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Dorothea, Princess of Lieven (1785–1857)

Dorothea, Princess of Lieven (1785–1857)

Russian diplomat. Name variations: Dariya Khristoforovna; Sibyl of Europe. Born Dorothea von Benk-endorff in Latvia in 1785 (some sources cite 1784); died in 1857; married Khristofor Andreevich de Lieven also known as Prince Christoph of Lieven (Russian general and ambassador at the court of Prussia), in 1800 (died 1839).

Dorothea, princess of Lieven, was born in Latvia in 1785. Her mother was a favorite of the Russian empress Sophia Dorothea of Wurttemberg , wife of Tsar Paul I. The young Dorothea received a brilliant education and, at an early age, married Prince Christoph of Lieven, ambassador at the court of Prussia in Berlin (1811–12). Her remarkable talent for dealing with public affairs combined with her eminent social amenities to place her in control of the main springs of political action in Berlin. By her extensive official and private correspondence, she succeeded in shaping the opinions of the court of St. Petersburg. When her husband was transferred to Britain's court of St. James (1812–34), Dorothea made herself known there as she had been in Berlin and, until 1834, held a leading position in the highest social and political circles of England. After the death of her husband, she took up her residence in Paris (1839–57), and her house became a favorite resort of the chief political, literary, artistic, and social celebrities of that city. She was on terms of personal friendship with almost every eminent statesman of her time.

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