Young Mark

Young Mark

  • Hardback
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Product details

  • Hardback | 156 pages
  • 140 x 220mm
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Ill.
  • 0192712756
  • 9780192712752

Review Text

Convinced (at fourteen) that his voice was a rare gift, Mark Poltoratzky, son of a wealthy Ukraine landowner, left home to walk to St. Petersburg (ca. 1740) and a singing career. This reconstruction of his papers chronicles the journey as the older, successful man recalls his boyish impressions of peasant huts and towns, robbers and monks, fairs and vagabonds, on the way to his goal - the Hetman, Count Razumovsky, a Ukrainian whose morganatic marriage to the Empress Elizabeth introduced young Mark to a life at court. A fascinating view of eighteenth century Russian lives emerges: a father's bourgeois pride hurt when one son chooses the church, another the army; the fourteen-year-old never kissed by his mother; the dubious honesty of cloistered monks dealing with traveling merchants; superstitious adjuncts to the priesthood in nearly every village; town/country and Ukraine/Russian rivalries. Once or twice Mark's narrative voice rings with forced clarity but even today he should travel far, and girls may be as impressed as the Empress. (Kirkus Reviews)show more