Alexander Herzen [Aleksandr Gertsen or Gercen] was a Russian writer, political philosopher and investigative journalist, credited by both the Bolsheviks and their liberal opponents with advancing the cause of freedom in Russia. His best-known work, Past and Thoughts [Byloe i dumy], continues to be the most influential memoir from Russia’s remarkable nineteenth-century, and has been compared to the great novels of Russia’s “Golden Age”.
Herzen was born on April 6, 1812, the illegitimate son of Ivan Yakovlev, a well-connected Russian nobleman and retired guards officer, and Luiza Haag, a young German woman whom Yakovlev had met on an extended journey abroad. The boy was given the same made-up …
Citation: Parthé, Kathleen. "Alexander Herzen". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 June 2019 [https://staging.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=2113, accessed 09 December 2023.]