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Mikhail Lermontov (15. 10 [O.S. 3.10] 1814 27.07 [O.S. 15.07] 1841) - Russian writer and poet.

Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov was born on 15 October 1814 in Moscow. He spent his childhood in the village of Tarkhany which was located in Penza Oblast. As the saying goes in the 17th century one of the Scottish Earls of Learmont settled in Russia and Mikhail was his descendant. Scientists also made a supposition that famous Scottish poet Thomas Learmonth was his relative. According to established fact Mikhail Lermontov was a descendant of Yuri (George) Learmont who was a Scottish officer. In the 17th century he moved to Russia.

Mikhails father, Yuri, was a serviceman. His mother Maria Arsenyeva died when Mikhail was a child. Lermontovs grandmother, Yelizaveta Alekseyevna, brought him up after Marias death. At the age of ten Mikhail had problems with health and they moved to the Caucasus. The fertile climate of this region was good for Mikhail. From that time he loved the Caucasus.

Lermontov spent his childhood in the intellectual atmosphere and he became interested in English literature. He studied Byrons poetry. When Mikhail was a child he was taught by a Frenchman named Gendrot. But Yelizaveta Alekseyevna decided that additional education was necessary for her grandson and took him to Moscow where the young poet entered the gymnasium. While there Lermontov developed a passion for the poetry of Zhukovsky and Pushkin. After a while he met Katerina Khvostovaya whom he loved. Lermontov inscribed some poems to her. At the same time the young poet developed a talent for sarcastic humor. Moreover he could draw caricatures and pin somebody down with an epigram or nickname.

In 1830 after studying at gymnasium Mikhail entered Moscow University. That year his father died and this event made a lasting impression on him. Lermontovs sorrow was apparent in his poems "Forgive me, Will we Meet Again?" and "The Terrible Fate of Father and Son". Lermontov was not a student for a long time. In 1832 because of misunderstanding with professor Malov he left the university.

After studying for two years at university Lermontov decided to change his career choice. Between 1830 and 1834 Lermontov attended the cadet school. In those years he started writing poetry. He became interested in Russian history and medieval epics and it was apparent in some his poems including the Song of the Merchant Kalashnikov and Borodino.

In 1837 Pushkin died. His death produced a strong impression on Lermontov. Consequently he wrote a poem Death of the Poet which displeased the Tsar. Lermontov was immediately exiled to the Caucasus. But this region was native for him because he spent there his childhood.

In 1838 and 1839 Lermontov was in Saint Petersburg. Mikhail loved Barbara Lopukhina and he described his love in the novel Princess Ligovskaya which he didnt complete. In 1840 the son of French ambassador challenged Lermontov to a duel. As a result Mikhail returned to the army. He joined hand-to-hand combat at the Battle of the Valerik River. This event was a basis for his poem Valerik. By 1839 Lermontov wrote one of his famous novels, A Hero of Our Time. Mikhail Lermontov became a great poet of Russian literature. He is also called the poet of the Caucasus. Lermontov was a founder of the Russian psychological novel.

In July 1841 because of Lermontovs joke Nikolai Martynov challenged him to a duel. Martynov killed Lermontov with his first shot. Mikhail Lermontov was interred at Tarkhany.

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