On the morning of March 14, 1719, a beautiful young woman walked up onto a scaffold as if it were a holiday.
She wore a white silk dress, and black ribbons were braided into her luxurious, ash-colored hair. Even the executioner who had seen everything had never had to cut the head off of such a beauty.
The whiteness of her clothes symbolized happiness, and the condemned herself, it seemed, was full of joy. She still held out hope for salvation. Indeed, she had dressed and adorned herself not for the crowd, but for her supreme judge and master, Tsar Peter Alexeyevich. Once he saw her looking so beautiful, surely he would recall his passionate love for the lady-in-waiting Maria Hamilton. He would remember and, of course, have mercy.
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Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.
PO Box 567
Montpelier VT 05601-0567