Pyotr Vyazemsky

Prince Pyotr Andreyevich Vyazemsky[1] (Russian: Пëтр Андре́евич Вя́земский, IPA: [ˈpʲɵtr ɐnˈdrʲejɪvʲɪt͡ɕ ˈvʲæzʲɪmskʲɪj]; 23 July 1792 – 22 November 1878) was a leading personality of the Golden Age of Russian poetry.

Pjotr Andrejevics Vjazemszkij
Pyotr Vyazemsky


His parents were a Russian prince of Rurikid stock, Prince Andrey Vyazemsky, and an Irish lady, Jenny O'Reilly. As a young man he took part in the Battle of Borodino and other engagements of the Napoleonic Wars. Many years later, Tolstoy's description of the battle in War and Peace would appear inaccurate to him and he would engage in a literary feud with the great novelist.

In the 1820s Vyazemsky was the most combative and brilliant champion of what then went by the name of Romanticism. Both Prince Pyotr and his wife Princess Vera, née Gagarina were on intimate terms with Pushkin, who often visited their family seat at Ostafievo near Moscow (now a literary museum). Unsurprisingly, Vyazemsky is quoted in Pushkin's works, including Eugene Onegin. The two friends also exchanged several epistles in verse.

Vyazemsky and the other leading Russian liberals such as Pushkin and Aleksandr and Nikolay Turgenev, were all heavily shaped by the Kantian teachings of Aleksandr Kunitsyn, and often discussed their attitudes on serfdom, the Russian administration and legal system, civil society, and foreign policy through private correspondence, where Vyazemsky was highly critical of the administrations abuses in the western province.[2] He also published a prospectus declaring an "uncompromising war to all the prejudices, vices and absurdity that reign in our society."[3]

At that time, the elderly poet gained admission to the Russian court, in part through his daughter's marriage to Pyotr Valuev, the future Chairman of the Committee of Ministers. In the 1850s, Vyazemsky served as a deputy minister of education and was in charge of the censorship in Russia. In 1863, he settled abroad on account of bad health. Prince Vyazemsky died in Baden-Baden, but his body was brought to St. Petersburg and buried there.

Literary output

Vyazemsky is probably best remembered as the closest friend of Pushkin. Their correspondence is a treasure house of wit, fine criticism, and good Russian. In the early 1820s, Pushkin proclaimed Vyazemsky the finest prose writer in the country. His prose is sometimes exaggeratedly witty, but vigor and raciness are ubiquitous. His best is contained in the admirable anecdotes of his Old Notebook, an inexhaustible mine of sparkling information on the great and small men of the early nineteenth century. A major prose work of his declining years was the biography of Denis Fonvizin.

Though Vyazemsky was the journalistic leader of Russian Romanticism, there can be nothing less romantic than his early poetry: it consists either of very elegant, polished, and cold exercises on the set commonplaces of poetry, or of brilliant essays in word play, where pun begets pun, and conceit begets conceit, heaping up mountains of verbal wit. His later poetry became more universal and essentially classical.


  • Собрание сочинений Вяземского в 12 тт. СПб. 1878—1886, его переписка, «Остафьевский архив», т. I—V.
  • Грот Я., Сухомлинов М., Пономарев С., в Сборнике 2 отделения Академии наук, т. XX, 1880.
  • Трубачев С. С. Вяземский как писатель 20-х гг., «Исторический вестник», Ї 8, 1892.
  • Спасович В. Вяземский и его польские отношения и знакомства. Сочинения Спасовича, т. VIII, 1896.
  • Языков Д. П. Вяземский. — М. 1904.
  • Кульман H. Вяземский как критик. Известия Академии наук. книга 1. 1904.
  • Гинзбург А. Вяземский литератор, Сборник «Русская проза», под ред. Б. Эйхенбаума и Ю. Тынянова, Л., 1926.
  • Венгеров С. А. Источники словаря русских писателей, т. I, СПб. 1900.
  • Бондаренко В.В. Вяземский. М., 2004 (серия "Жизнь замечательных людей")


  1. ^ Also transliterated Petr Andreevich Viazemsky
  2. ^ Berest, Julia (2011). The Emergence of Russian Liberalism: Alexander Kunitsyn in Context, 1783-1840. Springer. p. 60.
  3. ^ Berest, Julia (2011). The Emergence of Russian Liberalism: Alexander Kunitsyn in Context, 1783-1840. Springer. p. 87.
  •  This article incorporates text from D.S. Mirsky's "A History of Russian Literature" (1926-27), a publication now in the public domain.

External links

Aleksander Pisarev

Alexander Ivanovich Pisarev (Russian: Александр Иванович Писарев, 14 July 1803, village Znamenskoye, Oryol Governorate, Imperial Russia, - 15 March 1828, Moscow) was a Russian playwright, translator and theatre critic.In the course of just five years (1824–28) he authored 23 popular vaudevilles and comedies, most of which enjoyed great success on stage Moscow's Maly Theatre and St. Petersburg's Alexandrinka. His best known plays were Student and Teacher (Учитель и ученик, или В чужом пиру похмелье, 1824), The Magic Nose (Волшебный нос, или Талисман и финики, 1825), Caliph's Recreations (Забавы калифа, 1825, set to music by Alexander Alyabyev and Alexey Verstovsky), The Buzzing Man (Хлопотун, или Дело мастера боится, 1825, music by Alyabyev and Verstovsky), How To Marry Your Daughter (Средство выдавать дочерей замуж, 1828). In 1826 with Alexey Verstovsky he published the popular Drama Album for the Lovers of Music and Theatre (Драматический альбом для любителей театра и музыки). Pisarev was a controversial figure who, on the one hand used to pan 'serious' drama (stating that theatre's mission was to entertain, not moralize) and lambast Pyotr Vyazemsky and Alexander Griboyedov, on the other, was himself a shrewd satirist who ridiculed in his plays and epigrams the life and manners of Russian high society as well as some of his literary contemporaries, notably Nikolai Polevoy.Pisarev died of tuberculosis aged only 24, much to the distress of his friends, one of whom, Sergey Aksakov was convinced that in 1828 Russian literature lost one of its greatest talents who had every potential to become the 'Russian Aristophanes'. "All of our vaudevillians of today count less than this one man, Pisarev," wrote Vissarion Belinsky years later.

Aleksandra Ishimova

Aleksandra Ishimova (Russian: Алекса́ндра Ио́сифовна (О́сиповна) Иши́мова) (6 January [O.S. 25 December 1804] 1805 — 16 June [O.S. 4 June] 1881) — was a Russian translator, and one of the first professional Russian children's authors.After childhood in her birthplace of Kostroma, Aleksandra Ishimova studied in private boarding schools in Saint Petersburg. In 1818 a scandal involving her father occurred, and Ishimova left Saint Petersburg together with her family to live in the northern provinces. In 1825 it was possible to return to Saint Petersburg, and to receive from Tsar Alexander I a pardon for her father. There she opened a small school and made acquaintance with Pyotr Vyazemsky, Vasily Zhukovsky and Alexander Pushkin. Ishimova was the last correspondent of Pushkin: he wrote her a letter with an enthusiastic response to her historical stories, and sent a book for translation the day of his duel with Georges-Charles de Heeckeren d'Anthès.

Ishimova published two monthly journals: Little Star («Звездочка», 1842—1863) for children, and Rays of Light («Лучи», 1850—1860) for young ladies. Her book History of Russia in Stories for Children («История России в рассказах для детей» 1841) was awarded the Demidov Prize in 1852. Aside from this she translated and printed a number of novel narratives for children, many included religious and moral education. The best known among them were «Рассказы старушки» (Saint Petersburg, 1839); «Священная истории в разговорах для маленьких детей», passing six editions beginning in 1841; «Колокольчик», (Saint Petersburg, 1849) for children in orphanages; «Первое чтение и первые уроки для детей» (Saint Petersburg, 1856—1860; two editions); and «Рассказы из Священной истории для крестьянских детей» (Saint Petersburg, 1878). She died at age 76 in Saint Petersburg.

Alexandra Smirnova

Alexandra Osipovna Smirnova (Russian: Александра Осиповна Смирнова, née Rosset, known also as Smirnova-Rosset, Смирнова-Россет; March 6, 1809 in Odessa, Russian Empire – June 7, 1882 in Paris, France) was a Russian Imperial court lady-in-waiting who served first widow Empress Maria Fyodorovna, then, after her death in 1828, Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna. Alexandra Rosset (who in 1832 married Russian diplomat Nikolai Smirnov), was an elitist Saint Petersburg salon hostess and a friend of Alexander Pushkin, Vasily Zhukovsky, Pyotr Vyazemsky, Nikolai Gogol and Mikhail Lermontov. She is best remembered for her memoirs, unusually frank, occasionally caustic, and, as it was argued decades later, not necessarily accurate.

Amphion (magazine)

Amphion (Russian: Амфион, pre-1917: Амфiонъ) was a Russian monthly literary magazine published in Moscow in 1815. Prose was but a small part of its genda; what prevailed there were odes, fables in verse, elegies and translations of classics like Horace, Titus Livius and Lucian. It was the first Russian magazine where serious critical analysis of poetry, prose, drama and theatre productions started to feature on regular basis.

The central figure in Amphion was its editor-in-chief and co-publisher (alongside with S.Smirnov and Fyodor Ivanov), the poet and literary critic Alexey Merzlyakov (who also went down in history as the young Mikhail Lermontov's personal tutor). His in-depth analysis of Kheraskov's Rossiyada (serialized in Nos. 1—3, 5—6, 8—9), which is considered to be the first work of literary criticism in Russia, had a strong formative influence on Russian literary scene of the time.The magazine proved to be short-lived, only 12 issues of it came out, but among the authors whose work appeared there for the first time were Vasily Zhukovsky, Konstantin Batyushkov, Pyotr Vyazemsky, Fyodor Kokoshkin, Denis Davydov and Wilhelm Küchelbecker.

Arzamas Society

The Arzamas Society (Russian: "Арзамас") was a literary society in Saint Petersburg in 1815-1818. The society received its name after a humorous work by a Russian statesman Dmitry Bludov called A Vision at the Inn at Arzamas, Published by the Society of Scholars ("Видение в арзамасском трактире, изданное обществом учёных людей"). Among the members of this society were Vasily Zhukovsky, Konstantin Batyushkov, Pyotr Vyazemsky, Vasily Pushkin and others. As supporters of the Karamzin reform, the society members argued against conservative ideas of the Lovers of the Russian Word Society and advocated the rapprochement of literary and conversational languages and new genres in poetry.

This article includes content derived from the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 1969–1978, which is partially in the public domain.

Death of the Poet

"Death of the Poet" (Russian: Смерть Поэта) is an 1837 poem by Mikhail Lermontov, written in reaction to the death of Alexander Pushkin.

Pushkin was mortally wounded in a duel on January 27, 1837, and died on the 29th. Lermontov began his first formulation of the poem (ending with the phrase "...his lips forever sealed") as soon as he heard of the event, and within a short time copies of the poem began to be circulated in St. Petersburg.

Within days the doctor Nikolai Arendt visited Lermontov (who was ill) and told him the details of the death of Pushkin, whom Arendt had tried to save. Arendt's story likely influenced Lermontov's development of the poem.

Pyotr Vyazemsky described the reaction of Arendt to the death of Pushkin:

Arendt, who had seen many deaths in his life, on the battlefields and in sickbeds, departed with tears in his eyes from his bedside and said that he had never seen anything like it, such patience with such suffering.

On February 7, Lermontov added an acerbic final sixteen lines (beginning "And you, the arrogant descendants of infamous scoundrels...") to the poem. These lines called for divine justice upon the heads of the "greedy horde" of the court aristocracy, whom Lermontov condemned as executioners of freedom and the true culprits of the tragedy. Hand-written copies of this version of the poem circulated among the Petersburg intelligentsia and came to the attention of the authorities. Those final sixteen lines were regarded by the authorities as seditious free thinking, and Lermontov was arrested. After a brief investigation he was, on the orders of the Emperor Nicholas I, exiled to a regiment in the Caucasus on February 25.The poem was only published long after Lermontov's death. The first publication (a German translation under the title "Lermontov's lament at the grave of Alexander Pushkin") was in 1852 in Friedrich von Bodenstedt's Mikhail Lermontoff's Poetic Legacy. The first published English translation (under the title "On the death of Pushkin") was in 1856, in Alexander Herzen's London periodical Polar Star.

Dmitry Khvostov

Count Dmitry Ivanovich Khvostov (Russian: граф Дми́трий Ива́нович Хвосто́в, July 30 [O.S. July 19] 1757 – November 2 [O.S. October 22] 1835), was a Russian poet, representing the late period of classicism in Russian literature. Count Khvostov, as he was widely known, was an exceedingly prolific author of poems, fables, epigrams, etc., invariably archaic and pompous, making him an easy target for humourists and fellow poets (Pushkin among them) who ridiculed him relentlessly. In modern times much has been done to separate the comical myth from Khvostov's real legacy (with some fake 'Khvostovism' exposed) and give credit to an extraordinary poetry enthusiast (who was also an avid literary researcher and archivist), but the stereotype prevails and the name of Count Khvostov remains synonymous in Russia with wanton graphomania and self-important pomposity.

Irish Russians

Irish Russians are Russian nationals whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in Ireland. Migration occurred in the context of conflicts in Eastern Europe: the Polish–Muscovite War (1605–18), Ingrian War and Thirty Years' War.

Mozart and Salieri (play)

Mozart and Salieri (Russian: «Мо́царт и Салье́ри», romanized: Mótsart i Sal'yéri) is a poetic drama by Alexander Pushkin. The play was written in 1830 as one of his four short plays known as The Little Tragedies, and was published in 1832. Based on one of the numerous rumours caused by the early death of Mozart, it features only two characters: Mozart and Antonio Salieri. It was the only one of Pushkin's plays that was staged during his lifetime. Mozart and Salieri was the inspiration for Peter Shaffer's play Amadeus

Nikolai Polevoy

Nikolai Alekseevich Polevoy (Russian Никола́й Алексе́евич Полево́й) (July 3 [O.S. June 22] 1796-March 6 [O.S. February 22] 1846) was a controversial Russian editor, writer, translator, and historian; his brother was the critic and journalist Ksenofont Polevoy and his sister the writer and publisher of folktales Ekaterina Avdeeva.

Polevoy was from an old merchant family from Kursk but was born in Irkutsk, where his father was director of a Russian-American company, and lived there until 1811, when the family moved first to Moscow and then to Kursk. His father, disappointed in his refusal to take up the family business and disapproving of his interest in literature and history, refused to pay for his education, so he taught himself. In February 1820 he moved to Moscow, where he attended both the theater and lectures at Moscow University; he visited Saint Petersburg and met Alexander Griboyedov, Vasily Zhukovsky, Faddei Bulgarin, and other literary figures, and began a literary career, publishing articles, poems, and translations in the journals of the day.

In 1825 he started his own journal, Moskovskii telegraf (The Moscow Telegraph), hoping to attract the writers he admired, like Pushkin, as well as emphasize the positive contributions of the merchant class to Russia. Unfortunately, the aristocrats of the Pushkin circle viewed him as a vulgar parvenu, and his attack on Karamzin's reactionary History of the Russian State offended many influential people, notably Pyotr Vyazemsky, who had been Karamzin's ward and whose sister was married to the older historian. When Polevoy wrote his own six-volume History of the Russian People (1829–1833), it was savaged by almost everyone. The brilliant and idiosyncratic critic Apollon Grigoryev wrote in his memoirs, "From our present [1864] point of view it would be impossible to conceive anything more indecent than the article that the editor of the Moscow Herald [i.e., Mikhail Pogodin] hurled against The History of the Russian People, if the articles [by Nikolai Nadezhdin] against it in the old men's European Herald had not been even more indecent... The factions do not seem to have been in their right minds thirty years ago. What was the cause of their being so hostile that they foamed at the mouth?" Polevoy emphasized that history followed laws and did not depend on the actions of particular individuals; he also was one of the first to present Russian history as a confrontation between Europe and Asia.

Lauren G. Leighton says, summing up the contributions of Nikolai and his brother and collaborator Ksenofont:No one should argue that the Polevoys were comparable in literary taste and talent to the aristocrats of the Pushkin pleiad; their self-educated, self-made characters are apparent in their journal. But neither should they be denied their great contribution in making leading European thinkers available to the Russian public in Russian, their eminently human liberalism, or their courage in constantly testing—and outwitting—the government censor. In 1834, after competition from both the aristocrats and the plebeians had laid waste to the Polevoys' finances, The Moscow Telegraph was closed down by the government. The Polevoys spent most of the rest of their lives editing the journals of Bulgarin and Grech.The journal was closed down because of a bad review it gave a play by Nestor Kukolnik; Bernard Pares tells the story:It must be understood that the vast distances and the thinness of population in Russia practically confined journalistic enterprise to St. Petersburg and Moscow. Even the Moscow journalists were hampered, in comparison with those of St. Petersburg, because it took them longer to guess in which direction the wind of the moment was blowing. Thus in 1834 Polevóy, who had severely reviewed a patriotic play, found, on his arrival in St. Petersburg, that it had pleased the upper society. "What are you doing?" said his protector, the Administrator of Police; "you see how they take the play here; you will have to agree with this opinion, or else you will get yourself into terrible trouble."D. S. Mirsky writes, "But his memory after his death was deservedly reverenced by the new intelligentsia as that of a pioneer and, in a sense, a martyr."

Russky Arkhiv

Russky Arkhiv (Russian: Русский архив/Русскій Архивъ, Russian Archives) was a Russian historical and literary monthly (in 1880–1884, a fortnightly) magazine, published in Moscow in 1863–1917. Conceived originally by Alexey Khomyakov, it was launched and edited by Pyotr Bartenev, with a view to giving its readership the full and objective account of Russian history.In the course of its history the magazine published a host of important historical documents, including the previously unreleased archive materials, concerning correspondences, biographies, diaries, travel notes or memoirs of renowned historical figures, focusing on the history of Russian nobility of the 18th and the early 19th centuries. Almost topical for Russian Archive became the documentary analysis of the life and the work of Alexander Pushkin.Among the historians, essayists and critics who contributed to Russky Arkhiv regularly were Yakov Grot, Mikhail Yuzefovich, Alexander Vasilchikov, Dmitry Ilovaysky, Mikhail Longinov, Leonid Maykov, Sergey Sobolevsky, Nikolai Barsukov.

Among its most valued publications were letters and diaries by numerous Decembrists, the notes of Count Henning Friedrich von Bassewitz (1713–1725), as well as Just Juel, the Danish ambassador at the Court of Peter the Great, the diaries of Pyotr Tolstoy on his 1697–1699 foreign trip, Friedrich Christian Weber's notes on Peter I's reforms, as well as the assorted diaries, memoirs and notes by Mikhail Antonovsky, Count Alexander de Ribaupierre, Nikolai Ilyinsky, Countess Edling, Count de Rochechouart, Hippolyte Auger, Nikolay Muravyov-Karsky, Count Mikhail Tolstoy, the poet Alexander Andreyev, Countess Antonina Bludova, general Grigory Filipson, the Saratov Governor Andrey Fadeyev, Baron Alexander von Nicolai, Nikolai Berg (on the Polish January Uprising), Prince Pyotr Vyazemsky (his Ostafyev Archives). The extensive memoirs by general Pavel Grabbe and playwright Stepan Zhikharev came out separately, as supplements.Russky Arkhiv was a respectable but not massively popular publication; its circulation figures fluctuated around one thousand and never reached beyond 1300.

Sofja Shcherbatova

Princess Sofja Stepanovna Shcherbatova (Russian: Софья Степановна Щербатова, née Apraksina; 1798 in Moscow, Russian Empire – 3 February 1885 in Moscow) was a prominent Russian philanthropist, the Dame Chevalier of the Order of Saint Catherine (1822). Princess Shcherbatova (since 1817, when she married Prince Alexey Shcherbatov) was the founder of The Grand Dames Helping the Poor charity (Damskoye Popetchitelstvo o Bednykh, 1844) which she remained the chairman of till 1876, the Nikolskaya Community (which proved particularly effective during the cholera epidemic in 1848 in Moscow and later during the Crimean War), many orphanages and shelters for homeless and elderly people. An heir to the famous Apraksin family, she was greatly interested in literature and arts, kept a fashionable Moscow salon and was a friend of Alexander Pushkin, Pyotr Vyazemsky and Mikhail Lermontov, among others.


Sovremennik (Russian: «Современник», IPA: [səvrʲɪˈmʲenʲːɪk] (listen), "The Contemporary") was a Russian literary, social and political magazine, published in Saint Petersburg in 1836-1866. It came out four times a year in 1836-1843 and once a month after that. The magazine published poetry, prose, critical, historical, ethnographic and other material.

Sovremennik originated as a private enterprise of Alexander Pushkin who was running out of money to support his growing family. To assist him with the magazine, the poet asked Nikolai Gogol, Pyotr Vyazemsky and Vladimir Odoyevsky to contribute their works to the journal. It was there that the first substantial assortment of Fyodor Tyutchev's poems was published. Soon it became clear that Pushkin's establishment could not compete with Faddey Bulgarin's journal, which published more popular and less demanding literature. Sovremennik was out of date and could not command a paying audience.

When Pushkin died, his friend Pyotr Pletnyov took over the editorship in 1838. A few years later the magazine fell into decline, and Pletnyov handed it over to Nikolay Nekrasov and Ivan Panaev in 1847. It was Nekrasov who really made the magazine profitable. He enlisted the services of Ivan Turgenev, Ivan Goncharov, Alexander Herzen and Nikolai Ogaryov. Sovremennik was the first to publish translated works by Charles Dickens, George Sand and other best-selling foreign writers.

Although the magazine was owned and run by Nekrasov, its official editor-in-chief was Alexander Nikitenko. The virulent realist critic Vissarion Belinsky was responsible for its ideology. His criticism of present-day reality and propaganda of democratic ideas made the journal very popular among the Russian intelligentsia. Sovremennik's circulation was 3,100 copies in 1848.

During the reactionary reign of Nicholas I, the journal had to struggle against censorship and complaints of disgruntled aristocracy. Its position grew more complicated after Herzen's emigration (1847) and Belinsky's death (1848). Despite these hardships, Sovremennik published works by best Russian authors of the day: Leo Tolstoy, Turgenev and Nekrasov. Timofey Granovsky, Sergey Solovyov and other leading historians were published as well.

The period between 1852 and 1862 is considered to be the most brilliant in the history of the journal. Nekrasov managed to strike a deal with its leading contributors, whereby their new works were to be published exclusively by him. As regards ideology, Sovremennik grew more radical together with its audience. Belinsky was succeeded by Nikolai Chernyshevsky in 1853 and by Nikolai Dobrolyubov. All their principal articles were published in Sovremennik.

In late 1858, the magazine entered into polemics with the liberal and conservative press and became a platform for and ideological center of the revolutionary democracy, turning into a political magazine. In 1861, it published materials, dedicated to the emancipation of the serfs and advocated the interests of serfs in the strongest terms possible. In 1859-1861, Sovremennik argued with Herzen's Kolokol about the aims of the Russian democracy.

Such a radical stance alienated those writers who were indifferent to politics or personally disliked revolutionary intelligentsia. Although Tolstoy, Turgenev, and Dmitry Grigorovich eventually left the magazine, Sovremennik's circulation reached 7,126 copies in 1861. The death of Dobrolyubov in 1861, an 8-month suspension of publishing activities (in June 1862), and Chernyshevsky's arrest caused irreparable damage to the magazine. Its ideological stance became less clear and consistent.

In 1863, Nekrasov managed to resume publishing Sovremennik. He invited Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin (stayed until 1864), Maxim Antonovich, Grigory Yeliseyev and Alexander Pypin to join its editorial staff. Controversy among the members of the editorial staff soon resulted in adoption of a more temperate policy.

In 1863-1866, Sovremennik published Chernyshevsky's What Is to Be Done? (written in the Peter and Paul Fortress), satires by Saltykov-Shchedrin, and works by the so-called plebeian authors (Vasily Sleptsov, Fyodor Reshetnikov, Gleb Uspensky). The magazine was closed down in June 1866, owing to the official panic that followed the first attempt on Alexander II's life. After that, Nekrasov and Saltykov-Schedrin acquired the rights to publish the Otechestvennye Zapiski, a literary journal widely viewed as Sovremennik's successor.

The Great Glinka

The Great Glinka (Russian: Глинка) is a 1946 Soviet biopic film directed by Lev Arnshtam. The film is about Mikhail Glinka, a Russian composer of the 19th century. The film was awarded the Stalin Prize of II degree (1947) and it was entered into the 1946 Cannes Film Festival.

The Poet and the Tsar

The Poet and the Tsar (Russian: Поет и Царь, romanized: Poet i tsar) is a 1927 Soviet silent biopic film directed by Vladimir Gardin and Yevgeni Chervyakov.

Tsar Gorokh

Tsar Gorokh (Russian: Царь Горох) is a character from Russian folklore, a fictional tsar whose name literally means "pea". The exact origin of the name is unknown.

What a Pushkin, what a son of a bitch!

"What a Pushkin, what a son of a bitch!" (Russian: ай да Пушкин, ай да сукин сын!, Ay-da Pushkin, ay-da sukin syn!; sometimes separated by exclamation mark instead of comma) is a catchphrase and winged word from Alexander Pushkin's correspondence with one of his friends, poet Pyotr Vyazemsky. The phrase commonly expresses a joy after finishing one's work and appears particularly in several Russian literary works.

In a letter dated circa November 7 or beginning of October 1825 Pushkin, celebrating his finished drama Boris Godunov wrote to Vyazemsky:

I greet you, my joy, with a romantic tragedy, in which the first person is Boris Godunov! My tragedy is done; I reread it aloud, alone, and clapped my hands and shouted: What a Pushkin, what a son of a bitch!

That was preceded by what Pushkin wrote to Vyazemsky on July 13 of the same year:

My joy, for the time being I've undertook such a literary feat, for which you'll shower me with kisses: a romantic tragedy! Look out, keep silent: few people know that.


Znamenskoye-Sadki is one of the oldest country estates of Moscow.

It lies in the southern section of Bitsa Park in the South-South-West of Moscow, outside today's MKAD. Since the middle of 18th century and almost until the October Revolution (1917) this estate belonged to the Trubetskoy family.

In the second half of the 18th century the main house, the church and the other buildings were built. At that time the system of ponds was constructed there.

Znamenskoye-Sadki was visited by many prominent men of letters and arts, the Grand Princes and Tsars. In 1787, Empress Catherine II of Russia came there with her grandsons. One of them was the future Emperor Alexander I of Russia.

Pyotr Vyazemsky and Fyodor Tyutchev used to stay in the estate.

On the second day after their wedding, the future parents of Leo Tolstoy visited there. They were married in the church of Yasenevo on 9 July 1822.

Historian Mikhail Pogodin stayed and worked there in the 1820s. He spent a lot of time in the large library of the estate.

In 1918 the main house of Znamenskoye-Sadki estate passed to a workers' cooperative.

In 1929 the church was dismantled. Currently the estate is a neglected park with remaining ponds, the central house and ruins of the stables. In the restored central house there is the Institute of Nature Preservation.

The constructions are closed for the general public as of 2010.

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