In the world philology the discussion on identity of the prototype of Stavrogin, the primary character of “Demons” by А. Dostoevsky. This character is the key one for Dostoevsky’s views on Russian revolutionary radicalism. The author of the article finds a number of correspondences in the life and activities of A. Herzen and the novel’s character. Dostoevsky himself scattered numerous hints in the novel about its hero prototype.
The article discusses the emergence of Russian historical heritage concept in 1800s. The period in question is marked with evoking of conscious interest to the national past (the first Russian historical museum – the Moscow Kremlin Armory – was opened in 1806). However, on the other hand, that was the period when professional institutions entitled to store national heritage (archives, libraries, museums) were either not yet formed in compliance with modern time’s rules and perceptions or did not exist at all.
The author analyses archival documents of His Imperial Majesty's Own Office (Kabinet Ego Imperatorskogo Velichestva) and Expedition of Kremlin Buildings (Ekspeditsia Kremlevskovo stroeniya) that are kept at the Russian State Archives of Ancient Documents (Rossiyskiy gosudarstvennyy arkhiv drevnikh aktov (RGADA), F. 1239). Among other things these institutions were responsible for keeping valuable objects that belonged to the ruling dynasty and, consequently, took part in shaping historical and cultural memory of the early 19th century Russian society.
In the research particular attention is given to the cases when the heads of these institutions (Ivan Tizengauzen and Piotr Valuyev) found themselves to be accused of selling off some of the Romanovs’ possessions. The ways they chose to solve similar problems greatly differed. The top officials of early Alexander I’ rule had to act in ambiguous situations that manifested the shift in understanding the mere value of things kept. The matter of functionality was by no means a priority, while the notion of symbolism was to play significant role.