УДК / UDK: 821.161.1.0

2023 №28

Author: Alexander D. Ivinskiy
About the author:

Alexander D. Ivinskiy — PhD in Philology, Senior Researcher, A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 а, 121069 Moscow, Russia.


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The article is devoted to one of the most important events in the literary biography of Mikhail Muravyev, that has not yet attracted the attention of researchers, i. e. his joining the “Free Russian Assembly” in 1776. For the analysis of this problem the author of the article uses unpublished letters of the writer, which are stored in the Department of Written Sources of the State Historical Museum (Moscow). We publish and comment in the appendix to the article eight Muravyev’s letters to his father and sister. These materials allow us to take a fresh look at the history of Muravyev’s relationship with A.A. Barsov, Kh.A. Chebotarev, V.I. Maikov, M.M. Kheraskov, I.I. Melessino. In addition, these data also allow us to present a reconstruction of Muravyev's reception of literary position of A.P. Sumarokov. In just a few days at the end of 1776, Muravyev, who later would be famous for the lack of a public activity, became a part of a large and complex intellectual and social environment that included Moscow poets, scientists, and high-ranking Freemasons. Our hypothesis is that these acquaintances determined the whole subsequent life of the writer, since, perhaps, it was the “Muscovites” who nominated Muravyov to the role of educator of the Grand Dukes Alexander and Constantine and thereby helped him take a place at court, which ultimately led to his sharp rise in the beginning of the Alexander era, cut short by sudden death in 1807.

Acknowledgements: The research was carried out at IWL RAS at the expense of the grant of the Russian Scientific Foundation no. 23-28-00664 “Writers and Power in the Second Half of the 18th Century: Constructing the Political Language of the Epoch” (

Keywords: Mikhail Muravyev, history of Russian Literature of 18th century, А.А. Barsov, V.I. Maykov, М.М. Kheraskov.
For citation:

Ivinskiy, A.D. “From the Letters of Mikhail Muravyev of 1776: A.A. Barsov, V.I. Maykov, M.M. Kheraskov and ʽFree Russian Assembly’.” Literaturnyi fakt, no. 2 (28), 2023, pp. 25–51. (In Russ.)


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