The State Memorial and Natural Preserve "Museum-estate of Leo Tolstoy "Yasnaya Polyana"
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Exhibition in Honor of the 170th Anniversary of Gleb Uspensky's Birth

__October 18 - November 18, 2013  
Local History Museum of Krapivna

You are invited to an exhibition dedicated to the 170th birthday of the well-known Russian writer Gleb Uspensky. The exhibition will include photographs of the Uspensky and Oshanin families, as the writer’s granddaughter Elena Borisovna married the poet Lev Oshanin in 1936.

Uspensky was connected to Krapivna and Krapivniy District by many circumstances.  His younger sister Elizaveta Ivanovna, who had married the commander of the Krapivna garrison, Lieutenant Colonel Marchenko, lived in Krapivna together with her mother, Nadezhda Glebovna Uspenskaya. Elizaveta Ivanovna for a long time was the principal and a teacher of Krapivna Women’s Progymnasium. The author’s brother, Alexander Uspensky, worked as a forester in the Krapivna forest district. Gleb Uspensky often came to visit his relatives.


The impressions he got during these visits were reflected in the writer’s works. After one such trip to his brother Alexander, Uspensky wrote to his wife, “I had a good time at Sasha’s . . . and feel fully capable to get down to work.” Things he saw during the trip served as material for his story “The Check Book” and the sketch “Bad News.” Gleb Uspensky’s letters also contain periodical references to Krapivna.

Gleb Ivanovich Uspensky was born October 13, 1843 in Tula, where his father, the son of a rural lector, served as the secretary of the chamber of government property.  He received his first schooling at home and at his uncle’s in Kaluga, whom he often visited. In 1853-56 he studied in the Tula gymnasium, and in 1856-61 in the Chernigovskaya gymnasium.  In 1861 he entered St. Petersburg University, but due to the upheavals in the student world and then his poverty he did not finish his higher education.

Gleb Uspensky’s first story, “Mikhailych,” was published in 1862 in the journal “Yasnaya Polyana,” which was published by Leo Tolstoy. Then his story “An Idyll,” based on recollections of his childhood, was published in the journal “Zritel (The Spectator).” His first major work, the sketch “The Morals of Rasteryaeva Street,” appeared in 1866.

The main themes in Uspensky’s work were the life and surroundings of officials, petty laborers, and bourgeois people in provincial cities and the two capitals. After two trips abroad in the 1870s, he wrote a series of sketches and stories conveying his foreign impressions.

A serious nervous illness hindered the development of the writer’s creative activity.  Uspensky spent the final years of his life in the Kolmovskaya Hospital for the Mentally Ill in Novgorod. He died in 1902 from heart disease and was buried in St. Petersburg in Volkov Cemetery.

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