Ershov, Petr

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ershov, Petr Pavlovich


Born Feb. 22 (Mar. 6), 1815, in the village of Bezrukovo, near the town of Ishim, in present-day Tiumen’ Oblast; died Aug. 18 (30), 1869, in Tobol’sk. Russian writer.

Ershov was born into the family of a civil servant. Between 1831 and 1835 he studied in the legal-philosophy department of the University of St. Petersburg. After 1836 he lived in Tobol’sk and worked as a teacher. In 1857 he became the director of the Tobol’sk Gymnasium. While a student, Ershov wrote his best work, the fairytale The Little Humpbacked Horse (1834; complete edition, 1856). The deeply democratic character of its form and content, its acutely satirical portraits of the tsar, bureaucrats, and merchants, its natural proximity to folklore, and the lightness and grace of its poetry assured the tale’s wide popularity. Ershov is also the author of lyric poetry, short stories, and the play Suvorov and the Postmaster (1835).


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The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.