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Maria Volkonskaya is the wife of two Decembrists?

It immortalized the name, having gone to Siberia for the husband Sergey Volkonsky. The younger daughter of the legendary hero of Patriotic war of 1812 of the general Nikolay Rayevsky Maria herself chose to herself destiny, having thrown down a challenge not only to the immediate family, but also all secular society.


the Prince Volkonsky became constant visitor on a visit at the general Rayevsky, only noticed beauty of his younger daughter Maria. As if inadvertently it got those evenings when the girl sang and captivated all by a gentle voice. The prince stopped near a grand piano and, happened, all concert and stood, a back having leaned against a column and enjoying singing of darling.

Later Volkonsky remembered: “Long ago in love with it, I, at last, decided to be her suitor for the hand“.

Maria`s Father not for long thought and agreed to give the beloved daughter for the notable and rich prince. Officially engagement was celebrated with a big ball in the town of Kamenka in Ukraine on which all family of Rayevsky - Davydov and Volkonsky gathered.

The magnificent holiday was spoiled by one small trouble - during dance with the groom on Maria the dress lit up. Dancing a mazourka, it unintentionally touched with edge of clothes a little table with candelabrums, and one of candles overturned. Fire was quickly put out, but Maria very much was frightened. It seemed to guests a bad omen.

celebrated the Wedding on January 11, 1825. To the bride there were no twenty also, and to the groom was executed thirty seven. They almost did not know each other.

In the first year of family life they lived together only three months. Soon after a wedding Maria got sick and went to be treated to Odessa, and then in a manor of parents.

the Prince Volkonsky remained to order an infantry division in Umani where he was arrested on January 7, 1826.

Some days before arrest Volkonsky, having a presentiment of long separation, visited the young wife and the son - the firstborn. His favourite Maria`s tragedy already began …

After long months of a consequence and obivaniye of bossy thresholds in St. Petersburg Maria Nikolaevna gets Nicholas I`s permission to share lot of the husband - the convict. And on December 22, 1826, having left the mother-in-law child, it goes to uncertainty. And only twenty years were it.

“The tilt cart was bought from me; I kept within one minute, took with myself a little linen and three dresses yes a wadded hood which put on. I protected other money for Siberia, having sewn up them in the dress. Before departure I kneeled at a cradle of my child; I prayed long. The sister, seeing that I leave without fur coat, was frightened for me and, having removed from the shoulders salop on fur, put on it me. Besides, it supplied me with books, sherstyam for needlework and drawings …“ - Maria Nikolaevna wrote down in the diary .

Maria reaches on February 11, 1827 by

the Blagodatsky mine where the degraded prince Volkonsky extracts lead. Six thousand versts of a way, in severe frosts, under snowstorm whistle. And here they met - Sergey Grigoryevich, rattling shackles, ran to the wife.

“A type of its shackles, - Maria Nikolaevna remembered in many years , - so excited and touched me that I rushed before it on knees and kissed at first him shackles, and then and him“.

the Destiny did not indulge this beautiful and stubborn woman. Seven months in the Blagodatsky mine, then - in the Chita jail were three years the heaviest.

During this time there were a lot of things: in January, 1828 the two-year-old Nikolenka Volkonsky left on care of relatives, and in September, 1829 - go - the father, the general Rayevsky died. And in August, 1830 - go the daughter Sofya born in Siberia and who did not live and died away day. the old man Rayevsky did not sustain

On a death bed and forgave the daughter. Showing on Maria`s portrait, he confessed to the family: “There is the most surprising woman whom I knew!“.


thirty-year-old Maria Nikolaevna`s beauty inflamed more and more brightly: Odoevsky sang of it in verses, Lunin - in prose.

“Young, harmonous, higher, than average height, the brunette with the burning eyes, with a semi-dark face, with a little snub nose, with proud, but light step. For a smuglovatost she was nicknamed “the maiden of Ganges“; did not show grief, it was kind with the husband`s companions, but it is proud and exacting with the commandant and chiefs of a jail“, - the Decembrist A. E. Rosen wrote about Maria Nikolaevna .

the became finer than

I this woman concerning all men on the Chita penal servitude the it was more difficult to find it a common language with own husband. They were very different people.

“The relations between Volkonskimi`s spouses did not develop, alienation became more and more deep and obvious for people around“, - the Doctor of Philology Nina Zababurova claims.

Alas, family happiness did not turn out. But, to honor both, - till last days they responded about each other with the greatest respect.

“I married in 1825 the prince Sergey Grigoryevich Volkonsky, your father, the most worthy and the most noble of people“, - Maria Nikolaevna repeatedly spoke to the children.

Volkonsky` son named by Mikhail was born in 1832, and rumors persistently went that the Decembrist Alexander Podzhio was his father. In three years Maria gave birth to the daughter Nellie as whose father also considered not Volkonsky, but Podzhio.

By the way, Nellie was his favourite and when Alexander Viktorovich was in the evening of life seriously ill, Voronki went to die to it, in her manor though it had own family.

Sergey Volkonsky knew everything and courageously endured everything, having reconciled before love which could not give, and before passion which bewitched his wife and his best friend.

For all people, officially, Mikhail and Nellie were a son and the daughter of the prince. It gave them the name, the title and the remained state. They long considered themselves as Volkonsky`s children and did not refuse him even then when they learned all truth, the researcher Nina Berberova claims.

“Goes rumors, unprofitable for Maria Nikolaevna, about her life in Siberia much, say that even the son and the daughter her children not of Volkonsky... All attachment of children concentrated on mother, and mother looked with some neglect at the husband that, of course, had influence and on the relation of children to it“, - the son of the Decembrist Evgeny Yakushkin, visited Siberia in 1855 lifts a veil of secrecy over the family drama of Volkonsky.


ran over Volkonskiye to Irkutsk over time. The disgraced princess sought to turn the house into the best salon of the city.

“But if the old man Volkonsky absorbed by the agricultural occupations and all gone to the people, was not drawn towards the city and was interested in the village much more, then his wife, the princess Marya Nikolaevna, was a lady absolutely secular, loved society and entertainments and managed to make the main center of Irkutsk public life of the house. Speak, it was good itself, but, from my point of view 11 - the summer boy, it to me could not seem differently as the old woman as passed with it then in 40 years; I remember it the woman high, harmonous, thin, with small rather-headed and the beautiful, constantly squinting eyes. She behaved with big advantage, spoke slowly and in general on us, children, made impression proud, dry, as if the ice person so we always hesitated at her presence a little...“, - the resident of Irkutsk N remembered. A. Belogolovy.

B 1856 Mikhail Volkonsky living already in St. Petersburg brought a message about release to Decembrists. After that from Siberia his father came back. Absolutely the patient, Maria Nikolaevna left a year before. Having returned home, she began to write memories of endured.

accompanied by the beloved daughter the princess went on treatment abroad, but it did not help. Maria Volkonskaya died in 1863. She is buried in the manor of the Funnel of the Chernihiv province belonging to Nellie.

With it Alexander Podzhio who arrived forever divided its last days to say goodbye to the beloved.

A Sergey Volkonsky lived in the son`s manor near Revel at this time. He did not manage to follow Maria Nikolaevna to the grave as from it hid her last illness and death. But in two years disappeared also it.

of the Prince buried near the wife, having put in legs of her grave, according to Sergey Grigoryevich`s will.

A in eight years died also Podzhio. He lived the last years in the daughter Nellie`s manor where he died at it on hands. He was buried near Sergey and Maria Volkonskikh`s graves.

All three and after death remained together, having disdained a rumor and conventions of society.

Source: tonnel. ru/index. php? l=gzl &uid=436