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Viacheslav Nikolaevich Kozliakov, Mikhail Fedorovich.

Viacheslav Nikolaevich Kozliakov, Mikhail Fedorovich. 346 pp., illus. Moscow: Molodaia gvardiia, 2004. ISBN 5235026993.

Viacheslav Nikolaevich Kozliakov, Marina Mnishek. 341 pp., illus. Moscow: Molodaia gvardiia, 2005. ISBN 5235027906.

Viacheslav Nikolaevich Kozliakov, Vasilii Shuiskii. 301 pp., illus. Moscow: Molodaia gvardiia, 2007. ISBN-13 978-5235030459.

The three books reviewed here, all by Viacheslav Nikolaevich Kozliakov of Riazan' State University, form part of the Russian biographical series Zhizn' zamechatel'nykh liudei (Lives of Remarkable People, hereafter ZhZL). ZhZL is an extraordinary publishing phenomenon. Long described as having been "founded in 1933 by M. Gor'kii," in the post-Soviet period the series is more accurately said to have been "founded in 1890 by E Pavlenkov and continued in 1933 by M. Gor'kii." (1) The date of the revival of the series is, of course, significant, reflecting as it does the ideological shift in the early 1930s characterized by Nicholas Timasheff as the "Great Retreat," with its return to the recognition of the role of individuals--and especially of famous people--in history. If the rehabilitation of the concept of the "great man" (most of the "remarkable people" celebrated in the series were in fact male) marked a Stalinist departure from the earlier Soviet emphasis on the historical significance of classes and masses, the ZhZL series did preserve the Old Bolshevik principle of internationalism by including not only Russian but also non-Russian figures. Only during World War II was the series temporarily transformed into a library of popular patriotic booklets about "Great Individuals of the Russian Nation" (Velikie liudi russkogo naroda), which comprised 28 titles with a total print run of 855,000 copies. (2) In the 1950s, the editors of the series declared its three guiding principles to be "scholarly reliability [nauchnaia dostovernost'], a high literary level, and readability [zanimatel'nost']"; of these, according to the series website, the first is today the most important criterion governing the selection of authors. (3) Certainly the series has retained into the post-Soviet period that high-minded didacticism which was one of the more attractive qualities of Soviet-era "scholarly-popular" (nauchno-populiarnaia) publishing.

As for the series' choice of biographical subjects, the range has always been wide, if somewhat vaguely defined: "outstanding representatives of all fields of human activity," according to the website. (4) But the definition of a "remarkable person" in the Soviet period undoubtedly reflected the ethos of the time. The late Ruslan Grigor'evich Skrynnikov once told me that when he was invited, in the Brezhnevite 1970s, to contribute a volume to the series, he had suggested that he write about the First False Dmitrii (Grisha Otrep'ev), on whom he was then working. It was made clear to him, however, that Grisha (whom most Soviet historians still considered to have been a "Polish puppet") was not the right kind of "remarkable person": so Skrynnikov wrote about Minin and Pozharskii instead. (5) There is still no biography of the First False Dmitrii in the ZhZL series, but his Polish wife Marina Mniszech (Maryna Mniszchowna), the heroine of the second of Kozliakov's three recent volumes, would surely have been just as unacceptable a subject in the Soviet period, as would Dmitrii's nemesis, Vasilii Shuiskii, the protagonist of Kozliakov's most recent contribution to the series. Mikhail Fedorovich, too, the hero of the first of Kozliakov's three biographies, would have been excluded--by virtue of the fact that, like Shuiskii, he was a tsar, rather than because he was one of the most unremarkable personalities in the entire Romanov dynasty. (6)

Kozliakov has to admit that Mikhail Fedorovich lacked charisma (6), and he acknowledges that the fact that the first Romanov tsar was a "model of domestic and Christian virtue" might make him appear boring to some readers (324). But, as the author points out, many of Mikhail's contemporaries had lived through the much more "interesting" reign of Ivan the Terrible (324), (7) so that the accession of a gentle ruler, committed to the peaceful restoration of economic, social, and political stability in Russia, was in itself a remarkable phenomenon. Kozliakov also notes (8) that the experience of early 17th-century Russians who had lived through a Time of Troubles, and found a way out of it, might hold parallels with the present day, but he does not attempt to belabor the similarities.

Tsar Mikhail's lack of an interesting personal life means that Kozliakov's volume is necessarily an account of the reign, rather than of the ruler, (8) but some concessions are made to the biographical genre. The first chapter is devoted to the history of the Romanov clan, from Andrei Ivanovich Kobyla in the middle of the 14th century to Mikhail's father, Fedor Nikitich Romanov in the late 16th. The young Mikhail Fedorovich was only five years old when Fedor Nikitich was transformed into Filaret on his forced monasticization by Boris Godunov in 1601 (Mikhail's mother, Kseniia Ivanovna Shestova, became the nun Mafia), and after his parents' exile the child was entrusted to the care of relatives on the family estate at Kliny in Iur'ev-Podol'skii uezd. The fortunes of Fedor-Filaret underwent a dramatic reversal in 1605, on the accession of the First False Dmitrii, who appointed him metropolitan of Rostov and Iaroslavl'. Like many other members of the boyar aristocracy during the Time of Troubles, Filaret (who undoubtedly was one of the most "remarkable people" of his age) changed sides frequently, serving both Vasilii Shuiskii and the Second False Dmitrii before ending up in Polish captivity in 1610. Young Mikhail's whereabouts during the Time of Troubles are not always clear, but Kozliakov believes that he was in Moscow with his mother in 1610-12 when the capital was occupied by the Poles; and the author notes that Mikhail's government did not attempt to refute the subsequent Polish claim that he had sworn the oath of loyalty to Prince Wladyslaw in 1610 (29).

Kozliakov's second chapter deals with Mikhail's election as tsar at the Assembly of the Land of 21 February 1613. The author rightly concludes that the young Romanov's main advantage over his rivals was his connection with the old dynasty: Mikhail was the great-nephew of Ivan IV's first wife, Anastasiia, and he was officially (if somewhat inaccurately) described throughout his reign as the nephew of Tsar Fedor Ivanovich. Continuity with the old Muscovite dynasty and a return to the old (pre-Smuta) order was an important element in Mikhail's claim for legitimacy, equaling if not outweighing his election by "all the land." (9) The Time of Troubles had been primarily a crisis of political legitimacy in Russia, and although in his discussion of Mikhail's election Kozliakov shows that he is very much aware of the need for the new tsar and his advisers to re-establish dynastic stability and continuity, in his later discussion of the reign the author rather loses sight of this problem. This is highlighted by his treatment of two major issues: Mikhail's relationship with his father after Filaret returned from Poland and became patriarch in 1619; and the extraordinary delay before the tsar's first marriage, which meant that the future of the dynasty was not secured by the birth of a male heir until 1629. The first of these issues, the joint rule of father and son, Kozliakov treats from the traditional historiographical perspective, addressing the question of whether real power in 1619-33 lay with the experienced and strong-willed Patriarch Filaret. Kozliakov presents a somewhat idealized picture of harmony between tsar and patriarch, which attributes to Mikhail an almost superhuman degree of filial piety in his acceptance of a major political role for the father he hardly knew. But the author does not seem to be concerned about the problems which Filaret's re-appearance in Moscow undoubtedly created for his son's legitimacy. Filaret's status as the second "great sovereign" reminded contemporaries of the dynastic complexity of Mikhail's claim to the throne and presented a constitutional anomaly in the form of the joint rule of a patriarch and tsar who were also father and son. The Poles, who continued to promote Whdyshw's claim to the Russian throne until 1634, delighted in referring to Mikhail as the son of Metropolitan Filaret, (10) as did the samozvanets Timofei Ankudinov (a False Ivan Vasil'evich Shuiskii) in the 1640s, (11) while Russians who described Tsar Mikhail as a "monk's son" were denounced for lese majeste in slovo i delo cases. (12)

On the question of Mikhail's marriages and children, Kozliakov again adopts a conventional historiographical approach. The Khlopova affair of 1616 (Mikhail's first fiancee, Mar'ia Ivanovna Khlopova, was removed from court on the pretext that she suffered from an illness which would prevent her from bearing children) he rightly interprets as the result of court rivalry between Mar'ia's kinsmen, the Khlopovs, and the Saltykovs, the kinsmen of the young tsar's mother. But Kozliakov does not explain why no further attempt seems to have been made to identify a bride for Mikhail until Filaret, on his return to Moscow, embarked on a predictably fruitless attempt to find a Protestant princess who would be willing to convert to Orthodoxy in order to marry his son. Only in 1624 did Mikhail resort to another Russian fiancee, Princess Mar'ia Vladimirovna Dolgorukaia, who died in January 1625, soon after the wedding. At last the urgency of the situation seemed to have dawned on the Romanovs: Mikhail married his second wife, Evdokiia Luk'ianovna Streshneva, in February 1626, but two daughters were born before the heir (and eventual successor), Tsarevich Aleksei, arrived in March 1629. For every hereditary monarchy in early modern Europe, the birth of a male heir was the primary requirement of the ruler--think only of Henry VIII of England or his near contemporary, Vasilii III of Russia--and how much more so for the founder of a new dynasty. Usually problems in securing the succession derived from the inability of a royal couple to produce a baby boy: but in Mikhail's case the tsar, although he was of marriageable age when he acceded to the throne, failed even to contract a viable marriage for 13 years. At one level, all seemed to turn out well in the end: Aleksei, the only one of Mikhail's three sons to survive to adulthood, was 16 years old when he succeeded his father in 1645, ensuring the continuation of the dynasty; but the extent and nature of the social unrest which plagued Russia in 1648-50 may arguably be attributed to the inexperience of the new young tsar and his over-reliance on his boyar advisers in handling the early stages of the Moscow uprising.

In general, Kozliakov's treatment of Mikhail's reign is very sound, and it undoubtedly represents the best account available in any language (although, to be honest, there is not much competition for this accolade). The author provides authoritative and reliable narratives of foreign policy (the conclusion of peace with Sweden and Poland in 1617-18), military affairs (the Smolensk War of 1652-34), and domestic developments. The only area which deserves more detailed coverage is church affairs, which are allocated less than six pages (138-43) in a chapter devoted to the policies of Patriarch Filaret. Kozliakov's approach is generally conventional, with the material arranged primarily on a chronological basis, with three main subperiods (1613-19, 1619-34, and 1634-45), each divided into thematic chapters. The most innovative feature is the chapter entitled "A Year in the Life of Tsar Mikhail Fedorovich," which examines the events of the year 7134/5 (1626/27) in great detail, on the basis of Zapisnye knigi Moskovskogo stola Razriadnogo prikaza (Notebooks of the Moscow Desk of the Military Service Chancellery), thereby providing the reader with a sense both of the feel of an important primary source, and of the day-to-day routine of state affairs which necessarily occupied so much of the tsar's time.

If Kozliakov faced an uphill task in persuading his readers that Mikhail Fedorovich was worthy of consideration as a "remarkable person," the problem posed by his second biographical subject, Marina Mniszech, is rather different: that of de-sensationalizing a life which was by any standards extraordinary. For the benefit of Kritika readers who know of her only from the moonlit garden scene in M. P. Musorgskii's opera Boris Godunov, it may be useful to summarize her biography. The daughter of the Polish nobleman Jerzy Mniszech, Marina was barely 16 years old when in 1604 she was betrothed to a young man claiming to be the youngest son of Ivan the Terrible, Tsarevich Dmitrii, who had died in mysterious circumstances at Uglich in 1591. Marina did not see her fiance again until May 1606, by which time--against all the odds--he had become tsar of Russia. Marina and Dmitrii were married in the Kremlin on 8 May, but only nine days later Dmitrii was murdered in the course of an uprising against him, and he was officially declared to have been an impostor, the unfrocked monk Grisha Otrep'ev. The new tsar, Vasilii Shuiskii, exiled Marina to Iaroslavl', along with her father and their Polish retinue. In the summer of 1608, on the conclusion of a peace treaty with Poland, the Mniszechs were freed, on condition that they return directly to their homeland. Soon after leaving Moscow, however, they were intercepted and taken to the camp at Tushino of the Second False Dmitrii, whom Marina "recognized" as her husband. When the Polish king, Sigismund III, invaded Russia in September 1609 and laid siege to Smolensk, many of the pretender's Polish troops threatened to desert his cause. The Second False Dmitrii fled from Tushino at the end of 1609; shortly afterwards Marina, dressed as a man, followed him to Kaluga, where he was subsequently murdered by one of his followers. In January 1611, Marina gave birth to their son, "Tsarevich" Ivan Dmitrievich, whose claim to the Russian throne was supported by the Cossack ataman Ivan Zarutskii. After the election of Mikhail Fedorovich Romanov as tsar, Marina fled with her son and Zarutskii to Astrakhan'. In 1614, as Tsar Mikhail's troops approached, they fled further east, to the River Iaik, where they were eventually captured. Brought to Moscow, Zarutskii was executed by impalement on a stake, and Tsarevich Ivan, barely four years old, was publicly hanged (according to one account, he was too light for his neck to be broken by the drop, and suffered a lingering death, dangling at the end of the rope). Marina herself died soon afterwards. The Poles accused the Russian government of murdering her, but it seems more likely that she died of a broken heart.

As Kozliakov correctly notes, Marina's historical reputation is a negative one. In particular, she has been heavily criticized for her recognition of the Second False Dmitrii as her husband, a decision which has been attributed to her overweening ambition to regain her briefly held position as tsaritsa. Kozliakov explains Marina's initial acceptance of such a blatant impostor in terms of the influence of her controlling father. It is more difficult for her apologists to find a justification for her decision to follow the pretender to Kaluga after his flight from Tushino: Jerzy Mniszech had by then gone back to Poland, and Marina, too, had the clear option of returning home in safety. Kozliakov, however, cites two notes, recently discovered by Igor' Olegovich Tiumentsev, in which the Second False Dmitrii expresses his love for Marina and pleads with her to join him (222). On the basis of this evidence, Kozliakov concludes that a real bond of affection had developed between Marina and the "rogue of Tushino"; her decision to join him at Kaluga reflected her own free choice and marked her development into a mature and independent historical actor.

Kozliakov's account of Marina's career makes extensive use of Polish sources, including the so-called "Diary of Marina Mniszech," of which he himself has produced a new annotated translation. (13) In general, the biography follows a conventional format, with a primarily chronological principle of organization, and reliance on textual sources, but there is a fascinating discussion, in chapter 5, of the pair of circular Polish portraits in the State Historical Museum in Moscow which are usually identified as representing Marina and the First False Dmitrii. Kozliakov draws our attention to the fact that the background to the portrait of Marina depicts a pavilion in which a kneeling woman is being crowned. He points out that this scene is very similar to that in another picture in the museum, in which Marina is shown being crowned in a virtually identical pavilion in the open air. The author goes on to argue, fairly persuasively, that both paintings depict the coronation of Marina in the Second False Dmitrii's Tushino encampment. Admittedly, no written sources refer to a second coronation, but there are references to the swearing of a second oath of loyalty to the tsaritsa at Tushino, and Kozliakov speculates that the paintings may provide an imaginative interpretation of that ceremony. He also notes that the round portrait of Marina is a copy of a larger, rectangular painting in which Marina's coat-of-arms resembles that of the Holy Roman Emperor, and thus corresponds to the depiction of Dmitrii in his round portrait with an imperial-style crown, reflecting his claims to the imperial title of tsesar'. Kozliakov then extends his speculations further to suggest that the round portrait of Tsar Dmitrii (in which he is shown, untypically, in armor and without a wart on his nose) may represent not the First but the Second False Dmitrii. (14)

If Kozliakov's arguments about a second oath-taking ceremony to Marina at Tushino, and even her second coronation there, are broadly convincing, I am less impressed by his interpretation of the evidence about Marina's marriage to the Second False Dmitrii. Most previous historians have accepted sources that claim that Marina underwent a secret marriage ceremony with the pretender soon after her arrival at Tushino: a public wedding would, of course, have undermined his claim to be the Tsar Dmitrii who had married Marina in Moscow on 8 May 1606, and Marina's main value at Tushino was her legitimation of the pretender's claim to be her husband, miraculously saved from death. Kozliakov, however, is not only skeptical about Marina's secret marriage at Tushino (190-92) but also accepts a unique piece of evidence (albeit no more than a rumor) that Marina was publicly married to the Second False Dmitrii at Kaluga (242-44). By this point, Kozliakov suggests, no one in the pretender's camp still believed that he was Tsar Dmitrii, and a public wedding ceremony in an Orthodox church would have dispelled rumors that Marina was a closet Catholic. It was, after all, the fact that the celebration of her marriage to the First False Dmitrii had extended into the feast day of St. Nicholas that had outraged the pious Muscovites, and was recalled centuries later in folksongs which depicted her as a godless heretic and as a witch who could turn herself into a magpie.

In the case of Vasilii Shuiskii, Kozliakov again--as with Marina Mniszech--combats negative literary and artistic representations of his subject. Indeed, his third chapter is titled "The Wily Courtier" (Lukavyi tsaredvorets)--the term used to describe Shuiskii by one of the boyars in A. S. Pushkin's drama Boris Godunov, on which the libretto of Musorgskii's opera is based. The first two chapters of the biography cover Shuiskii's early career at the courts of Tsars Ivan IV and Fedor Ivanovich, a period in which Prince Vasilii suffered spells of disgrace, in 1582-83 and 1587-91. In 1591, soon after his return from exile, he was appointed head of the commission which was sent to Uglich to investigate the death of Tsarevich Dmitrii. The commission concluded that the boy had died by stabbing himself in the throat with his own knife in the course of an epileptic fit (a verdict that both contemporaries and posterity have viewed with understandable skepticism). Shuiskii's own credibility was subsequently undermined by the later versions he provided of the events at Uglich. In June 1605, he recognized the pretender as the true Dmitrii; in May 1606, he masterminded Tsar Dmitrii's overthrow and murder, claiming that he was the impostor Grisha Otrep'ev; and soon afterwards he sent a commission to Uglich to bring to Moscow the remains of the real Tsarevich Dmitrii, murdered on Boris Godunov's orders.

Shuiskii's willingness to shift his position in line with the political climate and the interests of his own career has confirmed his reputation as a timeserver; he further holds the unenviable distinction of having been probably the least successful of all Russian rulers. After the overthrow of the First False Dmitrii, Shuiskii had himself hastily declared tsar, without the precaution of convening a representative Assembly of the Land to elect him. Perhaps he felt that a quick decision was necessary to restore political stability; perhaps he thought that, as a descendant of Riurik, he did not require the formality of an election such as that which had brought the low-born Boris Godunov to the throne in 1598. But the legitimacy of Shuiskii's claim to the throne was never universally accepted. From the outset, he had to face rumors that Tsar Dmitrii had not really died but had escaped and was recruiting an army to regain his crown. In 1606-7 Tsar Vasilii had to combat an uprising in Dmitrii's name, headed by Ivan Isaevich Bolotnikov; in 1607 the Second False Dmitrii appeared, and in 1608-9 he took up camp at Tushino, on the very outskirts of Moscow. The Tushinites besieged the great monastery of the Trinity and St. Sergius; King Sigismund laid siege to Smolensk; finally, the sudden (and suspicious) death of the young and charismatic Prince Mikhail Vasil'evich Skopin-Shuiskii, Tsar Vasilii's nephew and his only effective general, put an end to whatever hopes remained of the establishment of a successful Shuiskii dynasty. The defeat of Vasilii's inept brother, Prince Dmitrii Shuiskii, by a Polish army at Klushino, led his boyars to force the tsar to abdicate in July 1610; soon afterwards, they swore an oath of loyalty to Sigismund's son Wladyslaw. The deposed tsar and his two younger brothers were sent as prisoners to Poland, where they made a humiliating appearance before the Sejm on 19 (29) October 1611. Vasilii died in captivity on 12 (22) September 1612. Only in 1635, after the end of the Smolensk War, was his body returned to Russia, and he was reburied in the Archangel Cathedral in the Moscow Kremlin.

What kind of case can be made for the defense of this hapless monarch? Kozliakov does his best: Shuiskii acted decisively in May 1606 to rid Russia of the pretender-tsar Dmitrii, he defended Moscow successfully against the armies of Bolomikov and the Second False Dmitrii; on his accession to the throne he took an oath not to condemn anyone arbitrarily to death, not to hold kinsmen responsible for the crimes of their relatives, and not to listen to false denunciations; he attempted to codify the laws, and introduced measures regulating the position of serfs and slaves. Kozliakov even attempts to depict Shuiskii as a kind of tragic hero, who accepted his overthrow and imprisonment with "dignity and restraint" (264). None of this amounts to a particularly persuasive rehabilitation of Tsar Vasilii's reputation, but Kozliakov nevertheless performs a useful service in inviting his Russian readers to reassess Shuiskii after the vilification he suffered in Soviet-era historiography for his suppression of the Bolomikov revolt.

The central sections of Kozliakov's biography of Shuiskii are based on the conventional range of primary sources for the Time of Troubles (documents, chronicles, and contemporary accounts, including those of foreign eyewitnesses of events), but the early chapters, which provide a collective history of the Shuiskii clan, make extensive use of the razriadnye knigi (service registers) with their detailed records of precedence disputes. Concerning these chapters, the author makes a stout defense of the traditional professional expertise required of historians who use the service registers as sources, taking a sideswipe at (unnamed) exponents of more modish approaches ("the fashionable trends of historical anthropology and other such research 'practices' which aspire to become self-sufficient intellectual exercises" [7]); and he rightly insists that it is important to understand that disputes about seniority were not just a matter of the personal pride of an individual serviceman or courtier but concerned the honor and status of his entire clan. In his final chapter, which deals with Shuiskii's life and death in Poland--an episode that is not usually covered in histories of the Time of Troubles--Kozliakov makes good use of a little-known account by D. V. Tsvetaev, published in the early 20th century. (15)

In the introduction to the book, Kozliakov notes that his is the first biography of Tsar Vasilii, with the exception of a recent popular account by R. G. Skrynnikov.(16) He remarks that, although Skrynnikov's book is entitled Vasilii Shuiskii, it is not entirely accurate to describe it as a biography, "since it basically deals with the history of the events that served as the background to Vasilii Ivanovich's life" (11). But the same point can be made about Kozliakov's own book, and about his other two biographies as well. Indeed, it is debatable how far one can write biographies in the modern sense (even political biographies) of Russian individuals in this period, given the virtual absence of sources such as personal letters, diaries, or memoirs. Rather, the genre of historical biography is a literary device which, by following the life and career of an individual actor, provides a useful narrative path through the often complex and confusing events of 16th- and 17th-century Russia. Historical biographers, unlike "proper" historians, are absolved from the duty of providing an interpretation of the events they describe; it is enough to comment on the subject's character in broad terms (hero or villain? master of one's destiny or victim of circumstances?).

Taken together in reverse chronological order from their dates of publication, Kozliakov's three biographies cover almost 100 years of Russian history, from the mid-16th to the mid-17th centuries (Vasilii Shuiskii was born in 1552, Mikhail Fedorovich died in 1645). They provide a useful introduction to the period for the "general reader" who finds the biographical approach more accessible than broader narrative history. For the specialist, too, the approach has certain merits: for example, following the long career of Vasilii Shuiskii through the reigns of Ivan IV, Fedor Ivanovich, and Boris Godunov into the Time of Troubles breaks away from the conventional periodization of the era; and Kozliakov's broadly sympathetic attitude toward Marina Mniszech provides a welcome contrast to the demonization of the Poles in much contemporary Russian popular historiography of the Time of Troubles. (17)

Volumes in the ZhZL series do not follow an exactly identical format, but all three of the works presently under review adhere to the same formula. They are between 300 and 350 printed pages in length, with two additional sets, each of 16 pages, of monochrome illustrative plates (good quality, and well chosen). The scholarly apparatus comprises endnote references, mostly to published primary sources but with a sprinkling of archival references and references to secondary literature. Compared with the standard practice in academic monographs, the referencing is somewhat light, and the volumes lack the detailed introductory reviews of historiography and sources which are still mandatory in most post-Soviet Russian scholarly works. Each book has a brief (2-3-page) chronology of key dates in the subject's life, but there is no consolidated bibliography nor index, and the works also lack maps and genealogical tables. In general, however, the volumes bear a closer resemblance to the genre of the scholarly monograph than to popular historical biographies designed for the mass market, and in that respect they fully meet the lofty standards set by the editors of the series.

Centre for Russian and East European Studies

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(1) The volumes now have a dual numbering system which acknowledges the 200 biographies issued in the prerevolutionary period between 1890 and 1915. See "Istoriia serii ZhZL" (zzl., accessed 29 July 2009). The three volumes reviewed here are nos. 1089 (889), 1135 (935), and 1275 (1075), in order of listing.

(2) Ibid.

(3) Ibid.

(4) Ibid.

(5) R. G. Skrynnikov, Minin i Pozharskii: Khronika smutnogo vremeni (Moscow: Molodaia gvardiia, 1981). There is an English version: Ruslan G. Skrynnikov, The Time of Troubles: Russia in Crisis, 1604-1618, ed. and trans. Hugh F. Graham (Gulf Breeze, FL: Academic International Press, 1988). For more recent English-language histories of the Time of Troubles, see Maureen Perrie, Pretenders and Popular Monarchism in Early Modern Russia: The False Tsars of the Time of Troubles (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995); and Chester S. L. Dunning, Russia's First Civil War: The Time of Troubles and the Founding of the Romanov Dynasty (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2001). Skrynnikov subsequently published a "scholarlypopular" biography of the First False Dmitrii in the series "Pages from the History of Our Native Land": R. G. Skrynnikov, Samozvantsy v Rossii v nachale XVII veka: Grigorii Otrep "ev (Novosibirsk: Nauka, 1987).

(6) The only tsar to feature in the ZhZL series in the Soviet period was Peter the Great, who was the subject of biographies by V. V. Mavrodin (1948) and N. 1. Pavlenko (1975). Mikhail Fedorovich was the monarch in the title of M. I. Glinka's opera A Life far the Tsar, which was renamed Ivan Susanin (and the libretto rewritten) for its revival in 1939.

(7) "May you live in interesting times" is supposedly a curse in China.

(8) A task for which the author is well qualified by virtue of his earlier specialist research. See V. N. Kozliakov, Sluzhilyi "gorod" Moskovskogo gosudarstva XVII veka (Ot Smuty do Sobornogo ulozheniia) (Iaroslavl': Izdatel'stvo Iaroslavskogo gosudarstvennogo pedagogicheskogo universiteta, 2000).

(9) For the present reviewer's views on this issue, see Morin Perri [Maureen Perrie], "Izbrannyi tsar' i prirozhdennye gosudari: Mikhail Romanov i ego soperniki," in Gosudarstva i obshchestvo v Rossii XV--nachala XX veka: Sbornik statei pamiati Nikolaia Evgen 'evicha Nosova, ed. A. P. Pavlov (St. Petersburg: Nauka, 2007), 233-46.

(10) Aleksander Hirschberg, Polska a Moskwa w pierwszej polowie wieku XVII (Lwow: Zaklad narodowy imienia Ossolinskich, 1901), 366.

(11) Iu. B. Simchenko, "Lzhe-Shuiskii II: Pravoslavnyi, musul'manin, katolik, protestant," in Russkie: Istoriko-etnograficheskie ocherki, ed. G. A. Nosova (Moscow: Institut etnologii i antropologii RAN, 1997), 37, 39.

(12) N. Ia. Novombergskii, ed., Slovo i delo gosudarevy, 1 : Protsessy do izdaniia Ulozheniia Alekseia Mikhailovicha 1649 goda (Moscow, 1911: repr. Moscow: Iazyki slavianskoi kul'tury, 2004), no. 159: 268-69; S. V. Bakhrushin, "Politicheskie tolki v tsarstvovanie Mikhaila Fedorovicha," in his Trudy po istochnikovedeniiu, istoriografii i istorii Rossii epokhi feodalizma (Nauchnoe nasledie) (Moscow: Nauka, 1987), 96.

(13) Dnevnik Mariny Mnishek, trans. V. N. Kozliakov (St. Petersburg: Dmitrii Bulanin, 1995). The author is now generally assumed to have been the Pole Abraham Rozniatowski, a member of Marina's suite.

(14) The round portraits are reproduced in Kozliakov's book among the plates between 96 and 97. There is a detail (not identified as such) of the coronation scene among the plates between 256 and 257. The full coronation scene can be found on the Internet, e.g. at upload. by_Tommaso_Dolabella.jpg; and the full-length rectangular version of Marina's round portrait at, both accessed 29 July 2009.

(15) D. V. Tsvetaev, Tsar" Vasilii Shuiskii i mesta pogrebeniia ego v Pol'she, 1610-1910 gg., 2 vols. (in 3) (Moscow: A. I. Snegireva; Warsaw: Tipografiia Varshavskogo uchebnogo okruga, 1901-10).

(16) R. G. Skrynnikov, Vasilii Shuiskii (Moscow: AST, 2002).

(17) Typified by the creation in 2005 of a new public holiday, National Unity Day, on 4 November, to mark the expulsion of the Polish occupiers from Moscow in 1612.
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Author:Perrie, Maureen
Article Type:Book review
Date:Mar 22, 2010
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