Keywords: Krüdener, Napoleon Bonaparte, Berkheim, history of France, correspondence, diaries.
For citation:

Vlasova, E. A. “Documents from the Archive of Baroness Varvara Kruedener and the Reflection of the Personality of Napoleon Bonaparte.” Dva veka russkoi klassiki, vol. 4, no. 3, 2022, pp. 150–163. (In Russ.)   

Author: Elizaveta A. Vlasova
Information about the author:

Elizaveta A. Vlasova, PhD in Philology, librarian, National Library of Russia, Sadovaya st. 18, 191069, St. Petersburg, Russia.


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Received: May 11, 2022
Approved after reviewing: June 22, 2022
Published: September 25, 2022
Issue: 2022 Volume 4 No. 3
Department: Textual Criticism
Pages: 150–163
DOI: 2022-4-3-150-163

UDK: 821.161.1.09"19"


The article examines the archive of Baroness Barbara (Varvara) Krüdener (German: Beate Barbara Juliane von Krüdener, nee v. Vietinghof (1764–1824)) was a famous preacher, missionary and writer of the 19th century. The Baroness corresponded with many famous contemporaries, a significant part of the letters from which have been preserved in the collections of the Manuscripts Department of the Russian National Library and covers the period from the beginning of the 19th century to the end of the 1830s. The materials under consideration allow us to trace how the personality and historical path of Napoleon Bonaparte (1769–1821) was reflected by his contemporaries in personal correspondence, diaries, notes and excerpts of letters, whose contribution to history is beyond doubt with all the ambiguity of his assessment, ranging from enthusiastic reverence to extremely negative perception.. It should be noted that the value of the archive stored in the Department of Manuscripts of the Russian National Library consists in the fact that it presents evidence of Napoleon by various authors: both the Baroness herself and her relatives and acquaintances who held important posts in the Russian Empire. Opinions about the French emperor, presented in letters and notes, differ strikingly. As shown by the analysis of archival sources from the Baroness Kruedener foundation containing references to Napoleon Bonaparte, the peculiarity of the written testimonies of contemporaries was that the official characteristic of Bonaparte differed from the assessment expressed in documents of a more private nature.


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