Mari Firkatian tells Ozan Ozavci how she discovered the lost archives of the Stancioff family, uncovering the secrets of Nadejda Stancioff, the only woman diplomat at Lausanne.
Mari is Professor of History at the University of Hartford.
Sometimes great stories from the past seem to find their historian, rather than the other way round. That was certainly the case for Mari Firkatian: a play date arranged for her children brought Firkatian completely by chance into contact with descendants of the Stancioff family, cosmopolitans in the service of the Bulgarian crown, specifically the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry. In a conversation recorded on 16 January 2023 Mari shares her insights into the early life and character of Nadejda Stancioff, the only female diplomat at Lausanne and, indeed, one of the first woman diplomats in history. Whether acting as a quick-witted simultaneous translator, toning down Stambolyski’s language to Curzon, or dining tête-à-tête with Ismet, Stancioff proved a highly effective representative for Bulgaria – a country she lost touch with shortly after Lausanne, when she found a new life as Lady Muir, chatelaine of a vast Scottish estate.
Episode 25 – Dreamer and Realist
Podcasts are published by TLP for the purpose of encouraging informed debate on the legacies of the events surrounding the Lausanne Conference. The views expressed by participants do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of TLP, its partners, convenors or members.