Northern Illinois University Press


The Europeanized Elite in Russia, 1762–1825

Public Role and Subjective Self

Edited by  ANDREAS SCHÖNLE, ANDREI ZORIN, & ALEXEI EVSTRATOV

“This groundbreaking volume offers an effective balance between posing broad questions and analyzing particular examples (in a series of paired microhistories or case studies), and it challenges the imagination, opening the way for further thought and investigation.”—MARCUS LEVITT, author of The Visual Dominant in Eighteenth-Century Russia (NIU Press, 2011)

“The editors and contributors have found a number of fresh or little-examined stories to illustrate their general point that the westernization of the elite cannot be captured in the current reductive models, but must be understood as the product of a complex and sometimes unexpected combination of European influences and inherited domestic practices.”—DAVID RANSEL, author of A Russian Merchant’s Tale

"This volume successfully showcases the range of research possibilities and interpretive explorations that microhistory and the history of emotions can produce. It also succeeds in bringing Russian and European scholarship to an Anglophone audience." —The Russian Review

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 toward 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.

November 2016, 340 pp., 6x9
ISBN 978-0-87580-747-8
$45.00s Paper

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 | Igor Fedyukin 26
Curiosity, Utility, Pleasure | 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 | Alexei Evstratov 70
Performing Womanhood in Eighteenth-Century Russia | Michelle Lamarche Marrese 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 | Andreas SchÚnle 136
4 OFFICERS OFF THE BATTLEFIELD: MANAGERS AND THINKERS 155
Warriors in Peace | Stanislav Andriainen 158
The Political Language of the Europeanized Military Elite in the Early Nineteenth Century | Mikhail Velizhev 176

5 ALTERNATIVE SOCIABILITIES AND SPIRITUALITIES: THE LODGE AND THE ENGLISH CLUB 197
The Emotional Culture of Moscow Rosicrucians | 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” | Alexei Evstratov 242
Between Friends, the Coachman | John Randolph261

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 SchÚnle 281
Sentimental Piety and Orthodox Asceticism | Andrei Zorin 300

CONCLUSION 318
Bibliography 327
Contributors 349
Index 351

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ISBN: 978-0-87580-747-8
paper $45.00