Letters of N.M. Karamzin to E.A. Karamzina: 1812

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Sapchenko L.A.,

Ulyanovsk, Russian Federation

Letters of N.M. Karamzin to E.A. Karamzina: 1812


A significant part of Karamzin’s epistolary heritage remains inpublished. The Department of Manuscripts of the Russian State Library (RGB) stores collections of letters of N. M. Karamzin to his wife E. A. Karamzina (nee Kolyvanova). Only a few of them were published, and many were abridged. Meanwhile, not only do they substantially complete the picture of the era, but also allow the reader portray the writer’s personality and mindset, hear his true voice. “Correspondence of Nikolay Karamzin is without a doubt one of the most important parts of his literary and academic heritage, a source of primary importance for studying the history of the spiritual life of the Russian society in those four decades when its intellectual and social development was vast and rapid. And yet you can hardly find another manuscript of such value quite so overlooked by publishers and researchers,” noted V. E. Vatsuro. Letters to his wife from 1812 occupy a special place in the epistolary heritage of Karamzin. They reflect his desire to understand the historical mission of Russia, the good and the evil in inter-personal and inter-state relations. The letters of Karamzin reflect the depth and ardor of his feelings, his faith in God, his attitude towards his wife and children and towards himself. The publication presents 6 letters: 2 letters dated February 25, 1812, addressed from Tver (where the historian stayed on invitation of the Grand Duchess Catherine Pavlovna) to Moscow and 4 letters (dated August 17, 21, 23 and 25) from Moscow to Yaroslavl, where Ekaterina Andreevna travelled with the children. Letters from Moscow written just before Napoleon entering the city are a live report from the scene, and they express Karamzin’s deepest anxiety for the fate of his country and of his family and his boundless love for them. The letters allow chronicle Karamzin’s life in that terrible year for Russia, recreate a certain stage of his spiritual biography and trace some changes in his historic vision.


Source, Nikolay Karamzin, epistolary heritage, unpublished letters, 1812.

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Grant information

This publication was prepared with the financial support of the Russian Foundation for Humanities (RGNF), project no.15-14-73002 a(r).


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About author

Sapchenko Lyubov, PhD in Philology, professor of the Department of Russian Language, Literature and Journalism of the I.N. Ulyanov Ulyanovsk State Pedagogical University, Ulyanovsk, Russian Federation, +7-903-336-20-88, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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