A Note About the Author

A Note About the Translator

Tsar Mikhail (1596–1645), the first in the Romanov dynasty

Ivan Susanin, the peasant who saved Tsar Mikhail, as portrayed by the bass Ossip Petrov, in a photograph

The composer Mikhail Glinka (1804–1857), whose opera A Life for the Tsar (1836) glorified Mikhail’s accession to the throne in 1613

The second Romanov on the throne, Tsar Alexei (1629–1676)

Peter the Great (1672–1725), Tsar Alexei’s famous and controversial son

The poet and diplomat Antioch Kantemir (1709–1744), Tsar Peter’s apologist

The multitalented Mikhail Lomonosov (1711–1765)

Ivan Barkov (c. 1732–1768), the Russian Francois Villon

Catherine the Great (1729–1796) who was vilified in Soviet times as a “depraved and criminal woman”

The state minister Gavrila Derzhavin (1743–1816), Catherine’s most esteemed poet

Alexander I (1777–1825), Napoleon’s nemesis

Nikolai Karamzin (1766–1826), Alexander’s court historian

Alexander Pushkin (1799–1837), Russia’s greatest poet

The poet Vassily Zhukovsky (1783–1852), Pushkin’s mentor and protector

The popular fabulist Ivan Krylov (1769–1844)

Nicholas I (1796–1855), who called Pushkin “the wisest man in Russia”

The poet Mikhail Lermontov (1814–1841), Pushkin’s heir

Nikolai Gogol (1809–1852), in a drawing by his friend Alexander Ivanov

The painter Alexander Ivanov (1806–1858), Gogol’s protege

The painter Karl Briullov (1799–1852), Nicholas I’s favored artist

The progressive critic Vissarion Belinsky (1811–1848), Gogol’s early advocate and later foe

The poet Fedor Tyutchev (1803–1873), Nicholas I’s unofficial spokesman

Alexander Herzen (1812–1870), the rebel and literary innovator

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