Germaine de Staël (1766-1817) was a Swiss author who wrote in the French language, and lived in Paris for much of her life. She wrote a number of best sellers during the Napoleonic era, portraying politically engaged, intelligent women in a way that had an enormous influence on contemporary literature. Her novels include Delphine (1802) and Corinne, ou L'Italie (1807). Madame de Staël opposed Napoleon's reign, and was twice exiled from her beloved Paris by him.
An esaul, or yesaul, was a rank in the Cossack units of the Russian army, who would fulfil a military and adminstrative function equivalent to that of an aide-de-camp.
Plastuns were Cossack soldiers who performed scouting and sentry duties. In Cossack culture horses were an important sign of status; a Cossack man's identity was related to their skills as a horseman. Cossack soldiers would be responsible for buying their horses and other equipment. As plastuns did not need horses the role was considered inferior, and they were often drawn from poorer Cossack familes.
A musketoon is a short-barrelled musket similar to a shotgun. They were more commonly associated with pirates than with plastuns.