Pavlenkov, Florentii

Pavlenkov, Florentii Fedorovich


Born Oct. 8 (20), 1839, in Tambov Province; died Jan. 8 (20), 1900, in Nice; buried in St. Petersburg. Russian publisher.

The son of a landowner, Pavlenkov graduated from the Mikhail Artillery Academy in 1861 and served at the Kiev and Briansk arsenals. After retiring from military service in 1866, he opened a bookstore in St. Petersburg and became involved in translating and publishing. Between 1867 and 1869, Pavlenkov was prosecuted for publishing two articles by D. I. Pisarev, “Impoverished Russian Thought” and “A Russian Don Quixote.” In 1868 he was arrested for his speech at Pisarev’s funeral, imprisoned in the Peter and Paul Fortress, and in 1869 exiled to Viatka Province.

While in exile, Pavlenkov compiled his Illustrated ABC (1873), which went through 22 editions, and an anthology of local lore, A Viatka Forget-me-not (1877), for whose publication he was again prosecuted. In 1877 he returned to St. Petersburg, where his residence was often searched and he was often arrested. Because of his ties with revolutionaries, Pavlenkov was exiled in 1880 to Western Siberia. He returned to the capital in 1881 and was placed under police surveillance.

Pavlenkov’s activity as a publisher was of an ideological and democratic nature. He issued scholarly foreign works in translation, popular science series intended for the general public, illustrated series of Russian and Western European children’s literature, and the Russian classics. Pavlenkov published more than 750 titles in over 3.5 million copies. Among them were the biographical series Lives of Outstanding People, consisting of 200 biographies; F. Engels’ The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State; the first edition of A. I. Herzen’s collected works published in Russia; the works of V. G. Belinskii (four editions) and of D. I. Pisarev (six editions); and the Encyclopedic Dictionary. Pavlenkov’s publishing house remained in operation until 1917.


Cherkasov, V. D. Fl. F. Pavlenkov. St. Petersburg, 1907.
“Literaturnyi protsess po 2-i chasti Soch. D. I. Pisareva.” In D. I. Pisarev, Polnoe sobranie v 6-ti tomakh: Dopolnitel’nyi vypusk. St. Petersburg, 1907.
Rassudovskaia, N. M. Izdatel’ F. F. Pavlenkov. Moscow, 1960.