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How did the fate of 5 Russian ladies-in-waiting who survived the revolution
How did the fate of 5 Russian ladies-in-waiting who survived the revolution
The fate of five Russian ladies-in-waiting who lived to see the revolution

Not all maids of honor lived exclusively under Pushkin. Many were unlucky enough to live to see the revolution. For the new society, they have become alien elements. And their fates after the life in the country turned upside down, developed in different ways.

Daughters of Natalia Goncharova: died of hunger

Two daughters of a woman who went down in history as Pushkin's wife survived to the collapse of the Russian Empire: the eldest daughter of the great Russian poet Maria and the eldest daughter of Lanskoy, the second husband of Goncharova, Alexander. After marriage, they were known as Maria Gartung and Alexandra Arapova.

Maria was named after Pushkin's beloved grandmother, Maria Hannibal. The girl received a brilliant education for a woman of her time, she spoke fluent French and German. At twenty, Maria became the maid of honor of her namesake, Empress Maria Alexandrovna, wife of Alexander II; at twenty-eight, she married Major General Hartung, who was over fifty, and lived as a married lady for seventeen years. Alas, her husband committed suicide over the embezzlement charge that tarnished his honor, and this was a real blow to Mary.

It is known that it was from Maria that Tolstoy copied the appearance of his Anna Karenina

She never had children of her own, but she helped raise orphaned nephews, and spent a lot of energy on preserving her father's memory. When a monument to Pushkin was unveiled in Moscow, forty-eight-year-old Maria acquired the habit of coming to him and sitting next to him for a long time. In addition, until 1910, Gartung was the trustee of the reading room, which later became the Pushkin Library. After the revolution, she starved. They were trying for her, but when Maria was finally given a pension, she did not have time to receive it - she had no strength. She died of starvation in 1919.

In the same year, and also from hunger, Alexandra Arapova died, with whom Maria communicated almost until the very last days. Moreover, before that, Alexandra was among those who were bothering about Maria's pension (but not for herself). Alexandra was the goddaughter of Nicholas I himself and was early recruited into the service at court. At twenty-one, she married a young officer, Ivan Arapov, who eventually rose to the rank of general. Arapova became famous for her memoirs about her famous family. However, close study showed that her memoirs should be called, rather, works of art based on real events. There was much more value in the family correspondence she kept.

One of Arapova's two sons was shot in 1918. The daughter survived the Great Patriotic War. The second son emigrated, but returned to his homeland and lived until 1930.

Alexandra Arapova

Fyodor Tyutchev's granddaughter: she lived through labor for people

Sophia Tyutcheva, the educator of the children of the last tsar, was distinguished, as contemporaries noted, for Tyutchev's famous steadfastness. Having received a maid of honor at the age of twenty-six, in her free time at court, Sophia volunteered in various charitable institutions, including in the Society for the Care of Children of Poor Parents. She became the educator of the children of the emperor and empress at thirty-seven and served in this capacity for five years. Later, she left memoirs about the royal family and its daily life, valuable for historians.

Throughout the service, Sophia quietly clashed with the empress - they turned out to have radically different views on education, so, in the end, Tyutcheva was removed. It was rumored that the last straw was her hostile relationship with Grigory Rasputin and another maid of honor, Anna Vyrubova. After her resignation, Sophia left for her native estate, treated the peasants there, taught their children at a school opened by her father.

After the revolution, a museum of her poet grandfather was opened in the estate. Sophia herself sorted out family papers for this museum, looked after the garden, even almost blind from old age, and also went to clean up the Church of the Savior Not Made by Hands - for free. She lived to be seventy-seven years old, having survived the Great Patriotic War.

Sophia Tyutcheva, portrait by Mikhail Nesterov

Vera Gagarina: Evangelist in the Russian Village

The daughter of diplomat Fyodor Palen, she served six years at court before marrying Prince Gagarin - a man of delicate nature, patron of the arts and … Absolutely not her man. Their marriage was unhappy. Perhaps that is why Vera began to seek consolation at the meetings of the evangelists. She decided to devote her life to charity. This really influenced her married life well: the relationship with her husband never became married, but he helped her in good deeds, as if even feeling relieved that all her energy was no longer directed at him.

On her husband's estate, in the village of Sergievskoye (now the city of Plavsk, Tula Region), Vera Gagarina built a hospital (this hospital still works), opened a house for teaching teenagers in crafts and handicrafts so that they could feed themselves in any case, bought and gave houses to boys and girls, who attended these classes and married each other, reconstructed the power plant, electrifying the village to Lenin, built a school and a hotel for the workers.

After the revolution, Vera gave all her husband's estates to the Soviet regime, having received permission to live out her life in the hospital wing and keep a pony and a stroller (due to problems with her legs). But she did not survive the revolution for long: in the twenty-third year, being almost ninety years old, she died quietly.

Vera Gagarina

Sofia Dolgorukova: from aviatrix to taxi driver

The daughter of Senator Alexei Bobrinsky and astronomer Nadezhda Polovtsova, Sofia grew up talking about gender equality and encouraging daring. True, no one understood what exactly was growing out of Sophia: she was equally at ease with mathematics and literature, she wrote poetry. As soon as she became a maid of honor, she had already jumped out to marry Prince Peter Dolgorukov, but this marriage was unhappy: Peter was not ready to accept the character and views of his wife. In 1913, after six years of marriage, the Dolgorukovs divorced and gave their mother's daughter Peter to foster care.

In parallel, Sophia graduated from the Women's Medical Institute, practically the entire marriage practiced in hospitals as a surgeon, during the Balkan War she left for Serbia, where she opened a hospital, fighting the cholera epidemic. And almost in parallel with her medical activities, Sophia mastered first a car, then an airplane. In 1910, she became the only woman to participate in the Kiev motor rally, for which the emperor put the prize. Before traveling to Serbia, she received a diploma in initial flight training in Paris, and then in Russia she completed her studies at a flight school, graduating in 1914 with a pilot's license number 234.

Naturally, with the beginning of the war, Sophia applied for enrollment in the aviation, but her application was rejected. As a result, Dolgorukova, like many other women, went to the front as a sister of mercy. Immediately after the February Revolution, women were admitted to the service, and Sophia was transferred to a pilot.

Sofia Dolgorukova

After the October Revolution, she married again - to the now former prince and diplomat Pyotr Volkonsky, pulled her husband out of prison, in which he fell as a nobleman, and left first to London, then to Paris. In France, she naturally began to earn her own bread as a taxi driver. Soon she managed to find a more financial and secure secretary position with the Marquis of Ganey.

Both Sophia and her daughter survived until World War II, moreover, Sophia Jr. sympathized with the communists. During the war, the daughter of a former pilot took part in the French resistance and was eventually arrested; her mother visited her. Both survived. Sophia Volkonskaya, the former Dolgorukova, died in the forty-ninth year. Sophia the youngest, married to Zinoviev, lived to see the collapse of the USSR.

The community of maids of honor of the Russian court was large and rich in history: Three maids of honor of the Russian court, who were glorified by scandals.

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