The works and words of Maria K. – translator, author, illustrator.
Antony Pogorelsky’s real name was Alexei Alexeyevich Perovsky (1787 – 1836). He was one of the most prominent Russian writers of the first half of the 19th century. Perovsky was the illegitimate son of Prince Alexei Kirillovich Razumovsky. He spent his childhood at the Razumovsky estate in Ukraine and received good education.
Perovsky graduated from Moscow University. When he translated “Poor Liza” by Nikolai Mikhailovich Karamzin into German, the influential name and connections of his family made it possible to meet Karamzin in person and join his Moscow circle of writers and artists.
After serving in a provincial audit commission, Perovsky volunteered to the army in 1812, and participated in many important battles of the French-Russian War. His service as the adjunct to Prince Nikolai Grigoryevich Repnin brought him to Saxony, where Perovsky studied German Romanticism, specifically Hoffman, whose work had great influence upon his writing.
After retirement from the army in 1817, Perovsky moved to St. Petersburg, where he occupied himself with his writing career and taking care of his nephew – also a future writer Alexei Konstantinovich Tolstoy. He met Pushkin, who was then a young beginning author, and became one of his staunchest supporters and promoters.
Between 1822 and 1830, Perovsky shared his time between his estate in Ukraine and his service in St. Petersburg. He published a series of works under the pen name Antony Pogorelsky, inspired by the name of his estate Pogoreltsy. Perovsky took several trips abroad, often accompanied by his nephew, including Germany, where he met Goethe, and Italy to meet with Brullov and Sobolevsky. He also traveled around Russia and rekindled his friendship with Pushkin.
One of his best-known works “The Black Hen or Underground Dwellers” was published in 1829. Perovsky wrote the tale for his nephew and was the first work of Russian literature written for children and dedicated to childhood.
Perovsky continued writing, publishing, and traveling until his death from tuberculosis in 1836.