Nikolay Novikov

Enlightener of Russia

Nikolay Novikov

Nikolay Novikov (1744–1818) was a key figure in Russian cultural life under Catherine the Great. He was in turn a successful journalist, historiographer, educator, publisher, leading freemason and philanthropist and he left his distinctive mark on each of these spheres at a formative moment in Russia. This book is a Western study of Novikov's complete career and it shows how he responded to Catherine's enlightened despotism in cultural matters and why their ways eventually parted. Novikov is viewed here not only as a founding father of the Russian intelligentsia, but as a representative of the general European Enlightenment, who discovered and encouraged a new generation of writers. A knowledge of Novikov and the kind of enlightenment he strove to spread in Russia is important for an understanding of the particular cast of mind evident in Russian thought and writings in the nineteenth century. The book will therefore be of interest to a wide range of scholars and students of Russian literature and intellectual history.

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