A LIFE UNDER RUSSIAN SERFDOM
The Memoirs of Savva Dmitrievich Purlevskii, 180068
Boris B. Gorshkov teaches world history at
Kennesaw State University.
This is a translation of one of very few Russian serfs'
memoirs. Savva Purlevskii recollects his life in Russian
serfdom and life of his grandparents, parents, and fellow
villagers. He describes family and communal life and
the serfs' daily interaction with landlords and authorities.
Purlevskii came from an initially prosperous family
that later became impoverished. Early in his childhood,
he lost his father. Purlevskii did not have a chance
to gain a formal education. He lived under serfdom until
1831 when at the age of 30 he escaped his servitude.
Gorshkov's introduction provides some basic knowledge
about Russian serfdom and draws upon the most recent
scholarship. Notes provide references and general information
about events, places and people mentioned in the memoirs.
Besides its appeal to scholars of Russian history, peasant
studies, or servile systems such as serfdom and slavery,
the illustrations and the conversational style will
make this book highly suitable for undergraduate and
"A fascinating autobiography of a self-made serf-entrepreneur,
originally published in 1877... The book - elegantly
printed by the Central European University Press and
illuminated with nineteenth-century miniatures of peasant
life - will surely provide an attractive teaching material
for the courses on pre-Reform Russian history, as well
as a good read for all those interested in social history
of Russia". - The Russian Review
has been adopted at the greatest number of American universities.
List of Illustrations; Notes on the Translation;
Introduction; The Memoirs of Savva Dmitrievich
Purlevskii, 180068 Preface; Our Village, Its
Inhabitants and Owners; My Grandfather; Myself, My Childhood,
and My Family; And My Adult Life Began. . .; My Marriage,
My Landlord, My Trade, and Other Things; Life outside
the Village Observed; The Bitterness of Serfdom Realized;
My Activities in Estate Life; My Future Fate Resolved;
ISBN 978-963-9241-99-2 cloth out of print
ISBN 978-963-7326-15-8 paperback $17.95 / €14.95