Family of Noblemen cover

Family of Noblemen

Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin (1826-1889)

1. Book I: The Family Council, Ch. 1
2. Book I: The Family Council, Ch. 2a
3. Book I: The Family Council, Ch. 2b
4. Book I: The Family Council, Ch. 3a
5. Book I: The Family Council, Ch. 3b
6. Book I: The Family Council, Ch. 4
7. Book I: The Family Council, Ch. 5
8. Book II: As Becomes Good Kinsfolk, Ch. 1
9. Book II: As Becomes Good Kinsfolk, Ch. 2
10. Book II: As Becomes Good Kinsfolk, Ch. 3
11. Book II: As Becomes Good Kinsfolk, Ch. 4
12. Book II: As Becomes Good Kinsfolk, Ch. 5
13. Book II: As Becomes Good Kinsfolk, Ch. 6
14. Book II: As Becomes Good Kinsfolk, Ch. 7
15. Book III: Family Accounts Settled, Ch. 1
16. Book III: Family Accounts Settled, Ch. 2
17. Book III: Family Accounts Settled, Ch. 3
18. Book III: Family Accounts Settled, Ch. 4
19. Book III: Family Accounts Settled, Ch. 5
20. Book III: Family Accounts Settled, Ch. 6
21. Book IV: The Good Little Niece, Ch. 1
22. Book IV: The Good Little Niece, Ch. 2
23. Book IV: The Good Little Niece, Ch. 3
24. Book IV: The Good Little Niece, Ch. 4
25. Book IV: The Good Little Niece, Ch. 5a
26. Book IV: The Good Little Niece, Ch. 5b
27. Book IV: The Good Little Niece, Ch. 6
28. Book V: Forbidden Family Joys, Ch. 1
29. Book V: Forbidden Family Joys, Ch. 2a
30. Book V: Forbidden Family Joys, Ch. 2b
31. Book V: Forbidden Family Joys, Ch. 3
32. Book VI: The Deserted Manor House, Ch. 1
33. Book VI: The Deserted Manor House, Ch. 2a
34. Book VI: The Deserted Manor House, Ch. 2b
35. Book VI: The Deserted Manor House, Ch. 3
36. Book VI: The Deserted Manor House, Ch. 4
37. Book VII: The Settlement, Ch. 1
38. Book VII: The Settlement, Ch. 2a
39. Book VII: The Settlement, Ch. 2b
40. Book VII: The Settlement, Ch. 3
41. Book VII: The Settlement, Ch. 4
42. Book VII: The Settlement, Ch. 5

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Summary

Meet the Golovliovs, the ultimate dysfunctional family. In the difficult transition years before and after the liberation of Russia’s serfs, the Golovliovs are a gentry family ill-equipped to face the adaptations necessary in the new social order. Petty, back-biting, greedy, rigid, ignorant, and cruel, their personalities are captured in the array of nicknames they themselves give each other: The Hag, Little Judas, Simple Simon, Pavel the Sneak, the Orphans, the Blood-Sucker. They hate each other ferociously and utterly despise the peasants around them, who are gradually awakening to the potentialities of their new freedoms. In this most famous of Saltykov-Shchedrin’s novels, there is a keen sympathy toward the plight of women caught in the complexities of social change: Anninka and Lubinka, the aristocratic orphans who, seeking independence, recklessly cast themselves into the bohemian life; the matriarch Arina Petrovna, whose desperately vigorous administration of the estate leads to an exhilarating but only temporary stability; the peasant girl Yevpraksia, who is resistlessly taken by the loathsome Porfiry Vladimirych as his mistress. Far from a piece of social propaganda, A Family of Noblemen shows a subtle portraiture of the complex characters and convoluted circumstances of the time. (Expatriate)