Author Topic: When Miss Emmie was in Russia  (Read 3927 times)

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When Miss Emmie was in Russia
« on: March 26, 2005, 12:42:33 PM »
 " When Miss Emmie was in Russia  English Governesses before, during and after the October Revolution" by Harvey Pitcher is about  English Governesses in Russia working for the Upper classes in Imperial Russia.
There is mention of Helen Pinkerton Marguardt who was the English Governess of Grand Duke Nicholas, the father of Grand Duke Nicholas( Nikolasha) and Miss Eager. Even ClaireClairmont, the former mistress of Lord Byron and the mother of his daughter Allegra, was an English Governess in Russia.

Anyway, I found the book years ago while living in England and had forgotten I had it til I found it with some books that I had packed away.
It's an interesting read if anyone finds a copy of it.


Offline Belochka

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Re: When Miss Emmie was in Russia
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2005, 10:19:02 PM »
I purchased this little book out of curiosity for about $2 a few years ago. Miss Emmie was Emma Dashwood.  
It did not disappoint me. There were interesting firsthand insights from an English perspective of how a few unassuming women gave up familiarity to look after children of the nobility in a stange and distant land.  
Perhaps not surprisingly there were thousands of English governesses employed in Russia after the Napoleonic invasion of 1812, who collectively became an institution in noble Russian society.  
The book was published in 1977 by Readers Union

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Re: When Miss Emmie was in Russia
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2010, 01:38:29 PM »
Can someone post some exerpts from the book?

Offline Превед

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Re: When Miss Emmie was in Russia
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2014, 07:24:59 AM »
From page 130 of this little gem of a book, about governesses and noble ladies working at Alexandra Fyodorovna's hospital in the Catherine Palace:

"The Empress paid them frequent visits and everyone had to get up and curtsey whenever she passed through. But she was not popular and seemed 'awfully stiff', whereas the Grand Duchesses were 'nice girls and spoke jolly good English too'."

The book describes how the keeping-on of the numerous imperial footmen at Tsarskoe Selo in the midst of the war and the Byzantine atmosphere they created appalled the no-nonsense English governesses, most poignantly when these footmen had to tie on the "work aprons" of the princesses and countesses sitting down together to sew for the war effort.

Берёзы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и берёзы», 1843 / 1856)

Offline Annette

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Re: When Miss Emmie was in Russia
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2014, 06:50:46 AM »
I have a copy of this from the first publication but a new reprint is available, I saw it in Waterstones, Piccadilly, recently and it's on Amazon.  Highly recommended.