Introduction Nicolay, a Neglected Figure
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The Russian Biographical Dictionary, which devotes several pages to Nicolay, concludes its account of him with the following statement: “He was a man of great knowledge, a talented writer, distinguished by his noble character and quick mind, an exceptional artist who was always able to find beauty in life, a courtier who never lowered himself to flattery to achieve personal favors, who was able to live in a world of intrigues without getting involved, and finally a German who became attached to Russia and served her loyally and truly all his life.” The author of this account, however, regretfully adds: “Baron Nicolay represents one of the most interesting though little studied personalities of the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth centuries.”1
KeywordsEighteenth Century Western Scholar Proper Perspective Literary Discussion Personal Favor
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