N. Krupskaya


To Lenin’s Mother

Written: 26 August, 1911. Letter sent from Longjumeau, France to Berdyansk
Published: First published in Fourth Edition of the Collected Works.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 37, pages 610-611.
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.

August 26

Dear Maria Alexandrovna,

I have been intending to write to you for a very longtime, but. there is always something that prevents it. A few days ago we received Anya’s letter. The money, 100 francs, Volodya received a long time ago, but the list of books to be bought and sent with that money has not arrhed. We see from your postcards and Anya’s letter that the arrangement in Berdyansk was not, a real summer affair. It looks urban rather than rural, though, of course, there’s the bathing …. Our summer has not been very fortunate, either. Mother got ill several times, she had pneumonia and the doctor said that her lungs are, in general, Dot in good condition, that she needs rest, good food, and so on. In that, respect our place here is no good; there is not the tiniest garden round the house, not even a yard, and if we want to get out of doors we have to go somewhere, which is not the same thing at all. It is hot in the house and noisy. Although the food is good—we eat in a commune and the cuisine is Russian, filling, home-cooked food-we have to walk a vent through the town and that is very tiring; we have begun taking the meals home but there is the bother of washing the dishes …. In short, it means nothing to a healthy person but is bad for one who is ill. And the heat here is simply unbearable. Mother is better but the illness set her back a lot, she coughs and has fits of depression.

Volodya is making good use of the summer. lie does his work out in the open, rides his bicycle a lot, goes bathing and is altogether pleased with country life. This week we have been cycling our heads off. We made three excursions of 70 to 75 kilometres each, and have explored three forests-it was fine. Volodya is extremely fond of excursions that begin at six or seven in the morning and last until late at night. But the result is that we don’t get our work done. Still, never mind] The weather is beginning to break. We have the rooms here until September 13, but if the weather keeps fine we can arrange with the landlord to stay longer. That would be good but therwill be a big problem. The commune closes early in September, there is nowhere to cook at home and the restaurant is had and expensive. We have,

indeed, fixed ourselves up here very cheaply. For the apartment we pay 10 francs a month, dinner and supper cost I franc 30 centimes a head. There are some other expenses, of course, but they are insignificant. Volodya is not sure when to advise Anya to come-now or later, direct to Paris. As regards work-he is busier at the moment, although it is difficult to foresee what will happen in autumn. Living conditions are better in town, things are pretty inconvenient here.

think Anya should come when it best suits her, it doesn’t make much difference to us. Volodya will be very busy during the next couple of weeks or so. Only she should not come while we are moving; although that does not really matter, either. The moving job is not difficult. How long it is since we met!…

Well, I have told you everything there is to know about us and now I give you both many kisses. For your health’s sake try to take advantage of the bathing before you leave.

Mother sends best regards.