D. S. Mirsky

(1890—1939) Russian scholar

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(1890–1939) Russian literary historian and critic, born in Gievka, the family estate in Ukraine, but educated in Moscow and St Petersburg. Emigrating in 1920, he taught Russian literature at the University of London from 1922 until his dismissal for his political views in 1932. He became the most influential interpreter of Russian literature to the British and his A History of Russian Literature (1926–7) and Pushkin (1926) are still widely read. In 1932, the ‘comrade prince’ returned to the Soviet Union, where he continued to publish on Russian and English literature, and to engage in literary polemics. His The Intelligentsia of Great Britain (1934), with its scathing appraisals of such as George Bernard Shaw, H. G. Wells, Bertrand Russell, and D. H. Lawrence, caused a scandal on its publication the following year in London. In 1937 Mirsky was arrested and sent to Siberia, where he died in a prison hospital near Magadan. See, D. S. Mirsky: A Russian-English Life (2000).

From The Oxford Companion to English Literature in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literature.

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