Letters from Russia

Penguin Books, Limited, 2014 - 320 sidor
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'A ruler can be popular in Russia without attaching great value to the lives of Russians.' In 1839, fascinated by the vast, mysterious land that was opening up to the West, the French aristocrat Marquis de Custine set out to explore Russia. This rich selection from his book, which became a bestseller on publication, offers a unique portrait of a country ruled by despotism and 'intoxicated with slavery'. Custine describes the Court of Tsar Nicholas and his fragile wife, the streets of St Petersburg, the songs of Cossacks, a moonlit Moscow walk beneath the terrible beauty of the Kremlin. But the Letters also portray Custine himself- his nerves, fears and anxieties, and how his attitudes towards power and tyranny were transformed by what he saw. Translated by Robin Buss with an introduction by Catherine Merridale

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Edit to add: I just realized that Custine was the French aristocrat in the film Russian Ark. This was almost like reading a great epic in some ways, with the hero a man on a quest to find a beautiful ... Läs hela recensionen

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Om författaren (2014)

Astolphe Louis Leonor, Marquis de Custine, was born in 1790. Both his grandfather and father were executed during the Terror. Raised by his remarkable mother, Custine became a diplomat and attended the Congress of Vienna in 1815. Custine's homosexuality became the subject of a public scandal in 1824 and ended his career. He devoted the rest of his life to travel and literature. In 1839 he made the journey that resulted in his masterpiece, Letters from Russia. Custine died in 1857.

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