Anna (often referred to as "Anna Ivanovna" to avoid confusion with her cousin Anna {Petrovna}) was the daughter of Tsar Ivan V of Russia. When Peter II died without naming an heir in 1730, there were no remaining male-line descendants of Romanov tsars; however, there were several possible members of the royal family in the female line. The only male was three-year-old Peter, son of the late Anna Petrovna (daughter of Peter the Great and Catherine I); there were also Elizabeth Petrovna, the late Anna's sister, and the two daughters of Ivan V, Catherine and Anna Ivanovna. Catherine was thought to be too much under the influence of her husband, the Duke of Mecklenburg; Elizabeth was considered too frivolous, and Peter too young. The daughters of Catherine I were also excluded because of their mother's low birth. This left Anna Ivanovna, widow of the Duke of Courland, as the choice of the Supreme Privy Council in Russia.

Anna had been living in Courland for ten years, a Russian woman among foreigners who did not want more Russian influence, and never had enough money to live as a duchess was expected to. It was a surprise to her to be offered the Russian throne, although it was with some conditions attached. She was not to be allowed to name her own heir, and her power was generally limited by the Privy Council. Anna accepted the limits and came to Moscow, but on finding that the majority of the nobles thought the Privy Council was just keeping itself in power, she led the Palace Guards in a limited revolution in which she tore up the conditions and declared herself absolute ruler in the traditional Russian way.

Many historians say that during this period the real power was Anna's German lover Ernst-Johann Biron. However, some things had to get done without either of them, as Anna generally insisted Biron spend as much time as possible with her (though he was married to someone else). Biron and some of Anna's other favorites were unpopular because they were foreigners; some historians characterize Anna's reign as the rule of the "German party." There is no real evidence that foreigners had any special position; in fact, during Anna's reign was the first time Russian army officers were paid as much as foreigners of the same rank in the Russian army. The position of the Orthodox Church did not change during her reign, but the Old Believers who would not accept the reforms from the time of Tsar Alexei were persecuted much more than they had been since then. From 1735 to 1739 Russia again fought the Ottoman Empire to try and gain access to the Black Sea. The war was inconclusive, but is definitely evidence that Russia was interested in the same goals as it had been for the past century, and not those of the Germans.

Anna was an unsophisticated woman, who enjoyed such pastimes as shooting and watching dwarfs, monkeys and jesters. She was tall, heavy, and physically strong, and was generally not considered all that attractive by people who wrote down descriptions of her. When a matter interested her, she was very detail-oriented; it's just that she wasn't usually interested in politics and was happy to leave ruling to Biron and other ministers, with the power to override them if necessary. She died after a brief illness on 17 October 1740, having named her sister Catherine's just-born grandson Ivan VI as her heir.

Sources: Robert K. Massie's Peter the Great: His Life and World, Donald Raleigh and A.A. Ishkanderov's The Emperors and Empresses of Russia: Rediscovering the Romanovs, as well as those listed under Monarchs of Russia.

ANNA
(an' uh) GREEK: HANNA
"grace"
_______________

An elderly and devout widow who was a prophetess and had spent most of her life in prayer and fasting. Anna - along with the aged Simeon - witnessed the presentation of the infant Jesus in the temple. At the dedication service, she gave a prayer of thanks and carried the news of the child to "all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem" (Lk. 2:38).

{E2 Dictionary of Biblical People}

A charater in the Apocryphal book the Book of Tobit. She is the wife of the righteous Tobit who was blinded through his zeal to do good deeds. Anna then has to support the family by weaving. Her husband is suspicious of her role as wage-earner and accuses her of stealing the goat she earned from her employers.

Tobit later sends their son Tobias in search of some money he has left in trust in a distant city, causing Anna to fear for her son's life. Once again the couple fight, Anna accusing Tobit of placing money above their son's life. Despite Anna's fears Tobias returns safetly with the money.

King of East Anglia c640?-654

Anna was the second of the sons of Eni to assume the mantle of king of the East Angles and named by the Venerable Bede as "a man of true religion, and altogether noble in mind and deed."

Anna was to gain the the throne as a consequence of the death of his brother Ecgric at the hands of Penda of Mercia and the kingdom of East Anglia continued to live in fear of the ravages of the pagan Mercian. This did not prevent the pious Anne from giving refuge to king Cenwal of Wessex when Penda forced him from his kingdom. But such an act was to attract the emnity of Penda and we have the authority of Florence of Worcester records that in the year 654 Anna was slain by Penda, the third king of East Anglia to die by that warlord's bloody hands, and succeeded by his brother Aethelhere.

Anna was twice betrothed but was never blessed by any sons but rather by a number of daughters including Sexburga, Etheldreda, Withburga and Ethelburga who were to become simlarly noted for their piety and saintliness.


The Venerable Bede - Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle

We buried it behind the furnace and now it's really angry.

Last night, I asked Sarah to make sure it hadn't escaped but she couldn't move. She was too scared. She takes sleeping pills. Little red sleeping pills. She talks in her sleep. Just letters, really, that stick to the pillow and the corners of her mouth.

Mrs Clemens in room 408 was thrown down the elevator shaft last week. There are no leads.

Things have really started to fall apart since the news reports flooded in. A gentleman in Cambridge contracted the Sin Nombre virus last week. A young female graduate was kidnapped by a man in a red ski-mask. He drove his victim to a secluded location, coughed on her, and let her go. She died three days later. She had Lassa fever. A family of three were found dead in their home. A biochemist, a photojournalist and their thirteen year old daughter. Neighbours complained of mail left uncollected. Television sets blaring at ungodly hours. Funny smells. Traces of the Marburg virus, the Nipah virus and the Hendra virus were found in their systems.

Police are dusting for prints.

Sarah heard a news broadcast about nuclear war this morning. The television man in the thick woolen suit told her that scientists from around the globe were speculating on possible outcomes of such an event. There was mention of a possible nuclear attack on London and Bristol. No one seems quite sure why Bristol would be targeted for attack but Sarah was assured that all sources are in the process of being verified.

The broadcast was less concerned with the initial bombardments as it was with the after-effects. Sarah has since started keeping water in pots and bowls and will only buy food that has a shelf-life of more than five years. She tells me that for three days and three nights following the blast, radioactive particles will rain down in a radius several hundred kilometers around the impact sites. She tells me that we would be better off staying inside for anywhere up to a year. She tells me to buy a thick woolen suit.

I tell her that there is cyanide in apple pips.

She dreams about nuclear winter, about the storms and hurricanes that are sure to ravage coastal areas. She mumbles aloud the case-markings from warheads and defense consoles. I have come to understand that X41-7U holds her as she sleeps.

That morning I fuck her on the mattress she has leant up against the inside of our front door.

There will be huge outbreaks of disease. The radioactivity will speed up the mutation rate of viruses and bacteria in the dead bodies left strewn and twisted along the streets and canals. This much is certain.

We have sex beside the elevator for the second time that month. Our landlord watches us from his apartment.

I wake hours before I need to and walk down to the furnace. There, amongst the baby clothes and rattles, I find a small tooth.

I read in the paper that a fetus develops fingerprints at eighteen weeks. Just below it, in a small article that Sarah has spilt coffee on, I read that some ribbon worms will eat themselves when unable to find any other food.

Something crawls around in the loft space once the lights are turned out. Sarah says that she hears it scuttling back and forth behind the wall in the bathroom whenever she cries. I tell her that this is nothing but ridiculous urban paranoia.

For six days running I fail to read the entries in her journal.

At work, I sit and stare at my monitor and try not to blink. A woman called me today asking if I knew where she could find her son. He had gone missing a month earlier, she said, and his whereabouts were a mystery to us all. She advised me that any information regarding his disappearance should be lodged before the first of the month. She failed to tell me which month and I neglected to ask. Once she had hung up I wrote three words in red ink on the underside of my desk.

Upon returning home, I made a point of explaining to Sarah that she should use white tape, not black, to cover the windows. She ran into the bathroom and stayed there all night.

I spend more and more time by the furnace. The shovel is still resting against the lost property cabinet. Tiny droplets of blood have turned brown on the cement. I pretend not to hear Sarah crying from upstairs and I also pretend not to hear something moving behind me in the dark.

At night I roll away from her and watch the rain drag itself down the window. I find blunt razors in the waste basket. I sleepwalk through the kitchen. I drop cutlery and plates. She leaves lipstick on my neck that I scrub and scratch at for hours. I consider surgery. I want to tear my face off and burn it and watch the flames reach upward, and the smoke roll from the ceiling until all the alarms in the building are raised and people run screaming from their rooms and down fire escapes and out into the cold blue sunrise.

I want I want I

Sar1ah whispers something I don't catch right awayn.

There is an office party scheduled for the sixteenth. I ask Sarah if she would like to go but she can't hear me anymore. In fact, I am beginning to suspect that the woman who I find sleeping naked in the bath isn't Sarah at al l. Her hair has changed and her lips don’t move when shee speaks. I stop people on their way home and try to tell them this but they pass through me like ghosts.

The walls are very thin here and I could break though them if I wasn't tied up. If I wasn't tied up I could kiss her above the part in her fringe and

yesterday on the way to work I stroll with my hands locked behind me and nod and smile and don't think about what might be crawling and screaming if I ever opened that door. ksd skshe kissed me goodinght before she disappeared and I woke to find an envelope and a glass of water where she should have been.

Whatever paperwork I might have done has been handed down through the ducts n dt ddndand piping and falls like a dead leaf in autumn o

nly white and when the sun hits it will reflect the rays better ,tt than blac k ever could. . I dra

I drag all the linen and pillows and cosmetics and food and reminders and and magnets to the furnace. I burn and shovel and burn and and clean the black stuff from under my fingernails. Pe ople lea n sideways and look so I nod and smilesmile smile.

Last night I sang myself to sleep. From down there, underneath, I could hear all the people who were trapped in the walls. All the dead and dying. I could hear words pressed against glass, sweating and streaking and running like wet ink. Words seeping under doorways. Words trapped in ice. In ccocktail glasses. Words caught behind teeth, hanging in the air. Words lost at sea. Words stapled to telephone poles. Monochromatic apology notes. Tidalll waves and earthquakes. Famine and disease. Hunger and loss.

Today.

Long before the sunset.

I touched her back and she turned until her hair covered everything and I drowned in the room around her.

And she and I and Anna fell asleep to a song of waves and traffic.

An"na (#), n. [Hindi ana.]

An East Indian money of account, the sixteenth of a rupee, or about 2 cents.

 

© Webster 1913.

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