About the next strong supporter of Georges-Charles d’Anthès-Heeckeren in the Russian Empire. Deciphering one message.
In the message written after the fatal duel to his foster-son Georges-Charles d’Anthès, who was under arrest, Baron de Heeckeren said,
“Madame N and Countess Sofie B will tell you about much. Both of them feel heartily interested in us.”
“Madame N” was Maria Nesselrode (1786—1849), Countess, lady-in-waiting.
On Wiki page, read about her in Russian and in English about her husband, Baltic-German Count Karl Robert Nesselrode
The night after the duel, the spouses Nesselrode spent at de Heeckeren’s, leaving his house only an hour after midnight. When all the city of St Petersburg turned its back upon de Heeckeren, Countess Nesselrode invited him to her dinner party.
In the course of the intrigue, Countess Nesselrode totally supported d’Anthès, being “his confidante” and a proxy mother at his wedding.
According to Prince Pyotr Vyazemsky, “Pushkin’s hatred to this last representative of the cosmopolitan oligarchic Areopagus was nearly more than his hatred to Bulgarin”. In her turn, Countess Maria Nesselrode could not forgive Pushkin’s epigram to her father. She invited Baron de Heeckeren to join her circle. Ambassador of Württemberg reported:
“…In St Petersburg, he [ de Heeckeren ] has lived about 13 years, standing high in the court’s favour, being patronized by Count and Countess Nesselrode.”
She also patronized Georges-Charles d’Anthès who was a far cousin to her husband.
According to Pavel Nashchyokin, it was Countess Nesselrode who brought Natalie Pushkin to the Palace in order to introduce the young woman to the Empress, without Alexander Pushkin’s knowledge. Learning of that, Natalie’s husband “got wildly enraged and he was rude to the Countess”. As a result, he was given the official title of gentleman of the monarch’s bed-chamber, which he regarded as the next insult to him.
“Countess Sofie B” was Sophia Bobrinsky (1797-1866), lady-in-waiting, friend of the Empress.
Countess Sophia felt interested in both Pushkin and d’Anthès, caring about their fates and trying to understand as much as possible in the intrigue. During his trial, she used her connection, which helped d’Anthès’ to escape the common lot.