"Joseph de Maistre and others"

 Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821) was a French-speaking writer and philosopher from the Duchy of Savoy. He was an influential defender of monarchy during the period after the French Revolution. In 1803 he served as an ambassador to Tsar Alexander in St Petersburg, a position he held until after Napoleon's defeat. He wrote down his observations of the Russian court in memoirs that Tolstoy later used as material when he was writing War and Peace.