L'Impératrice Elisabeth, épouse d'Alexandre I
Author: Granduca Nikolay Mikhailovich
Publisher: Manufacture des Papiers de l'Etat
Place of printing: St-Petersburg
Year of publication: 1908-1909
Work in three volumes. Prestigious full leather binding with titles and gilt binding on the spines with 5 raised bands, large gilt noble coat of arms on the front plates, cover plates framed by leather margins with rich gilded floral friezes, in good condition: slight peeling on the casings and on the edges of the plates, minimal scratches and pressure marks on the plates, whitish halo on the front plate of the third volume. Gilded cuts with spots and traces of dust. Well preserved leaves, slightly browned at the edges, with scattered blooms and pale brown spots, more intense on the first and last leaves. Texte en Français
Pages: XIII,436; IX, 751; VII, 723
Monumental biography, published in St. Petersburg, of Empress Elizaveta Alekseevna (1779-1826), wife of Tsar Alexander I, written by Grand Duke Nikolay Mikhailovich, cousin of the last Tsar Nicholas II, historian and writer; in the preface the author declares to have received all the material necessary for the enterprise from the widow of the Grand Duke Sergej Alexandrovich Romanov who had conceived the idea of a biography that would do justice to the story of this Empress and who had died killed by the revolutionaries in 1905 before to be able to put his hand to work. Each period of the empress's life is described in historical accounts followed by the corresponding section of the immense epistolary which collects Elizaveta Alekseevna's correspondence with her mother, Amalia of Hesse-Darmstadt. Married to the 15-year-old future Tsar Alexander at the age of 14, Princess Louise Maria Augusta of Baden converted to Orthodoxy and took the name Elizaveta Alekseevna. Precisely the assiduous correspondence with his mother, to whom he exhaustively related all the events of his life at court, makes this biography particularly interesting for the internal point of view it provides on the events of the reign of Alexander I. Obviously censored are the chapters relating to loves of the Empress that are not reflected in this "official" biography. The narration is illustrated by 89 planches, mostly portraits, applied on strong paper and protected by tissue paper. Our specimen is further embellished by an illustrious provenance: as evidenced by the beautiful coat of arms of Prince Constantin Radziwill on the front plate, it comes in fact from the library of the Chateau d'Ermenonville.
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