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


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

ISBN13: 9780300158588
ISBN10: 0300158580
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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), Russiaand#8217;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 Nicholasand#8217;s operatic company as a young girl. Like all the members of Nicholasand#8217;s troupe, Praskovia was one of his own serfs. But unlike the others, she utterly captured her masterand#8217;s heart. The book reconstructs Praskoviaand#8217;s stage career as and#147;The Pearland#8221; and the heartbreaking details of her romance with Nicholasand#151;years of torment before their secret marriage, the outrage of the aristocracy when news of the marriage emerged, Praskoviaand#8217;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.and#160;and#160;


About the Author

Douglas Smith is a resident scholar at the University of Washington and the author of the prize-winning books Working the Rough Stone: Freemasonry and Society in Eighteenth-Century Russia and Love and Conquest: Personal Correspondence of Catherine the Great and Prince Grigory Potemkin.

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

jle811, January 19, 2012 (view all comments by jle811)
For opera lovers,history lovers and romance lovers this is a wonderful portrait of cultural Russia during Catherine's reign in the 18th century. Opera lovers will be entranced with the rise of a lowly serf to become Russia's prima donna as well as the build-up of opera during that period. History buffs will love the intimate view of the wealthy and serfdom of semi-rural life. Romance lovers will enjoy the tale of this historical illicit love affair. Douglas Smith, the author, based this novel on extensively researched history of a true story.
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Product Details

Smith, Douglas
Yale University Press
Modern - 18th Century
Europe - Russia & the Former Soviet Union
Historical - General
Composers & Musicians - Classical Vocalists
Genres & Styles - Opera
History & Criticism - General
Biography-Composers and Musicians
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
16 b/w + 11 color illus. + 2 family tree
9 x 5.81 in 1.1 lb

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Opera
Arts and Entertainment » Music » History and Criticism
Biography » Composers and Musicians
Biography » Historical
History and Social Science » Russia » General Russian History
History and Social Science » Russia » Tsarist Russia
History and Social Science » World History » General
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » General

The Pearl: A True Tale of Forbidden Love in Catherine the Great's Russia New Trade Paper
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Product details 352 pages Yale University Press - English 9780300158588 Reviews:
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