This is a translation of one of very few Russian serfs' memoirs. Savva Purlevskii recollects his life in Russian serfdom during 1800-31 and life of his grandparents, parents, and fellow villagers. He describes family and communal life and the serfs' daily interaction with landlords and state authorities.
Boris B. Gorshkov teaches world history at Kennesaw State University. He is author of many articles on the Russian pre-emancipation peasantry and child labor, including "Democratizing Habermas: Peasant Public Sphere in Pre-Reform Russia," Canadian American Slavic Studies Special Issue (Fall 2004); "Factory Children" in New Labor History, ed. Michael Melancon and Alice Pate (Bloomington, 2002); "Serfs on the Move," Kritika 1 (Fall 2000); and "Serfdom in Eastern Europe" in Encyclopedia of European Social History, ed. Peter N Stearns 6 volumes (New York, 2001)
List of Illustrations; Notes on the Translation; Preface; Introduction; Our Village, Its Inhabitants and Owners; My Grandfather; Myself, My Childhood, and My Family; And My Adult Life Began.; My Marriage, My Landlord, My Trade, and Other Things; Life outside the Village Observed; The Bitterness of Serfdom Realized; My Activities in Estate Life; My Future Fate Resolved; Epilogue