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Home of the Gentry

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  3,215 ratings  ·  157 reviews
In a literal sense Home of the Gentry is about a homecoming, that of its hero Lavretsky, who returns to his estate, broken by a failed marriage, only to find love again and at once lose it. In another sense it is about the homecoming of a whole generation of Russian 'gentry' who have flirted with Western ideas and found only failure and disillusion, and return 'to plough ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published 1970 by Penguin Classics (first published 1859)
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Henry Avila
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just another sad love story...maybe. But not as written by the Russian master, author Ivan Turgenev ...a glimpse into the human mind, a dense jungle with meandering rivers flowing in different directions to who knows where, it ends someday. The plot, a wealthy , young, very inexperienced man Fyodor Ivanych Lavretsky, falls for a beautiful girl Varvara Pavlovna, the first woman he feels attractive to , marries for love, ( the father, a greedy, poor retired general, with a shady past, consents ...more

--Home of the Gentry

Mεδ Rεδħα
“The greatest of the nineteenth century Russian novelists wrote out of the profundities of a silent country,“ writes translator Richard Freeborn in his introduction to the Penguin Classics edition of Ivan Turgenev’s Home of the Gentry. "In a real and literal sense Dostoyevsky wrote out of the nocturnal silence of St Petersburg, Tolstoy from the rural silence of Yasnaya Polyana and Turgenev from the summer quiet of Spasskoye.” (Turgenev’s estate was located at Spasskoye, south-west of Moscow.) “ ...more
Sotiris Karaiskos
Dec 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Another wonderful book of Ivan Turgenev that combines the reflection on the present and the future of Russia of that time and its relationship with the West with a very beautiful love story. The first he manages to do it in a simple way, through the main story and the parallel with it, without long discourses that extend into many pages. So the writer brings us his thoughts in a way that is accessible and comprehensible. The second, which is the most important, he begins to do it by introducing ...more
Elizabeth (Alaska)
Of course, I knew I wanted to get back to him, but I had forgotten how much I enjoy Turgenev. The edition I read was included in The Works Of Ivan Turgenieff and unfortunately the translator is not named there. I say unfortunately, because I would avoid this translator in the future if I knew who it was. I note that my first experience with Turgenev was his Fathers and Sons where I comment that the prose is beautiful - and for some reason I did not note the translator there either. No matter, ...more
Dec 15, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008, fiction
Rather interesting than captivating. After 50 pages it was quite predictable he will fall for her and for a while I had the feeling I was reading the Russian version of "Pride and prejudice", but thank goodness it wasn't so. I am a fan of happy endings but I swear, if this one ended happily I wouldn't have read Turgenev again.

Turgenev has an interesting way of setting his work, maybe I'll get into details after finishing Fathers and Sons.


Interesting fact: in 1979, a Russian discovered an
Imported from tablet:

A House of Gentlefolk aka Home of the Gentry

Translator: Constance Garnett


Marya Dmitrievna Kalitin, a widow.
Marfa Timofyevna Pestov, her aunt.
Sergei Petrovitch Gedeonovsky, a state councillor.
Fedor Ivanitch Lavretsky, kinsman of Marya.
Elisaveta Mihalovna (Lisa),
daughters of Marya.
Shurotchka, an orphan girl, ward of Marfa.
Nastasya Karpovna Ogarkoff, dependent of Marfa.
Vladimir Nikolaitch Panshin, of the Ministry of the Interior.
Julie Bozza
Jan 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, russia
Excellent. A short novel of finely observed characters, who are caught in a time of such great change that the different generations might be measured in a decade rather than the usual quarter-century. The setting and ways of life are also nicely observed, so that the reader gets a real feel for Russian life at the time and how it contrasts with European life.

The two main characters - Liza and Lavretsky - are terrific, and provide interesting arguments on behalf of Russia, even if not everything
"There are such moments in life, such feelings... One can but point to them—and pass by." (203)
Simon Mcleish
Mar 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally published on my blog here in May 1998.

This is the novel which made Turgenev's name outside Russia. The Russian title, Dvoranskoye gnezdo, has connotations of "Nest" rather than "Home", but there isn't really an easy way to translate that into English. The novel is really about Russia, perhaps even more so than is the case with most Russian novels. It deals with the relationship between the aristocracy and the land, and the way that the true Russian returns to his native country, no
Dec 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love classic Russian literature so much. My first experience was with Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (one of my favorite books ever) and since then I've been discovering more amazing authors and true pieces of art in Russian literature: more by Tolstoy, but also Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Nikolai Gogol, Alexander Pushkin and others. Ivan Turgenev wasn't one of those authors and Home of the Gentry is my first experience with this author. It's a shame, because even if, for now (since I plan on reading ...more
Ksenia Chernyshova
It's quite short, yet the main characters are so well-drawn, I was really rooting for them. Secondary characters felt a little like caricatures, but it wasn't a drawback in this case. Everybody served their purpose. And, oh my, the descriptions! Turgenev describes the feelings of falling in love like no other.
Paul Jellinek
Nov 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Turgenev at his best. Beautifully rendered prose with the most penetrating descriptions of both his characters and the world they inhabit.
Laura Jo
Sep 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(Out of the box I must state here that I read this novel in Russian, and not the edition listed above).
The older I get, the more I love Turgenev, and appreciate him vis-a-vis his contemporaries in the arena of the 19th-century Russian novel. His tone and diction seem flawless to me, and he exercises consistent good taste and restraint in all aspects of his creative writing. He embraces his own Francophile tendencies, while at the same time highlighting the incongruities of transplanting French
Jan 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel, russian
Ivan Turgenev is one of my favorite authors. For some reason, he stands small next to those other giants of Russian literature. At the bookstore here, there's almost a whole shelf devoted to Tolstoy, to Dostoevsky. There's not a single book by Turgenev, not even Father's and Sons. Like them his novels are books of ideas, they're philosophical, political---but they're SHORT. While I'm all for diving into a 1,000 page tome, that requires an energy I don't always have. Turgenev's books are quick, ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 17, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lit
I've realized what it is that I like about Turgenev. Granted, his books are all pretty much the same (though this is a charge you could aim at a lot of writers) and kind of predictable, yet there's just something really enjoyable about reading them. There's a sort of gentleness and kindness, tempered by a sadness, that pervades them, plus he has a lovely prose style. I don't think he's necessarily ever written an all-time classic, yet I find myself reading him more often than other writers who I ...more
Maan Kawas
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great novel, moving and engaging.
Perry Whitford
May 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nobleman and landowner named Ivan Lavretsky returns to Russia after leaving his faithless wife in France, only to fall in love with a beautiful and pious cousin, Elizaveta Kalitin.

When Ivan learns by a newspaper article that his wife is suspected to have died, the way seems clear for him to find happiness with Liza. But her mother, Marya, is much taken with her daughter's other suitor, the cultured Panshin.

This is a remarkably thoughtful and unassuming story, but it weaves a wonderful spell.
Richard S
Sep 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: powys-100
Turgenev has a very specific artistic temperament full of sympathy and humanity, and this book, despite several odd features, has an incredible emotive power, as he sees into the hearts of his characters with deep clarity. Powerful and stirring scenes, and a realism and honesty which to me makes Turgenev a truly great writer.
Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*Read for class.

Um, okay. So, I didn't expect to like it that much. Not from the very beginning, no, but eventually I actually started to care about the characters and their lives. I worried and hoped. And the end made me very, very sad. Somehow on a deeper level than On the Eve.

I just wish all Turgenev's novels made me feel like that. And I'm glad I actually like his writing now. It's a wonderful feeling when mandatory reading turns out to be interesting and makes you enjoy yourself in the
Jan 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Contemplative and slow paced, but I loved it. Dostoevsky called Liza the only comparable heroine in Russian literature to Tatiana in "Onegin", in terms of her purity of soul and truthfulness of spirit, and I wholeheartedly agree. A wonderful display of Russian virtues and values as defined in the 19th century.
Denisa Ciubotaru
At first I really thought that maybe I won't like it as I'm not a fan of russian literature/historical fiction but Turgenev did a really great job. The plot is simple and easy to read with pleasure.
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
A sad love story, beautifully told. My interest level kept increasing, and I intend to read more of his work.
oh, those wacky gentry
Jan 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
***Warning - this might contain spoilers***

This is my first encounter with Turgenev and I was impressed, although I admit I expected it. Turgenev is, first of all, a russian, so there is this imprint of a profound and meaningful attachment to his nation, its people, its nature and spiritual life, tangible in his writing. His likeminded characters, serious yet sensible (Lavretski and Liza) are the main focus of the story, while their "opposing" secondaries (Varvara and Pansin) are almost the
Regina Andreassen
I love Russian literature so there are quite a few books written by Tolstoi and Dostoievski that I have read perhaps too many times. Turgenev's A Nest of the Gentry, however, isn't a book that I intend to read again. I found this book enjoyable but not particularly memorable. Some characters are more interesting than others but I didn't care enough about any of them. I like Lavresky and to me the best part of the book was reading about his life before he falls in love with Lisa. Lavresky, the ...more
Chinmay Hota
Aug 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The quiet and gentle narration of the proceedings by Turgenev belies the stormy circumstances that destroy the emotional wellbeing of the main characters. The novelist presents the Russian rural scenes, the nature and even emotional outbursts in a subdued tone. The debates about Russian intelligentsia bring out some loud arguments between hero Lavretsky and his university friend Mikhalevich, and Lavretsky and Panshin, but the inner turmoil of the hero and Liza during their burgeoning romance do ...more
Jamyang Phuntsok
First of all, the title is bit misleading. The home of the gentry is but a backdrop for an unsuccessful love story, with an underlying theme well expressed by the novel's eccentric heroine Liza - 'happiness on earth does not depend on us'. I was expecting a more detailed and upfront treatment of class distinctions, ideologies, etc of the novel's period.

The story takes off quite slowly with the hero returning to his ancestral home after an unsuccessful marriage (his wife is philandering in
Kevin Tole
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, russian
I sometimes wonder why we read stuff like Turgenev any more when it describes a world so far removed from the complexity of the modern world, of Russia when it still languished in a feudal world of serfdom and absolute monarchy (and thats only back to 1840 when the novel is set). Marx was yet to pervade and class hierarchy was utter. It is of course because the writing still opens a window into the human soul of emotion and interaction. But how far can we translate the emotions and constancies ...more
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Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev (Cyrillic: Иван Тургенев) was a novelist, poet, and dramatist, and now ranks as one of the towering figures of Russian literature. His major works include the short-story collection A Sportsman’s Sketches (1852) and the novels Rudin (1856), Home of the Gentry (1859), On the Eve (1860), and Fathers and Sons (1862).
These works offer realistic, affectionate portrayals of
“Woe to the heart that has not loved in youth!” 6 likes
“To be young and not to know how, is bearable; to be old and not have the strength, is too great a weight to carry. And what's is so painful you can't sense your powers leaving you. It's hard for an old man to ensure such blows!” 3 likes
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