KARAMZIN, Nikolaj Mihajlovič

KARAMZIN, Nikolaj Mihajlovič. Znamenskoe estate, Mihailovka Simbirsk govt. 12.12.(1.12.)1766 — St.Petersburg 2.6.(22.5.)1826. Russian Literate and Historian. Son of a retired officer, Mihail Egorovič K., and Ekaterina Petrovna Pazuhina, a noble family, but of modest means. Educated in Simbirsk and Moscow. Briefly in army in St.Petersburg, then studies in Moscow. Soon began literary activity and joined —> Novikov’s circle. Travelled in Germany, Switzerland, France and England in 1789-90, then introduced Western ideas in Russia and developed literary style and language. As official historiographer (from 1803) he was uncritical and conservative. In 1816 moved to St.Petersburg. Russian Academy 1818. Married 1801 Elizaveta Ivanovna Protasova, one daughter, and 1804 Ekaterina Andreevna Kolyvanova, three sons and two daughters.

Publications: Russian translation of selections from Jones’ (Forster’s) Sacontala, published in his own journal, Moskovskij Žurnal 1792.

A Russian history in 12 vols. (1816-29), extending to 1613; a famous travel book in form of letters, short stories, poetry, etc.

Sources: A. Schönle, Literature of Travel and Explor. 2, 2003, 669f.; Wikipedia with portrait and further references.

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