Countess Elena Zavadovskaya
Countess Elena Zavadovskaya (nee Vlodek) was the daughter of the Polish general (her mother was Russian). She was the wife of the chief prosecutor of the Senate V.P. Zavadovskiy (1798-1855). Charming lady of St. Petersburg was called Star of the North. Elena was one of the brightest beauties of her time. Great poets including Alexander Pushkin, Ivan Kozlov, Vyazemsky dedicated their poems to her. She was a friend of Russian poet Mikhail Lermontov.
Pretty girl was born on December 2, 1807. She was the daughter of Polish nobleman Mikhail Fyodorovich Vlodek (1780-1849) from his marriage to the Countess Alexandra Dmitrievna Tolstaya’s lady-in-waiting (1788-1847).
On October 31, 1824, Elena married the chief procurator of the Senate, Count Vasily Petrovich Zavadovsky (1798-1855). About their marriage Vyazemsky wrote that “one of the northern flowers, and the most beautiful one, yesterday was picked by Zavadovsky”. They were considered to be the most charming and fashionable couple in St. Petersburg. However, everything changed when Count Zavadovsky began to drink. In the marriage there was only one child son Peter. The boy was born in 1828. On December 20, 1842 Peter died in Naples from a nervous fever and was buried in the Alexander Nevsky Lavra cemetery.
In 1830, Elena began a love affair with General S.F. Apraksin, which lasted for about six years.
Later she and her husband went abroad, where they spent several years.
According to A.N. Karamzin, in Paris, at balls in 1837, Countess Zavadovskaya was the first beauty. But most of the time they spent in England, where Count Zavadovsky became a perfect Englishman, and Elena had a love affair with the rich Duke of Devonshire.
Returning to St. Petersburg, the Zavadovskys surprised the whole society with the luxury of their home. In the spring of 1842 she went abroad again.
In 1855, Elena became a widow.
Zavadskaya died on March 22, 1874 and was buried next to her husband and son in the Alexander Nevsky Monastery.
Contemporaries wrote about her mind, education and literary interests. Pushkin dedicated her poem Beauty. According to some people, beautiful Elena became a prototype of Nina Voronskaya in Eugene Onegin.