Family stories

The Tsar is buried… the Emperor is no more…

Last week I shared the memories of my great-grandmother, Anna Pavlovna Voronov, of the day Tsar Alexander II was assassinated. This week I share her next diary entries. The day after the assassination, Anna’s father went to pay his respects to the dead Emperor. Anna tried to visit the scene

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Assassination in St Petersburg! The Tsar is dead!

On the 13 March 1881 (1 March in the Russian old style calendar) Tsar Alexander II was assassinated. His carriage was bombed in St Petersburg by the group known as People’s Will. Initially the bombs missed their target but, when the Tsar insisted on leaving his carriage to check on

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She was a model in Paris, but did she work for Chanel?

I recently attended the Chanel exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria. Despite whatever opinion you might have of Coco Chanel, her designs were both elegant and timeless. And they were beautifully made. But as I walked around the exhibition, I remembered that my great-aunt Ella, my maternal grandmother’s sister

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They said, “Go West young man” and he listened

Once upon a time – let’s say seventy years ago – there was a handsome young man and a beautiful young woman. They had only been married for around four months and were beginning to build a life together in a big city. They were not wealthy but they were

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There’s a bear in there… and a dog as well

I am guessing that Australians who read this blog post will automatically have a tune going through their heads as they read the title. The theme song from the well-known Australian children’s television program Playschool begins with the lines: “There’s a bear in there… and a chair as well…”. Playschool

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