A Life Under Russian Serfdom: The Memoirs of Savva by Savva Dmitrievich Purlevskii

By Savva Dmitrievich Purlevskii

It is a translation of 1 of the only a few Russian serfs' memoirs. Savva Purlevskii remembers his lifestyles in Russian serfdom and the lives of his grandparents, mom and dad, and fellow villagers. He describes relations communal lifestyles and the serfs' day-by-day interplay with landlords and specialists. Purlevskii got here from an at the start wealthy family members that later grew to become impoverished. Early in his youth, he misplaced his father. Purlevskii didn't have an opportunity to realize a proper schooling. He lived less than serfdom until eventually 1831 whilst on the age of 30, he escaped his servitude.

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Additional resources for A Life Under Russian Serfdom: The Memoirs of Savva Dmitrievich Purlevskii, 1800-68

Sample text

Then there would be singing and dancing. When they got tired of this they would put soft rugs in the hall, sit on them, and 54 Nevskii Prospekt is the main street in St. Petersburg. 56 Those who wanted not only to take advantage of the booze but to play cards in the rich gentleman’s house also wormed their way into our lord’s favor. The ring-leaders of this “golden cut company,” as they were called—people subtle and shrewd—conducted their business skillfully. They lured along several young nobles who loved to gamble.

My grandma began to brag about my good fortune. Dad listened to her in a sort of emotionless, cold way, then he stared at me, and probably at that very moment realized what the truth of the matter was. He ordered the servant to 69 sia. Knuckle-bones was a popular game among all social classes in Rus- MYSELF, MY CHILDHOOD, AND MY FAMILY | 53 take care of his horse, while he went to the room and looked under the bed. He pulled out one sack, then the other, and glanced dubiously at the knots. He counted the money and found two rubles missing.

Then he would drop into the kitchen to give the cooks the order for the day’s menu and afterwards walk to a fellow-countryman’s wine shop for a drink and a snack. And then he would visit his suppliers with his own interests in mind. By lunchtime the chef would return, check the kitchen, have his lunch at a special table, and after that go to the wine shop again and stay there until midnight, smoking pipe tobacco and sipping Madeira and grog. It was not too bad though, for he kept everything in order.

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