capital from Russia.

I've just had a quick look at the Times digital archive (because I obviously have nothing better to do); on 13 July 1925 it was reported that a French trade mission was due to depart for Russia on 5 August. Since Ted spoke French and Russian, maybe he went along as an interpreter. Or maybe accompanied a similar British mission as an interpreter.


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 Post subject: Re: Speaking of royal questions: Robin's secret past...
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2011, 16:33 
So, does anyone in the CS world know the truth, other than Ted? We know that Madge and Jem flew from Innsbruck to be at his deathbed, but that he forbade them to bring the Robin - was this partly because, as well as wanting her to remember him as he was in full health, he had Things to Impart to Madge and Jem before he died? In Adrienne, Joey does make Ted sound rather mysterious about his dead wife, and suggests Madge, Jem and Dick may know more than she does:

Quote:
Her mother died when she was little more than a baby. Uncle Ted was all she had left except us. He died when she was thirteen and I don’t know that he ever said much about his wife. Certainly I never knew more about her than that she had been very lovely – Robin’s supposed to be her image – and died when the kid was just a kid. He may have told Jem or Madge more but I just wouldn’t know.


And in her letter to Dick:

Quote:
“Uncle Ted was really your pal,” she went on when she had given him the account. “Rack your brains and let me have every blessed thing you can remember about him. As a matter of fact, I’m very much afraid the relationship may lie on his wife’s side. I remember that he told Madge that Robin was exactly like her mother. In that case, I don’t know how we’re going to get hold of any more proof than we already have. [...] So you set to work, my land, and see what you can dig out. Ask Mollie if you ever told her anything in those early days. She might remember oddments you forgot. Anyhow, we must do what we can. If it’s on the Humphries side, OK. If it’s on the other – I don’t believe I ever knew what Robin’s mother’s maiden name was, though I know her Christian name was Marya – I’m afraid we’ll have had it. I wonder if Robin knows it – her mother’s maiden name, I mean. After all, she was thirteen when Uncle Ted was killed in that climbing accident. He might have told her. I know he used to talk to her about her mother because she told me scraps here and there.


And if we go into full conspiracy theory mode, if Adrienne resembles the Robin, who looks exactly like Marya, then it makes no sense at all that the family link is on the Humphries side - a cover up of the truth by Dick, the Bettany Ted was closest to, who is the one to 'uncover' the safe/invented Humphries link between Robin and Adrienne?

(Not even mentioning the msyerious locket that gets forgotten about...) :D


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 Post subject: Re: Speaking of royal questions: Robin's secret past...
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2011, 16:37 
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So Adrienne is also of royal descent, but ends up doing the washing up somewhere a la Anne Neville before her "rescue" by the future Richard III :lol: .

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 Post subject: Re: Speaking of royal questions: Robin's secret past...
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2011, 17:28 
Alison H wrote:
So Adrienne is also of royal descent, but ends up doing the washing up somewhere a la Anne Neville before her "rescue" by the future Richard III :lol: .


We haven't worked in Rasputin anywhere yet, which is bothering me. Might he have magically escaped his triple murder and ended his days as a wandering madman in the Tiernsee, who somehow recognises the Robin's resemblance to one of the Tsarinas and tries to take her away with him...? :D


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 Post subject: Re: Speaking of royal questions: Robin's secret past...
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2011, 17:34 
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*peers quietly in at the thread, then shuts door and tiptoes away quickly, shaking head at the madness* :lol: :lol:
Sorry, only joking this thread is getting better by the minute. Someone work Rasputin into it please?


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 Post subject: Re: Speaking of royal questions: Robin's secret past...
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2011, 17:53 
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Rasputin was (after other methods, including poisoned cake, failed) murdered by being drowned in a frozen river. He was shoved through a hole in the ice.

Cake? People going through holes in the ice? How much more CS could it have got :wink:?

Alternatively he could of course, as Cosimo's Jackal suggested, have been the "madman" in Head Girl.

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 Post subject: Re: Speaking of royal questions: Robin's secret past...
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2011, 18:44 
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I'm totally convinced by the suggestion that he's Robin's madman. The only other possibilities, IMHO, are (1) that he suffered brain damage from all the attempts on his life and found himself wandering in the Tyrol convinced he was a woman. Is it known whether Matron Webb suffers from an excess of facial hair? The harsh voice and manner would seem almost conclusive, though there's no mention of a Russian accent.
(2) That he somehow woke from a coma with a totally different accent (known phenomenon) and found he spoke in Elizabethan English. An unscrupulous spinster latched on to him and told him she was his sister and he spent some time at the world-famous San. The reason even the world-famous Dr Russell didn't spot that he was a former monk is Rasputin's long-concealed secret, ie that he was a woman. (Hence his closeness to the Tsarina with whom he discussed knitting patterns and the relative fitness of the Imperial guards.)

It all makes sense suddenly.

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 Post subject: Re: Speaking of royal questions: Robin's secret past...
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2011, 18:49 
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And really both poisoned cake and hole in the ice are easy to get out of - cake stuck in his throat, a la Snow White, and a hefty blow on his shoulder by a passing tramp, allowed him to expel it.

He of course swam strongly under the ice until he reached a warm spring where the ice was not so thick and he pushed his way through into the Russian Winter.....

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 Post subject: Re: Speaking of royal questions: Robin's secret past...
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2011, 22:05 
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I love this theory and very true! :) maybe a book could be written about this?! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Speaking of royal questions: Robin's secret past...
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2011, 23:37 
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Cosimo's Jackal wrote:
So, does anyone in the CS world know the truth, other than Ted? We know that Madge and Jem flew from Innsbruck to be at his deathbed, but that he forbade them to bring the Robin - was this partly because, as well as wanting her to remember him as he was in full health, he had Things to Impart to Madge and Jem before he died?

I think Jem and Jack, at least, must have known For The Sake Of Her Health. In fact, in accepting this theory, I think Jem has to have known from very early on, and, in the context of their early relationship, I think that means Madge has to know as well (it is the Bettanys, after all, with whom Ted is friends, and Madge at this stage is pretty much Robin's main carer - she would have had to know what care to take). Bet you they wouldn't have told Jo, though. "Best not," you can just imagine Jem opining to Jack, "you know how the girl gets over Rob. There's no earthly reason she need know, anyhow. Take my advice, old man, and keep quiet!"

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 Post subject: Re: Speaking of royal questions: Robin's secret past...
PostPosted: 02 Dec 2011, 20:21 
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I agree that Jem, at least, must have known all along. He wouldn't have invited Ted to work for him if he hadn't known all about him already and been utterly confident in him. He knows all things about all people, remember?

And there's no way Jem would stand for deathbed confessions and being made to feel like a mug for not having figured it all out ages ago.

Btw, I utterly agree with this whole story and am tremendously excited about it! Just back from my first trip to Russia, which involved passing through Ekaterinburg, so am finding this particularly thrilling...


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 Post subject: Re: Speaking of royal questions: Robin's secret past...
PostPosted: 02 Dec 2011, 20:47 
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Oh lipstick, I'm very jealous! I've been to Russia, but never yet made it to Ekaterinburg, and I've always wanted to (people tend to look at me as if I'm very bloodthirsty when I say that, unfortunately!).

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 Post subject: Re: Speaking of royal questions: Robin's secret past...
PostPosted: 05 Dec 2011, 15:51 
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I've just been reading about the Romanovs on Wikipedia, and noticed that Grand Duchess Olga (youngest sister of Nicholas II, and thus Maria's aunt, who was apparently close to the children and godmother to Anastasia), emigrated to Canada (Toronto, no less!) in 1948. Could this explain why Robin joined a Canadian convent?

It all fits... :D

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 Post subject: Re: Speaking of royal questions: Robin's secret past...
PostPosted: 05 Dec 2011, 21:31 
Curioser and curioser ...


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 Post subject: Re: Speaking of royal questions: Robin's secret past...
PostPosted: 16 Dec 2011, 11:39 
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*bows down in awe* True without a doubt!!!

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