“I could hardly be called an ignorant fanatic”. Ekaterina Breshko-Breshkovskaia and the Construction of a Revolutionary Autobiography


Russian Revolution
female revolutionaries


Ekaterina Breshko-Breshkovskaia is one of the better-known protagonists of the Russian Revolution, often referred to as the grandmother (babushka) of the revolution. Her auto/biographical writings have been composed in different periods and to different audiences. Therefore, the question of whether the presentation of babushka’s autobiography and of the revolutionary movement changed over the course of time and in view of the audience is of particular interest. How did Breshko-Breshkovskaia represent the revolutionary cause, the revolutionary biography, and the ideals of a revolutionist’s life? Which strategies did she use to attract the audience and how did she explain her pathway to radicalization? What does this tell us about the self-perception of the revolutionaries – and especially female revolutionaries – or at least of babushka’s concept of a revolutionary life?


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