Wednesday, 30 August 2017

An 1892 Children’s Book

The grand dukes and duchesses (surrounded since birth with nannies, tutors and servants) never learned to understand the world outside. In 1861, when Alexander III was sixteen and his brother fourteen, their tutor stayed in the bedroom until they fell asleep. A valet then replaced him for the night while the tutor went to his own apartment in the Winter Palace.
The future Nicholas II was twenty-five years old in 1894 when he wrote the following in his diary:

‘In the [Anichkov] garden all is as before: the skating rink and the snow mounds were ready, even a little square made out of snow in order to look out through the fence at the Nevsky’.  ‘Around 3:30 I went with Xenia to Aunt Mikhen’s. We found Mama and Papa there. For the first time I began to walk freely around the embankment [near the Winter Palace] with Xenia,  where we met a number of people we knew’ and ‘I went into the garden with Sergei. We looked more at the Nevsky through the railing’ .[Thursday January 6th, Friday January 7th, and Tuesday January 25th].

The imperial children shielded in their youth later expressed in their diaries and letters a curiosity of others’ lives, loving to poke around in the rooms on visits to their homes.

The 1892 children’s book (below) would have fascinated any child but for an imperial child, behind a palace fence, it was a revelation.


  1. What fun and very interesting images. : )

  2. I love these images! They must have been quite interesting to the imperial children especially after living and growing up in palace's.
    Ghostie x