Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V21, Page 56 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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ALEXEY FEOFILACTOVICH PEESEMSKY (182o-1881), Russian novelist, was born on his father's estate, in the province of Kostroma, on the loth/22nd of March 1820. In his auto-biography he describes his family as belonging to the ancient Russian nobility, but his more immediate progenitors were all very poor, and unable to read or write. His grandfather ploughed the fields as a simple peasant, and his father, as Peesemsky himself said, was washed and clothed by a rich relative, and placed as a soldier in the army, from which he retired as a major after thirty years' service. During childhood Peesemsky read eagerly the translated works of Walter Scott and Victor Hugo, and later those of Shakespeare, Schiller., Goethe, Rousseau, Voltaire and George Sand. From the I facture of felt, boots and metal wares. gymnasium of Kostroma he passed through Moscow University, Pegau grew up round a monastery founded in 1o96, but does and in 1884 entered the government service as a clerk in the not appear as a town before the close of the 12th century. office of the Crown domains in his native province. Between Markets were held here and its prosperity was further enhanced 1854 and 1872, when he finally quitted the civil service, he by its position on a main road running east and west. In the occupied similar posts in St Petersburg and Moscow. His monastery, which was dissolved in 1539, a valuable chronicle early works exhibit a profound disbelief in the higher qualities was compiled, the Annales pegavienses, covering the period of humanity, and a disdain for the other sex, although he appears to have been attached to a particularly devoted and sensible wife. His first novel, Boyarstchina, was forbidden for its unflattering description of the Russian nobility. His principal novels are Tufak (" A Muff "), 185o; Teesicha doush (" A Thousand Souls "), 1862, which is considered his best work of the kind; and Vzbalomoucheneoe more (" A Troubled Sea "), giving a picture of the excited state of Russian society about the year 1862. He also produced a comedy, Gorkaya soudbina (" A Bitter Fate "), depicting the dark sides of the Russian peasantry, which obtained for him the Ouvaroff prize of the Russian Academy. In 1856 he was sent, together with other literary men, to report on the ethnographical and commercial I obtained general acceptance, and has been extended by many condition of the Russian interior, his particular field of inquiry authors to include vein-rocks of similar structure and geological having been Astrakhan and the region of the Caspian Sea. relationships, which occur with syenites, diorites and gabbros. His scepticism in regard to the liberal reforms of the 'sixties Only a few of these pegmatites have graphic structure or mutual made him very unpopular among the more progressive writers intergrowth of their constituents. Many of them are exceedingly of that time. He died at Moscow on the 2nd of February 188r coarse-grained; in granite-pegmatites the feldspars may be (Jan. 21, Russian style). several feet or even yards in diameter, and other minerals such
PEGASUS (from Gr. lrgyor, compact, strong)

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