The Europeanized Elite in Russia, 1762-1825: Public Role and Subjective Self

The Europeanized Elite in Russia, 1762-1825: Public Role and Subjective Self


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The Europeanized Elite in Russia, 1762-1825: Public Role and Subjective Self by Andreas Schonle

This illuminating volume provides a new understanding of the subjective identity and public roles of Russia’s Europeanized elite between the years of 1762 and 1825. Through a series of rich case studies, the editors reconstruct the social group’s worldview, complex identities, conflicting loyalties, and evolving habits. The studies explore the institutions that shaped these nobles, their attitude to state service, the changing patterns of their family life, their emotional world, religious beliefs, and sense of time.

The creation of a Europeanized elite in Russia was a state-initiated project that aimed to overcome the presumed “backwardness” of the country. The evolution of this social group in its relations to political authority provides insight into the fraught identity of a country developing on the geopolitical periphery of Europe. In contrast to postcolonial studies that explore the imposition of political, social, and cultural structures on colonized societies, this multidisciplinary volume explores the patterns of behavior and emotion that emerge from the processes of self-Europeanization.

The Europeanized Elite in Russia, 1762-1825 will appeal to scholars and general readers interested in Russian history and culture, particularly in light of current political debates about globalization and widening social inequality in Europe.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780875807478
Publisher: Northern Illinois University Press
Publication date: 11/15/2016
Edition description: 1
Pages: 420
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Andreas Schönle is professor of Russian at Queen Mary University of London.
Andrei Zorin is professor of Russian at the University of Oxford and a fellow of New College.
Alexei Evstratov is a POINT fellow at the Dahlem Humanities Center (Freie Universität Berlin).

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Illustrations ix

Abbreviations x

Note on Transliteration and Dates xi

Introduction 1

1 Internalizing Public Roles: Zealous Servicemen and Curious Noblemen 23

From Passions to Ambitions: Human Nature and Governance from Peter I to the Emancipation of the Nobility Igor Fedyukin 26

Curiosity, Utility, Pleasure: Official Discourses of Natural Philosophy and Their Alternatives in Russia in the Run-up to 1762 Alexander Iosad 46

2 The Court and the Family: Cuckolded Husbands and Lonely Wives 66

Dramatic Conflicts and Social Performance at the Russian Court in the 1760s: A Sociocultural Perspective on Marital Infidelity Alexei Evstratov 70

Performing Womanhood in Eighteenth-Century Russia: Cultural Identity in the Letters of Ekaterina Rumiantseva and Dar'ia Saltykova Michelle Lamarche Marrest 90

3 The Domestic Economy: Between Ostentation and Rationalization 112

The Practice of Personal Finance and the Problem of Debt among the Noble Elite in Eighteenth-Century Russia Elena Korchmina 116

Self-fashioning, Estate Design, and Agricultural Improvement: I.I. Bariatinskifs Enlightened Reforms of Country Living Andreas Schönle 136

4 Officers Off the Battlefield: Managers and Thinkers 155

Warriors in Peace: The Everyday Life of Russian Officers at the Beginning of the Nineteenth Century Stanislav Andriainen 158

The Political Language of the Europeanized Military Elite in the Early Nineteenth Century: The Unpublished Diary and Letters of Vasilii Viazemskii Mikhail Velizhev 176

5 Alternative Sociabilities and Spiritualities: The Lodge and the English Club 197

The Emotional Culture of Moscow Rosicrucians: An Experiment in Alternative Europeanization Andrei Zorin 201

The Moscow English Club and the Public Sphere in Early Nineteenth-Century Russia Mikhail Velizhev 220

6 Experiencing the Other: Foreigners and Coachmen 238

Russian Prince vs. "German Swine": Public Slap in the Face, Emigrés, and Local Elites in St. Petersburg at the Time of the French Revolution Alexei Evstratov 242

Between Friends, the Coachman: Enlightenment Encounters Empire in Russia's Eighteenth Century John Randolph 261

7 The Radical Bifurcation: The Way to Europe and to the Convent 277

The Instability of Time and Plurality of Selves at Court and in Society Andreas Schönle 281

Sentimental Piety and Orthodox Asceticism: The Case of Nun Serafima Andrei Zorin 300

Conclusion 318

Bibliography 327

Contributors 349

Index 351

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