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Countess de Segur

( The Countess)

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Biography Countess de Segur
photo Countess de Segur
One day, looking through the exhibition catalog of flowers, held in France, I saw a rose with an unusual name: Somtesse de Segur, nee Rostopchine. Two completely different name, the French and Russian, for chance bystanders

. Segur - a typical French last name with the accent on the last syllable and a particle 'de', . attesting to aristocratic origin and Rostopchina - eminent race, . well known in Russian history, . whose representatives made a notable contribution to Russia's culture of 19 th century: Fyodor V. Rostopchin - statesman, . general - governor of Moscow in 1812,
. Later, after leaving politics, he studied literature and became known in this field

. Evdokia Rostopchina - one of the most famous Russian poets of the second quarter 1 century, creativity is admired Pushkin.

. Rose with an unusual name has opened yet another mystery - Sofia Rostopchina, which has divided France, along with Jules Verne, an unusual privilege to be a famous children's writer
. It is safe to be called the founder of the genre of children's literature.

This name is well known to every French schoolboy, not important, when he graduated from high school, at the beginning or the end of 20 century. A museum, a school in Normandy, bears her name in her honor called the delightful red rose, and in the year the bicentenary of the birth of the writer released stamp dedicated to her (1999). Her works have been filmed, created cartoons. Famous French singer Jean Ferrat called his song "about girls'. This is one of the stories of the Countess de Segur, a modern rock band is named after the main character funny stories writer - Sophie.

. Another page of our culture, . stay long zykrytoy, . perhaps, . because, . that all books, . written it, . is high title and the maiden name of writer, . underlines its Russian origin, . she never concealed: the Comtesse de Segur, . nee Rostopchina - Somtesse de Segur, . nee Rostopchine.,

. Her mother - Catherine Protasov, . thanks to his aunt - Anna Stepanovna Protassova, . favorite fraulein Catherine II, . up together with her sisters the Empress, . with all its attendant benefits - education, . inaccessible to the more simple and in Russia on, . course, . secure future: the situation in the society, . successful marriage,
. Russian noblewoman of the late 18 th century is no longer dreaded. Catherine Protasov was no exception. At court she met Theodore Rostopchina who served in Russia's heir apparent - the Grand Duke Paul I.

. From this marriage were born five children, Sophia - Rostopchina second daughter, was born July 19, 1799, in St. Petersburg
. Her godfather was the Tsar Paul I. The gesture, which showed that the Emperor of All Russia valued loyalty to his subordinate. He was awarded the title of Count Fyodor Rostopchina, appointed to the post of Cabinet Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Director of Postal Department, and also a member of the Emperor. In this era, the name of Count Fyodor Rostopchina one of the most influential in Russia.

Board Paul was not long - from 1796 po1801 i.i. Imperious, but impotent, he could not restrain himself on the throne. Emperor becomes his son - Alexander I. Count Rostopchin - a favorite of Paul, has resigned and removed with his family to his estate in Voronovo. It is in this wonderful estate, Sophia spent her childhood.

Children are not spoiled in this genus, rather the contrary, education was spartan. In three years she was obscured by his bed, she got up, washed in cold water and dressed without any help. But to serve in this house there was someone - more than a hundred servants, . polished to a shine every day parquet, . who watched the aviary and stables, 300 horses, cook, . Gardeners, . tailors, . Messengers, . served only to send orders to the servants owners, . were present in different parts of the vast estates.,

. In 1810, Tsar Alexander called the graph to the court in the position of the chief chamberlain, and in 1812 appointed him general - governor of the capital
. Difficult time for Russia, Napoleon was approaching Moscow. Count Rostopchin, not knowing the true intentions of Kutuzov, gives residents of the capital of the French belief that it is impossible to capture Moscow, organizes volunteer corps, produces patriotic leaflets. At the same time it promotes a lot of arson in the city, not willing that he went untouched to the French, than in the future, caused particular displeasure of the emperor.

In 1814 Count Rostopchin dismissed from the rank of commander in chief and otsranen of service - a difficult period for the noble lords, means the end of his political career.

In this era of Sofia for 15 years. What awaits eeN It is no longer a teenager, but still not a girl. It would seem that her fate was already destined to, genealogical marriage and children, the court of the Empress and the secular entertainment. However, his father - in the doghouse, his mother - a Catholic, that some do not understood, but is understandable. At the time of troubles for Europe, after the French Revolution of 1789 that separated church and state, many Catholic priests left France, finding a shelter, strangely enough, in Orthodox Russia. But not only ... In Russia there are and their supporters, secretly took Catholicism. The wife of Count Fyodor Rastopchina was one of them.

Choosing the wife is not pleased by the former governor of Moscow, a figure which is still on everyone's mind. Anticipating displeasure of the Emperor, the Count decides to leave for some time in France. Why FrantsiyuN at the outset because the Russian aristocracy 18-19 centuries was saturated with French culture. French for them has become almost family, leaving the Russian language for the peasants.

At the end of 1816 the whole family moved to Paris. The events of Napoleon's military company in Russia are still fresh in the memory of history, but suddenly the former enemies become friends. Rostopchina greeted with enthusiasm. In France, after Napoleon's defeat, began the period of the Restoration, the Bourbons returned to power, and Count Rostopchin becoming one of the heroes who have directly contributed to the defeat of the 'Corsican monster'. He buys a mansion in the posh Paris avenue Gabriel, Rostopchina entree into high society, and daughter Sophia, which adopted as a mother, Catholicism, becomes a rich heiress. It is full of bright ideas and dreams of romantic love. They are invited to the best of the family and during one of these points she met a handsome Eugene de Segur. The young count was not just surprised. In conversation with this charming foreigner, . he was impressed with its high culture and erudition, . She speaks not only in French, . but also in English and German, . well read, . plays the piano, . good dancing, . a famous family and, . Finally, . rich - all, . that so prized in a secular society, . without a difference - in Tsarist Russia or France,
. But I saw it at the time of its sincerity, its inherent goodness and natural intelligence - that characterized the Sophie in the first place and what, unfortunately, did not pay special attention to men in the epohiN

Sophie's parents approve of this familiarity. Perhaps, . family de Segur, . not so rich, . as Rostopchina, . but this kind of big-name, . known svimi outstanding representatives: Henry Philip de Segur - Minister of War under Louis XVI, . Louis-Philippe de Segur - fought in America, next to La Fayette, . then appointed Ambassador to Russia, . uncle her future husband was the adjutant Bonaparte, . and Eugene himself with seventeen years served pazhom Napoleon,
. Outwardly beautiful, brilliant conversationalist, polite and charming - Sophie fell in love with him without hesitation, because I was young, sensitive, and, finally, just because it's her time to love.

It seemed she had found what looked. She dreams of family and a husband who loves her, with whom you can freely talk about everything and who will introduce her into society is as Comtesse de Segur. Parents are increasingly talking about his return to Russia, but she was sure that after their departure, it will be a husband for her moral support in this, even a stranger to her country. She emerges a perfect image of a life partner.

The wedding took place July 14, 1819, it's not yet twenty. As a wedding gift to the daughter of Count Rostopchin Nuet bought a beautiful estate in Normandy, with a large and comfortable home at the same time. All was surprised it here - free peasants, well-groomed fields, the house, like a lock and light birch wood, in which Sophie same hour in love. He reminded her of her childhood, Voronova. Despite the price, in Russian without bargaining, Rostopchin once Ms. bought this domain.

The only issue that worries at this moment Sophie - like whether the house Eugenie, because this is where they will live together, there will be increasing their children. In reality, everything was much more prosaic. Life decided differently.

The young Count, as it seemed happy, but bored expression on his face tells a different story, he was not accustomed to live in the province. He visited all the friends living nearby, had made friends with neighbors and increasingly starts talking about Paris. But Sophie is already pregnant and that the situation in the lap of nature is favorable to its position. Graf leaves one. It gradually becomes accustomed to his absence, which become longer, he was not going to change anything in my life for the sake of the family. In 1820 she gave birth to the firstborn, Gaston, and then one after the other born Renaud (1821-1823 yy) and Anatole (1823). It did not scare it, she grew up in a big family, rather it suffers from the double, no triple of loneliness: a foreign country, without a husband and without family. The only thread, linking it to Russia, began writing his father, sisters and brothers, she was pleased to meet them, telling them, primarily on children - especially to write no more to. It gives her pleasure, and perhaps she is not aware she is looking for its style and its themes. These letters became her first literary samples.

. In 1825, . When Sophie is at the heart of the fourth child, . young and still handsome Count, . without any constraint, . fully recovers in Paris, his bachelor habits, . forgetting road in Nuet, . and his rare visits ended for Sophie next pregnancy: Natalie, . twins Sabin and Henriette, . Olga,
. Eight children s1820 to 1835 i.i. During this period she was only 36 years old.

His unspent love she gives to children, they discovered their talent for being just a mom. Educating their children, she learns to live with them in unusual circumstances for themselves: as if married, but one, like a father - but he is not close to children. She had a rare gift for a woman to turn the routine of family life in a joyful celebration. Sophie lives up to its name - 'wise'.

Her life was filled with meaning. She is interested in everything: the first successes in high school senior son, with him, she takes drawing lessons. With younger, she played hide and seek, and before bedtime tells them funny stories, every day new, surprised herself in the fantasy. It teaches them to read and she reads all the novelties of French literature. During this period in her life is firmly established two values: children and books. In 1830, Uncle Eugene told her about a certain Henri Beyle - military commissar in the era of Napoleon, who recently wrote a novel 'Red and Black' by the name of Stendhal. Sophie immediately read this novelty.

Its charm and high culture attracted Charles Gounod, with which it introduced her eldest son, who made France a successful career as a spiritual. The great French composer wrote in Nuet their best games for 'Faust'. It hosts the famous painter Paul Delaroche, and Eugene Sue, who later became one of the most popular French writers and to which it connects warm friendship. Adequately assessing higher education and life experience, Sophie, it was he who gave her the idea to start writing. Her first reaction was rather negative. To her funny stories for children - it is not real literature, associated with the names of Stendhal or Flaubert, 'Madame Bovary' which she had recently read. But the seed was thrown. It took years for that to this abstract idea into a reality. In the meantime, she continues to live, hoping only to itself.

. A man whom she loved so much when she was barely twenty, in which she had wept when she was thirty, she was despised in the forty, has now become completely indifferent to her
. It wiped out the love of a man of his life, replacing it with love for children. She finally learned to live without this man and was afraid to love someone else.

Children grew up and took its rightful place in society. A grandson, who enjoyed a vacation at Sophie and eagerly waited for her tales. As if all repeats, . the only difference, . that these stories are already known to all, . who visited Nuet, . including Mr. Louis Veijo - chief editor 'Univers', . which, after the death of his wife, Sophie has invited the children to spend a few days in her estate,
. His children are delighted with the stories of the Countess de Segur, . Yes, and Mr. Veijo fascinated by these little naive and charming stories and that he becomes a mediator between the countess and the most well-known publisher Louis Hachette, . which in the mid-nineteenth century has received from the state monopoly of the sale of their books and magazines in French train stations,
. The publishing house is ready for sale, recruited Series CoupL for adults: poetry, adventure, love and historical novels, remained unfilled only series for children. Funny stories of the Countess de Segur was just what we needed. Madame de Segur range: to tell their children before bedtime, . and then the grandchildren instructive stories - yes! But publikovatsyaN What will they say in obschestveN a difficult decision for her, . published and living in an aristocratic environment, . where women have never engaged in any physical, . no intellectual labor,
. This is just the middle of the nineteenth century!

But she risked and in September 1855 concluded its first contract with the publisher Louis Hachette. The success has exceeded all expectations. Books sold hundreds of millions of copies. Countess de SLgur, nLe Rostopchina, as she has always signed all his works, becoming known as 'New Fairy Tales', illustrated the young and talented artist Gustave DorL, determined her fate. It ushered in the genre of children's literature. The simplicity and austerity of her style give a special beauty of the creative writer's handwriting. Her fairy tale - it is stories told by children themselves, who do not think about the epithets, discussing with parents their joy or sorrow. She managed to convey the unique childlike, lost adults.

. Over the last seventeen years of her life, she wrote over 20 novels for children, adolescents and adults: "about girls', 'Holiday', 'Bede Sophie', 'Memoirs donkey', 'evil genius',' The fate Gaspar 'and other
. Most of her works on children, filmed in France and other countries. The most recent example was the TV series 'Sorrows Sophie', and musical-choreographic composition to music by M. Shelhorn 'Little Trilogy', which appeared in 1999. The name of this woman entered with us in the twenty-first century.

So ends the story of a beautiful rose, bearing the name of the Countess de Segur, nee Rostopchina. In the life of this woman was not amorous adventures and romantic adventures, rather the opposite. Forced to leave Russia, where she was the daughter of Count Rostopchina, it becomes just emmigrantkoy in France. Forgotten husband, no family, she nevertheless found his calling by opening for himself and for his readers a different world - a world of childhood, which she understood better than anyone else ...


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  • alice for Countess de Segur
  • So interesting, she was a long relative of mine and the family name of de segur has been passed down.
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