Alexander Herzen (2855 words)

Kathleen Parthé (University of Rochester)
Download PDF Save to Bookshelf Tweet Report an Error


Alexander Herzen [Aleksandr Gertsen or Gercen] was a Russian writer, political philosopher and investigative journalist, credited by both the Bolsheviks and their liberal opponents with advancing the cause of freedom in Russia. His best-known work, Past and Thoughts [Byloe i dumy], continues to be the most influential memoir from Russia’s remarkable nineteenth-century, and has been compared to the great novels of Russia’s “Golden Age”.

Herzen was born on April 6, 1812, the illegitimate son of Ivan Yakovlev, a well-connected Russian nobleman and retired guards officer, and Luiza Haag, a young German woman whom Yakovlev had met on an extended journey abroad. The boy was given the same made-up …

Citation: Parthé, Kathleen. "Alexander Herzen". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 June 2019 [, accessed 19 June 2021.]

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here