A nobleman with bourgeois attitudes : N. H. Pinello challenging the political role of the Finnish noble estate

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Vuorinen , M H E 2018 , ' A nobleman with bourgeois attitudes : N. H. Pinello challenging the political role of the Finnish noble estate ' , Альманах североевропейских и балтийских исследований , vol. 2018 , no. 3 , pp. 334-352 . < http://nbsr.petrsu.ru/journal/article.php?id=1141 >

Title: A nobleman with bourgeois attitudes : N. H. Pinello challenging the political role of the Finnish noble estate
Author: Vuorinen, Marja Helia Elisabet
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Academic Disciplines of the Faculty of Social Sciences
Date: 2018
Language: eng
Number of pages: 19
Belongs to series: Альманах североевропейских и балтийских исследований
ISSN: 2541-8165
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/299007
Abstract: The article deals with a prominent and unusual Finnish nobleman, Nils Henrik Pinello (1802-79), of Italian family origin and active within the Finnish economic, political, cultural and entertainment circles around the middle decades of the 19th century. This extraordinary man of chequered career attempted most of the professions iconic to the 19thcentury economic and societal modernisation. An eventually hapless manor and saw mill owner, a Finnish bachelor of arts with a Swedish doctoral diploma on mining, who occasionally engaged also as civil servant, he successfully re-invented himself in mid-life – as a journalist, author and playwright, restaurant owner and theatre, music and history enthusiast, based in his native town Turku, the one-time capital of Finland. He also landed the membership of the first, 1848-49 planning committee for the Riddarhus (House of Nobility) building project, completed in Helsinki in 1858-62, and represented his family within the noble estate at the first three Four-Estate Diets, in 1863-64, 1867 and 1872. This article is an attempt at biographic research with a micro-historical twist. Juxtaposing Pinello with his political generation – the one that witnessed the gradual process of (re)establishing the Finnish four estate parliament, from 1840s to 1870s – I trace the political ideas of an exceptional nobleman who mainly identified with the flourishing small-town bourgeoisie of his period. I analyse, and contextualise, the occasions when Pinello commented on the projects, debates, politics, future prospects, lifestyles and appearances of the noble estate – by turns incisively, sarcastically, or making gentle fun of what he perceived as the outmoded or otherwise over-pompous aspirations of his fellow noblemen. The overall process that in the 19th century accompanied the retreat of the nobility from direct political power serves as the backdrop for his multiple roles in society, as well as an explanatory device for his ideological choices. Looking at an exceptional character, whose political excesses and flamboyant public style made him stand out among his peers, I bring to the focus not only the deviance of one person but also the prevailing normal patterns he may appear to transgress. Applying this so-called micro-macro link to the 19th-century Finnish nobility, I hope to cast a dual light on the process that eventually led to the abolishing of the four-estate system, nobility included, in favour of a unicameral parliament.
Subject: 5202 Economic and Social History

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