Classification – name: Literary studies
Pages: 138-173
Publisher: A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IWL RAS Publ.)
Rights – description: Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 (СС BY-ND)
Rights – URL:
Language of the publication: Russian
Type of document: Research Article
Collection: Estate Real — Estate Literary: Vectors of Creative Transformation
Year of publication: 2021
Place of publication: Moscow


Author: Mikhail V. Stroganov

About the author:

Mikhail V. Stroganov (Tver, Russia), DSc in Philology, Professor, Leading Research Fellow, A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Science; Professor of the Department of General and Slavonic Arts, Institute of Slavonic Culture, A.N. Kosygin Russian State University (Moscow).


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At the beginning of the 20th century the memories of the Russian nobility depicting the life of the previous generations of their family were very often written in the form of family traditions. The memoirs of the last representatives of the Wulf family and their closest relatives, residents and guests of the Bernovo and Kurovo-Pokrovskoye estates of the Staritsky district of the Tver province are the most illustrative material in this regard. Their male peers were left out of creating memoirs because, as household experience shows, it is women who are the keepers of family traditions, remembering the dates of home holidays, household minutiae and details, and because of more intensive communication with children they are more involved in the formation of their family memory. Women are more likely to fix love stories, household anecdotes. Texts by A.N. Ponafidina, O.N. Wulf, A.N. Bolt, and V.D. Bubnova dedicated to the “golden age” of the noble estate of the early 19th century, when A.S. Pushkin visited the Staritsky estates of the Wulfs and their relatives, should be called secondary memoirs. They have not seen Pushkin themselves, and the people of the previous generation who told them about Pushkin had seen him when they had been children. Therefore, in these secondary memoirs are constantly found details of a legendary character of the poet.

Keywords: Russian nobility, family traditions, secondary memoirs, legends, the estates of Bernovo and Kurovo-Pokrovskoye of the Staritsky district of the Tver province, A.N. Ponafidina, O.N. Wulf, A.N. Bolt, V.D. Bubnova, A.S. Pushkin.