Sergei G. Zhuravskii1,2
1Pavlov First Saint Petersburg State Medical University MOH Russia
6–8 L’va Tolstogo St., Saint Petersburg 197022, Russia
2Almazov National Medical Research Centre MOH Russia
2Akkuratova St., Saint Petersburg 197341, Russia
“The letters of S.P. Botkin from Bulgaria of 1877” is the only epistolary document among the published works of the famous Russian physician. Traditionally, this work is an introduction of S.P. Botkin as a doctor, a scientist, and a public figure. Moreover, this book is a historical reference to the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878. Handwriting comparison of some manuscripts of the revealed significant parts of the work that were not included in the published version. Those fragments contain unknown biographical information regarding S.P. Botkin’s private life: his marriage, household activities etc. In those notes, S.P. Botkin appears to be an attentive father and the head of a big family. The relationship between husband and wife characterizes him in a surprising way. The author of the notes proves to be an emotional person and a passionately loving husband. It seems that those feelings, which he was inclined to view from a national perspective as kind of an adjustment mechanism, helped him to overcome all the difficulties of the war time and his family tragedy with dignity. The original manuscript provides us an insight to this scientist, who was at the peak of his career as a doctor and the head of the scientific society. The family ambience and the support from his beloved wife remained to be a source of energy crucial for his professional and public performance.
Keywords: Letters of S.P. Botkin from Bulgaria of 1877, S.P. Botkin, E.A. Botkina, private life of S.P. Botkin, history of medicine, The Russo-Turkish war of 1877–1878