GHICA, Elena (nom-de-plume Dora D’Istria), princess (in marriage Duchess Koltsova-Massalskaja). Bucharest 3.2.1828 — Florence 17.11.1888. Romanian Author, Historian and Pioneer of Feminism. Born in the princely family of Wallachia – she was niece to the reigning prince Grigore IV and Alexandra Ghica – as daughter Mihai Ghica, and antiquarian and numismatist. Educated in Dresden, Vienna, Venice and Berlin, until 1849. Married with Russian prince Aleksandr Koltov Massalskij and, after a while in St.Petersburg, settled with her husband in exile in Switzerland, where she started her literary career as Dora d’Istria and became known as alpinist. She participated in Balkan politics on behalf of Greece and Albanians and traveled much in Europe and North and South America. Finally settled down in Florence. Member of several learned societies. Also known as a painter.
Publications: Many books on various subjects in French, German, Italian, Romanian and Greek.
– Les femmes en Orient. 1-2. Zürich 1860.
Sources: *L. Rossi (ed.), Dora d’Istria. I bagni di mare. Upa principessa europea alla scoperta della Riviera. Genua 1998; Blouse Romaine in Internet; Wikipedia with two portraits and further references.
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