Author Topic: Nadezhda Dmitrievna Wonlar-Larsky  (Read 12114 times)

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Offline Antonio_P.Caballer

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Nadezhda Dmitrievna Wonlar-Larsky
« on: April 13, 2005, 06:56:39 PM »
Well, if anyone can help i would love to know more of Nadezhda´s life in London in the 1920s and afterwards. She was born Nadezhda D. Nabokova (aunt to the famous writer) and wrote her memoirs "The Russia that i loved".

Any information about her daughter Sophie´s life would be very much appreciated as well!

Thanks,

Antonio.

Offline Annette

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Re: Nadezhda Dmitrievna Wonlar-Larsky
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2005, 06:33:02 AM »
Hi Antonio

Nadine also called herself Vonlarlarsky and Vonliarlairskaya and as you know her daughter was Sophie.  Nadine was born on 17 April 1882.  

The ancestor of a friend was Sophie's nanny, Lizzie Harris an ‘East End’ girl from England and I have a small archive they have kindly passed to me.  This includes family pictures (mainly of Lizzie and Sophie) but some with Nadine and her husband and Nadine’s mother (Baroness Maria Ferdinandovna Korff ) and some other lovely bits.  I have an original signed photo from the Costume Ball of 1903 of Nadine and a signed photo of her mother (signed ‘from Sophie's old grandmama').  Baroness Maria Ferdinandovna Korff had inherited a large country estate at Batovo south of Gatchina.  From looking at the architecture on my photos and the Batovo website I believe that is where the pictures were taken:

See: http://www.oblmuseums.spb.ru/eng/museums/17/guide.html#Thm3

Nadine's mother is in the middle of the group of ladies in the bottom picture, in a light coloured dress.

www.libraries.psu/edu/nabokov contains a very useful family tree.  

Lizzie's letters home tell tales of attacks by Reds, losing all her possessions, being injured, forced into labour, locked up in prison and escaping through Finland.  I am afraid that I have doubts about Lizzie’s integrity from her later behaviour so I wouldn’t be able to vouch for the truthfulness of what she says but that's another story.  Lizzie tells of being 'there when the Tsar was arrested' which I was very skeptical about to say the least.  However, I do wonder now whether she was referring to Michael A rather than Nicholas which is entirely feasible.  Donald and Rosemary Crawford in 'Michael and Natasha' refer to Vladimir Nabokov (brother of Nadine) helping out as a legal expert when Michael was trying to decide whether to accept the throne (page 308) saying  Nabokov  ‘was an acceptable choice; Michael knew of him, for Nabokov’s sister Nadine was one of Natasha’s closest friends and her daughter Sophie was a playmate of little George’.  On pages 334/5 it states that Nadine and Sophie helped Natasha and her family escape from Gatchina to Batovo where they hoped to escape with Michael via Finland, which unfortunately did not happen as the Bolsheviks closed in on them.  

In White Crow (Cockfield re Nicholas Mikhailovich) it is mentioned that when Nadine‘…said in the grand duke’s presence that she would be a wallflower for lack of male attention, Mikhail Nicholaevich sent two of his officers …to invite her to be his dinner companion…’ (pg 6).  

Nadine and Lizzie parted company in November 1915 and the reference says that Lizzie had been governess to Sophie for four years and that it was with regret that she was letting Lizzie go to due ‘family matters’.  The reference contains the family seal.  

Lizzie went to live in Tunbridge Wells after the Revolution but I do not know whether she and Nadine or Sophie kept in touch.  Nadine’s memoirs say that Sophie was educated by the Russian Red Cross in Kent and I remember reading that they had schools in Tunbridge Wells.  Lizzie's son certainly resided in Haywards Heath which is where Nadine died.  Maybe concidence but strange to think that they traveled so far and ended up so close together.  Also strange that Michael’s Natasha, prior to 1920, lived at Snape in Wadhurst in Sussex, by Haywards Heath.  

I have a copy of Nadine’s death certificate, she died at ‘Trants’, Foxhill Close, Haywards Heath on 19 October 1954 aged 72.  She is described as a widow when she was actually divorced.  The death was reported by another ‘occupier’ of the same premises, Nora MacSwinney, the same name and address of the publishers of her memoirs.    

There is a very dashing picture of Nadine’s husband a ‘second lieutenant of life guard preobrazhensky regiment’ (and also of his brother) in the Costume Ball book.  

One thing I would say, which I have said on another thread.  Nadine talks about sitting between the Tsar and GD Michael at supper at the first Costume Ball.  Michael wasn’t at the first costume ball, he was recovering from flu.  Maybe she means Mikhail Nicholaevich but that’s not the impression I get from the memoirs as she mentions ‘Misha’.  The Costume Ball book lists who attended, who (apart from direct family) was invited to sit with the Imperial Family etc.  There is no mention of Nadine and as we know protocol was everything.  Nadine was there I am certain but whether her memory got a bit fuzzy or whether she embellished for her memoirs, who knows.  She is listed as attending (although way down the list) but I can’t see her in the group photo although I have looked very hard.  

Nadine’s memoirs are fascinating but all the references I can find on her elsewhere are quotes from her own memoirs so unfortunately I remain a bit cynical.  I have tried hard to find out info on Sophie and would love to hear if anyone else has more luck.  

If you would like to let me have a personal email, I’ll scan and send over some pictures of Nadine and Sophie with Lizzie, I have no idea how to post pictures on this site!

Kind regards.

Annette

Offline Antonio_P.Caballer

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Re: Nadezhda Dmitrievna Wonlar-Larsky
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2005, 01:34:47 PM »
A Million thanks Annette!!!

I´ve already sent you a p.m.

Antonio.

Offline Gerta

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Re: Nadezhda Dmitrievna Wonlar-Larsky
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2012, 08:19:23 AM »
In Nadezhda Wonlar-Larsky's memoirs, she stated that in 1910 a "deep tragedy overtook the Larsky family and shipwrecked their lives". It was too painful and too personal to discuss in the book but it seems they were ostracized in St. Petersburg for several years and finally the first person to visit her was the GD Olga Alexandrovna.  I know this is a shot in the dark but does anyone know what happened?

Offline Annette

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Re: Nadezhda Dmitrievna Wonlar-Larsky
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2012, 10:12:35 AM »
Dmitri Wonlar Larsky , Nadezhda's husband, was jailed for fraud.