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Home and foreign heroes and eccentrics

  • Patrick Waddington

Abstract

In a letter to Herzen of November 1856 Turgenev had expressed his firm intention to return to London either in February or in April, 1857, and to spend what he described as ‘part of the season’ there before going home to Russia. Not knowing yet that Pauline Viardot was pregnant with her son Paul, due to be born in July, he doubtless expected her to be singing in London during these particular months. Another reason why he wished to come was to select a pair of dogs for the summer shooting at Spasskoye. As time went on, the earlier date appeared more probable. Although he was plying his friend with moral and financial succour, he was increasingly concerned about the other’s outspokenness and wished to discuss with him face to face some matters which he thought too delicate or dangerous to be given written expression. Some have seen in this faint-heartedness, or even cowardice, on Turgenev’s part; but it is well to remember that, as today, Imperial Russian agents were everywhere in evidence and that Turgenev had, after all, already suffered enough for the affirmation of his mildly democratic views. It was one thing to encourage and support the best in Herzen, send him money, information, Russian journals; it was quite another to engage with him in public, signed debate.

Keywords

Forest Belt Daily News Smoke Point Great Writer Expressive Music 
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References

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Copyright information

© Patrick Waddington 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick Waddington
    • 1
  1. 1.Victoria University of WellingtonNew Zealand

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