The Memorial house of the Batyushkovs and A.I. Kuprin in the vilage of Danilovskoe
The Memorial house of the Batyushkovs and A.Kuprin is situated in the village of Danilovskoe of the Ustyuzhna district. It is the ex-manor, which belonged to the Vologda noblemen Batyushkovs and which the famous Russian writer A. Kuprin often visited.
The Batyushkovs was written in the «Russian Red Book» as the earliest noble family name, «existed in Russia before 1600». The village of Danilovskoe and surrounding area fell to them in grant in 1612.
In 18th – the beginning of 19th Centuries Lev Andreevich Batyushkov built the house, which has survived unchanged to the present day. It’s a wooden single-storey building with garlow, additions, there is a pillared open porch and balcony fr om the side of park. In 1813 the linden park was built near the house.
Before 1917 the estate belonged to the Batyushkovs and was passed on from generation to generation only through parental lineage. After the revolution the manor in Danilovskoe was nationalized. In 1960 the National Museum of the Batyushkovs and Kuprin was opened here on a voluntary basis on a joint initiative of the local historians from Ustuzhna. Nowadays there is an exposition devoted to the history of the Batyushkovs family, the recreated interiors of 18th-19th Centuries.
This estate in Danilovskoe was a particular place for the poet Konstantin Batyushkov (1787-1855) – the «Pushkin’s ancestor». He was keen on this place and called it «grandfather’s shelter». It was here wh ere he spent his childhood and was under supervision of his grandfather Lev Andreevich. In remembrance of these two alter egos there are two portraits of his father and grandfather in the drawing room. Each of them was the owner of this house and placed himself on its record. Lev Andreevich left the full inventory list of the things, which were in the house. By means of it nowadays people can estimate the furniture, that surrounded the author in his childhood. Nikolay Batyushkov settled in Danilovskoe after he had retired. He was fond of gambling, had a quantity of debts and beggared the estate. Konstantin helped him: he managed to prevent the sale of the house by pledging several villages. But the poet hardly governed his estate – he entered the Foreign Service in Italy. When he returned to Russia he was ill and he didn’t come to Danilovskoe anymore.
The Batyushkovs house is associated with one more significant in the literature name – Alexander Kuprin (1870 – 1938). He was a good friend for the last owner of the estate – Feodor Batyushkov – a professor at the St. Petersburg University, a scholar, a critic, a theorist of literature. The writer visited Danilovskoe village from 1906 to 1911. He didn’t live here all the time: he stayed here for one week or two, sometimes for several months. Kuprin was keen on fishing and hunting with local peasants. In the village of Danilovskoe he wrote such works as «Sulamif», «Slon» («The Elefant»), «Izumrud» («The Emerald»), the first chapters of «Yama» («The Hole») and the articles about Knut Gamsun, Anton Chekhov and many others.
Thus far there are the original published notes of the 19th Century lying on the old piano in the drawing-room. They belonged to the pianist Vera Uarovna Sipiagina-Lilienfeld (1861-1932). Here she had her own estate in the village of Svistuny. Unfortunately, this estate doesn’t exist now. The pianist knew Feodor Batyushkov and even gave music-lessons to his nieces Elena and Marianna. The plot of the «Garnet Bracelet» is associated with Vera Uarovna, it’s just thanks to her execution, the Appassionato by Beethoven provided the basis for this story.