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Revolutionary Romance: Love and Marriage for Russian Radicals in the 1870s

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The Russian revolutionaries who made up the Chaikovskii circle in the early 1870s sought to implement their socialist ideals in their everyday lives. This proved nowhere more problematic than in the sphere of romantic relations. Romance was widely viewed as incompatible with true devotion to the revolutionary cause—as being, in effect, a crime—by the Chaikovskii circle radicals themselves, as well as by some later socialists. By examining the cases of particular members of the circle, I argue that romance and marriage, while highly problematic, could for some radicals not only be reconciled with revolutionary activity, but could become intimately intertwined with their devotion to the cause of revolution.

Affiliations: 1: Ph.D. Candidate in History, specializing in Russian and Late Modern European history, U.C. Berkeley


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