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Dantes Ekaterina, Baroness Gekkern (Goncharov)

( The wife of George Charles D'Antesa)

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Biography Dantes Ekaterina, Baroness Gekkern (Goncharov)
(22.04.1809 - 15.10.1843)
Ekaterina Gekkern-D'Antes became famous by fate, which more accurately should be called rock. She had to wear after her marriage to his unenviable stigma of "wife killer," it did not take in the light, she found herself in a strange country, away from his family, which almost abandoned it!
. And all because dissolved itself in an overwhelming sense that overshadowed everything else for it!
. Rare news from his brother Dmitri, or from a mother from Russia, were stingy and strict, she vainly looked for them at least a spark of the previous heat such, it seemed recent, but in fact - far-off times, which she herself called "Pushkin" .
. Then relatives and they stopped her writing, she learned about them all the news through a third party ..
. What wrong as the news reached her, one can only imagine ...
Letters from the sisters, with whom in childhood and adolescence has shared many of the troubles and joys, had not received at all.
But it felt natural. The penalty for his inordinate passion for her husband, who never ceased to love and now, after almost 5 years of marriage and the birth of three daughters.
. She waited a fourth child, endured all the hard, prayed fervently that the long-awaited son was born! Barefoot went to the Catholic chapel, fell heavily on his knees on the cold stone floor
. Toying pearl beads. Prayed fervently, with tears! She so did not want to disappoint her beloved husband. She painfully recalled his discreet congratulations on the day after the birth of third daughter. He was then barely managed to conceal the discontent in the guise of cold politeness. Svekor, Baron Gekkern seems happy birth of a child more than a father ...

And when it all went wrong. How long has she reread the letter which she wrote George, while still being in love: "Let me believe that Ye happy, because I'm so happy this morning. I could not talk with you, but my heart was full of tenderness and affection to you because I love you, darling Katya, and I want you to repeat this with the sincerity that is peculiar to my nature and that Ye always meet me. " *
. She re-read it hundreds of times, standing at the window of his room and trying to persuade herself that maybe all the nightmares ended and now it has finally become his bride and all settled ..
. Then no one knew about their secret, which is in correspondence with each other, they jokingly termed "potato".
However, something guessed and sister, and Alexandrina, and insightful Pushkin, but she had no time to care. She was selfishly happy his passion and mutual, as she thought, feeling Dantes. And others ... What it does it matter what others think! She was not afraid of no convictions, no contempt. However, perhaps because then it still did not drink this bitter cup to the end.

. His few friends, . and relatives - especially, . She had always tried to reassure the apparent indifference to the, . that she and George did not take anywhere, . and not all of its former Russian compatriots can hide a grimace of disgust, . come to find out whose it spouse,
. So, she wrote from Vienna to his brother Dmitri (Goncharivske archives preserved in only two of her letters from the Austrian capital, where they spent the winter thanks to the invitation of her father-in again after a long disgrace, has received a diplomatic appointment):
. "I'm very quiet life here and sigh for their Alsace valley, where the count back in the spring
. I'm not going into society, husband and I find it boring, here we have a nice little circle of acquaintances, and this is sufficient. Sometimes I go to the theater, the opera, she is good we have it subscribe to the bed ... "
. And yet, other letters (26 aprelya1841 year): "Sometimes I'm mentally transported back to you, and I am quite easy to imagine how you spend your time, I think, in the factory has changed only its inhabitants ..
. I assure you, dear friend, all this interests me very much, perhaps more than you think, I'm still very fond of plant.
. "I especially want you (the letter is addressed to his brother Dmitri Goncharov) was deeply convinced that all that I come from Russia, I always extremely expensive, and that I care for her and all love you very much!" **
. Even the horse - a wedding gift of Count Stroganov, sent to the Medicine and she called Kaluga.
. Madame D'Antes (this is the correct spelling of the infamous names), just like all her sisters, from an early age knew how to manage the horses and was an excellent horsewoman
. Here are just becoming a baroness, she had to leave shortly after the morning horse riding: the birth of one of the other four children, the troubles associated with it other responsibilities mistress vast estate is not much time.

. Because of the isolation in which she lived on her left very little memory and no direct evidence
. In St. Petersburg high society it was considered commonplace, not worth special attention. Sublime Countess Fikelmon *** when they first visited her famous salon, presented them with Alexandra Nikolaevna to all guests as "sisters Madame Pushkina". Does this hurt the proud and vulnerable, Ekaterina Nikolaevna, is unknown, she chose to remain silent. Alexandra Nikolaevna, with its invariable self-irony did not fail to mention it in one of the letters in a linen factory. But do not write that often, riding to the ball, they were forced to borrow from friends ladies, then gloves, then the fan, or even - shoes - as they were at a ball at the Countess Bobrinsk. This caustically recalled S.N. Karamzin, in his letters to his brother.
We sisters Goncharov was, frankly, difficult childhood. They grew up in a vast country estate with a huge park, greenhouses, 13th ponds, horse factory, famous throughout the Kaluga province.
. They were taught French and dancing, . history and belles-lettres, . but often three girls left the room mother with tearful eyes and red cheeks - for the slightest infraction mother, . Natalia Ivanovna, . in his youth - a famous beauty, . dizzy many, . maid of honor Her Majesty Empress Elizabeth Alekseyevna - could whip cheeks gloves, . or simply hand ..,
. Her actions were unexpected, unpredictable.

. Beauty gentlewoman Natalia Zagryazhskaya was suddenly dismissed from the service in connection with lightning marries Nikolai Goncharov, . young gentleman, . who comes from an old merchant family, . owner of a paper mill and estates with a strange name Polotnyany plant.,
. However, the title is passed from the time of Peter the Great - were produced at the factory sails for the first ships of the Russian fleet.
. Much has been unclear in this hastily, but a brilliant marriage ..
. It was rumored that managed Natalia Ivanovna like Alexei Okhotnikov alleged favorite of Empress Elizabeth, and what is not only the force of jealousy! But even monarch!
But, however, these were only rumors and whispers. Outwardly, all seemed not so bad. Until such time as Nicholas Afanasievich, passionately fond of horses, fell from one of them during the walk, severely hitting his head on a stone. He survived, but the reason it has since been pomutnen and all over the reins of the estate, a factory (to print it on paper for the imperial court!), Horse factory claimed overbearing, proud, sharp-tongued, Natalia I.. Accustomed from his youth to the brilliant society, it is hard to bear mores provincial estates, her character is gradually getting worse, it could get out of myself for anyone over the most trivial. She could not stand when she contradicted - the unlimited power of the home contributed to this. Live at all times under the yoke of the mother to three smart and too proud young ladies were hard. They grew up, they were taken to the balls: in Kaluga, Moscow.

Often ladies Goncharovas participated in the tableaux: a mini-presentations to any mythological plot. Well danced, spoke several languages, which was accepted even in the province.
Surprisingly different - they could almost without error to write in Russian, were dealt with in the literature. I read a lot, especially Catherine. In the Manor was a huge library, many books of his father and grandfather Goncharovas subscribed directly from abroad. Afterward, many books of this luxurious collection, with the permission of Natalia Ivanovna, will take in St. Petersburg, Pushkin.

Perhaps Ekaterina would have remarried before - there were parties, and not just. Seriously courted Hlyustin, one of the closest neighbors, Kaluga landowner. But the eternal questions attached - it was more than modest ... And far too meticulously Natalia Ivanovna versed in the advantages and disadvantages of suitors! She very few people liked. And she liked all the surrounding smaller. Became applied to the glass, surrounded by a cloud of some obscure prizhivalok-monk, became sanctimonious religious. One can say that the marriage of her younger sister - the beautiful Natalia Nikolaevna - save older sisters, because the situation at home was becoming increasingly unsuitable for them. Keeping memories Nashokin, one of the closest friends of Alexander Sergeyevich. Asked, . why he takes in his family home of two unmarried sisters, wives, . He frowned and replied dryly, . young ladies that live in the house Natalya Ivanovna more indecent: "She kept drinking and all the waiters amurnichaet!" This conversation Pushkin Nashchokin little-known.,
. It is even conceivable that the relocation of the two sisters Goncharovs to them, in St. Petersburg, insisted not Natalia and Alexander, to the delicacy highly valuing the family name and honor the names
. How could he imagine the tragedy will result in a relocation for himself!

. Maybe, . initially, . arrival in St. Petersburg, . Ekaterina and felt depressed: to get from the province immediately to the "high society", . in society, . which was dominated by "the most elegant custom" (an expression Countess Fikelmon), . and be there in its place - it is not very easy,
. But gradually she came to herself. Of course, it is not shining, as Natalia, was not so boldly and independent views, as Alexandrina. Since it will probably have to talk, to feel her natural intelligence, charisma, the charm of conversation.
The few who dared to leave this warm memories of the future Baroness D'Antes. We talked about her vanity, . constant desire to bring joy and delight, . but who of young girls not sinning etimN At first, she enjoyed herself heartily, . and the estate, . brothers and mother, . flying letter, . Complete descriptions of proud of the first balls, . invitations to the evening and asking for money for clothes and fashion hats, . pillion for a walk in the park, . elegant harnesses for horses,
. She was echoed by Alexandra Nikolaevna, inserting the letter witty remarks about the cavalry and St. Petersburg high society.
But as time went. You will be glad the party was not. Catherine sad more often, its annoying lack of money, which had to literally beg for crumbs from his brother, had already self-estate manager and the factory ... In one letter flash of the phrase: "It hurts to ask! .."
. Often the money for jewelry, hats, buying music - and she and Alexandra Nikolaevna perfectly played the piano - Catherine borrowed from the beloved aunt Catherine Ivanovna Zagryazhskoy or a sister
. And then at the very Aleksandr Sergeyevich. Late stay long in the room by the fireplace with a book in the hands. And already, it would seem, about anything not dare to dream. All the passion, impulsive nature, all her wishes, she hid under the cover of quiet attention, level of courtesy, slight smiles, half-jokingly, no promises chatter.
That was until she met D'Antesa. Tall, blond, handsome man was a favorite of women, as rumored, and the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna itself ****. That's why so fast and hit the alien elite Russian troops - Guard, which usually takes Russian hereditary nobles! Guard grumbled at first, but later took D'Antesa as his. He shone a witty chatter in the salons, could appeal to where you want. He simply took not only the regimental commander Poletika, but also in the cabin Karamzins, Vyazemskys, Meshchersky, where he managed to become noticeable and almost his. Amused by an anecdote could bring the book banned from publication in Russia (for the son of the Dutch ambassador, though the reception, there were no barriers and prohibitions), deftly waltzed not lost when the witty conversation ... A lot of it was posturing, ostentatious bravery, but many, and what was valued in society and especially among the officers, guards: he well fenced, well sitting in the saddle, in possession of weapons ... Russia long be remembered as shooting guard D'Antes ...

. When Ekaterina saw a handsome Frenchman at one of the balls, her heart was subdued at once.

. A lot of dark and obscure in the history of dueling, as in the history of marriage in D'Antesa Ekaterina N. ..
. Much still not open, and to be seen whether open sometime ... Archival documents, . Related to confusing to the last duel of the poet is stored in various private collections, . often difficult: in embassies, . aristocratic mansions and estates, . and sometimes even in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs - this refers to the notorious recent documents on the activities of Baron Gekkerna in Russia, . found in the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
. But even a little of what is known, begins with a mystery.

Georges-Charles D'Antes, Baron Gekkern, appearing in the aristocratic society of St. Petersburg, comes over frivolous heads and hearts of northern beauties series of victories. And rushes to the most inaccessible of them - "the fortress of Kars, as half-jokingly said once Pushkin (in the years zhenihovstva) - Natalia Nikolaevna Pushkina.
To many, he seems completely lost his head in love. But notice also the views that throws the Baron's elder sister, Catherine. She tries to be everywhere where there D'Antes. Or is D'Antes tries to be everywhere where there are "poetic" Madame Pushkin and its sestryN Now do not make out!

Secular society is eagerly watching the gallant, passionate romance. Many make a bet on it, but when the Baron will break the resistance of "Madonna-poetshi" (an expression P.A. Viazemsky) and what will end the suffering of its "unfortunate sister ... Catherine, watching for the signs of attention D'Antesa to his sister, begins to unconsciously jealous, feeling it flares up and she, defying convention, decided on an extreme step. This is about him, . extreme step, . cautious, . one's fingertips secular, . Andrei Karamzin say in a private letter: "a pimp has become a beloved, . and then to his wife ... "Beloved, . that sick guardsman will soon be taken at his apartment "almost, . a spouse, . -won in the Nude ",
. He would refuse because of her frequent visits to the unwary friends and acquaintances, besides Andrei Karamzin, who came without warning, in an unusual hour. All this is carefully described in the book of Italian scholar-historian Serena Vitale, Pushkin's Button (1995). Ibid first published several letters of Baron Georges D'Antesa Ekaterina Nikolaevna. They are full of passionate love, as one would expect. But the concern and sense of affection for the man, who had trusted him blindly, there seemed to be there.
Let us not to speculate, just to say that shortly before the marriage of these two sinners-lovers have already linked such a mystery that can not be concealed for a long time - waiting for the child. S. Vitale brings concrete evidence that this is indeed so.

. I can now quite a different angle to consider the first duel challenge Pushkin D'Antesu ended the evening wedding and a wedding ceremony in two churches - Catholic and Orthodox
. Too get up to mischief officer, . still waltzing at balls and spinning importunate fly around unconquered beauties, . just trying to rein, . put in place, . to recall the duty of an honest man! (Afford it prudent assumption.),
. Pushkin indignant behavior D'Antesa, his frivolous witticisms and strictly prohibits one of the evenings, Ekaterina Nikolaevna talk to him
. Ta, flushing, obeys, immediately understood what was going. But her passionate, all-forgiving, all-consuming love - stronger. She forgets about the wrath of Pushkin, secret meetings, the note continues, it is everywhere seeking a meeting with Baron, quarrels with her sister, leaving her angry and jealous recriminations and accusations.
. Call Pushkin unexpected way happily (for Catherine, of course) all concluded
. George, after a while makes a formal proposal "Mlle Goncharova, maid of honor Her Majesty" (maid of honor, she began with December 1834). At the wedding received Court approval, the bride's brothers, Sergei and Dmitri, hastily brought from Moscow maternal blessing.
Katerina Ivanovna Zagryazhskaya wrote in a letter to Zhukovsky: "The bride and respected his father were with me with a proposal ... Much to я?п°я?я?п?я? quarter of an hour before they arrived from Moscow Lieutenant Goncharov and told them parental consent, and so - all the wiser ".*****( been saved spelling of the document.) Now it becomes clear before the mysterious meaning of the last sentence in the note, . but the role of Catherine in the last duel Nikolaevna Pushkina, . and unclear until the end ...,
. It seems all a happy, radiant
. After the wedding, surrounded by the attention her father and husband. Perhaps it is not quite sincere, this attention, but her long-suffering of warmth and peace of the soul does not notice it. Apartment her in the Dutch embassy redecorated and furnished, it begins to gradually get used to his new position of a married lady. Tries to convince relatives that happy. But there is some sadness in her eyes and uncertainty. You can not deceive insightful Alexandrina, she immediately notices this and drops the phrase in a letter to his brother: "Kate, I find more wins against decency."

For D'Antesa was seemingly acceptable to violate decency. He continued to pursue signs of attention Natalya Nikolaevna. Or it was a conscious travlyaN ..
It is difficult to guess whether she knew of the duel, Ekaterina Nikolaevna. Presumably, she knew. But in a moment of jealousy, her eyes lay a blanket. She apparently was afraid that would not deprive her of her fool's paradise, so much she inherited ... Not lent znacheniyaN didst trust in nobility muzhaN It seemed to her the highest.
. Like many would have thought, but especially the first time, having fallen in love, too late (she was almost 30 at the time of the formal proposal Baron Gekkerna) and recklessly, as it is!
. Hence its cynical Valuevo note to Mary, daughter of Prince Vyazemsky: "My husband fought a duel with Alexander Pushkin, was wounded, but thank God, it is easy! Pushkin was wounded in the lower back
. Go to console Natalie. "
Then there was the arrest of Dantes, the court, demotion to the ranks, a foreign country, cold walls of the castle in Sultse ...

It is often locked in her room to go over the few things that could take away with them from Russia. Among them was a gold bracelet with three triangular kornalinami and an inscription in French "In memory of eternal devotion. Alexander. Natalia ". She loved this bracelet. I tried to wear it more often. It was a wedding gift sisters. She knew she would, that Natalia told me in my house to throw all the decorations with kornalinom, even a thimble! But she, alas, not given to know.

. How not to be given to know the fate of one of his daughters, Leonie, Charlotte, which everyone thought half crazed
. It is the only of all the children spoke in Russian, reading Russian books, to the deification of love Pushkin and his poetry.
. She is one dared years later to throw in his father's face prosecution in the murder of the famous poet! She had considerable aptitude for higher mathematics, the house itself underwent a course of the Polytechnic Institute
. She died early in the twenty-odd years. Passionate nature, the ability to get involved in, to love, to burn, she apparently inherited from the mother. Like the ability to exact science ...

Ekaterina Goncharova, Baroness D'Antes, died Oct. 15, 1843 shortly after the birth of the long-awaited son from puerperal fever. She was buried in g. Sultse (France). At the grave - a cross entwined with beads. Reminiscent of her favorite ornament. There is a legend, . that dying, . she whispered the words, . written in 1837 by husband, . already gone abroad: "The only thing, . I want, . you to know it, . what you already quite sure, . this is, . that you strongly, . hard love, . and that one you all my happiness, . only you, . you one! "(Save the real spelling),
. PS
. Her suffering, . tortured soul may be comforted with the celestial heights to, . the Baron, . widowed in the prime of life (32 years), . Being visible person in society - he was elected to the Senate, . highly respected in the district - never more and never married,
. Perhaps, however, to only that of the court have the right to share the inheritance and dowry late baronessyN lawsuit with family of the deceased's wife ran for a long time, even 15 years after her death, and left no time for Baron courtship with the ladies ... St. Petersburg times were behind ...
* Letter of Baron Georges-Charles Gekerna to the bride, Ekaterina Nikolaevna Goncharova cited for internet publication, which has the same name. In web-based publication laid material printed L. Stark in "The Star" No.9 of 1996 (back)
** Letters Ekaterina Nikolaevna to native Cited in H. Rajewski "Portraits of talking" (Alma-Ata. Izdatel'stvo "Zhazushy, 1983. V.1.) And A. Kuznetsova "My Madonna" (M. "Owls. Writer, 1987) (back)
*** The Countess Ph.D.. Fikelmon, nee gr. Tizenegauzen - wife of the Austrian ambassador in St. Petersburg, a close friend of Pushkin, the daughter of Elizabeth Mih. Khitrovo. Granddaughter M. Kutuzova. Famous for its unsurpassed intelligence and beauty. Her salon was the most famous in the time of Pushkin in St. Petersburg. (Back)
**** Alexandra Feodorovna, Empress of Russia from 1825 po1855 years. Wife of Emperor Nicholas I. Pushkin and his wife Nat. Nick. treated with sympathy. (back)
***** Letter Note E.I. Zagryazhskoy VA. Zhukovsky cited in the book. AA. Kuznetsova "My Madonna" (M. "Owls. Writer, 1987) Everywhere kept spelling and style inherent in the authors of the letters. (Back)

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Dantes Ekaterina, Baroness Gekkern (Goncharov), photo, biography
Dantes Ekaterina, Baroness Gekkern (Goncharov), photo, biography Dantes Ekaterina, Baroness Gekkern (Goncharov)  The wife of George Charles D'Antesa, photo, biography
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