V. I.   Lenin



Published: First published in 1929 in the journal Proletarskaya Revolyutsiya No. 2-3. Sent from Shushenskoye to Moscow. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 37, pages 138-140.
Translated: The Late George H. Hanna
Transcription\Markup: D. Moros
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive.   You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work, as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.

December 21, 1897

I received your letter of December 5 the day before yesterday, Mother dearest. I am very, very glad that there is a hope of Mitya’s business being cleared up. In any case it is obvious that it is mainly a misunderstanding and that there can be no question of anything serious. You ask me whether I received a package sent on November 16—what package do you mean? If, in general, it is possible to send things to Minusinsk you should address them to me direct, because my letters go through Minusinsk Post Office anyway and I have given our postman power of attorney to collect my mail.

I seem to have got mixed up over all these packages you have sent or intended to send me. Have you sent anything to Popova in Krasnoyarsk? I think not, but just in case I will ask an acquaintance who is going there soon (from Minusinsk) to make enquiries.[1]

I am in no hurry for books. I now have so many that I cannot manage them all, let alone more.

V. U.


I received your postcard of December 2 and the two Semyonov volumes. Merci for them. I shall send them back   soon, not later than a week from now (I am afraid our postman will not go for the mail at all on Wednesday 24th).

These first two volumes proved to be without interest. Such things are, of course, inevitable when you order books you know nothing about, and I was prepared for it beforehand.

I hope at least that we shall not have to pay any fine— they will extend them for another month.

I did not understand your sentence “To get into the jurists’ library—I asked Kablukov about it—you must be a,jurist and submit two recommendations from members of the Society of Jurists”. Is that all? You do not have to be a member of the society yourself? I shall try to get a recommendation through St. Petersburg.

I know for a fact that one does not have to be a jurist to join the society.

All the best,
V. U.


Merci for your letter of December 5 and for the list. It is a pity you took so much trouble copying it a second time. I seem to have expressed myself badly about the accounts; it stands to reason that it is of interest to me to know results—plus or minus so much—and not those details that caused you so much trouble and nevertheless mean nothing to me.[2]

It is strange that they do not send me any accounts from the office of the journal. I am shortly sending something else[4] there. I shall have to put a note in with it (when I send the manuscript) asking them to send an account of the fees and expenditure on the journals, etc. It seems that I have overstepped the mark through not knowing exactly how much I own.

It seems that there was some misunderstanding between us about my question concerning how the project for the   journal got into the hands of our acquaintance;[5] I understood that it came from you, and now I see quite well that it did not. It stands to reason that what I said about my first assumption does not hold now that the opposite has been proved. Oh, that Yegor! I’ll give him what for.

The photos, including the group, have still not arrived.[6] I have written to Nadezhda Konstantinovna but have not received a reply. Should I write to Yuly’s sisters?

By the way, I received a letter from Yuly dated October 29 (sic!). He writes that he lives reasonably well, they have all moved into one house (this is much more convenient and cheaper and the meals are more easily arranged at the expense of their one and only “lady”), they have received their allowances so he is looking and feeling better and is not a bit despondent. Our poet friend[3] should be coming to me soon for the holidays, if he does not let me down again. Anatoly is still worried about his wife who has been locked up in Yeniseisk (for three months), the cells are cold and she has been taken ill.[7] A bad business! It would have been far better for her to have done her term in Russia!

Fedoseyev and Lyakhovsky have not written a word. The devil knows what’s happening where they are.

I should like to have Saint-Simon and also the following books in French:

K. Marx. Misère de la philosophie. 1896. Paris. 3 frs 50

Fr. Engels. La force et l’ économic dans le développement social.

2 frs 50

K. Marx. Critique de la philosophie du droit de Hegel .1895.

1 fr

all these are from the “bibliothèque socialiste internationale” where Labriola came from.

All the best,
V. U.


[1] It is not known who this acquaintance was.—Ed.

[2] This apparently refers, to financial settlements for literary work.—Ed.

[3] G. M. Krzhizhanovsky.—Ed.

[4] Lenin apparently refers to his essay “Gems of Narodnik Projectmongering”, which he wrote for Novoye Slovo; he did not at the time know that the journal had been suppressed by the government in December 1897.

In 1898 the essay was included in the miscellany Economic Studies and Essays (Collected Works, Vol. 2, pp. 459–89).

[5] It has not been established what journal is meant. It is possible that as early as 1897 the issue of another periodical was planned in view of the constant persecution of Novoye Slovo by the authorities and of its shaky position. After the suppression of Novoye Slovo its place was taken by Nachalo (The Beginning), which appeared in the first half of 1899 edited by P. B. Struve, M. I. Tugan-Baranovsky and others.

[6]Lenin wrote about these photographs to his sister Anna in a letter dated May 25, 1897 (see Letter No. 25). He expected, moreover, to be sent a group photograph of the leaders of the St. Petersburg League of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class (V. I. Lenin, G. M. Krzhizhanovsky, V. V. Starkov, A. A. Vaneyev, P. K. Zaporozhets, Y. O. Zederbaum, A. L. Malchenko), which was taken in 1897 in St. Petersburg before they left for Siberia.

[7] This refers to D. V. Trukhovskaya, the wife of A. A. Vaneyev, who was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment in St. Petersburg; she followed her husband into exile and did her three months in Yeniseisk prison.

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