Publisher description for Angel of vengeance : the "girl assassin, " the governor of St. Petersburg, and Russia's revolutionary world / Ana Siljak.


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In the winter of 1878 a shy noblewoman, Vera Zasulich, walked up to the governor of St. Petersburg, pulled a revolver from underneath her shawl and shot him point blank. "Revenge!" she cried, for the governor's brutal treatment of a political prisoner. Her trial that year became Russia's "trial of the century," closely followed across Europe and America; the Russian courtroom filled with the cream of Russian society. Vera became a celebrated martyr to all Russian social classes and a public face of the burgeoning revolutionary fervor. Dostoyevsky (who attended the trial), Oscar Wilde, and Turgenev all wrote about her case. Her astonishing acquittal was cheered across Europe and marked the changing face of Russia. Vera became Russia's most famous "terroristka," inspiring a generation of revolutionaries to embrace violence and martyrdom, culminating in the assassination of Alexander II in 1881. In the forgotten story of Russia's most notorious terrorist, Ana Siljak captures Vera's extraordinary life story--from child of nobility to revolutionary conspirator to assassin and then saint--all the while offering a vivid window into the fiery political upheaval of Russia.



Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
Zasulich, Vera Ivanovna, -- 1849-1919.
Socialists -- Russia -- Biography.
Women revolutionaries -- Russia -- Biography.
Russia -- History -- 1801-1917.