Author Topic: Elizaveta Alekseevna Narishkina (1838-1928),Mistress of the Robes  (Read 20569 times)

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Offline Antonio_P.Caballer

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Elisa,
Madame Zizy was, if i remember well,Elisabeth Alexeevna Narishkin Kurakin, born in 1840, Lady in waiting a portrait(highest rank) and chief comptroller(ober-gofmeisterina) of the empress household. She was also Dame of the Order of St. Catherine and remained because of her health problems in Tsarskoe Selo when the family left for Tobolsk. She wrote her memories: "Under three Tsars". A great book for everyone interested in Russia´s court history.

Nadya_Arapov

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Re: Elizaveta Alekseevna Narishkina (1838-1928),Mistress of the Robes
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2004, 06:22:43 AM »
I read her memoirs a few years ago they were very interesting but rather stilted. Her style was much more formal then Lili Dehn's for example.

Princess Elisabeth "Zizi" Alexeevna Kurakina was born in St. Petersburg in 1838 and died in 1928 (in France I believe) just short of her 90th birthday. Her father was an official of some sort at Court. Her mother Julia was a Golitsyn. She had a brother Feodor and a sister Alexandra neither of whom had any children. She married a "Gentleman in attendance?" Anatoly Dimitevich Naryshkin (1829-1883). They had at least two children. Their son Kyril (1868-1924) was a General. Their daughter Vera (1874-1951) married the Governor of Yaroslav, Dimitri Nikolaevich Tatishchev (1867-1919).

Madame Naryshkina was the great-granddaughter of Prince Alexei Borisovich Kurakin. He was educated alongside Catherine the Great's son the future Emperor Paul I. Paul was apparently very fond of Alexei referring to him as "my soul." The Emperor later made him a Vice-Chancellor. During the reign of Paul's son Alexander I he served as Russian Ambassador to Paris (1809-1812). A generous but exceedingly decadent man he was nicknamed the "diamond prince." He was said to have fathered over 70 illegitimate children!

There are several pictures of the Prince at this website: http://www.abcgallery.com/bio/kurakin.html#Kurakin
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Nadya_Arapov »

Offline LisaDavidson

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Re: Elizaveta Alekseevna Narishkina (1838-1928),Mistress of the Robes
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2004, 01:49:54 PM »
I have a copy of Madame Zizi's book in English. If anyone is willing to do the work, I don't mind lending it to someone to scan it for the APTM - provided it is of course, out of copyright! It's an interesting read.

Nadya_Arapov

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Re: Elizaveta Alekseevna Narishkina (1838-1928),Mistress of the Robes
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2004, 01:18:26 AM »
Yes, very touching.

It amazes me that Mme. Naryshkin and others managed to hold on to these letters during their own flight from the Bolsheviks.

I remember much of Mme Naryshkina's book but I do not recall how she escaped from Russia.  How did she escape?

Offline sydguy71

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Re: Elizaveta Alekseevna Narishkina (1838-1928),Mistress of the Robes
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2005, 12:01:51 AM »
hello guys,
I have just finished reading her book, "Under Three Tsars". But it does not go into how she escaped from Russia. Can anybody direct me to any other sources to get this info.
Thanks

lancashireladandre

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Re: Elizaveta Alekseevna Narishkina (1838-1928),Mistress of the Robes
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2005, 11:03:22 AM »
 Madame Zizi's later life is mentioned in the autobiography of her grandaughter Irina,Princess Nicholas Galitzine "Spirit to Survive" which was published here in the UK in the late 80's(will have to check details). Irina was the younger of the two daughters ( there was also a grandson Nicholas) of Mme Zizi's only daughter countess Vera Tastichev.She managed to leave after living for a long time in a peasants house on her former estate in the Tver district.Almost blind she was accompanied to the frontier by her former maid then made her way via Denmark where she paid her respects to the Dowager Empress to Paris. Here she found her Tastichev grandson and her nephew Prince Kurakin both had escaped through the south with the white army.The Prince had lost his wife and three youngest children to typhus during the flight but his mother in law countess Tolstoy had brought the elder 6 children out.The ( now famous) home for the  elderly was been opened at St Genevive de Bois was being opened and Mme Zizi became it's first resident. She died shortly after her daughter(whose husband had been shot  during the early days of the revolution) managed to leave Russia to be with her. Princess Nicholas with her husband and 3 very young children were allowed to leave in 1933 and settled in London

lancashireladandre

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Re: Elizaveta Alekseevna Narishkina (1838-1928),Mistress of the Robes
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2005, 11:06:51 AM »
P.S. There is a picture of Madame Narishkin in her grandaughters book.

Nadya_Arapov

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Re: Elizaveta Alekseevna Narishkina (1838-1928),Mistress of the Robes
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2008, 04:58:20 PM »
I have a copy of Madame Zizi's book in English. If anyone is willing to do the work, I don't mind lending it to someone to scan it for the APTM - provided it is of course, out of copyright! It's an interesting read.

If the offer still stands, Lisa, and the book is in fact out of copyright, I would be happy to transcribe it for the website if you are still willing to scan the pages.

Offline LisaDavidson

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Re: Elizaveta Alekseevna Narishkina (1838-1928),Mistress of the Robes
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2008, 06:37:26 PM »
I have a copy of Madame Zizi's book in English. If anyone is willing to do the work, I don't mind lending it to someone to scan it for the APTM - provided it is of course, out of copyright! It's an interesting read.

If the offer still stands, Lisa, and the book is in fact out of copyright, I would be happy to transcribe it for the website if you are still willing to scan the pages.

Oh, it definitely stands. We do have a procedure here whereby we verify the work is out of copyright (or we can also obtain the permission of the copyright holder) and then set it up here on the site. I believe this is fairly time consuming, but feel free to email me while I discuss the online publication with Bob and Rob.

Offline Inok Nikolai

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Re: Elizaveta Alekseevna Narishkina (1838-1928),Mistress of the Robes
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2013, 03:09:04 PM »
Yes, very touching.

It amazes me that Mme. Naryshkin and others managed to hold on to these letters during their own flight from the Bolsheviks. 


Sad to say, other than the two farewell letters from Empress Alexandra (published in Mme. Naryshkina's memoirs) written on the eve of the Imperial Family's departure for Tobolsk, the rest of Her Majesty's correspondence  with Mme. Naryshkina has been lost. Her granddaughter relates ("Spirit To Survive", p. 95) that when she and her mother, Mme. Naryshkina's daughter, were sent by her from Moscow to St. Petersburg to retrieve those precious letters from the woman to whom they had been entrusted for safekeeping, she refused to surrender them to anyone else than to Mme. Naryshkina herself. The further fate of those letters is unknown. She did, however, manage to keep possession of her diaries, which form the basis for her subsequent memoirs.
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Offline Inok Nikolai

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Re: Elizaveta Alekseevna Narishkina (1838-1928),Mistress of the Robes
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2013, 03:56:47 PM »
I have a copy of Madame Zizi's book in English. If anyone is willing to do the work, I don't mind lending it to someone to scan it for the APTM - provided it is of course, out of copyright! It's an interesting read.


Elisa,
Madame Zizy was, if i remember well,Elisabeth Alexeevna Narishkin Kurakin, born in 1840, Lady in waiting a portrait(highest rank) and chief comptroller(ober-gofmeisterina) of the empress household. She was also Dame of the Order of St. Catherine and remained because of her health problems in Tsarskoe Selo when the family left for Tobolsk. She wrote her memories: "Under three Tsars". A great book for everyone interested in Russia´s court history.

It is indeed a very interesting book, but just a word of caution concerning the trustworthiness of Fullop-Miller’s editing.

Under Three Tsars, by Elizabeth Narishkin-Kurakin
1931
Compiled and edited by Rene Fullop-Miller

Originally published in German. The English edition was translated from the printed German text, not from the original manuscripts, which were in French.

From Fullop-Miller's introduction:
“…When Elizabeth Narishkin-Kurakin opened her yellowing diaries and read to me… In kind compliance to my entreaties, Elizabeth Narishkin consented to arrange her notes and to write down for posterity to read, all that she had recounted to me on many an evening… [in 1923] in Moscow...”

Vienna, April 29, 1930


On page 225, Fullop-Miller reproduces the following passage from Mme. Naryshkina's diary:
 
“March 28th: The papers found on Anna Vyrubova are said to be very compromising as they refer to espionage and a separate peace. If that is proved to be true, it would mean high treason and call for the utmost punishment. We know now that a plot of this nature really was afoot, and that the guilty participation of the Empress in trying to secure a separate peace, thus committing treason against Russia, has been definitely proved.
I went to see the Empress in the evening…”

**********

However, P. Miliukov wrote the following editorial in his Russian-language newspaper, Poslednie Novosti, No. 5553, Paris, June 7, 1936, p. 3, to accompany the newspaper's serialization of Mme. Naryshkina's diary:

“E . A. Naryshkina or Fullop-Miller?”
(In regards to reports of ‘treason’)

Among other things, P. Miliukov states:

...“Now” cannot be in 1917, when the diary entry was written, but later, under the Bolsheviks, or in 1923, when Fullop-Miller met with E. Kurakina in Moscow, or, even more likely, when Fullop-Miller was editing the German text for printing.

The assertion that the Empress’ treason against Russia was not a definitely proven fact is an interpolation of Fullop-Miller, not a statement by E. N. Kurakina.

E. N. Kurakina herself could not have declared “we know now” for the simple reason that in 1923 the contents of A. A. Vyrubova’s papers could not have been known to her.

E. N. Kurakina simply could not have written such a thing, because she never believed it, as several other genuine diary entries published by Fullop-Miller demonstrate conclusively.

The interpolation into her diary of such an interpretation constitutes an impermissible liberty on the part of the editior, i.e., Fullop-Miller."

P. Miliukov

***********

Spirit to Survive
The Memoirs of Princess Nicholas Galitzine
London 1976

We corresponded with the author, and later one of our monks bumped into her at a service in the Russian church while he was in England.

It seems that her heirs still have E. A. Naryshkina’s diaries, but the letters from Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, as noted above, have been lost.

***************

S. Melgunov, in his Sudba NII Posle Otrecheniya (The Fate of Nicholas II After His Abdication), p.199, says Müller systematized texts and sometimes altered and included his own fantastic fabrications.

Gleb Botkin in The Real Romanovs, p.74, reports:
“…old Madame Naryshkin, whose memoirs distorted by Fulop-Miller have recently provoked such a storm of disapproval in the Russian colony of New York…”

***********************

So what does all this say about Fullop-Miller's famous (infamous?) book: Rasputin — The Holy Devil (1928), which has been cited by so many subsequent authors?!
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Offline Olga Maria

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Re: Elizaveta Alekseevna Narishkina (1838-1928),Mistress of the Robes
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2013, 08:47:03 PM »

Many thanks for this clarification, Inok Nikolai!

It would be hard to read his books because one wouldn't be able to tell the truth from his fabrications.
I hope authors who used info from Fullop-Miller's books would be aware of this.

---

It's a pity those lost letters could never be recovered. Btw I wonder who was that person entrusted to hide those letters. We know Alexandra trusted only a few people for things which were of great importance to her. Maybe it was one of her trusted maids.

And had Mme. Narishkin not try to go to that person entrusted? If she wasn't able to, was it because she was already too old?
(possibly; that perhaps was the reason why she sent her daughter & granddaughter at first)


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Offline Inok Nikolai

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Re: Elizaveta Alekseevna Narishkina (1838-1928),Mistress of the Robes
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2013, 09:35:02 AM »

Many thanks for this clarification, Inok Nikolai!

It would be hard to read his books because one wouldn't be able to tell the truth from his fabrications.
I hope authors who used info from Fullop-Miller's books would be aware of this.

---

It's a pity those lost letters could never be recovered. Btw I wonder who was that person entrusted to hide those letters. We know Alexandra trusted only a few people for things which were of great importance to her. Maybe it was one of her trusted maids.

And had Mme. Narishkin not try to go to that person entrusted? If she wasn't able to, was it because she was already too old?
(possibly; that perhaps was the reason why she sent her daughter & granddaughter at first)



Well, bear in mind that Empress Alexandra was the author of the letters, while Mme. Kurakina was the recipient, so it was not Her Majesty that gave them to someone to keep, but Mme. Kurakina herself. She entrusted them to a friend of her sister, a Mademoiselle Bousny.

Finally Mme. Kurakina's family had decided that they must get out of Russia, and they had to find enough money to pay all the expenses.

So since Mme. Kurakina was unable to travel to St. Petersburg from Moscow herself, she sent her daughter and granddaughter in her stead.

One would think that Mademoiselle Bousny could have trusted the daughter and granddaughter of Mme. Kurakina with the letters, but she told them that she had no right whatsoever to hand them over to anyone else except Mme. Kurakina herself.
In her own memoirs, the granddaughter writes: "...That was the last we saw of those precious letters."

So, they are still lost, but not necessarily destroyed. Perhaps they may still turn up someday. Look at how many Romanov-related things were considered gone forever, including their own relics, which have now been found since the collapse of the Soviet Union. There is always hope...

Mme. Kurakina's granddaughter also relates that the Imperial Family continued to correspond with her grandmother even from Tobolsk.

While at GARF we did look through Mme. Kurakina's papers, but the letters were not there either. But GARF's filing system is puzzling -- sometimes letters from the Imperial Family are found in the author's file, sometimes in the recipient's. So, unless one knows all the recipients of such correspondence, one does not know which of the thousands of files to search in.

Meanwhile, if anyone learns of the whereabouts of Mme. Kurakina's letters from Empress Alexandra, please let us know.

I. N.
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Offline Inok Nikolai

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Re: Elizaveta Alekseevna Narishkina (1838-1928),Mistress of the Robes
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2013, 09:43:57 AM »
Quote

The assertion that the Empress’ treason against Russia was not a definitely proven fact is an interpolation of Fullop-Miller, not a statement by E. N. Kurakina.


OOPS!

In message No. 10 above, the word "not" should NOT have appeared in that sentence.

Sorry for any confusion caused by my hasty typing.
I. N.
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Offline rudy3

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Re: Elizaveta Alekseevna Narishkina (1838-1928),Mistress of the Robes
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2013, 12:23:29 PM »
Elizaveta Alekseevna Naryshkina also published a book called "My memories" in 1906. However, the story in the book finishes in 1875.