N. Krupskaya


To Lenin’s Mother

Written: 27 September, 1898. Letter sent from Shushenskoye to Podesk
Published: 1929 in the journal Proletarshaya Revolyufsiya No. 5 Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 37, pages 566-568.
Translated/Edited: George H. Hanna and Robert Daglish.
Transcription/Markup: D. Walters
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive 2008. You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as the source/editing/transcription/markup information noted above.

September 27

Today I am again writing instead of Volodya, dear Maria Alexandrovna. Volodya returned from Krasnoyarsk late in the evening the day before yesterday; two of Manya’s letters were awaiting him and he intended to sit down and write a letter home, but first thing in the morning Oscar and Promiasky came to entice him away shooting at a place called Aganitov Island where, according to them, hares run around in thousands and flocks of grey-hen and partridge fill the air. Volodya began by hesitating but in the end yielded to temptation; by the way, it is a wonderful day today. In general this autumn has been a good one except for a week or so when it was cold. Altogether, Volodya was pleased with his trip to Krasnoyarsk. He has probably written that he went to Krasnoyarsk with Elvirn Ernestovua and Tonechka because E.E. had injured her liver and was quite ill [See Lenin’s Letter No 55—Editor]. We thought she had cancer or an abscess of the liver but fortunately it was neither, only a blow. And all she has to do is look after herself They came back with Volodya. Eli. was in hospital in Krasnoyarsk and Volodya lived at Krasikov ’s. He saw lots of people in Krasnoyarsk, had plenty of talks and played about ten games of chess. One of the people now living temporarily in Krasnoyarsk is very likely to be sent to the village of Yermakovskoye, about 40 versts from us. He is a chess player and a very interesting conversationalist—Volodya made his acquaintance in Krasnoyarsk. I should very much like him to be sent there. We could visit each other, 40 versts is no ?eat distance Volodya travelled as far as Minusinsk (the steamer took Eve days to crawl there) with Lopeshinskaya, the wife of an exile who lives in Kazachinskoye. She has been given a job as nurse in the village of Karaginskoye, also not far from here, and her husband is joining her. He is a chess player, too. Lepeshinskaya told Volodya that Lirochka is in a state of nerves and irritable, lives in the commune and does the cooking every other week. They have three women there, one of them bakes bread and the others take turns at cooking. The day before yesterday I had a letter from Lirochka and she seems to be thoroughly fed up with the life of the colony; she writes that she is glad when she is alone and can do something. It turned out that the tooth of Volodyas that ached was not the one he had been trying to pull out but another, and this the Krasnoyarsk dentist duly pulled Volodya found the way back home deadly boring although he had mustered quite a pile of books in addition to the masses he took from home. He did not want to step in Minusinsk and did not even hand his travel permit in to the chief of police. In Krasnoyarsk lie bought a long sheepskin coat. It is intended actually for me but in reality it will be a family coat for travelling and distant excursions, it cost twenty rubies and is so delightfully soft that once you are inside it you don’t want to get out of it again. In general he bought everything he was supposed to, even toys for Prominsky’s children and for Minva, the son of the felt-boot maker who lives next door. The lad is about five years old and often trots in to see us. The morning he heard that Volodya was back, he snatched hold of his mother’s boots and began pulling them on. “Where are you off to?” “Don’t you know Vladimir Ilyich has come back?” You’ll get in his way, don’t go ”Oh no, Vladimir Ilyich likes me!” (Volodya really is fond of him.) Yesterday, when we gave him the horse Volodya had brought from Krasnoyarsk for him, he was so taken with Volodya that he would not even go home to sleep but lay down on the mat with Jenny. An amusing lad!

At last we have engaged a servant, a fifteen-year-old girl, for two and a half rubles a month boots; she is coming on Tuesday and that will be the end of our independent housekeeping. We have got in supplies of everything we can for winter. We still have to put the double windows in, although it is a pity to seal ourselves in when it is so fine outside! Mother is gradually being drawn into Shusheuskoye affairs, she keeps well and is not bored. Thank Manyasha for the letter; of course I shall write to her abroad, too. I wonder how she will get fixed up there. It is a pity it is inconvenient for her to travel with the Meshcieryakovs, they are excellent people, Anna especially. We have received the German Zola and are going to start reading it. We shall now be receiving Frankfurter Zeitung. It will be seat from St. Petersburg and Volodya intends subscribing to some English newspaper. Why is there not a sound about Volodya’s book? It will be a pity if it doesn’t come out. The review of Karyshev’s hook should be sent to St. Petersburg, perhaps there are not ten printer’s signatures and that is the reason for the delay. Well, that’s enough gossip. Many, many kisses for you and Manyasha from me and Volodya. Mother sends best regards. When is Anya arriving?


Last time I forgot to write that we have received BIos. Does it have to be sent on?

It is strange that no letter from Volodya came with the Karyshev review. I remember that he wrote a letter at the time.[See Letter No. 54.—Editor]