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392 PANTELEEVA, Serafima (1846–1918) Russian feminist, physiologist and popular science writer. Serafima Latkina was born in 1846 in St Petersburg and brought up in a relatively well-to-do Russian Orthodox family. Her father, Vasilii Latkin (1812–1867), grew up in Ust’-Sysol’sk, a small town located in a remote northern province of European Russia and made his fortune as a result of a successful expedition to gold fields in Siberia. Serafima fondly remembered her father in her memoirs. Nothing is known about her mother. The lives of her siblings were also closely connected to the Siberian gold industry: her brother Nikolai Latkin (1832–1904) pursued the same line of business as his father and her sister married a prosperous gold field owner, Mikhail Sidorov. Serafima spent her childhood in a progressive, urban, intellectual household. In the early 1860s, her uncle, Petr Latkin, hosted gatherings of democratically minded young people at his home, as many progressives then did. It was at one such gathering that Serafima Latkina met her future husband, Longin Panteleev (1840–1919), a former law student at St Petersburg University and a frequent visitor to her uncle’s home. They married when Serafima was just eighteen and remained in the capital, where Panteleev prepared himself for his final examinations and also ran a printing press owned by a popular local publisher, Nikolai Tiblen. Born into the impoverished noble family of an army officer and brought up in Vologda, Panteleev belonged to the growing body of poor students flooding into universities liberalized in the aftermath of the Crimean War (1853–1856). He had been active in the radical underground for some years and would later become a prominent progressive publicist and publisher. Serafima Latkina’s relationship with Longin Panteleev was a supportive one, their marriage lasting for the duration of their lives. Following a reversal of liberal university policies and a wave of reactionary measures , Longin Panteleev’s participation in the student disturbances in the fall of 1861 brought him under the suspicion of the tsarist authorities, as did his involvement in the clandestine circle Zemlia i Volia (Land and Freedom)—inspired by the ideas of Alexander Hertsen (1812–1870), Nikolai Ogarev (1813–1877) and Nikolai Chernyshevskii (1828–1889). In December 1864, when Serafima Panteleeva was expecting 393 their first child, her husband was arrested for revolutionary activity in connection with the Polish uprising, brutally crushed by the summer of 1864. Thus began the most difficult period of Panteleeva’s life, vividly described in a short autobiographical essay entitled “Iz perezhitogo v shestidesiatykh godakh” (Life experiences of the 1860s, published 1905). After staying in 1865 in Vilna (Lithuania), where Longin was awaiting trial in a prison for political convicts, Serafima followed him into Siberian exile in May 1866. Following the Decembrist rebellion of 1825, many wives of political prisoners followed their husbands to Siberia and it was an act of immense self-sacrifice to give up their privileges to live in rough conditions and freezing desolation. The Panteleevs first settled in a small gold prospecting village in the province of Eniseisk (eastern Siberia), where Panteleeva’s family connections allowed her husband to secure employment as a gold-washing works supervisor. Separated from her family, friends and her little daughter Olga (b. 1864)—left in the care of her grand-parents—Panteleeva had to share all the ordeals, hardships, hazards and insecurities that came with Siberian exile. In 1867, the painful experience of their second child’s birth and death, as well as the news of the sudden death of her beloved father, left Panteleeva depressed and physically weakened. On medical advice, she returned to St Petersburg. Uncertainty regarding her husband’s future and financial difficulties brought by her father’s death forced Panteleeva to consider possible ways of earning a living and acquiring a profession in order to support herself and her little daughter. Her education however, typical of that of an upper-class woman, was of little help in finding a job. “The ability to chatter easily in three foreign languages, some basic information taken from bad textbooks, music, art—such was the typical baggage that young girls, including myself, received by the time we had come of age in the early 1860s,” she wrote in her memoirs (Panteleev 1958, 683). But by the end of that decade, expanding educational opportunities were providing women like Panteleeva with the chance to pursue scientific study, which many young people of her generation considered a tool for achieving...


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