Evgeniya Vladislavovna Komleva,

Candidate of Historical Sciences, Institute of History of the Siberian Branch on the Russian Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk, Russia, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



The Theme of Childhood in the Epistolary Complexes of Russian Merchants of the Late 18th – 19th Century


 DOI: 10.31518/2618-9100-2021-1-4

 The article analyzes references to children in the correspondence of Russian merchants of the late 18th – 19th century, including large epistolary complexes of Irkutsk merchants Basnins, Larionovs (Krasnoyarsk), Buldakovs (Velikiy Ustyug), Kalashnikovs (Moscow). The surviving ego-documents left directly by the children of merhcants themselves are briefly characterized. Despite some limitations the data contained in the letters allow us to find information that reflects almost all stages of human maturation from birth to adult life. It includes the evidence of attitude to children in Russian merchant families, about children’s clothing, common practices of upbringing and education of the younger generation. One of the most highlighted subjects in the surviving correspondence is the attitude of the authors of the letters to the introduction of children to literacy, the description of difficulties associated with visiting state educational institutions. The correspondence also makes it possible to clarify biographical information about individual representatives of the merchant class, related to their early years. As an appendix, some ego texts written by the merchants’ children themselves are published: poems by Augusta and Tatiana Kandinsky, letters by Nikolay Kalashnikov and Georgiy Larionov.

Publishing: 28/02/2021

The article has been received by the editor on 15.12.2020

Original article >

How to cite: Komleva E.V. The Theme of Childhood in the Epistolary Complexes of Russian Merchants of the Late 18th – 19th Century // Historical Courier, 2021, No. 1 (15), pp. 37–51. [Available online:] http://istkurier.ru/data/2021/ISTKURIER-2021-1-04.pdf

Links: Issue 1 2021

Keywords: Russian merchants; epistolary heritage; children; diseases; clothing; upbringing; education