Summary of the novel “Peter the First” by AN Tolstoy

Summary of the novel “Peter the First” by AN Tolstoy

Chapter 1

The nobleman Vasily Volkov reflects on how the state treasury, emptied of wars and riots, robbed the landlords. Peasant Volkov, Ivashka Brovkin, at the same time thinking about the heavy share of the peasant. Both the nobles and peasants harbored anger at the wealthy boyars.

Volkov is going to Moscow for an annual review of troops. Wounded lucky Brovkin, whose son Alyoshka is in eternal bondage in the yard of Volkov.

Instead of Ivashka Brovkin, his son Alyoshka goes to Moscow. Moscow frightens: swearing, hustle and bustle. On the Lubyanka Square every year before the spring hikes there was a review of the sovereign servants – the militia of the nobility.

Mihaila Tyrtov sends Alyoshka Brovkin to the yard to the royal groom Danila Menshikov for a stately horse, to appear at the show.

Boyars reflect on whom to shout the king. Peter is the son of Naryshkin, hot in the mind, strong in body. Ivan is the son of Miloslavskaya, a feeble-minded, sick man, let him rope out of him… Who will win – Naryshkin or Miloslavsky? ..

After the death of Fyodor Alekseevich, the patriarch from the red porch asked the crowd, who should be in the kingdom? In the crowd shouted the name of Peter.

Alyoshka Brovkin in the yard of Danila Menshikov. Menshikov talks with the guests about the Moscow order: the royal salary is not paid for two years, the streltsy threaten to commit a riot in Moscow, the Niconians live in satiety, but

there is no spirituality, the ancient piety has disappeared; Streltsy go to the “split”. Shurin Danily reports that Tsar Feodor Alekseevich died, and instead of him Peter shouted – this means the further triumph of the boyars and the Niconians.

Alyoshka Brovkin meets Alexasha Menshikov, son of Danila.

The archers come to the guests’ houses. They have common interests: all trade in the hands of the Germans of Kukuevo settlement, and the power of the Naryshkins means new tributes and duties. As evidence of the permissiveness of foreigners, the streltsi show a man allegedly beaten by the Germans in Kukue. Sagittarians assure that all the villages are on their side, only financial support of merchants is needed.

Alexasha Menshikov was again flogged to death by a father. At dawn, they leave the house with Alyosha. On Red Square, the boys meet archers who tell a story about the Germans and their future dominance under the Naryshkins, demonstrating a man beaten on Kukue. In the crowd, anger flares up. From the Kremlin galloped princes: the governor of Khovansky, the ancient Boyar blood, the hater of the art Naryshkins, and Vasily Golitsyn, the favorite of Princess Sophia. Khovansky called to go across the river to the streltsy regiments and rebel against the Naryshkins.

Golitsyn comes to Sophia and informs that Khovansky and Uncle Ivan Miloslavsky are waiting for her. Khovansky reported that almost all the regiments were for her. The princess agrees to reign if the regiments throw Peter and scream her for the kingdom. In exchange for the streltsy – freedom, land, salary.

Alexashka with Alyoshka in the crowd near the Vsesvyatsky Bridge across the Moscow River. Pyotr Tolstoy, the nephew of Miloslavsky, appeared and reported that the Naryshkins had strangled Tsarevich Ivan. The crowd poured into the Kremlin.

Sophia, Golitsyn and Khovansky offer the deathly frightened queen Natalia Kirillovna to go out on the Red Porch with Ivan and Peter, so that the people will be sure that the children are alive.

Natalia Kirillovna carried on the porch of Peter, specially arrived in Moscow Artamon Matveev brought Ivan. The rebellious crowd demands that the Naryshkins and their supporters be extradited to it. Matveyev was dropped into spears.

Chapter 2

The brothers Naryshkin, Dolgoruky, Romodanovsky, Cherkassky, Matveyev, etc. were exterminated. Strelets were given salaries and decorations. On the Red Square put a memorial pillar with the names of the killed boyars, their guilt and atrocities. And in the rest everything went in the old way: poverty, servility, laziness. Even the boyars and eminent merchants were unhappy, who wanted to live no worse than the Polish pans, Livlandians or Germans. At the same time – unbearable bribes, tribute, depleted land, bad trade. In Moscow, two gifts – Ivan and Peter, with them – the ruler princess Sophia. Some boyars were replaced by others. Again there was a murmur among the people. To Sofia came a delegation of schismatics and shamed the patriarch and the clergy, demanded “old faith.”

Disorder and riots began. The most desperate decided to kill both Tsarevich and Sophia, but the princess left with the whole court to Kolomenskoye and began to gather there a noblemen’s militia. The leader of the streltsy-rioters of the dissenter Khovansky was executed, the streltsy from his detachment were chopped. The remaining archers were forced to send Sofya petitioners who had served under the protection of the walls of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra. So the will of the archers ended. The pillar on Red Square was demolished, the free certificates were taken away.

Alexashka and Alyoshka in the Yauza, not far from the Transfiguration Palace, met with Tsarevich Peter. Alexashka suggested that he show the “cunning” for the silver ruble: he pulled a needle through the cheek. Since then, the boys have been tempted to come to the shore of the Yauza, but Petra was only seen from afar.

In the spring Alexashka stumbled upon his long-sought father, Danila, and miraculously escaped him, jumping on the bridles of a German coach. So, with the coach of Franz Lefort, Alexasha got to Kukui, to the German settlement. Lefort allowed Alexashka to remain in the service.

Teacher and uncle of Peter Nikita Moiseevich Zotov was too light-hearted – not such a mentor was needed stubborn and nagovistomu prince. Tsarina Natalia Kirillovna was worried that her son did not study the Law of God enough: is not this the reason for his dissimilarity to a real king? Peter built on the earthen rampart in front of the palace a “comic” fortress, where he played with the peasant muzhiks: he built them, commanded shooting from a wooden cannon and hand-to-hand contractions of “soldiers”.

At the court of Tsar Peter there are only four boyars: princes Mihail Cherkassky, Lykov, Troyekurov and Boris Golitsyn. Attributed to the Peter’s court and the cadets – boyar children from small, indigenous. Among them – Vasily Volkov, who discovered Peter, who disappeared once in the Kukui Sloboda.

Captain Franz Lefort, familiar to the Kremlin’s methods of foreign ambassadors, Peter met, floating in his plow along Yauza past Kukuy. Lefort offered to show the prince “mental things”: a water mill, a dyed musical box, a visual tube, an alcohol-crazed baby. Curious Peter could not resist. After visiting many houses of the Kukuys, Peter saw in the tavern – austeria a beautiful girl who sang in German in his honor – it was the daughter of the wine merchant Anna Monet.

The Moscow court differed from European ones by the absence of chivalrous fun, games, and exquisite music. Boyars spoke in the Kremlin only about trade deals and prices for goods. The life of the Russian man was rooted in the traditions: even the estate in Moscow – with strong gates with the rear. Free time was not enough: the boyars spent time in the palace, waiting for an order from the tsar; merchants at the shop beckoned to customers; the clerk of the dioces was snoring over the letters. The usual course of affairs was stirred up by the request of Poland to stand up for Christian brethren – to enter the war with the Turks by sending Russian troops to the Crimea. Vasily Golitsyn set the condition: the Poles return the original Russian Kiev with the towns. The Poles argued for a long time, but Kiev gave up and signed an eternal peace with Moscow. Now it was necessary to go to fight against the Turkish sultan.

In his house Vasily Golitsyn conducted a conversation in Latin with the de Neville arriving from Warsaw about the estates of the Russian – nursing and serving, thinking that it was useful to tear off the landlords from the peasants, so that the two estates would bring the maximum possible benefit. Golitsyn formulated his reasoning in his essay “On Civil Life or the Adjustment of All Cases, which must be shared with the people…”: to plow and sow millions of dessiatines that are as yet empty, to multiply livestock at the expense of the English fine-wool sheep, to interest people in various trades and ore business; a lot of back taxes, corvees, taxes and duties to replace a single general, moderate tax, for which all land from the landlords to take and plant on it free peasants, and all former serf bondage to destroy. In return for land, the landlords will receive a salary from the general land tax. The troops will consist of only nobles, so that everyone will do his own thing. According to Golitsyn, this state of affairs should lead to an increase in the revenues of the treasury by half. The nobility of the inexperienced children should be sent to study in Poland, France and Sweden for the study of military affairs, and in Russia to open academies and establish science and art. The prince’s project included stone pavements, stone and brick buildings… Vasily Vasilyevich even allowed the ancient obstinacy of the nobles to be broken by force, if necessary.

The governess Sophia arrived to Golitsyn. Recently, she tracked all the rumors and gossip of the boyars. Mostly they said that you can not see great things from Sophia, and even to rule her, a woman, is a burden. Sophia insists on the war in the Crimea and has already prepared a charter declaring Prince Vasilii a great voivode. The war was necessary to show the might of the troops of Sophia: they whisper that in Transfiguration a real tsar is growing up – a warrior who demands that all grooms and falconers be recruited into the “comic troops”.

Under Peter, there were already three hundred “soldiers” with whom he went “marching” through the villages and monasteries around Moscow. In the army there appeared a voevoda – Auton Golovin, who was well aware of the soldier’s expropriation. With him, Peter began to pass military science in the first “Preobrazhensky” battalion. Thanks to Lefort, guns appeared in the regiment, shooting with iron bombs.

At the house of Lefort, Peter collided with Alexashka. After the feast, Alexasha escorts Peter to the Transfiguration and becomes an imperial bed-dweller.

Chapter 3

The nobiliary militia was threatened with opals and ruin all winter. People were whispering about the bad omens accompanying the camp trips. At the end of May Golitsyn stepped on a campaign to the south. On the way, people died of thirst, they murmured in the shelves. The Tatars in front of set fire to the steppe; go through the ashes is dangerous – no food, no water. Cossack patrols were the first to turn back. It was ordered to retreat to the Dnieper. The Crimean campaign ended ingloriously.

Colonels informed Golitsyn that the steppe was sent to set fire to the Ukrainian hetman Samoilovich. He does not want to strengthen Moscow, and the colonels are ready to support Sophia, so long as they leave their liberties. Samoilovich swore that it was the machinations of his sworn enemy, Mazepa, who wanted to give Ukraine to Poland. The new hetman cried out to Mazepa.

The curious fortress in Preobrazhensky was rebuilt: on occasion it was possible to sit out. Already two regiments – Preobrazhensky and Semenovsky – were subjected to expropriation. German Timmerman taught Peter mathematics and fortification. The German Brandt undertook to build ships following the example of the boot found in the village of Izmailovo. More and more often boyars came from Moscow: look at the “games” of the king in the “capital city of Preshpurga.”

Batman Alexashka is everywhere alongside the “min Hertz” Peter. Lefort praised Pyotr Alexashka, gifted him with gifts. Alexashka was installed by drummer Alyoshka Brovkin.

The people became impoverished from the taxes on the Crimean campaign. Thousands of people flee to the schismatics – the Urals, Pomorze, the Volga region, the Don. Hundreds of Old Believers commit self-immolation for the sake of salvation from the reigning Antichrist. Natalia Kirillovna seriously thinks of marrying her son to settle down. The choice fell on the daughter of Okolnichy Evdokia Lopukhin.

Boris Golitsyn, Vasily Vasilyevich’s cousin, became displeased with Preobrazhensky, dissatisfied with his brother’s actions and boyars’ policies. He began to patronize the amusing shipbuilding: he sent books, drawings, sheets, and for their translation sent Karlov-Arapov.

Vasily Golitsyn, returning to Moscow, voiced an offer from the French: to develop Siberia and build a trade route through Russian lands to Persia, India and China. The sentence in anger is rejected by the boyars.

Chapter 4

Ivashka Brovkin meets with Alyoshka and asks his son for money for farming.

Peter marries Lopukhina. Immediately after the wedding, he departs at the Pereiaslav Lake shipyard. The third ship was launched onto the water. For the Pereyaslav fleet came up with a special flag – in three panels – white, blue and red.

Sagittarians plan to set fire to Preobrazhenskoe and kill the queen with Peter. In Russia there was a famine, including in Moscow. Everywhere robbery and robbery. In the crowd there are rumors that the queen Natalia Kirillovna ordered all the bread to be transported to Preobrazhenskoe, and Moscow, let it die of hunger.

Lev Kirillovich persuades Peter to return urgently to Preobrazhenskoye.

Strelets’ Pentecostals are troubled by streltsy settlements, tossed up anonymous letters at bazaars. But Sophia could not raise the streltsy, as it used to be. Separate boyars and several regiments moved to Preobrazhenskoe and warned of possible arson and attacks.

Peter goes to the Trinity, where the courtyard develops. To please the boyars, he behaves like a true king: he attends church services, observes all Russian traditions, listens to the elders’ advice. Lefort advises him to promise tired people peace and prosperity.

Sophia goes to Trinity, but she is detained in Vozdvizhensky and sent to Moscow by Peter’s order.

Boris Golitsyn advises the cousin to move rather to Peter, but he hesitates. After the decree of Peter was seized Shaklovitogo, Golitsyn goes to the Trinity. Peter sends him into eternal contact with the whole family, depriving all the estates.

Sophia is imprisoned in Novodevichy Convent. Shaklovitogo and other streltsy executed as conspirators, many are exiled to Siberia. Supporters of Peter reward. Changing ministers, but no special changes occur.

Chapter 5

Lefort becomes a great man under Peter. Foreign merchants in his house speculate about the peculiarities of Russian trade: a nation-wide order is needed, then Muscovy is a gold mine.

The first state decision of Peter: he gives Patriarch Joachim the heretic Kuhlman, but does not allow to touch other gentiles, referring to the fact that foreigners need the state in military affairs.

Evdokia Lopukhina learns about the fascination of Peter Anne Monet. Peter is born the first-born son Aleksey.

In spring and summer, all the boyars are driven to Preobrazhenskoe for a “fun” service, in order to train them in military affairs. In horror, many fled into the woods, traded by theft, others – to the north, to the schismatics; went to the Caucasus and Crimea. The fugitives were found; they shot or committed self-immolation in log buildings and churches.

Peter goes to Arkhangelsk to look at the merchant ships of foreigners and understands how ugly the “amusing” fleet is. He decides to buy a ship in Holland and build his own by his example. Lefort advises him to win the Black and Azov Seas, build harbors in the Baltic. This is vital for normal trading. It is also important to exalt merchants-merchants, who throughout Europe are the backbone of sovereigns.

The queen Natalia Kirillovna has died. Evdokia is preparing to reign.

Chapter 6

In February 1695, a militia was collected for “fishing over the Crimea.” In April, the army moved to the lower reaches of the Dnieper, to the ancient fortress Ochakov and fortified Turkish towns. In August they took three towns.

Simultaneously, the Preobrazhensky, Semenovsky and Lefort regiments secretly went to the Azov Sea, under the Turkish fortress of Azov, where the Turks controlled trade routes to the east and to the grain Kuban and Terek steppes. Peter in the army was called the scorer Peter Alekseev.

Moscow left to the prince-Caesar the amusing expeditions and the whole of the cathedral of Fedor Yuryevich Romodanovsky. Just once, Ivan the Terrible left in Moscow the Tatar prince Simeon Bekbulatovich “the tsar of all Russia”.

It quickly became clear that the attack of Azov did not take. Russians lacked modern weapons, food, reinforcements, fighting skills, ships – in all. Again and again, on the orders of Peter, the Russians went to the attack, but only lost soldiers and officers. The soldiers refused to fight for fear. Finally, the siege of Azov was lifted. The first Azov campaign ended ignominiously.

Chapter 7

1696. Boyars and local nobles, clergy and archers were afraid of change: new deeds, new people. From shame under Azov Peter grew up, became more serious. Workers and artisans were sent to Voronezh to build ships. In May, the prepared Peter again went to Azov – and took the fortress. The construction of Russian fortresses in the south began. Fifty best Moscow nobles were sent abroad to study mathematics, fortification, shipbuilding and other sciences.

With the capture of Azov, the Russians responded with a great war with the Turkish empire. Allies were needed. Behind them to Europe, the magnificent Grand Embassy embarked, under which the tsar was called the sergeant of the Preobrazhensky regiment, Pyotr Mikhailov.

1697 The state remained on Leo Kirillovich with boyars, Moscow – on Romodanovsky. In mid-March went to Courland, visited Koenigsberg. There, Peter met with the Elector Frederick, who shared the common enemy with the Swedes, dissuading Muscovy from the union with Poland. Peter begins to delve into the political game of Europe.

In the cities of Germany and Holland, Peter plans in two years to learn all the necessary crafts. In January 1698, Peter moved to England, where he studied mathematics and drafting ship plans. Foreign ship masters come to Moscow, as well as carts with weapons, tools, and European miracles.

The Strelets revolt began: the regiments working in Azov and Taganrog rebelled with the Cossacks against heavy duty, and there were rumors that Peter had died abroad. The prince Sophia gave the streltsy a letter with an order to take Moscow with the battle.

Peter understands that the European military alliances are false and short-lived. The war for the Spanish inheritance rages: against French rule on the Atlantic and the Mediterranean – for free roads and markets for ships of England and Holland.

Upon his return to Moscow, Peter exposes the boyars to horrible humiliation: he personally cuts off his beards – a symbol of ancient piety.

Interrogations of streltsy-rebels begin. Send a letter to Sophia. Staged executions were held. The Byzantine Rus ended.


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Summary of the novel “Peter the First” by AN Tolstoy