What Is a Siberian Merchant Like?

Evgenia Komleva, Institute of History of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences
2019 Quaestio Rossica  
This review considers a book by the Irkutsk researcher Natalia I. Gavrilova, published in 2017 and devoted to the history of the Sibiryakov family, one of the most famous merchant families both in Siberia and Russia as a whole. Despite its name, the work reviewed is not limited to the genre of historical biography. Considered together, the detailed information about the representatives of different generations of the Sibiryakov merchant family reflects the history of all Russian merchantry,
more » ... ian merchantry, making it possible to judge the journey that took the family almost two hundred years, from the early eighteenth to the early twentieth century, to make. The author describes the full variety of merchant behaviour and the debatable character of their contribution for their contemporaries; to make it easier to understand the essence of the merchantry, the author also considers issues such as the interaction of individuals and public and state structures, the importance of merchant activity in the economic development of remote territories, the scale of private charity and the evolution of worldviews and daily practices among both merchant men and women. These factors, along with the excellent style of presentation and abundance of illustrative material, make Gavrilova's work important and interesting both for specialists and for general audiences.
doi:10.15826/qr.2019.3.421 fatcat:prjaff3sfbcahferejsggzpnym