Nikolai Semenovich Leskov

Faith Wigzell (University College London)
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A prolific writer of short stories (both the shorter “


” and the longer “


” or


), as well as of sketches, novels, a play, memoirs, and criticism, Nikolai Leskov’s distinction is to be regarded as the most Russian of nineteenth-century writers. The reputation is based on his linguistic virtuosity, colourful narrative, creative use of Russian folklore and breadth of subject matter.

Leskov’s childhood in Orel Province in southern central Russia familiarised him with a broad spectrum of Russian society. Both grandmothers came from the merchant class, while his father, with his clerical background and seminary education, gave young Nikolai some familiarity with Orthodoxy. In rejecting the priesthood for the civil service, his father eventually acquired the

2161 words

Citation: Wigzell, Faith. "Nikolai Semenovich Leskov". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 04 February 2007 [, accessed 22 June 2024.]

2700 Nikolai Semenovich Leskov 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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