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Lermontov House-Museum, Russia

Experienced voyagerExperienced voyagerExperienced voyagerExperienced voyager Joshua Brook
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Not far from Moscow's bustling New Arbat Street and tucked down a small side street, visitors will find the original preserved wooden house, where the famous Russian poet Mikhail Lermontov lived between 1829 and 1832. Born in 1814 in Moscow, Lermontov was brought up by his grandmother on her estate in Penzenskaya Province. Many of the poet's childhood experiences, including enjoying the natural beauty of the Russian countryside surrounding the estate, the stories, legends and folk songs told by the local peasants and several visits to spa resorts in the Caucasus, were to have a profound affect and strong influence upon his later work.

In 1827 he moved with his grandmother to Moscow where he began writing poetry and studying painting at boarding school. He later enrolled at Moscow State University and found himself surrounded by the capital's lively literary and cultural elite, most notable amongst them the political thinker and writer Alexander Herzen, who deeply influenced the young writer with their political, philosophical and ideological discussions.

Amidst this stimulating and creative atmosphere Lermontov wrote numerous lyrical verses, long narrative poems and dramas.

The writer and poet later moved to St. Petersburg, the then Russian capital, attended and graduated cadet school and entered the Life-Guard Hussar Regiment, where he had plenty of opportunity to observe the aristocratic life and loves of the capital.

Greatly shaken by the death in January 1837 of the great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin, Lermontov wrote an elegy to him denouncing the court aristocracy and was promptly exiled to the Caucasus. There he further developed his interest in politics and broadened his experience of Georgian folklore and poetry, the natural beauty of the mountains of the Caucasus and the intricacies of the local languages. Much of his research from this period was used in his masterpiece "A Hero of Our Time", which is full of social and psychological content and played a vital role in the development of Russian prose. Tragically, like his hero Pushkin, Lermontov died in a duel at the tender age of 26, but his numerous lyrical and prose works had already proved his worth as a brilliant and gifted writer.

The writer's house-museum was home to the young poet during his years as a student at Moscow University, when he became so absorbed with his writing that he failed to sit his exams. The house contains much of the original furniture, many sketches and watercolors by Lermontov himself, and an extensive library full of works by his favorite authors; from Lomonosov, Krillov and Pushkin to Rousseau, Goethe, Shakespeare and the English Romantic poet Lord Byron. More info on: www.moscow-taxi.com

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