Alexander Ertel

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Alexander Ertel
Aleksandr Ertel 1883 Cropped.png
Born (1855-07-19)July 19, 1855
Voronezh, Russian Empire
Died February 7, 1908(1908-02-07) (aged 52)
Moscow, Russian Empire

Alexander Ivanovich Ertel (Russian: Алекса́ндр Ива́нович Э́ртель) (July 19, 1855 – February 7, 1908), was a Russian novelist and short story writer.


Ertel was born near Voronezh, where his father was a Russified German estate agent. He never completed school, and was largely self-educated. He published his first collection of stories called Notes from the Steppes in 1883. He was imprisoned in 1884 for his revolutionary ties, and afterwards exiled to Tver for four years. He published a number of novellas and stories in the 1880s and 1890s, including A Greedy Peasant (1886), and the two epic novels The Gardenins (1889), and Change (1891). When The Gardenins was republished in 1908, it featured a preface by Leo Tolstoy, who admired Ertel's work.[1][2]

English translations[edit]

His story The Specialist, and his novella A Greedy Peasant are available in English translation in Eight Great Russian Short Stories, A Premier Book, Fawcett Publications, 1962. The translator of these two works is his daughter Natalie Duddington, well known for her translations of other Russian authors.[3]


  1. ^ Terras, Victor (1990). Handbook of Russian Literature. Yale University Press. pp. 130–131. ISBN 0300048688. Retrieved 2012-04-13. 
  2. ^ Mirsky, D. S. (1999). A History of Russian Literature. Northwestern University Press. p. 352. ISBN 0810116790. Retrieved 2012-04-13. 
  3. ^ Dodson, Daniel (1962). Introduction to Eight Great Russian Short Stories. Fawcett Publications.