The 1812 War and the Civilizing Process in Russia

  • Alexander M. Martin
Part of the War, Culture and Society, 1750–1850 book series


When Russian memoirists after about 1850 looked back on the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, which was as far back as living memory extended, they detected a change in the way middling and elite Russians thought and behaved. The priest Filipp F. Ismailov, recalling his own childhood and education, wrote that:

There was much that was dark [in the early nineteenth century], but at the time, Russia itself was dark. Coarseness, foolishness, and vulgarity prevailed in everything.1


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 2.
    Nikolai P. Vishniakov, Svedeniia o kupecheskom rode Vishniakovykh, 3 vols. (Moscow, 1903–11), vol. 2, 29–37, here: 52.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Norbert Elias, The Civilizing Process: Sociogenetic and Psychogenetic Investigations (Oxford and Malden, MA, 2000).Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Thomas L. Haskell, ‘Capitalism and the Origins of the Humanitarian Sensibility’, American Historical Review, 90, 2 (1985): 339–61 and 3 (1985): 547–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 5.
    On the extraordinary significance of 1812 in the history of Russian memoir writing, see Andrei G. Tartakovskii, 1812 god i russkaia memuaristika: Opyt istochniko-vedcheskogo izucheniia (Moscow, 1980), 15–16.Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    Andrei T. Bolotov, Zhizn’ i prikliucheniia Andreia Bolotova, opisannye samim im dlia svoikh potomkov, 3 vols (Moscow, 1993), vol. 3, 19–20.Google Scholar
  6. 7.
    Mikhail M. Tiul’pin, ‘Letopis’, in Anna V. Semenova et al., eds., Kupecheskie dnevniki i memuary kontsa XVIII — pervoi poloviny XIX veka (Moscow, 2007), 273.Google Scholar
  7. 9.
    John T. Alexander, Bubonic Plague in Early Modern Russia: Public Health and Urban Disaster (Baltimore, MD, 1980). The primary accounts listed in Alexander’s bibliography are those by Alekseev, Bantysh-Kamenskii, Bolotov, Dolgorukii, Karzhavin and Sablukov, as well as ‘O morovoi iazve’and ‘Pis’mo ochevidtsa’.Google Scholar
  8. 12.
    T — v, ‘O 1812 gode’, in Petr I. Shchukin, ed., Bumagi, otnosiashchiiasia do Otechestvennoi voiny 1812 goda, 10 vols. (Moscow, 1897–1908), vol. 4, 332.Google Scholar
  9. 15.
    Anna G. Khomutova, ‘Vospominaniia A. G. Khomutovoi o Moskve v 1812 godu’ Russkii arkhiv, 3 (1891): 309–28, here: 323; A. Lebedev, ‘Iz razskazov rodnykh o 1812 gode (Izvlechenie iz semeinykh zapisok)’, in Shchukin, Bumagi, vol. 3, 260.Google Scholar
  10. 21.
    Fedor Bekker, ‘Vospominaniia Bekkera o razzorenii i pozhare Moskvy v 1812 g.’, Russkaia starina, 38 (April–June 1883): 507–24, here: 519.Google Scholar
  11. 22.
    Murray Melbin, ‘Night as Frontier’, American Sociological Review, 43 (February 1978): 3–22, here: 3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 23.
    Craig Koslofsky, Evening’s Empire: A History of the Night in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge, 2011), 17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 25.
    Joachim Schlör, Nights in the Big City: Paris, Berlin, London, 1840–1930, trans. Pierre Gottfried Imhoff and Dafydd Rees Roberts (London, 1998), 16, 241, 287, quotation on 241.Google Scholar
  14. 26.
    On the closing hours of shops, see I. Slonov, Iz zhizni torgovoi Moskvy (polveka nazad) (Moscow, 1914), 166.Google Scholar
  15. 27.
    Ivan E. Zabelin, Opyty izucheniia russkikh drevnostei i istorii: izsledovaniia, opisaniia i kriticheskiia stat’i, 2 vols. (Moscow, 1872–1873), vol. 2, 357; N. M. Bychkov, ‘Istoricheskii ocherk osveshcheniia goroda Moskvy’, Izvestiia Moskovskoi Gorodskoi Dumy, vypusk 1 (October 1895), otdel 2, 1–52; G. Le Cointe de Laveau, Guide du voyageur à Moscou (Moscow, 1824), table facing 86.Google Scholar
  16. 36.
    Alain Corbin, The Foul and the Fragrant: Odor and the French Social Imagination (Cambridge, MA, 1986), 47, 55, 56, 60–1, 67.Google Scholar
  17. 45.
    Petr Volkonskii, ‘U frantsuzov v Moskovskom plenu 1812 goda’, Russkii arkhiv, no. 11 (1905): 351–59, here: 352; François-Joseph d’ Ysarn-Villefort, Relation du séjour des Français à Moscou et de l’incendie de cette ville en 1812 par un habitant de Moscou, ed. A. Gadaruel (Brussels, 1871), 47.Google Scholar
  18. 46.
    Jan de Vries, The Industrious Revolution: Consumer Behavior and the Household Economy, 1650 to the Present (Cambridge, 2008);CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Neil McKendrick, ‘Introduction’ and ‘The Consumer Revolution of Eighteenth-Century England’, in Neil McKendrick, John Brewer and J.H. Plumb, ed., The Birth of a Consumer Society: The Commercialization of Eighteenth-Century England (Bloomington, IN, 1982).Google Scholar
  20. 47.
    Dmitrii Rostislavov, Provincial Russia in the Age of Enlightenment: The Memoir of a Priest’s Son, trans. Alexander M. Martin (DeKalb, IL, 2002), 83, 84, 86.Google Scholar
  21. 57.
    Aleksandr I. Kupriianov, Gorodskaia kul’tura russkoi provintsii: Konets XVIII –pervaia polovina XIX veka (Moscow, 2007), 471.Google Scholar
  22. 58.
    Leonid Gorizontov, ‘The ‘Great Circle’ of Interior Russia: Representations of the Imperial Center in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries’, in Jane Burbank, Mark von Hagen, and Anatolyi Remnev, eds., Russian Empire: Space, People, Power, 1700–1930 (Bloomington, IN, 2007), 81.Google Scholar
  23. 60.
    Mikhail N. Zagoskin, Sochineniia, 7 vols. (St Petersburg: V. I. Shtein, 1889), vol. 5, 70.Google Scholar
  24. 61.
    Vissarion G. Belinsky, ‘Petersburg and Moscow’, in ed. Nikolai Nekrasov, trans. Thomas Gaiton Marullo, Petersburg: The Physiology of a City (Evanston, IL, 2009), 28.Google Scholar
  25. 63.
    Mikhail I. Pyliaev, Staraia Moskva: Rasskazy iz byloi zhizni pervoprestol’noi stolitsy (Moscow, 1995).Google Scholar
  26. 64.
    See, for example: Fedor V. Rostopchin, ‘Mysli v slukh na Krasnom kryl’tse’, in Sochineniia Rastopchina (grafa Feodora Vasil’evicha) (St Petersburg, 1853);Google Scholar
  27. Katherine Pickering Antonova, An Ordinary Marriage: The World of a Gentry Family in Provincial Russia (New York, 2013), 195.Google Scholar
  28. 65.
    Elena Vishlenkova, Vizual’noe narodovedenie imperii, ili ‘Uvidet’ russkogo dano ne kazhdom’ (Moscow, 2011), 190–95, quotation on 195.Google Scholar
  29. 66.
    See, for example: Christopher Ely, This Meager Nature: Landscape and National Identity in Imperial Russia (DeKalb, IL, 2002);Google Scholar
  30. Alison K. Smith, Recipes for Russia: Food and Nationhood Under the Tsars (DeKalb, IL, 2008).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Alexander M. Martin 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexander M. Martin

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations