KRUDENER, Barbara Julian, BARONESS von, Russian novelist and pietist: b. Riga, 11 Nov. 1764; d. Karazu-Bazar, 26 Dec. 1824. She received through her father, Privy Councillor von Vietinghoff, in Russia and later at Paris, a very liberal education. In 1872 she married Baron Burchard von Kriidener, an able diplomat attached to the Russian gmbassy at Paris, but who was already divorced from two wives. She accompanied him to Venice where he was appointed Russian Ambassador, and later (1786) to Copenhagen, where he filled the same position. Being of a coquettish dis position she appears to have led an extravagant life, and, after bearing two children, her nervous condition caused her to leave her hus band (1789) and live in Paris, where she be came involved in a love affair with a young officer, Count Fregeville, and, dropping her family name but not divorced, she spent the next few years in travel, returning to her hus band in 1800, but leaving him again in 1801. She next became intimate with Coppet while living with Madame de Stael and in Paris. In Paris she then became companion of Chateau briand and Bernardin de Sainte-Pierre, author of 'Paul and Virginia,' when she was in formed of the death of her husband (1802). Her novel 'Valerie> (Paris 1803) was now pub lished, in which she built up a romantic story in charming style from an early actual clandes tine love episode of hers at Venice. In 1804, at i the age of 40, she came under the religious n- fluence of the Moravian sect, then that of the South German cult and she now ardently devoted herself to a fantastic religion, her whole being becoming at last absorbed in mysticism and superstition. In 1806 she went to North Germany and, in the following year, did great service tending the wounded after the battle of Eylau (1807) ; in 1808 she fell under the influence of the teaching of Jung-Stilling in Carlsruhe, who acquainted her with the Swedenborgian cult, and a month later she was in Alsace imbued with the visionary doctrines of Pastor Fontaine and the seeress Marie Gott liebin Kummer. She next held great religious
meetings in Wiirtemberg, Switzerland. Alsace, etc., to which the newly converted and the pious flocked. Turning her eyes toward political events, she placed Napoleon as the Apollyon of the Apocalypse and Alexander of Russia as the deliverer. She obtained audience with the Tsar Alexander (1815) and gained temporary in fluence over him. It was partly, some claim, through her influence that the "Holy Alliance was born, but she had not part in its drawing up. With the arrival of peace she traveled to Switzerland where she renewed her pietistic conventicler and preached repentance, spending prodigally of her wealth on the poor and suffer ing; but her immense popularity created alarm with the authorities and they expelled her from Switzerland in 1817. A similar fate met her in several German states, till she was taken (1818), under police escort, to the Russian border. Placed within bounds by her former convert, Alexander I, she now lived on her estate at Kosse, but in 1824, with her daughter and son in-law, she went to the Crimea, where she died in the pietist colony of Princess Golyrtzyn at Karasu-Bazar. Consult Eynard, 'Vie de Madame Kriidener) (Paris 1849); Capefigue, 'La Baronne de Kriidener et l'Enyiereur Alex andre P (ib. 1866) ; 'Fratf von Kriidener,' in Zeitgeniiiide (Berne 1868) ; Lacroix, 'Madame de Kriidener ses Lettres et ses Ouvrages in edits> (Paris 1880) ; Ford, Clarence, 'Life and Letters of Madame de Kriidener' (London 1893); Turguan, Baronne de Kriidener' (Paris 1900) ; Midilenbeck. 'Etude sur lcs Origines de la Sainte-Alliance' (ib. 1888).