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The Forgotten Fragment of N. N. Shelgunov’s Journalistic Legacy

Научные исследования: 


For citation: Lapshina G.S. (2016) Zabytaya stranitsa publitsistiki N.V. Shelgunova [The Forgotten Fragment of N. N. Shelgunov’s Journalistic Legacy]. Mediaskop 2. Available at:


© Galina S. Lapshina

PhD, Associate Professor at the History of Russian Literature and Journalism, Faculty of Journalism, Lomonosov Moscow State University (Moscow, Russia),



The author looks at the practically unexplored articles written by N.V. Shelgunov, a leading democratic journalist of the latter half of the 19th century, for the ″Week″newspaper in the years when it was at its best, and for ″The Upbringing and Education″magazine.

N.V. Shelgunov knew Russian life in the raw, first as an official in the forestry and timber administration and then, repeatedly, as an exile. He couldn’t but reflect on and write about what he saw and the reader trusted him as wholeheartedly as we, today, believe what Shelgunov recounted. A century and a half ago, in one of his articles he put the democratic vision of the tasks facing Russia’s powers-that-were as follows: “We need material prosperity, education, morality, civil order and civic virtues”.

As a journalist, Shelgunov was quite prolific and he published his pieces in Russia’s best magazines of the time, such as ″The Contemporary″, ″Russian Word″, ″Mission″, ″Russian Thought″,and these works are well studied. Yet, his contribution to ″The Week″newspaper in the period of its bloom and to the ″Upbringing and Education″magazine, mostly remains beyond the scope of study. Meanwhile, it is in these publications that Shelgunov could be more straightforward, considering that, unlike ″The Mission″ (″Delo″) magazine, these publications were not subjected to preliminary censorship. On the invitation of ″The Week’s″supervisor E.I. Conradi, he wrote articles on the cause of industrial workers’ liberation and, later, periodic feuilletons, followed with a number of articles on education. His interest in education eventually brought Shelgunov to collaboration with ″The Upbringing and Education″ magazine.

Shelgunov’s articles in the above publications complement and expand our understanding of the achievements of this remarkable man of letters. They reflect the essence of Shelgunov’s journalism, expressed in the true democratic attitudes, deep knowledge of the people’s life, sober assessment of what was going on in society, civic responsibility, and a strong belief in power of the printed word.

Keywords: N. V. Shelgunov, E. I. Conradi, ″The Week″ newspaper, ″The Upbringing and Education″magazine, ″The Letters on Education″ serial,Notes of Provincial Philosopher″ periodic feuilleton.



Saltykov-Shchedrin M.E. (1972) Collected Works in 20 Volumes. Moscow: Knud. Lit. Publ.

Sbornik statey, ne dozvolennykh tsenzuroyu v 1862 g. [A Collection of Articles suppressed by Censorship in 1862]. 1862. Vol. 1. St. Petersburg. [n. p.].

″The Upbringing and Education magazine″. 1877−1878; 1880

″The Week″ newspaper for 1872−1874; 1876.



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