Dorothea Lieven; A Russian Princess in London and Paris, 1785-1857
Born into an exhilarating world of power and privilege at Riga, capital of the Russian Empire’s Baltic provinces; brought up at St. Petersburg’s Romanov court; closely connected to three tsars, the mesmerizing, ambitious Dorothea used her brilliance and charisma to succeed in a male-dominated world. She exerted incredible influence in the diplomatic councils of France, Great Britain, and Russia during the dramatic years that followed the French Revolution.
Contemporaries like Prince Metternich, the Duke of Wellington, and Prince Talleyrand respected Dorothea Lieven’s importance. Yet, posterity ignored her crucial role in the birth of modern Greece, and overlooked her notable contribution to the creation of today’s Belgium. Proof of Dorothea’s vital role as an unofficial liaison between combatants during the Crimean War, slept peacefully in archives.
Dorothea Lieven sheds new light on the princess. Scrupulous archival research allows the author to examine Dorothea as a woman and as a diplomat. The book traces her growth from the early years in St. Petersburg as a conventional wife and mother to her emergence, at London and Paris into a lover, confidante, and political force, a position reached by no other contemporary female.
Posterity has trivialized, defamed, discounted, derided, and damned Dorothea with faint praise, let alone largely ignored her profoundly stirring personal story. Until now.