The strange circumstances surrounding the birth of Afanasii Fet had a profound and lasting effect on his psychology and his creative output. In 1819 a retired Russian Guards officer named Afanasii Neofitovich Shenshin spent a year in the German town of Darmstadt on health grounds. He returned to Russia in late 1820, accompanied by a German woman, Charlotte Foeth (née Bekker). She had left her husband Johann and daughter Karolina in Germany. The couple settled on Shenshin's estate at Novoselki, near Orel, and it was here in late 1820 that Charlotte gave birth to a son. The precise date of his birth is not known: 29 October, 23 November and 29 November are all given. Neither Johann Foeth, nor Afanasii Shenshin considered themselves to be …

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Pursglove, Michael. "Afanasii Fet". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 December 2006
[, accessed 04 July 2015.]