elegance of history blog: History geek, avid reader and art lover. Here you will find random bits of history, book reviews and musings on art, literature, manners, life, music and anything else that interests me.
Hello everyone, here are today’s reviews. Enjoy! Secret Lives of the Tsars: Three Centuries of Autocracy, Debauchery, Betrayal, Murder, and Madness from Romanov Russiaby Michael Farquhar The Romanovs, one of the world’s most fascinating dynasties, ruled Russia for over 300 years. They were years full of shocking violence and unimaginable excesses, all now chronicled in
The future Catherine II was thus described by a lady of rank who knew her when she was a young girl: “Her deportment was good; her figure large for her years; her countenance, to which her gaiety and courtesy gave an additional charm, without being beautiful, was agreeable. Her education had been conducted wholly by
In 1795, famous portraitist Elizabeth Vigée LeBrun travelled to St. Petersburg, where she was introduced to the Empress Catherine The Great. Here’s how the painter recalls their meeting in her memoirs: I was far from recovered from all my fatigue – since the term of my residence in St. Petersburg had been only twenty-four hours
All things Ruffnerian shares the rules of etiquette posted by Empress Catherine the Great at her Hermitage: 2. Orders of precedence and haughtiness,and anything of such like which might result from them,shall be left at the doors. 3. Be merry, but neither spoil nor break anything,nor indeed gnaw at anything. 4. Be seated, stand or
A while ago, I posted Madame Vigée Le Brun’s thoughts about her first meeting with the Russian Empress Catherine The Great. The portraitist spent a lot of time in Russia and had the chance to meet the Empress several more times and form her own opinion about this autocrat. Here’s what she wrote in her
Famous French portraitist Madame Vigée LeBrun spent six years in Russia, a country she seemed to have genuinely loved. During her stay she got to meet the Empress Catherine II several times. I have already posted about their first meeting and her recollections and thoughts about this autocrat. In this last instalment, Madame Vigée LeBrun