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 Gavrila Derzhavin


Born:   July 14, 1743
Deceased:   July 20, 1816

Famous poet

      

Gavrila Romanovich Derzhavin was born on July 14, 1743 into the family of poor noblemen in the Kazan Province. The family had to move often due to his father’s military service. In 1754 when Gavrila was only 11 years old, his father died. In 1759 Derzhavin entered Kazan grammar school, and after finishing it in 1762 he became a soldier of the Preobrazhensky Regiment of life guard.

In 1762 the young soldier took part in the palace revolution, which resulted in ascending to the throne of Catherine the Great. In 1772 Derzhavin was commissioned to officer. During this period he made debut with his articles in press. In 1773 Derzhavin participated in the suppression of Pugachev’s revolt, and soon afterwards was dismissed to civil service in the rank of a collegiate adviser.

In 1777 with the protection of Prince Vyazemsky he took service in the Senate. A year later Derzhavin married Yekaterina Yakovleva Bastidon.

In 1782 Derzhavin wrote the Ode to Felica, which was dedicated to Empress Catherine the Great, who became delighted with the poem. As a reward she gave the poet a gold-and-diamond snuffbox full money and the rank of the governor of Olonets first, and soon of the Tambov Province. In both cases Derzhavin very zealously started to impose order in the territories entrusted to him. Thus, he fought against corruption and lack of discipline among the subordinates, and it certainly led to constant conflicts. Therefore he was soon transferred to the capital where he took even higher posts.

All this time he kept on writing his sublime odes. After coming to power of Alexander I of Russia Derzhavin was appointed the Minister of Justice. In 1803 he retired and became engaged in his collected works, the first four volumes of which were published in 1808.

In 1815 Derzhavin was present at an exam in the Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum, where young Alexander Pushkin amazed him with his speech.

On July 20, 1816 Gavrila Romanovich Derzhavin died in his manor in Novgorod and was laid down in Petersburg.


Tags: Gavrila Derzhavin Russian poets    




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