A very good true historic account of young, fragile, pampered ladies, who followed their husbands into exile. They left everything behind: their families, their lives, their children, their possessions. For some of them it was love, for some of them it was duty. As the saying goes, behind every famous man is a woman, even though women are often invisible in historic accounts.
Love tyrannizes all the ages; but youthful, virgin hearts derive a blessing from its blasts and rages, like fields in spring when storms arrive. (Pushkin’s poem, Eugene Onegin)
December. 1825. Saint Petersburg. Imperial Russia. Young noblemen united in an attempt to release their motherland from the chains of autocratic oppression. There were hundreds of them, inspired by the constitutional governments of Western Europe. Members of the aristocracy, they were the first to rebel and attempt to overthrow the absolutist regime of the Tsar. However unfortunate for them, their uprising was a failure. They were condemned as criminals of the state. Five of them hanged, roughly a couple thousands incarcerated. More than a hundred sent into exile, sentenced to thirty years of hard labor in the mines of Siberia. They became known as the Decembrists.
It’s not the giant trees, nor the deathly stillness that constitutes its power and enchantment; rather…
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