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Pretenders and Popular Monarchism in Early Modern Russia

Pretenders and Popular Monarchism in Early Modern Russia
The False Tsars of the Time and Troubles


  • Date Published: April 2002
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521891011

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About the Authors
  • More than a dozen pretenders appeared in Russia in the early seventeenth century, during the period of civil strife and foreign invasion known as the Time of Troubles. The most successful of these was the First False Dimitry, who occupied the throne in 1605–6; he was followed by Second and Third False Dimitrys, and by various other impostors. Maureen Perrie traces the careers of these pretenders and offers explanations of their success. She argues that support for the false tsars and tsareviches was influenced not only by the ingenious tales they told to justify their claims, but also by religious-miraculous notions of Christ-like rulers risen from the dead, and by 'popular monarchist' views of the true tsar as the scourge of the boyars. Her conclusion draws comparisons and contrasts between the Russian pretenders and royal impostors who appeared elsewhere in early modern Europe.

    • The first scholarly account by a western historian of the 'Time of Troubles'
    • Shows how 'pretence' could be a crucial element in popular protest
    • Links Russian experience to wider European significance of Pretence in early modern period
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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2002
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521891011
    • length: 288 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.43kg
    • contains: 3 b/w illus. 4 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Prologue: Tsarevich Dimitry and Boris Godunov
    Part I. The First False Dimitry
    1. The fugitive monk
    2. The campaign for the crown
    3. The pretender on the throne
    Part II. Rebels in the Name of Tsar Dimitry:
    4. Tsar Dimitry Lives!
    5. The uprising continues
    Part III. The Final Stages of the Troubles:
    6. The Second False Dimitry: from Starodub to Tushino
    7. The Second False Dimitry: Tushino and Kaluga
    8. Tsarevich Ivan Dimitrievich
    Epilogue: After the Troubles: Pretence in the Later Seventeenth Century

  • Author

    Maureen Perrie, University of Birmingham

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