'It is not people that kill, but ungovernable passions'. "Princess Mimi" and "Princess Zizi", Odoevsky's complementary society tales from the 1830s, portraying the two diametrically opposed sides of the nature of the Russian Aristocracy, can be seen as precursors to Anna Karenina and the works of Dostoevsky. The eponymous princesses are both spinsters, but there any similarity must end. Zizi, thwarted in love, takes her lot meekly until she comes face to face with her erstwhile lover's perfidy, and her sense of justice and familial devotion rise to claim a bittersweet revenge. Mimi meanwhile, whose own romantic failures have left her bitter and resentful, takes her revenge groundlessly, leading all around her to a tragic end.
Prince Vladimir Fyodorovich Odoevsky (1804-1869) was a prominent Russian writer, philosopher, music critic and philanthropist. At the time of his death, he was a Moscow Senator and amateur scientist who has been credited with having predicted blogging. Bridget Kendall is an award winning British radio correspondent. She was also made an MBE in 1994.