Saturday, 16 July 2016

Gothic Library – Alexander II’s Diaries

On returning to St. Petersburg from Paris in 1908, Grand Duke Alexei A asked Nicholas II’s permission to search for Alexander II’s 1880-81 diaries on behalf of Katia Yurevskaya, Alexander II's morganatic second wife. A dispute had arisen over her claim that three million rubles were promised to her by Alexander II.

Nicholas and his mother reluctantly agreed as the search included Gatchina palace.
The diaries were not found until the summer of 1909 in Nicholas’ Gothic Library in the Winter Palace (photo below).

Vasily Shcheglov, chief librarian of HM Own Library, read the diaries. In order to guarantee no references were found relating to Katia’s claims, Shcheglov sent them to A. A. Mosolov to review.
Nicholas’ irritation, and how in the loop he was, is apparent in his lengthy letter on August 12th, 1909 “… Why did Shcheglov send both my Grandfather’s diaries to Mosolov? Immediately return them to my library in the Winter Palace …”

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