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 Nikolai Mikhailovich Karamzin

Nikolai Mikhailovich Karamzin

Birth
Russia
Death 3 Jun 1826 (aged 59)
Saint Petersburg, Saint Petersburg Federal City, Russia
Burial Saint Petersburg, Saint Petersburg Federal City, Russia
Plot Artist's Cemetery
Memorial ID 11232 · View Source
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Writer, Historian. He has been called the first modern Russian author. Initially influenced by the ideals of the European Enlightenment, he introduced Romanticism and helped develop the short story and essay forms in his country. Later he turned fiercely nationalistic and produced his masterpiece, the 12-volume "History of the Russian State" (published from 1815 to 1829). In both his fiction and historical writings he attempted to reform literary Russian by making use of casual spoken word, as well as French terms and syntax, and this too had a considerable influence. The scion of a wealthy gentry family, Karamzin was born in Mikhailovka, Orenburg. He studied at the University of Moscow and after brief military service moved to that city in 1784. His first notable successes were "Letters of a Russian Traveler" (1791), a series of thoughtful impressions inspired by a lengthy tour of Europe, the sentimental love story "Poor Liza" (1792), and the tale "The Island of Bornholm" (1793). He was also active as a journalist and in 1802 became founding editor of an important "thick" journal, "The Messenger of Europe", but soon left this position to settle in St. Petersburg. In 1804 Karamzin was named Imperial Historiographer by Czar Alexander I, and devoted the rest of his life to researching and writing his "History of the Russian State", intended as a comprehensive survey from antiquity to his own era. In the process he transcribed many long-forgotten documents that were later destroyed in the Moscow fire of 1812. His talent and conservativism (he favored a strong central government) earned him the esteem of Alexander, who granted him private audiences to read the work in progress; but he remained independent in his views, especially when chronicling the abuses of power. Eleven volumes of the work appeared in his lifetime; the twelfth volume, bringing the narrative up to the early 1600s, was half-finished at his death. An offshoot of this effort was the book "Memoirs of Ancient and Modern Russia" (1811), in which Karamzin criticized 18th Century rulers (including Peter the Great). It provides clues to how he would have continued his "History" had he lived to complete it.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 27 Jul 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 11232
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Nikolai Mikhailovich Karamzin (1 Dec 1766–3 Jun 1826), Find A Grave Memorial no. 11232, citing Alexander Nevsky Monastery, Saint Petersburg, Saint Petersburg Federal City, Russia ; Maintained by Find A Grave .