Reference Guide to Russian Literature

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Mikhail Evgrafovich Saltykov-Shchedrin 1826-1889
Prose writer


Born Mikhail Evgrafovich Saltykov in Spas-Ugol, Tver province, 27 January 1826. Attended Moscow Pension for the Nobility and Aleksandr Lycee, St Petersburg, 1838-44. Entered the civil service ( War Ministry), 1844. First stories published, 1847-48. Exiled to Viatka for his "subversive" story ("Zaputannoe delo" [ A Complicated Business]), 1848-55; served in provincial administration. Returned to St Petersburg, 1856. Married: Elizaveta Apollonovna Boltina in 1856; one daughter and one son. Served in the Ministry of the Interior in St Petersburg from 1856; then as vice-governor of Riazan, 1858-60, and of Tver, 1860-62. Contributor to St Petersburg journals from 1856. Resigned official post and joined the editorial staff of Sovremennik, 1862. Returned to state service, 1864; senior posts in provincial administrations of Penza, 1865-66, Tula 1866-67, and Riazan 1867-68. Retired from service (under official pressure) with rank of Actual State Counsellor, and devoted himself full-time to literature as joint‐ editor, with Nekrasov and Eliseev, of Otechestvennye zapiski, 1868; chief editor after Nekrasov's death ( 1878). Otechestvennye zapiski suppressed, 1884. Continued writing in other journals 1884-89. Died in St Petersburg, 10 May 1889.


Collected Editions

Sobranie sochinenii, 20 vols. Moscow, 1965-67.

M.E. Saltykov-Shchedrin: Selected Satirical Writings (in Russian), edited by I. P. Foote. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1977.


Gubernskie ocherki [ Provincial Sketches]. 1856-57.

Nevinnye rasskazy [ Innocent Tales]. 1857-63.

Satiry v proze [ Satires in Prose]. 1859-62.

Priznaki vremeni [ Signs of the Times]. 1863-71.

Pompaduri i pompadurshi [ Pompadours and Pompadouresses]. 1863-74; translated as The Pompadours: A Satire on the Art of Government, by David Magarshack, Ann Arbor, Ardis, 1985.

Pis'ma o provintsii [ Letters on the Provinces]. 1868-70. Istoriia odnogo goroda, in Otechestvennye zapiski, 1869-70; translated as The History of a Town, by I. P. Foote, Oxford, Meeuws, 1980; also translated as The History of a Town, or The Chronicle of Foolov, by Susan Brownsberger, Ann Arbor, Ardis, 1982.

Gospoda Tashkenttsy [ Gentlemen of Tashkent]. 1869-72. Skazki. 1869-86; parts translated as Fables, by Vera Volkhovsky , London, Chatto and Windus, 1931; reprinted Westport, Connecticut, Hyperion Press, 1977; also as Tales from M. Saltykov-Shchedrin, by Dorian Rottenberg, Moscow, Foreign Languages Publishing, 1956.

Dnevnik provintsiala v Peterburge [ Diary of a Provincial in Petersburg]. 1872.

Blagonamerennye rechi [ Well-Intentioned Speeches]. 1872-76. V srede umerennosti i akkuratnosti [ In the World of Moderation and Precision]. 1874-77.

Gospoda Golovlevy. 1875-80; translated as The Gollovlev Family, by Athelstan Ridgway, London, Jarrold [ 1916]; also as The Golovlyov Family, by Natalie Duddington, New York, Macmillan, and London, Allen and Unwin, 1931; by Samuel D. Cioran, Ann Arbor, Ardis, 1977; and by Ronald Wilks, Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1988; also translated as The Golovlevs, by I. P. Foote, Oxford and New York, Oxford University Press, 1986.

Sovremennaia idilliia [ A Contemporary Idyll]. 1877-83.

Ubezhishche Mon Repo [ The Haven of Mon Repos]. 1878-79.

Kruglyi god [ The Year Round]. 1879-80.

Za rubezhom [ In Foreign Parts]. 1880-81.

Pis'ma k teten'ke [ Letters to Auntie]. 1881-82.

Poshekhonskie rasskazy [ Poshekhon'e Tales]. 1883-84.

Nedokonchennye besedy [ Unfinished Chats]. 1883-84.

Pestrye pis'ma [ Variegated Letters]. 1884-86.

Melochi zhizni [ The Trivia of Life]. 1886-87.

Poshekhonskaia starina [ Old Times in Poshekhon'e]. 1887-89.


Smert' Pazukhina, 1857; translated as The Death of Pazukhin, by J. Leigh, New York, 1924; also translated as " Pazukhin's Death", by L. Senelick, Russian Literature Triquarterly, 14 ( 1976), 321-76.

Critical Studies

Saltykov-Shchedrin. Biografiia, by S. A. Makashin, 4 vols: vol. i, Moscow, 1949; vol. 2, Moscow, 1972; vol. 3, Moscow, 1984; vol. 4, Moscow, 1989.

Saltykov-Chtchédrine: Sa vie et ses oeuvres, by Kyra Sanine, Paris, Universite de Paris Institut d'Études Slaves, 1955.


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Reference Guide to Russian Literature


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