She Cried For Mother Russia - Limited Edition Second Printing & E-Book

She Cried for Mother Russia: A Princess in San Luis Obispo is being published by the Graphic Communication Institute at Cal Poly and printed by University Graphic Systems, Cal Poly's student run and managed printing and publishing company. Sale proceeds will benefit the San Luis Obispo Historical Society and the Graphic Communication and English Departments' educational programs at Cal Poly.

After a first printing sellout, She Cried For Mother Russia has gone to press for a second printing. This is the fascinating story of Russian princess Tatiana Volkonsky, who narrowly escaped death from marauding Bolsheviks after the Russian Revolution in 1917. A book about intrigue, perseverance, and relationships, this is a must-read for anyone interested in San Luis Obispo, Cal Poly, or Russian history. The 7" by 10" book includes over 200 pages and 21 photographs. The cover is in full-color. A second limited edition run is being printed and prepublication orders can be made by downloading a PDF order form. The price is $21.95 plus tax and shipping. She Cried For Mother Russia is now available as an e-book and can be purchased here for only $9.99 plus tax.

About the Author

Author Friedl BellFriedl E. Semans Bell grew up in San Luis Obispo, California, during World War II, listening to her mother, a recent German immigrant, and Tanya Kelley, a refugee Russian princess, lament the loss and destruction of their respective countries. In 1955-56, while studying piano at the State Conservatory of Music in Munich, Germany, Friedl heard similar stories from fellow students, political refugees from communist regimes in Eastern Europe. After returning to the United States and continuing her education at Pomona College and Claremont Graduate School, Friedl remembered her refugee friends finding comfort in music and books, a factor in her choosing teaching as a career. Over a span of forty-five years, she has taught English, German, music and piano at both elementary and secondary levels while helping raise son Karl and stepson Carey. Before writing She Cried for Mother Russia, she wrote and produced children’s plays and published several articles in professional journals, newspapers and women’s magazines. Friedl and her husband Bob reside in Eugene, Oregon, where both are active in supporting literacy and the arts in their retirement.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1, page 1: "Over her little bed in the nursery at Sabinio, her Russian nobleman father’s estate near the northeastern border of the Ukraine, hung a picture of the Madonna. It had hung there for years, probably a contribution from one of several German nursemaids brought to the household of Prince Dmitri Volkonsky and his wife, Princess Marie, to care for her older brother, Prince Boris; her older sister, Princess Nathalia; her sister Catherine, who died in infancy from a samovar explosion; and finally herself, Princess Tatiana.

"The black-and-white print in a simple black frame had fascinated Princess Tatiana for as long as she could remember. Drawn by southern German artist Wilhelm von Kaulbach, it depicted the Madonna as a loving mother, smiling tranquilly as she gazed tenderly upon the infant Jesus nestled cozily in her arms. Yet the picture had also disturbed the young princess. The artist had added a tear to the corner of one of Mary’s eyes. Why, she had wondered, was the Holy Mother crying? Decades later, the princess, now Mrs. Tanya Kelley of 70 Benton Way, San Luis Obispo, California, shared her answer with me."

Chapter 4, pages 39-40: "Almost from the beginning of the Kelleys’ arrival in San Luis Obispo, they were part of the town’s party scene, mixing with the moneyed crowd, who probably were impressed Dorsey and Tanya were occasionally invited by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst for cocktails at 'the Ranch,' as he called his castle in San Simeon."

Chapter 15, page 148: "'Eieeeee! We were on the run in the Crimea!' she had cried. 'I was hiding behind a rock wall as the Reds passed by. The Bolsheviks were so close! As they galloped their horses next to my hiding place, my face was just inches from their stirrups. I could see the scuff marks and smell the mud caked on their boots. And with all the dust kicked up by the pounding hooves, I was panicked I would sneeze!'"

Contact Us

To find out more information about the production, publishing, and purchase of this book, contact Lyndee Sing at the Graphic Communication Instistute at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

Lyndee Sing, Program Manager

GrCI Office:
Phone: (805) 756-2645
Fax: (805) 756-2733

Postal address:
Graphic Communication Institute
Cal Poly - Building 26, Room 221
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407

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