Merimee Prosper and Ukraine

Merimee Prosper and Ukraine

Ukraine took a prominent place in the historical and artistic works of Merimee. In the book “Episode from Russian History: False Dmitriy” the writer proposed an original hypothesis, according to which the impostor was a Zaporozhian Cossack. “Only the Cossack who grew up on the Sich,” argues Merimee, “where only courage and eloquence gave honors, where only the bravest and cunning chose the command, could create a usurpation plan that would terrify a Polish or Russian nobleman.” This hypothesis was also placed in the basis of the historical drama “The First Steps of the Adventurer,” in which the author sought, in his words, “to write this story as it might have happened.” The action of the sixth act of drama takes place on the Sich, and the main hero is the young Zaporozhian Cossack Yuri.

In 1854, appeared a historical essay “Cossacks of Ukraine and their last atamans,” in which Merimee introduced compatriots to the history of the Ukrainian Cossacks. The central place in this work is allocated to the Liberation War of the mid-17th century. and Bogdan Khmelnitsky. This is the first sketch for Merimee’s book about the outstanding Ukrainian commander and statesman, published 1863. The main merit of Khmelnitsky was that the author saw that “this great husband sought to liberate the Ukrainian or Cossacks, his compatriots, from the yoke of the Polish gentry.”


Merimee Prosper and Ukraine