History of Russia

History of Russia

History of Russia

History of Russia

Excerpt

Professor Sergei Fedorovich Platonov, the grandson of a serf and the son of a city workman, was born in Chernigov in 1860. When he was quite small the family moved to the capital and Sergei had the opportunity to attend the public schools and the University of St. Petersburg. After graduating in 1881 the young man decided to become a teacher of history for he had been greatly influenced by the writings and lectures of Bestuzhev-Rumin, Kliuchevski, and Vasilevski. As he had no private means to pursue his graduate studies he was obliged to teach in public schools and give lessons in the homes of the rich. This kind of work took up much of his time and a great deal of his energy so that it was not before 1888 that he secured the degree of Master of Russian History. By this time the faculty of the University had formed such a high opinion of his ability that it appointed him privat-docent immediately after taking his degree and professor two years later. His fame as a scholar and teacher spread quickly and led to his selection as tutor to Grand Duke Michael and Grand Duchess Olga, brother and sister of Nicholas II. This position he held from 1895 to 1900 and the lessons in Russian history which this grandson of a serf taught the grandchildren of the Tsar Emancipator are embodied in this little book.

During the next fifteen years Professor Platonov di-

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