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Griboyedov Collection

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0369 GRI
Held at: School of Slavonic and East European Studies
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Full title: Griboyedov Collection
Date(s): 1995
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 1 volume
Name of creator(s): Hobson | Mary | fl 1995 | Russian scholar
Griboyedov | Aleksandr Sergeyevich | 1795-1829 | Russian playwright and diplomat
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

Aleksandr Sergeyevich Griboyedov: (1795-1829): Russian dramatic author, was born in 1795 at Moscow, where he studied at the university from 1810 to 18I2. He obtained a commission in a hussar regiment, but resigned it in 1816. Next year he entered the civil service, and in 1818 was appointed secretary of the Russian legation in Persia, whence he was transferred to Georgia. He had commenced writing early, and had produced on the stage at St Petersburg in 1816 a comedy in verse, translated from the French, called The Young Spouses, which was followed by other pieces of the same kind. But neither these nor ,the essays and verses which he wrote would have been long remembered but for the immense success gained by his comedy in verse, Gore ot uma, or Misfortune from Intelligence (Eng. trans. by N. Benardaky, 1857). A satire upon Russian society, or, as a high official styled it, "A pasquinade on Moscow," its plot is slight, its merits consisting in its accurate representation of certain social and official types-such as Famousoff, the lover of old abuses, the hater of reforms; his secretary, Molchanin, servile fawner upon all in office; the aristocratic young liberal and Anglomaniac, Repetiloff; contrasted with whom is the hero of the piece, Tchatsky, the ironical satirist, just returned from the west of Europe, who exposes and ridicules the weaknesses of the rest, his words echoing that outcry of the young generation of 1820 which reached its climax in the military insurrection of 1825, and was then sternly silenced by Nicholas. Griboyedov spent the summer of 1823 in Russia, completed his play and took it to St Petersburg. There it was rejected by the censorship. Many copies were made and privately circulated, but Griboyedov never saw it published. The first edition was printed in 1833, four years after his death. Only once did he see it on the stage, when it was acted by the officers of the garrison at Erivan. Soured by disappointment he returned to Georgia, made himself useful by his linguistic knowledge to his relative Count Paskievitch-Erivansky during a campaign against Persia, and was sent to St Petersburg with the treaty of 1828. Brilliantly received there, he thought of devoting himself to literature, and commenced a romantic drama, A Georgian Night. But he was suddenly sent to Persia as minister plenipotentiary. Soon after his arrival at Teheran there was an uprising, caused by the anger of the populace against some Georgian and Armenian captives--Russian subjects, who were Russian subjects, who had taken refuge in the Russian embassy. It was stormed and Griboyedov was killed on 11 February 1829.

Mary Hobson was a research student at SSEES, 1995.


Scope and content/abstract:

Translation by Mary Hobson of Gore ot uma [Too clever for comfort or The misfortunes of a thinking man] by Aleksandr Sergeyevich Griboyedov(1795-1829). Mary Hobson's translation won a bi-centenary prize for the best translation of the play awarded by the Griboyedov Prize Trust in 1996.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Single volume

Conditions governing access:

Unrestricted access. Researchers wishing to consult the archives or seeking further information should contact UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES) Library, 16 Taviton Street, London WC1H 0BW.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Librarian.

Finding aids:

Online catalogue available on the UCL Archives website.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Given by Mary Hobson, 1995

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Revised by Alan Kucia as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description ISAD(G), 2nd edition 2000 and National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
May 2002

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