Glafira Alymova was the daughter of Colonel Ivan Akinfievich Alymov. She studied at the Smolny Institute from 1764 to 1776, as one of its first students, and excelled in music. On her graduation in 1776, she was decorated as one of its five best students, and was made lady in waiting to the Empress Catherine the Great. The Empress was fond of her because of her good humor and temperament. She was married successively to the writer and nobleman Alexei Rzhevskii in 1777, as his second wife, and in 1805 to the translator Maskle. Her second marriage, to a man twenty years younger than her and of lower social status, was regarded a scandal.
Mariya Svistunova was the eldest child and only daughter of the Rzhevskii family.
Glafira Alymova was regarded as one of the best harpists of her time. She was awarded the order of St Catherine by Empress Catherine.
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