Songs of the Women Trouvères

Front Cover
Yale University Press, 2001 - Biography & Autobiography - 283 pages
Aleksandr Nikitenko, descended from once-free Cossacks, was born into serfdom in provincial Russia in 1804. One of 300,000 serfs owned by Count Sheremetev, Nikitenko as a teenager became fiercely determined to gain his freedom. In this memorable and moving book, here translated into English for the first time, Nikitenko recollects the details of his childhood and youth in servitude as well as the six-year struggle that at last delivered him into freedom in 1824. Among the very few autobiographies ever written by an ex-serf, Up from Serfdom provides a unique portrait of serfdom in nineteenth-century Russia and a profoundly clear sense of what such bondage meant to the people, the culture, and the nation. Rising to eminence as a professor at St Petersburg University, former serf Nikitenko set about writing his autobiography in 1851, relying on his own diaries (begun at the age of fourteen and maintained throughout his life), his father's correspondence and documents, and the stories that his parents and grandparents told as he was growing up. He recalls his town, his schooling, his masters and mistresses, and the utter capriciousness of a serf's existence, illustrated most vividly by his father's lurching path from comfort to destitution to prison to rehabilitation. Nikitenko's description of the tragedy, despair, unpredictability, and astounding luck of his youth is a compelling human story that brings to life as never before the experiences of the serf in Russia in the early 1800s.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

THE CASE FOR THE WOMEN TROUVERES
1
JEUXPARTIS AND TENSIONS
73
CHANSONS
114
RONDEAUX
179
MOTETS
188
CONCORDANCE OF SONG AND MOTET NUMBERS
253
BIBLIOGRAPHY
257
INDEX
275
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2001)

Doss-Quinby is professor of French at Smith College.

Bibliographic information