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The Pearl: A True Tale of Forbidden Love in…
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The Pearl: A True Tale of Forbidden Love in Catherine the Great's Russia

by Douglas Smith

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This was a really beautifully written book. The love story between Nicholas Sheremetev and his serf Praskovia is both beautiful and heartbreaking. Douglas Smith has given us a true masterpiece, evoking scenes from Russia's musical past. This is a book for all who enjoy theatrical history as well as a good love story. ( )
  briandrewz | Jun 29, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0300120419, Hardcover)

Filled with a remarkable cast of characters and set against the backdrop of imperial Russia, this tale of forbidden romance could be the stuff of a great historical novel. But in fact The Pearl tells a true tale, reconstructed in part from archival documents that have lain untouched for centuries. Douglas Smith presents the most complete and accurate account ever written of the illicit love between Count Nicholas Sheremetev (1751-1809), Russia’s richest aristocrat, and Praskovia Kovalyova (1768-1803), his serf and the greatest opera diva of her time.

 

Blessed with a beautiful voice, Praskovia began her training in Nicholas’s operatic company as a young girl. Like all the members of Nicholas’s troupe, Praskovia was one of his own serfs. But unlike the others, she utterly captured her master’s heart. The book reconstructs Praskovia’s stage career as “The Pearl” and the heartbreaking details of her romance with Nicholas—years of torment before their secret marriage, the outrage of the aristocracy when news of the marriage emerged, Praskovia’s death only days after delivering a son, and the unyielding despair that followed Nicholas to the end of his life. Written with grace and style, The Pearl sheds light on the world of the Russian aristocracy, music history, and Russian attitudes toward serfdom. But above all, the book tells a haunting story of love against all odds.  

 

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:49 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Filled with a remarkable cast of characters and set against the backdrop of imperial Russia, this tale of forbidden romance could be the stuff of a great historical novel. But in fact The Pearl and the Count tells a true tale, reconstructed in part from archival documents that have lain untouched for centuries. Douglas Smith presents the most complete and accurate account ever written of the illicit love between Count Nicholas Sheremetev (1751-1809), Russias richest aristocrat, and Praskovia Kovalyova (1768-1803), his serf and the greatest opera diva of her time. Blessed with a beautiful voice, Praskovia began her training in Nicholas's operatic company as a young girl. Like all the members of Nicholas's troupe, Praskovia was one of his own serfs. But unlike the others, she utterly captured her master's heart. The book reconstructs Praskovia's stage career as 'The Pearl' and the heartbreaking details of her romance with Nicholas - years of torment before their secret marriage, the outrage of the aristocracy when news of the marriage emerged, Praskovia's death only days after delivering a son, and the unyielding despair that followed Nicholas to the end of his life. Written with grace and style, The Pearl and the Count sheds light on the world of the Russian aristocracy, music history, and Russian attitudes toward serfdom. But above all, the book tells a haunting story of love against all odds.… (more)

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Yale University Press

2 editions of this book were published by Yale University Press.

Editions: 0300120419, 0300158580

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