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 111-115.
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.

May 25, 1897

The day before yesterday I received your letter of May 5, Mother dearest, and am answering by the first post. I, too, am now wondering how it could have happened that I did not write for a long time at the end of April; I must have missed a day or two because of the fuss and bustle at that time, but after that I wrote very frequently, both before my departure from Krasnoyarsk and on the way here. From here I have also been writing frequently—every week. There really is nothing to write more frequently about; by the way, I answer all letters immediately, so I may sometimes have written twice in one week.

I have no information about the health of E.E. now—she must be better because no one at Tesinskoye writes anything about it. She was pretty badly exhausted by the journey, especially the road journey, and was anxious to reach the village and rest. I really do not remember your letter to her, addressed to me, I may have passed it on and forgotten it.

I simply roared with laughter when I read in your letter that Mitya, “the queer fish”, is not coming here! I wrote that as a joke![1] What sense would there be in his trekking a distance of 4,500 versts and losing a month (there and back) on the journey for the sake of the joys of Shu-shu-shu! I am sorry that you are so long in making up your, mind   what to do in summer because of me and are missing the best time and the best accommodation, etc.

It is a pity that the books were sent so late (if they have been sent—you write that you will be sending them “in a day or two”). I thought they were already on the way. I shall now have to find out when they will arrive in Krasnoyarsk. Probably not before the end of summer!

Life here is not bad, I go shooting quite a lot; I have got to know the local sportsmen and go shooting with them.[7] I have begun bathing; up to now I have had to go quite a long way, about two and a half versts, but soon I shall be able to go to a place about a verst and a half away. Such distances mean nothing to me because, apart from shooting and bathing, I spend a lot of time walking. I am longing for newspapers; I hope I shall soon be receiving them now that you have sent them.

I have had a letter from Basil in Tesinskoye. He says it is an awful place, quite bare, neither forest nor river near (there is one two versts away—too far for him!), no shooting and no fishing. And so, if anyone moves at all, they will have to come here, since there is no point in my going there. A.M. visited them for one day (May 14) from Kras- noyarsk; she came with a resettlement party, and then went back to Krasnoyarsk; she intends to go to Tesinskoye soon to live there.

Regards to all,
V. U.

May 25, 1897


I am very sorry to hear that your trip abroad is hanging fire because of me. I am fixed up here so well (certainly better than any of the other comrades) that there is no need at all for Mother to worry about me, and as far as a summer holiday is concerned I think that she can get a better rest abroad than in this place, since she would have to travel thousands of versts on all kinds of transport. By the way, I expect all this is superfluous now—meaning the “now” when you will be reading this letter.

At first I couldn’t understand why you wrote in your letter, “I repeat that I do not show him, etc.”[8]—but then I remembered that I had spoken to you about it, in Moscow or even, I think, in St. Petersburg. I had completely forgotten it—there was so much confusion there—otherwise I, would not have spoken about it a second time. I imagine that the editor is up to his ears in work and for that reason does not give any but purely business information.[2] In view of this my request for books in payment of fees was probably out of place; how would he find time to bother about such a relatively troublesome business? If you have not yet written to him about this, please don’t write. The fee I received for the first article will last me about a year, when added to my allowance[9]—and the remainder for the next two articles[10] I am thinking of using for journals and books. (I do not know bow much you have already sent me; 30 or 40 rubles would be enough and the rest can go for journals.)

As regards journals, I have already written[3] (in any case I am repeating it, although I think that some of them, at least, have been sent here) that you should subscribe to (1) Russkoye Bogatstvo, (2) Russkiye Vedomosti,[4] (3) Vestnik Finansov (from the beginning of the year), (4) Soziale Praxis, (5) Archiv für soziale Gesetzgebung und Statistik (herausgegeben von Braun). I think I have also written partly about books, especially about Ukazatel fabrik i zavodov ,third edition, St. Petersburg, 1894 (I think it costs 5 rubles) and the book by Chuprov and Posnikov on grain prices.[5] If they have not been sent with the other books (which would be a pity because in that case they will be travelling about three months), then please send them by post as printed matter. These are the books (and also the   Yezhegodnik if you managed to find it) that I need more than any others for my work. Please send me direct any particularly interesting new books, so that I shall get them quicker and shall not lag too far behind. By the way, if a report of the Free Economic Society’s discussions on grain prices (in connection with the book by Chuprov and Posnikov) has been published, send it to me[11].

I am still thinking about the possibility of using a Moscow library; have you managed to do anything about it, i.e., have you managed to join some public library? If it is possible to take out books for two months (as you can in St. Petersburg at the library of the Free Economic Society) it would not cost very much to send them by post as printed matter (16 kopeks a pound, and you can send 4 pounds for 64 kopeks, and 7 kopeks to register them), so it would probably be more profitable for me to spend money on postage and have a lot of books than to spend much more money on buying a few books. I imagine that it would be much more convenient for me; the only problem is whether you can get books for such a long period (leaving a deposit, of course) from some good library—the University,[6] or the library of the Moscow Bar Association (you must get information from there, get their catalogue and find out the terms for the acceptance of new members, etc.), or some other. There are probably a number of good libraries in Moscow. You can even find out about private libraries. If any of you are staying on in Moscow they can probably find out about all this.

If you go abroad, write to me and I will send you details of books from there. Send me more catalogues of all kinds of second-hand books, etc. (libraries, bookshops).

V. U.

As far as news from St. Petersburg is concerned I have almost lost all hope; there is nobody to expect a letter from, I’ve already given up hope of the director.

When you write to the Bulochkins send them my regards. They should send me their photographs in exchange for mine. How are their affairs going on?


[1] See Letter No. 22—Ed.

[2] He should send the journal directly to my address; tell him that. The money should be sent to you. —Lenin

[3] See Letter No. 22.—Ed.

[4] Perhaps you will calculate whether it would not be a saving to send me your copy when you have read it. If you arrange it to fit in with my mail days (we shall learn to do that soon), you would have to send them only twice a week. That means less trouble in sending them and much less expense than would be involved in sending them daily, which would be no less than the cost of the newspaper itself, —Lenin

[5] See Letter No. 22.—Ed.

[6] I think it would be easy far Mitya to arrange this either through some law student or by going straight to the professor of political economy and saying that he wishes to work in that field and take books from the central library. The only thing is that he will have to postpone it now till autumn.—Lenin

[7] During his stay in Shushenskoye Lenin went shooting with O. A. Engberg and I. L. Prominsky, who were exiled in the same village, and the local peasants I. S. Yermolayev and P. T. Strogonov.

[8] These words of Lenin’s sister were apparently in answer to his letter of April 17, 1897 (Letter No. 22).

[9] Lenin was paid the sum of 8 rubles a month as an exile; he lived mainly on this money.

[10] The articles referred to are the separate parts_ of Lenin’s article “A Characterisation of Economic Romanticism” published in four issues (7-10) of Novoye Slovo

[11] The book Vliyaniye urozhayev i khlebnykh tsen na nekotoriye storony russkogo narodnogo khozyaistva (The Influence of Harvests and Grain Prices on Certain Aspects of the Russian Economy)—edited by Professors A.I. Chuprov and A. S. Posnikov, was discussed at meetings of the Third. Division of the Free Economic Society on March 1 and 2, 1897. Professor Chuprov read   the paper to the Society. Lenin needed the book and the verbatim report of the Society’s meeting for his work on The Development of Capitalism in Russia.

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