Nicolas Nabokov and Peter Watson

Just finished reading a good biography of Nabokov by Vincent Giroud. No mention of Watson, but their worlds overlapped heavily at certain points and they knew each other in pre-War Paris and later.

The early connection was through the French music scene. Watson knew Fevrier, Sauguet, Auric, Poulenc, Markevitch and others, as did Nabokov. He also of course knew many members of the same French high culture, as did Nabokov, such as Comte Etienne de Beaumont,  Comtesse Marie-Laure de Noailles and the Princesse de Polignac, as well as Russian exiles like Princess Natalie Paley and Pavel Tchelitchew. They were both friendly with people like Pierre Colle.

Later, with Nabokov’s work for the Congress for Cultural Freedom, Watson would have had another link into him through their mutual friend, Stephen Spender, who was Encounter’s first editor. Watson attended a CCF meeting in Paris with Spender.

There is a report of Watson being seen having lunch with Nabokov in New York after the War.