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The Material World Of Kievan Rus' As Depicted In The Historical Novels Of The Nicholaevan Era

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Chapter Summary

The same intellectual climate in the reign of Nicholas I that prompted the tsar himself, scholars, architects, archaeologists, ethnographers, and artists to explore and document the material culture of Old Russia also found expression in the literature of the era, particularly in historical novels. It was in prose that Russian historical writers attempted to recreate the material world in which their characters existed. Veltmans mockery of the inadequacy of contemporary historical narratives, particularly of the way they represented material objects of past epochs, may be seen as an attempt to change the way Russians wrote historical fiction. This chapter indicates the obsession with history of Russian prose of the Nicholaevan period and writers participation in the grand project of imagining Russias past.

Keywords: historical novels; material culture; Nicholaevan era; Nicholas I; Old Russia



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