V. I.   Lenin



Published: First published In 1929 in the journal Proletarskaya Revolyutsiya No. 4. Sent from Shushenskoye to Moscow. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 37, pages 165-166.
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.

March 8, 1898

This week, Mother dearest, I do not think I have had a single letter from you. From this I gather that Mitya is still inside, and that is very sad.

I do not know now whether this letter will find N.K. in Moscow. In case she is still there I am adding one forgotten request. Send me one of our sets of chessmen; it turns out there are some players among our comrades in Minusinsk and I have once already recalled old times most enjoyably. I was wrong in thinking Eastern Siberia an outlandish place where no chessmen would be needed. There are all kinds of places in Eastern Siberia.

Life goes on as usual. From Tesinskoye they write that E.E. has had her allowance stopped—“mothers are not regarded as members of the family” (a new interpretation!). They have also reduced Prominsky’s allowance from 31 rubles to 19 a month. Anatoly has at last “rescued” his wife after a lot of trouble. Yuly writes from Turukhansk that he is living tolerably well—not the kind of fellow to lose heart, fortunately.

V. U.

I am enclosing a letter for Nadezhda Konstantinovna.

Please send me as much money as possible with her; if she has already left, send it to Yelizaveta Vasilyevna’s address. There may be fairly heavy expenses, especially if we have to set up house for ourselves, so I am going to make my debt a good round sum and raise another internal loan. By autumn I shall probably receive enough for my translation to cover my debts—I believe more than five hundreds.[1]


I should like to ask you to get me some English textbooks. I asked for something to translate and have received the Webbs’[2] big book. I am afraid I may make mistakes.

I need (1) an English grammar, especially syntax, and especially a section on idioms. If N.K.has not got a Nurok (I think she had one but I do not know if it was hers), send me yours (or Manyasha’s) at least for the summer, unless you (or Manyasha) need it. The only thing is that I do not know whether Nurok will give enough on this question. If you could get a good textbook of English it would be a very good thing.

(2) A dictionary of geographical and proper names. They are very difficult to translate and transcribe from English and I am very much afraid of making mistakes. I do not know whether suitable dictionaries exist. If there is no information in The Book about Books or in some other reference work or catalogue, perhaps there is some other source from which you could find out.

If you have a chance to find out and to get something (in this case I do not grudge money, for the fee will be a large one and I must make a good job of the first attempt)— but there is no need to take any particular trouble; I shall get the German translation and will be able to refer to it.

V. U.

What do you think about summer? Will Mitya be allowed to go to Kokushkino? Are you thinking of, staying there or not?

Moscow is a rotten town, isn’t it? It is a rotten place to live in and a rotten place to publish books in—so why stay there? I really was surprised when Mark informed ,me that you were against moving to St. Petersburg.


[1] The italicised phrase is in English in the original.—Ed.

[2] Lenin received Book I of the Webbs’ The History of Trade Unionism. In the course of a few months he translated the book and wrote a number of commentaries to the Russian translation. When Nadezhda Krupskaya arrived in Shushenskoye they worked together on the translation of the first volume of the book.

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