V. I.   Lenin



Published: First published in 1929 in the journal Proletarskaya Revolyutsiya No 4. Sent from Shushenskoye to Moscow.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 37, pages 146-149.
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.

January 24, 1898

I have received letters from Manyasha and Anyuta and also two books—Semyonov (Vol. III) and Yuridichesky Vestnik. Many thanks to Manyasha for the latter. I have also received Basil’s photograph.

Please buy me the books—Kablukov, Lektsii po ekonomii selskogo khozyaistva, and V.V., Ocherki kustarnoi promysh- lennosti (1 ruble 50). The latter may perhaps be found second-hand; the former was recently issued for students and Manyasha can probably get it for me even if it is not on sale (as is possible, judging from the absence of advertisements in Russkiye Vedomosti).

I have nothing new to say about myself. It is pleasanter now three of us go shooting together—we are having real spring weather; it is even thawing today.

Nadezhda Konstantinovna has been given reason to hope that her three years’ exile in Ufa Gubernia will be changed to two years in Shusha[7] and I am expecting her and Yelizaveta Vasilyevna.[8] I am even getting lodgings ready— the next room in the same house.[1] If other guests come in summer we can take the whole house (the owners will move into the old log cabin in the yard), which would be much more convenient than our setting up house here ourselves.

What I do not know is whether N. K.’s case will be settled by spring; it is said that we shall get an answer in February, but so far that is only a rumour.

It is most annoying that Mitya’s case is dragging on so long; it will be unpleasant for him if he has to lose a year. Still, he will probably be allowed to enter another university or to take his examinations as an external student.[2]

V. U.

I am enclosing a letter to Columbus.[3]


I have read in the newspapers about the publication of your translation of de Amicis’s book. If you have any spare copies please send me some. On what terms did you do the translation? Was there a contract with the publisher, and what sort?

My head is now full of plans to issue my articles as a separate book.[9] A few days ago I received N. Vodovozov’s Ekonomicheskiye etyudy, and that gave me the idea. It would be very inconvenient to publish the article about the handicraftsmen as a separate pamphlet. It would be far better to print it together with the Sismondi article. It could then be published without preliminary censorship (10 printer’s signatures are needed for that and these articles will make about 12—about 200 pages, that is), which is much more convenient. It could be given the title of An Assessment of the Romantic Doctrines of Narodism. Such a book would be more interesting and varied. The main question, in my opinion, is whether the censors will permit the reprinting of an article from a suppressed journal. I should imagine they will permit it, as it is an abstract article and was published a long time ago, long before the journal was suppressed. I am also writing to N. K. about this—she should ask the writer’s opinion. I do not want to wait until their new plans are put into effect. The articles are actually not very suitable for a journal, as they   are too long. Let the other articles that I think it would be dangerous to include in the book (they would not be allowed) and not very suitable (they are of a different character) go for the journal. The article about handicraftsmen is quite mild and full of figures. As far as the financial side of the business is concerned I think it is much more favourable than the censorship side of it. Assuming that the price is a ruble fifty kopeks and only a thousand printed[4] we can allow 500 rubles for the publication and the same sum each for the booksellers and the author. The sale of 500 copies would cover costs, and that number is certain to be sold.

The question is who will undertake the publication. There is no one to be relied on in St. Petersburg. Would not Mark undertake the publishing job (buying paper, contract with the printer) and Manyasha the proof-reading?[5] If that plan can be put into effect I will immediately send corrections to the article on Sismondi (it must be broken up into §§ and some important misprints need correcting). If you agree, telegraph me “send corrections”. I calculate that the book could come out in April, if not sooner.

It seems to me we should try ourselves and not wait for the plans of the Novoye Slovo people, who move at a snail’s pace. And, besides, it is a pity for me to write for nothing— I must earn something, too. The objection may be raised that the articles are quite different in character, but I do not think there is anything wrong in that; Vodovozov’s are also different in character, and, in general, such collections of articles are published. There is, moreover, something common to them both; they are a criticism of Narodnik economics—one is abstract and the other uses Russian data. Please answer me as quickly as possible about this—can the plan be carried out or not? If it can, we must start on it without losing time.

N.Y.F. does not write to me and does not even answer, although I have written him two letters.[6] Scold him for   that if you write. I have heard of the “scandal” in Verkholensk—some disgusting scandal-monger has been attacking N.Y.[10] No, don’t wish me comrades from among the intellectuals in Shushenskoye—I’d rather not! When N.K. arrives there will be a whole colony anyway.

Regards to all,
V. U.

Printed from the original


[1] An amusing competition is going on between us and the local parson, who is also asking our landlady for a room. I am protesting and insist that she wait until my “family” affairs have been finally settled. I still do not know whether I shall be able to get rid of my rival.—Lenin

[2] See Letter No. 34.—Ed. —Lenin

[3] The letter has been lost—Ed.

[4] If 2,000 copies are printed the price may be reduced to 1r. 25k. —Lenin

[5] The proofs will not be very difficult since half the book is a reprint and the other half from a manuscript I have rewritten in a fair copy.—Lenin

[6] The correspondence between Lenin and Fedoseyev has been lost—Ed.

[7] On January 8, 1898, Lenin sent a telegram to the Director of the Police Department asking for permission for his fiancee, Nadezhda Krupskaya, to spend her period of exile in the village of Shushenskoye. Krupskaya sent a request to the Minister of the Interior to be allowed to spend her term of exile in Shushenskoye with her betrothed and to have her sentence reduced from three to two years. She was given permission to spend her period of exile in Shushenskoye instead of Ufa Gubernia where she had formerly been ordered to go, but the sentence was not reduced.

[8] Krupskaya, Yelizaveta Vasilyevna (1842–1915)—mother of Nadezhda Krupskaya, who lived with her daughter and Lenin in exile and abroad; she helped them in their revolutionary work; she was given various JOBS to do—looking after illegal litera-   ture, taking things to prisons for arrested comrades, etc. She always took good care of Lenin, who had great respect for her.

[9] The plan was put into effect; in the autumn of 1898 the first collection of Lenin’s articles under the general title of Economic Studies and Essays by Vladimir Ilyin was published in St. Petersburg. It contained the essays “A Characterisation of Economic Romanticism”, “Gems of Narodnik Project-mongering”, “The Heritage We Renounce”, etc.

[10] This refers to Yukhotsky, who began a campaign of slander against N. Y. Fedoseyev while in the Moscow transit prison; he accused him of embezzling money collected for the needs of exiles. Although such accusations were obviously false, Yukhotsky did not cease his persecution of Fedoseyev even in exile at Verkholensk where they were sent at the same time. Yukhotsky’s persecution was one of the causes of Fedoseyev’s tragic death.

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