Leonid N. Andreyev


Advanced Search

Leonid Nikolayevich Andreyev (1871-1919), Russian novelist, dramatist and photographer was one of the most successful Russian writers from 1902-1914. Among his many works, The Seven Who Were Hanged was published in 1908;

I am very glad that The Story of the Seven Who Were Hanged will be read in English. The misfortune of us all is that we know so little, even nothing, about one another-neither about the soul, nor the life, the sufferings, the habits, the inclinations, the aspirations of one another. Literature, which I have the honor to serve, is dear to me just because the noblest task it sets before itself is that of wiping out boundaries and distances.--from Andreyev's Introduction

Leonid Nikolayevich Andreyev was born 21 August, 1871, in Oryol Province, Russia. His father was a civil servant. He has always been noted for his autobiographical grim portent and ability to convey despair and pessimism in his work, while critiquing the bourgeoisie and nobility. He experienced the utter depths of depression when he was twenty while studying law at St. Petersburg University. He then transferred to the University of Moscow. Onset of mental health issues led to several suicide attempts, thus he abandoned law and became a police court reporter for the Moscow Courier. Around this time Andreyev also dabbled in photography, experimenting with colour and his favourite genre, self-portraits. His first short stories including "In the Fog" (1902) and "The Abyss" (1902) were published in newspapers and periodicals.

Iliya Repin, one of the most famous portrait painters in Russia, worked with Leo Tolstoy and also painted a famous portrait of Andreyev in a red shirt, capturing the symbolism of tragedy and alarm that Andreyev soulfully conveyed in his writing. Like many other Russian writers at the time, the Revolution of 1905 and ensuing Communist revolution that overthrew the tsarist regime had a profound affect on Andreyev. He was imprisoned with Maxim Gorky who became a friend and supporter until they parted ways years later due to political differences.

Other works of Andreyev's are Gubernator (1905), Lazarus (1906), King Hunger (1907), The Seven That Were Hanged (1908) and Anathema (1909), on the futility of goodness. Andreyev also tried writing drama in 1905 and some of his more successful allegorical plays are The Life of Man (1907) and He Who Gets Slapped (1916). Other plays are: To the Stars (K Zviezdam), 1905; Savva, 1906; The Life of Man (Zhizn Chelovieka), 1906; King Hunger (Tzar Golod), 1907; The Black Masks (Chiorniya Maski), 1908; The Days of Our Life (Dni Nashey Zhizni), 1908; Anathema (Anatema), 1909; Anfissa (Anfissa), 1909; Gaudeamus (Gaudeamus), 1910; The Ocean (Okean), 1911; "Honor" ("Chest"), 1911 (?); The Pretty Sabine Women (Prekrasniya Sabinianki), 1911; Professor Storitzyn (Professor Storitzyn), 1912; Catherine (Yekaterina Ivanovna), 1913; and Thou Shalt Not Kill (Ne Ubi), 1914.

During World War I, Andreyev was the patriotic editor of a government inspired newspaper, but as a fervent anti-revolutionary moved to Finland after the Bolsheviks gained power. His last work, S.O.S. (1919) was a blatant appeal to the Allies to save Russia. Andreyev's brilliant depth of vision as a writer was short-lived as he became increasingly mentally ill and anxious about his public image. Leonid Nikolayevich Andreyev died 12 September, 1919 in Kuokkala, Finland, and is buried in the Volkovskoye Memorial Cemetery in St. Petersburg Russia.


Biography written by C.D. Merriman for Jalic Inc. Copyright Jalic Inc 2005. All Rights Reserved.

The above biography is copyrighted. Do not republish it without permission.

Recent Forum Posts on Leonid N. Andreyev

Man on the Mountain top

Hello: I am in a dilemma. There is a short story about a man who is on a mountain top. He makes the public believe that he is suicidal and is going to jump....when in reality, he is tied up there by his boss each day in order to gather a crowd of potential customers. I am not positive, but the title is something like Man on the Mountain...or Man on the Mountain Top. For some reason, I thought it was a translated Russian story or play. I also remember seeing what appeared to be a Russ...


The Serpents Tale

Hello, I was wondering if someone might be able to explain The Serpents Tale for me. My Daughter wants to perform it as her year 12 drama monologue and would appreciate a greater understanding of this play. Thanks....


Post a New Comment/Question on Andreyev

Quizzes on Leonid N. Andreyev

Please submit a quiz here.


Related links for Leonid N. Andreyev

Here is where you find links to related content on this site or other sites, possibly including full books or essays about Leonid N. Andreyev written by other authors featured on this site.

    Sorry, no links available.






Art of Worldly Wisdom Daily
In the 1600s, Balthasar Gracian, a jesuit priest wrote 300 aphorisms on living life called "The Art of Worldly Wisdom." Join our newsletter below and read them all, one at a time.
Email:
Sonnet-a-Day Newsletter
Shakespeare wrote over 150 sonnets! Join our Sonnet-A-Day Newsletter and read them all, one at a time.
Email: