The Memoirs of Alexander Herzen

The Memoirs of Alexander Herzen

The Memoirs of Alexander Herzen

The Memoirs of Alexander Herzen

Excerpt

Alexander Herzen was born in Moscow on March 25, 1812 , six months before Napoleon arrived at the gates of the city with what was left of his Grand Army. He died in Paris on January 9, 1870. Down to his thirty-fifth year he lived in Russia, often in places selected for his residence by the Government; he left Russia, never to return, on January 10, 1847.

He was the elder son of Iván Yákovlev, a Russian noble, and Luise Haag, a German girl from Stuttgart. It was a runaway match; and as the Lutheran marriage ceremony was not supplemented in Russia, the child was illegitimate. "Herzen" was a name invented for him by his parents. Surnames, however, are little used in Russian society; and the boy would generally be called, from his own Christian name and his father's, Alexander Ivánovich. His parents lived together in Moscow, and he lived with them and was brought up much like other sons of rich nobles. It was quite in Herzen's power to lead a life of selfish ease and luxury; but he early chose a different path and followed it to the end. Yet this consistent champion of the poor and humble was himself a typical aristocrat --

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