Liberal Arts in Russia EN-rus logo
russian flagRussian
ISSN 2305-8420 (Print)
ISSN 2312-6442 (Online)
Current Issue

Manuscripts of Julia Berckheim (born Krüdener) as an example of female epistolary legacy of the first half of the 19th century

Liberal Arts in Russia. 2020. Vol. 9. No. 6. Pp. 399-405.
Get the full text (Russian)
Vlasova E. A.
Russian National Library
18 Sadovaya Street, 191069 Saint Petersburg, Russia


The present article is focused on the gender features of the epistolary legacy of Julia Berckheim (born Krüdener) as an example of female ego (autobiographical) texts. In the article, the ego-texts are understood as autobiographical texts, such as diaries and personal letters. The material of the study consists of legacy of Julia Berckheim (Krüdener) (1782-1865) which is an essential part of the Barbara von Krüdener (1764-1824) archive kept in the National Library of Russia. Barbara von Krüdener was a well-known mystic and author, whose ideas influenced Tsar Alexander I of Russia. One could expect that Julia Berckheim would also play an active role in social life as her mother did. However, in spite of her wide knowledge of several foreign languages, deep interest in the history of Russia and Europe she did not reveal her capacity and ended her life path shrouded in a mystery. It is concluded that such a way of life - in the shade of strong and powerful person (first mother, then husband) - was a kind of a traditional model for a woman in the first half of the 19th century. The epistolary legacy of Julia Berckheim proves such an idea and reveals gender inherited features, which are mentioned by researchers on the base of female ego-documents. These features are non-continuous temporality and prevalence of the mother-daughter discourse. Scientific novelty of the article results from the fact that all the cited documents of J. de Berchkheim have not been yet introduced in scientific studies.


  • • Alexander I
  • • Berckheim
  • • gender
  • • ego-documents
  • • female autobiography


  1. Efremov V. A. Dinamika russkoi yazykovoi kartiny mira: verbalizatsiya kontseptual'nogo prostranstva "muzhchina-zhenshchina": dis. ... d-ra filol. nauk. Saint Petersburg, 2010. Pp. 41.
  2. Zubkova N. A. Ob al'bome E. A. Gribovskoi. Sobranie V. A. Krylova. Saint Petersburg: Roza vetrov, 2013. Pp. 263-267.
  3. Kletsina I. S. Psikhologiya gendernykh otnoshenii: dis. ... d-ra psikh. nauk. Saint Petersburg: Ros. gos. ped. un-t im. A. I. Gertsena, 2004. Pp. 40.
  4. Kirilina A. V. Gender: lingvisticheskie aspekty [Gender: linguistic aspects]. Moscow: Institut sotsiologii RAN, 1999.
  5. Lur'e F. M. Politseiskie i provokatory [Policemen and provocateurs]. Saint Petersburg: InKA, 1992.
  6. Nechaev S. Yu. Aleksandr I. Samyi zagadochnyi imperator Rossii [Alexander I. The most mysterious emperor of Russia]. Moscow: Veche, 2014.
  7. Rodigina N., Saburova T. AvtobiografiYa. 2012. No. 1. Pp. 121-145.
  8. Pinchukova I. V. Izvestiya Altaiskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. 2007. Pp. 117-120.
  9. Pushkareva N. L. Sotsial'naya istoriya. 1998/1999. Pp. 155-177.
  10. Staryshkina A. A. Aktual'nye problemy istoricheskikh issledovanii: vzglyad molodykh uchenykh: Sb. mat-lov Vserossiiskoi molodezhnoi nauchnoi shkoly-konferentsii. 2018. Moscow: Institut istorii SO RAN. Pp. 207-218.
  11. Stebunova E. I. Fenomen gendera: sotsial'no-filosofskii analiz: dis. ... kand. filos. nauk. Chelyabinsk, 2012.
  12. Temkina A. A., Zdravomyslova E. A. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya. 2000. No. 11. Pp. 15-23.
  13. Fadeeva T. Ya lyuboyu Poberezh'e, i moi dolg - sdelat' ego tsvetushchim!.. Yuzhnyi bereg russkoi aristokratii [I love the Coast, and it is my duty to make it flourish!.. The South coast of the Russian aristocracy]. Moscow: Progress-Traditsii. 2016.
  14. Khor R. Pol, gender, kul'tura / Pod. red. E. Shore, K. Khaider, Moscow, 1999. Pp. 23-55.
  15. Yarskaya-Smirnova E. R. Odezhda dlya Adama i Evy: ocherki gendernykh issledovanii [Clothes for Adam and Eve: essays on gender studies]. Moscow: INION RAN, 2001.
  16. Hellinger M. Working Paper on Language, Gender and Sexism. 1991. Vol. 1. No. 1. Pp. 25-37.
  17. Jelinek E. Women's Autobiography: Essays in Criticism. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1980. Pp. 274.
  18. Siegel K. Women's Autobiographies, Culture, Feminism. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 1999. Pp. 195.
  19. Sommer D. Eine Baltisch-Adlige Missionarin Bewegt Europa. 2013. Pp. 726.
  20. Tannen D. You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation. New York: William Morrow, 1990. Pp. 319.