VOLKONSKAYA, PRINCESS ZINAIDA ALEKSANDROVNA. 1792-1862.
Quatre Nouvelles. Moscow: Auguste Semen, 1819. 8vo. 305 pp. With four aquatints by Pistrucci after Bruni. Contemporary leather-backed marbled boards. Some internal soiling and foxing; minor waterstains; boards scuffed, edges rubbed.
PRESENTATION COPY OF THE AUTHOR'S FIRST BOOK inscribed on the dedication page: "Donné à Madame la Comtesse de Chambeau Marquise Botta par l'auteur." The Princess Zenaida Alexandrovna Volkonskaya, an amateur opera singer, held a musical-literary salon in Moscow was considered a great beauty. As lady-in-waiting to Queen Louise of Prussia, she met Tsar Alexander I of Russia and may have become his lover. Pushkin called her "The queen of music and beauty." Stendhal and Sir Walter Scott were among the others who attended her salon. Nikolai Gogol wrote much of Dead Souls on her estate. She wrote in French, the preferred language of the Russian aristocracy and cultured classes. The four novellas are Laure, Nouvelle Européenne; Deux Tribus du Brèsil, ou Nabuya et Zioié; Les Maris Mandingues; and L'Enfant De Kachmyr, Nouvelle Asiatique. See Berdichevskii "Iz bloknota knizhnogo staratelya" in Bibliophiles of Russia Vol VII, pp 327-38.