R is for Russia

[Public domain or CC-BY-SA-2.0
 via Wikimedia Commons
I've had a thing for Russia for almost as long as I can remember. It started when I was around 12 and read a series of books called The Russians, by Michael Phillips and Judith Pella. Set in the twilight of the tsarist Russia, everything about the series fascinated me. The books followed the Fedorcenko family, and a maid named Anna who eventually marries the oldest Fedorcenko son.

It follows the characters from the mid 1880's, through the assassination of Alexander III, Nicholas's coronation, the Russo-Japanese War of 1905, the Revolution, and one of Anna and Sergei's sons having to flee the country. Judith did a sort of follow up series set during WW2 that finished the Fedorcenko story.

While reading these books my grandmother wanted to go to the Palaces of St. Petersburg exhibit in Jackson, MS. So we took her. While there my fascination became an obsession.

For the first time EVER Russia sent actual tsarist-era treasures outside the country. All as a thank you to the University of Mississippi for sending medicine a few years before. They even recreated the blue-tiled fireplace/stoves that heated every room of the Catherine Palace. One of Nicholas's army uniforms was there as well. He was a very little man.

When I left the exhibit I knew this country and its history had worked its way into my blood. And it's still there. 90% of my non-fiction is about Russia. And I don't stick to the ever-popular Nicholas and Alexandra. There is SO MUCH MORE to Russian history than that.
By Petar Milošević
or GFDL],
via Wikimedia Commons

St. Basil's Cathedral in Red Square in Moscow is probably one of the most iconic images of Russia. For good reason, too. The onion domes are gorgeous, and designed to keep snow from building up on the roof.

Someday I'm going to go and see St. Petersburg for myself. Hopefully Moscow, too. But if I have to choose one I pick St. Petersburg.

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed the story of how you fell in love with Russian culture and history. Have you had a chance to visit yet? My parents were there in 1957 for an international architecture convention, I would love to see the architecture and drink Vodka and caviar with wild (non dangerous) cassocks ! Fun post #AtoZchallenge ☮Peace ☮ ღ ONE ℒℴνℯ ღ ☼ Light ☼ visiting from http://4covert2overt.blogspot.com/