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What’s a Decembrist Wife?

3. May 2013 by Dasha 0 Comments

Wondering what Featured Lady Kitty Vikie meant when she called herself a Decembrist wife? Here’s the meaning behind this famous Russian expression.


The phrase Decembrist wife dates back to December 26, 1825 on which a group of Russian army officers revolted against Nicholas I’s rise to throne. The 3,000 or so rebels assembled in Saint Petersburg’s Senate Square, but the tsar’s forces eventually attacked and defeated the vastly outnumbered rebels. The December protest came to be known as the Decembrist revolt or the Decembrist uprising.


After the revolt, Nicholas I ordered several Decembrist leaders hanged and sent many more into exile. Several of the rebels' wives followed them to the icy, isolated villages of Siberia, spawning the term “Decembrist wife.” Maria Volkonskaya, the wife of the Decembrist leader Sergei Volkonsky, was the most famous Decembrist wife, writing in a letter to her husband: “One thing I can assure you of: whatever your fate I will share it.”


In short, the phrase Decembrist wife expresses a Russian woman’s deep devotion to her husband. Decembrist wives are loyal and true and something many Russian women strive to be. Head on over to HRB to find your own Decembrist companion. 


Photo: Artist Vasily Timm via Wikimedia Commons