Zhukovski, Vasily Andreyevich
Born: 1783 AD
Died: 1852 AD, at 69 years of age.
1783 – He was born in Mishenskoe near Tula; he was the illegitimate son of a Russian landowner named Nikolai Bunin and a Turkish slave. He was given his godfather's surname.
1802 – He published a free translation of Thomas Gray's "Elegy Written in a Country Church Yard" in The Messenger.
1808 – He was asked by Karamzin to take over the editorship of the Messenger. The young poet used this position to explore Romantic themes, motifs, and genres. He was also among the first Russian writers to cultivate the mystique of the Romantic poet.
1812 – When Napoleon invaded Russia, he joined the Russian general staff under Field Marshal Kutuzov. There he wrote much patriotic verse, including the original poem "A Bard in the Camp of the Russian Warriors," which helped to establish his reputation at the imperial court.
1826 – He was appointed tutor to the tsarevich, the future Tsar Alexander II. His progressive program of education had such a powerful influence on Alexander that the liberal reforms of the year 1860s are sometimes attributed to it.
1837 – He stepped in as his literary executor, not only saving his work (including several unpublished masterpieces) from a antagonistic censorship, but also meticulously collecting and preparing it for publication.
1840 – Until this year he looks after the genius and promoted the career of Nikolay Gogol, another close personal friend. In this sense, he acted behind-the-scenes as a kind of impresario for the Romantic Movement that he founded.
1841 – He retired from court and settled in Germany, where he married an 18 year old Elizabeth Reitern, the daughter of an artist friend. The couple had two children.
1849 – He finally published his hexameter translation of Homer's Odyssey.
1852 – He died in German and was buried in the Alexander Nevsky Lavra, St. Petersburg.
Page last updated: 2:09pm, 13th Mar '07