Grand Duchess Anastasia Nicholaievna Romanova, ca. 1911.
"Some persons seem endowed with a peculiar and semitragic gift. They live out their lives and die, only to provide drama for the playwright or novelist. Their's is not the stuff of life, but of fiction. Such a woman was Anastasia, daughter of the last Russian Tsar, supposedly massacred at Ekaterinburg in July, 1918. She lived out her life like a princess in a fairy tale, with her bumbling, bourgeois Emperor father, the only false note in the royal symphony. Anastasia laughed and played and worked through the hours of her young life, touched with the magic of unreality, carrying a thousand years of August tradition upon her frail shoulders. In the fairy tales, the princess lived happily ever after. Anastasia lived in an all-to-real world. Officially, her life was snuffed out by Bolshevist guns in the Ekaterinburg cellar. If it was, she fell - I am sure - with great dignity and grace, her silken skirts weighted with the jewels that would have bought her way to freedom. The historical Anastasia vanishes here, reduced to a grotesque, red-stained doll lying limply across a sack of potatoes; and the infinetly more satisfying Anastsia of the legend rises, phoenix-like from her body..."
*Entirely and utterly dedicated to Holly James Daugherty, for whose text messages of motivation I could never have done this without.
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