ON THE ESTATE: Memoirs of a Russian Lady


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Number: 93
Page 16 of 93

ON THE ESTATE: Memoirs of a Russian Lady

MARIAMNA DAVYDOFF    Book Number: 83078    Product format: Paperback

In 1983 Olga Davydoff Dax was travelling in the US and decided to pay a visit to a cousin in Long Island. Her mother was Mariamna Davydoff who, on her death in 1961, left her three albums of watercolours painted over 50 years previously, along with personal reminiscences, which had remained hidden ever since. Olga decided that these had to be published as they offered a unique insight into life in rural Russia before the Revolution, and publish she did. Mariamna was born in 1871 into a family who could trace its lineage back to Peter the Great. Once wealthy with vast estates, her grandfather squandered the family money, but the family retained one estate, Kamenka, a huge area of land some 150 miles from Kiev, where she, her husband Lev (they were married in 1899), and much of her family lived. Lev and the men who worked the estate were mobilised at the outbreak of war in 1914, so the women moved to Kiev. In 1919 the Bolsheviks overran the city and destroyed many of her drawings, but they managed to escape to France via Odessa, Constantinople and Rome, then in 1949 she emigrated to the US. Her vivid, detailed paintings form an enchanting and revealing counterpoint to her writing, which speaks of the intimate details of life on the estate: clothes, furniture, pastimes, entertainment, work and the businesses that made the estate function, servants, peasant workers, gardens, farms and the daily and seasonal rituals of life in late 19th and early 20th century Russia. Her own words and paintings are delightfully detailed but share a simplicity and wistfulness for a society that was doomed - in a way it almost feels as though she knew that it would not last. We particularly enjoyed the word and watercolour portraits of Christmas and Easter - a guaranteed white Christmas every year! 82 colour illus, 160pp softback, 10¼"×9¼".
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Published price: $22.95
Bibliophile price: £6.50


Additional product information

ISBN 9780500289648
Browse these categories as well: Last Chance to buy!, Travel & Places, Historical Biography, Art & Architecture

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11 12 13 14 15 - 16 - 17 18 19 20
Number: 93
Page 16 of 93