Chapter Seven
Over the Top:
The Northern Sea Route

In mid-August 1894 the New York Times ran a small article on its regular “Her Point of View” page for women. Among pieces that tell us “in sultry autumn weather fruit water ices are more cooling than richer creams” and that “a dentist advises that acids are even worse than sweets”, the article stands out as frighteningly portentous. It reads

The Princess Alix of Hesse is finding that her coming greatness—that of
a future Empress of Russia—is already casting long shadows before her.
She has finished her course of religious education necessary to be re-
ceived into the Russian Church… is now being instructed by a Russian
tutor to the imperial family sent from St. Petersburg for the purpose…
and recently a cordial letter from the Czar asked her what especial “act
of mercy” she would like to have “ukased” in honour of the important
event, “the pardoning of a thousand persons” being suggested by way of
example.

-125-

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