Simultaneously, female friendships became an object of suspicion, denounced from the pulpit as subversive of the alliance between husband and wife, just as women-to-women relations were demonized by the prosecutors of the witches who forced them to denounce each other as accomplices in crime. It was also in this period that the word ‘gossip,’ which in the Middle Ages had meant ‘friend,’ changed its meaning, acquiring a derogatory connotation, a further sign of the degree to which the power of women and communal ties were undermined.
i read somewhere that kyrill was quite an unpopular member of the family? is that true?
Kyril was popular with some and upopular with others. As a young man, he was generally much liked and admired among his relations. Grand Duke Alexander MIkhailovich recalled in his memoirs that Kyril was considered “the golden youth” and perfect example of what a young man in his position should be. However as the years went by he antagonized and allianated quite a few people, especially Nicholas II. Firstly there was his scandalous marriage to Victoria Melita, and while it was probably not really Kyril´s fault, there was the everpresent thirst of his mother´s to see him on the throne one day.
After the revolution the family was mostly divided in their opinion on him. There were some who supported him, but many who would never forgive him that he swore alleagiance to Provisional government in March 1917, and later proclaimed himself Tsar, even though in the eyes of many he had forfeited the right to do so.
Despite her claim to studying the art of relaxation, Aly had sorted all of the documents on her father’s desk. She set the important pile in front of him and carried messages to be decoded to the desk that she used when she helped George. There she set to work on reports coded in the form of assorted knots in wads of string. Her long, skilled fingers sorted out groups and positions of knots in each message web. They were maps of particular territories and areas where trouble of some kind unfolded. The complexity of the knot told Aly just how bad the problem was. The knots’ colors matched the sources of the trouble: Tortallans, foreigners, or immortals—the creatures of myth and legend who lived among them, free of disease and old age. Most immortals were peaceful neighbors who didn’t seek fights, since they could be killed by accident, magic, and weapons, but some were none too friendly.