A Life Under Russian Serfdom: The Memoirs Of Savva Dmitrievich Purlevskii, 1800-1868
This is a translation of one of the very few Russian serfs' memoirs. Savva Purlevskii recollects his life in Russian serfdom and the lives of his grandparents, parents, and fellow villagers. He describes family 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.