The Revolution of 1917 Through the Eyes of a Monarchist: Reading the Diary of B. V. Nikolsky
// History magazine - researches. – 2019. – є 4.
– P. 118-125.
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Abstract: The article focuses particular attention on the analysis of the diary of B. V. Nikolsky (1870-1919), writer, poet, legal scholar, and politician, from the aspect of reconstructing the author’s perception of the revolutionary shocks of 1917, which today seems particularly relevant in light of the “linguistic turn” and “memorial boom” of modern historiography. The value of B. V. Nikolsky’s diary lies in the fact that the ego-sources of the leaders of the right-wing monarchist direction practically did not survive: many prominent extreme right-wing politicians were shot (Nikolsky himself was shot in 1919), went missing, and the smaller part was able to emigrate, which led to the loss of personal materials. Thus, the evidence of the revolutionary events of 1917 through the prism of the perception of the far-right conservative, a confirmed monarchist, is valuable in the light of their uniqueness and relevance to the study of history through personality. The reconstruction of the personal perception of the events of 1917 was based on a textual analysis of the diary of B. V. Nikolsky, and the principle of historicism was applied in the study of the historical context of creating an ego source and a biography of the author. The examination of the diary led to the following conclusions: B. V. Nikolsky was an extraordinary person, full of contradictions: a comprehensively educated and versatile person, but at the same time with an extremely difficult character and excessive conceit; a convinced monarchist, but at the same time “thirsty” for the fall of the ruling dynasty; legal scholar, lawyer, conservative, band yet “accepting” that the power of the Bolsheviks is much more positive than the power of the liberal Provisional Government. Diaries of B. V. Nikolsky are a unique ego-source, reflecting how deeply and contradictory he experienced the changes in 1917.
Keywords: personal history, New Biographical History, the Bolsheviks, the Provisional Government, the October Revolution, the February Revolution, Boris Vladimirovich Nikolsky, autobiography, ego sources, diaries
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