Author Topic: Madeleine Zanotti  (Read 17586 times)

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Offline Almedingen

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Madeleine Zanotti
« on: April 13, 2004, 02:58:00 PM »
Does anyone know if there are any pictures of Madeleine Zanotti?

Also, why do we know so much about what happened to many of the other servants, but not much about her?

Where was she during the captivity in the Alexander Palace, Tobolsk and Ekaterinburg?

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Re: Madeleine Zanotti
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2004, 05:53:27 PM »
I have FOTR with me right now, so I can tell you she's mentioned twice in that book: (1) described on p. 4 as "first lady's maid to the empress" and (2) on p. 60 as having arrived in Toblosk either the fall or winter of 1917, along with five other household/staff members, and that of those six only she, Gibbes, and Klaudia Bittner were admitted to the house where the family was being held.

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Madeleine Zanotti
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2004, 06:12:10 PM »
Zanotti was the daughter of an Italian father and an English mother.   If I remember correctly he had been some sort of a diplomat in Darmstadt - perhaps Greg knows more or can correct me if I have made a mistake here..

She spoke German, Italian and English.  She was with Alix from the time she left Darmstadt.  As I mentioned earlier she brought Alix's things to Russia after the death of Alexander III along with Eira, Alix's dog.  Zanotti was tall like the Empress.  She acted like a personal ladies assistant and really wasn't a 'maid' like a servant.

She was well-read and intelligent.  The Empress did not like Zanotti to mix with locals and did not encourage her to learn Russian, perhaps to keep her out of gossip.

She had her own rooms in the AP and servants of her own.

Offline Antonio_P.Caballer

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Re: Madeleine Zanotti
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2004, 08:15:22 PM »
Bob,
as you told, if Zanotti was not a maid and was not supposed to mix with locals what she would do ? I assume that she did not have her meals with the family but with the other ladies upstairs. Could high rank people like Elisabeth Narishkin be included in that category?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Antonio_P.Caballer »

Offline Nadya_Arapov

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Re: Madeleine Zanotti
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2004, 05:00:50 AM »
After the Revolution Madeleine Zanotti was employed by the Empress' brother the Grand Duke of Hesse.

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Madeleine Zanotti
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2004, 09:56:06 AM »
In the palace you could choose to have your meals in your room or join someone else on the second floor (if you were not required to be with the family).  You ordered what you wanted from a daily menu - checking off what you wanted delivered to you or served to you.

Some things were standard and came everyday.  If you didn't eat or drink them in the alotted time they were picked up and sold by the kitchen staff.

Offline Greg_King

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Re: Madeleine Zanotti
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2004, 05:54:15 PM »
I should also add that the records of the Court make note of the fact that servants, if they skipped meals at the Palace, were entitled to reimbursement since that was considered as part of their salary-in the same way that in British country houses of the era servants had things like a beer allowance, which if they elected not to use it, they were paid for as part of their salary.

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Offline etonexile

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Re: Madeleine Zanotti
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2005, 10:05:31 AM »
I love to think of all the very complex layers of the Czarist court....and complex it was...from the "Master" on down to the youngest 'boot-boys' and 'skivies'...

Offline Thomas_Hesse

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Re: Madeleine Zanotti
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2008, 01:07:45 PM »
Madelaine Zanotti was born in Darmstadt on Oct 14th 1869 (christened catholic but confirmed in the lutheran faith). Her father, Francesco Zanotti served as a footman to Alexander Prince of Hesse and the Rhine (brother of Alexandra Feodorovna's grandfather and husband of Julie Princess of Battenberg) and retired in 1900.
Her mother's name was Emma Piper.

In 1897 Madelaine - due to her father's "connections" to the court - was made the Empress's head-maid and went to Russia. She traveld to Tobolsk too in 1917 but was never admitted entrance to the Governor's house. She could only see the Imperial Family through the windows or on the balcony.
Alexandra desperatedly tried to get a licence for Madelaine in order to allow her to stay with the family.
She regularly smuggled letters to and fro - though. Interesting documents!
After the murder of the family she contacted the Empress's sister-in-law, the Grand Duchess of Hesse and asked for a new Hessian passport in the embassy.
She managed to go to France and lateron lived some time in England (Kent House, Isle of Wight). In 1920 she married - pro forma - a "parfumeur", Henry Delacroix in order to verify her status as Hessian subject. They divorced in the same year. After a short stay in Hemmelmark with Princess Henry of Prussia the Grand Duchess asked her to come to Darmstadt and she agreed in January 1923 - taking the position of a "Mamsell" in the Neues Palais were she had an own room until her dead.
She died on 16th Feb. 1941 having suffered from a severe disease.
She was buried on the Waldfriedhof in Darmstadt. The letters she got from the Empress in 1917/18 are now kept in the Hessian State Archives in Darmstadt.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2008, 01:18:22 PM by Thomas_Hesse »
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Offline Michael HR

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Re: Madeleine Zanotti
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2008, 02:33:22 AM »
Any one know what the menu was like for the staff on the day to day basis? Was there a dining room upstairs for the staff - I must look at the plans again but do not remember seeing one. Apart from the GD's room I have forgotten the layout for the staff. Perhaps the dining room was on the left wing?
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Offline ashdean

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Re: Madeleine Zanotti
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2008, 06:38:03 AM »
Bob,
as you told, if Zanotti was not a maid and was not supposed to mix with locals what she would do ? I assume that she did not have her meals with the family but with the other ladies upstairs. Could high rank people like Elisabeth Narishkin be included in that category?
Madame Narishkin was the daughter of a Prince and the widow of a General so its highly unlikely Zanotti would eat with her.

Offline matushka

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Re: Madeleine Zanotti
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2008, 02:42:31 PM »
The letters she got from the Empress in 1917/18 are now kept in the Hessian State Archives in Darmstadt.

Thomas, are these letters to be published one day? If you read them, could you tell us a little bit more about the information they contained, their tone, what they revealed about daily life, thoughs, plans of the Empress? Did they used a code or are these letters written in a free style? Thank you for answer!

Offline Thomas_Hesse

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Re: Madeleine Zanotti
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2008, 05:21:05 PM »
They're not to be published as far as I know - they're written in quite an open voice (as far as her jewels are not concerned - those are "Medikamente" medicines). Alexandra longed to have Madelaine with her and tried hard to get the commander's permission - without any success. They exchanged things however. Food, eggs, coffee and such. Alexandra often writes about money. It seems that she was as wise as to take a specific sum of cash with her before leaving Zarskoje Selo - the Tsar had no access to his bank accounts anymore and so Alexandra's cash was the only money they had to live with. She even had to pay their servants with that specific sum. Madelaine refused to take her salary but the Empress insisted on it - it is extremely touching to read how much Alexandra cared for her people. Others always first - despite of her own dangerous situation. I can always shake my head if people use to say she was egoistic, had no sense of duty and such....
It is simply not true and people would learn it if they's just read through the papers available in the archives.......
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Offline David_Newell

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Re: Madeleine Zanotti
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2008, 10:47:02 AM »
I agree Thomas, she was a devoted friend and employer, but on the other hand she could be very imperious, I think that comes from AF being a little troubled with her confidence sometimes. It can not have been easy growing up in a small court and even at Windsor or Osborne she was not in the centre of things, to suddenly be literally Queen of all she desired, not easy at all.  I would defend her to hilt about her devotion to those she loved and cared for.

Offline Thomas_Hesse

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Re: Madeleine Zanotti
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2008, 02:25:30 PM »
I think it was a matter of character. Most of the German Princess in Russia descended from small and more or less "unimportant" courts - but Alexandra had quite different views of life like for example Maria Pavlovna who enjoyed the luxurious life and being in the spotlights all of a sudden.
Alexandra was much more for intimacy
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