The Extraordinary Life of Prince D. A. Khilkov
Using a wide range of often obscure published sources, this book explores Khilkov’s extraordinary life through his autobiographical notes and the accounts of many who knew him, among them Lev Tolstoi and his disciples, the Marxist Vladimir Bonch-Bruevich, fellow members of the Socialist Revolutionary Party and the Orthodox clergy who guided him back to the Church.
CHAPTER 3: Dissent in Pavlovki
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Dissent in Pavlovki
The village of Pavlovki lies on the very edge of Sumy district, close to the border with Kursk province. First settled in the second half of the seventeenth century by refugees from right-bank Ukraine fleeing Polish oppression, the land was subsequently held by the Kondratiev and Seletskii families. In the first half of the nineteenth century the Kondratiev estate was taken over by the Dzhunkovskiis and was thence bequeathed to Princess Iuliia Petrovna Khilkova, mother of Dmitrii Aleksandrovich. At the time of his return in 1884 Pavlovki comprised two communities, one of former serfs of the neighbouring Stroganov estate, the other of the Dzhunkovskiis. The village extended some distance, around ten versts [about six and a half miles] and the two communities were separated by ditch.
On his return Dmitrii Aleksandrovich came to an arrangement with his mother that he would occupy himself with managing the estate, and that her income would not diminish.1 Before long, however, it became clear that this arrangement would not work, since their views differed widely. An early example of their differences concerned an orchard, which had previously provided fruit solely for home consumption. Princess Khilkova now wished to turn the orchard to profit by letting it to outside gardeners. At his mother’s insistence, but against his own wishes, Dmitrii Aleksandrovich let the orchard that winter for a rent of 600 roubles, with a deposit of 75 roubles. The spring frosts,...
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