Summary “Enchanted Wanderer”

Summary “Enchanted Wanderer”

The story of Nikolai Semenovich Leskov “The Enchanted Wanderer” was written in 1872-1873. The work entered the cycle of the author’s legends, which was dedicated to the Russian righteous. “Enchanted Wanderer” is distinguished by a fantastic form of narration – Leskov imitates the oral speech of characters, saturating it with dialectisms, vernacular words, etc.

The composition of the story consists of 20 chapters, the first of which is an exposition and a prologue, the following – a narrative about the life of the main character, written in the style of life, including a retelling of the childhood and the fate of the hero, his struggle with temptations.

Main characters

Fljagin Ivan Severyanich – the protagonist of the

work, the monk “from a small age for fifty”, the former konser who tells the story of his life.

Grushenka is a young gypsy who loved the prince, whom Ivan Severyanich killed at her request. His head was unrequitedly in love with her.

Other heroes

Count and Countess – the first bayar Flyagin from Orel province.

The Barin of Nikolaev, at whom Flyagin served as the nurse of a small daughter.

The mother of the girl, who was nursed by Fliagin and her second husband-officer.

The prince is the owner of the cloth factory, in which Flyagin served as a cader.

Evgenia Semyonovna is the mistress of the prince.

Chapter first

The passengers of the ship “sailed along the Ladoga Lake from Konevets Island to Valaam” with a stop in Korela. Among the travelers, a notable figure was a monk, “hero-black-haired” – a former konser who was “a connoisseur in horses” and had the gift of a “rabid tamer.” Satellites asked why the man became a monk, to which he replied that he did a lot in his life on the “parental promise” – “all my life I perished, and could not perish”.

Chapter Two

“Former Koneser Ivan Severyanich, Mr. Flyagin” in the reduction tells the

satellites a long story of his life. A man “was born in a serf” and was “from the yard people of Count K. from Orel province.” His father was coachman Severian. Ivan’s mother died during childbirth, “because I was born with an extraordinarily large head, so that’s why I was not called Ivan Flyagin, but simply Golovan.” The boy spent a lot of time with his father in the stable, where he learned to take care of horses. Over time, Ivan “put on the post” in the six, run by his father. Once, controlling the six, the hero on the road, “laughter for the sake of”, he caught a glimpse of the monk’s death. The same night the deceased came to Golovan in a vision and said that Ivan was the mother of “promised to God,” and then told him “

Through the time when Ivan traveled with the Count and Countess to Voronezh, the hero saved the lords from death, which earned him a special favor.

Chapter Three

Golovan started pigeons in his stables, but the Countess’s cat went to hunt for birds. Once, angered, Ivan beat the animal, cutting off the cat’s tail. Upon learning of the incident, the hero was sentenced to “whip and then from the stables down and into the village of Aglitsy for a walk with a hammer of stones to beat.” Ivan, for whom this punishment was unbearable, decided to commit suicide, but the gypsy robber did not let the man hang himself.

Chapter Four

At the request of the gypsy, Ivan stole two horses from the bar stall and, having received some money, went to the “assessor to appear that he was running away.” However, the clerk wrote for the silver cross for the silver cross and advised him to go to Nikolaev.

In Nikolaev, a certain master hired Ivan as a nanny for his little daughter. The hero was a good educator, took care of the girl, carefully followed her health, but was greatly bored. Somehow during a walk in the estuary they met the girl’s mother. The woman began with tears to ask Ivan to give her daughter. The hero refuses, but she persuades him secretly from the master to bring the girl every day to the same place.

Chapter Five

In one of the meetings on the estuary appears the current husband of a woman – an officer, and offers a ransom for the child. The hero again refuses and a fight is tied between the men. Suddenly, an angry gentleman appears with a gun. Ivan gives the mother a child and runs away. The officer explains that he can not leave Golovan with him, since he is without passport, and the hero will please the steppe.

At the fair in the steppe, Ivan is witnessing how the famous steppe horse breeder Khan Jangar sells his best horses. For a white mare two Tatar people even arranged a duel – they lashed each other with whips.

Chapter Six

The last to be sold was an expensive karak foal. The Tatar Sawakiri immediately acted to arrange a duel – to be cut off with someone for this stallion. Ivan volunteered to speak for one of the repairers in a duel with the Tartar, and using his “clever trick”, “ruined” Savakirei to death. Ivan wanted to grab for the murder, but the hero managed to escape with the Asians to the steppe. There he stayed for ten years, engaged in the treatment of people and animals. To Ivan did not escape, the Tatars “bristled” him – they cut the skin on his heels, puffed horse hair and sewed up the skin. After that, the hero could not walk for a long time, but eventually he adjusted himself to move on his ankles.

Chapter Seven

Ivan was sent to Khan Agashimole. The hero, like the previous Khan, had two Tatry wives, Natasha, from whom there were also children. However, to his children the man did not experience parental feelings, because they were unbaptized. Living with the Tatars, the man very much missed his homeland.

Chapter eight

Ivan Severyanovich says that people from different religions came to them, trying to preach the Tatars, but they killed the “mosainers”. “Asiaite must be led to faith with fear, that it shakes from fright, and they preach to them a god of peace.” “Aziyat of the gentle god without threat will never respect and preachers will beat.”

The Russian missionaries also came to the steppe, but they did not want to buy Golovan from the Tatars. When the time of one of them is killed, Ivan bury him according to Christian custom.

Chapter Nine

Once the people from Khiva came to Tatars to buy horses. To intimidate the steppe residents, the guests showed the power of their fiery god – Talafa, set fire to the steppe and, until the Tatars understood what had happened, they disappeared. The visitors forgot the box in which Ivan found the usual fireworks. Calling himself Talafoy, the hero begins to scare the Tatars with fire and forces them to accept their Christian faith. In addition, Ivan found in the box a caustic ground, which etched the heel stitched into the heels. When his feet healed, he launched a large firework and quietly escaped.

Coming out a few days later to the Russians, Ivan spent the night with them only, and then went on, since they did not want to receive a person without a passport. In Astrakhan, having started drinking heavily, the hero enters the prison, where he was sent to his native province. At home, the widowed mantra earl gave Ivan a passport and dismissed him.

Chapter Ten

Ivan began to go to the fairs and advise ordinary people how to choose a good horse, for which they treated him or thanked him with money. When his “glory through the fires thundered,” the prince came to the hero with the request to reveal his secret. Ivan tried to teach him his talent, but the prince soon realized that this was a special gift and hired Ivan for three years to himself as a cader. Periodically, the hero happens to “exits” – the man drank heavily, although he wanted to end it.

Chapter eleven

Once, when the prince was not there, Ivan again went to drink in a tavern. The hero was very worried, since he had the money of a master with him. In the tavern Ivan meets a man who had a special talent – “magnetism”: he could from any other person “drunken passion in one minute to reduce.” Ivan asked him to get rid of addiction. Man, hypnotizing Golovan, makes him get drunk. Already absolutely drunk men are exposed from a tavern.

Chapter twelve

From the actions of the “magnetizer,” Ivan began to appear “vile faces on the legs,” and when the vision passed, the man threw the hero of one. Golovan, not knowing where he was, decided to knock on the first house he found.

Chapter Thirteen

Ivan opened the doors of the gypsies, and the hero was in another tavern. Golovan stared at the young gypsy – the songboy Grushenka, and lowered all the prince’s money to her.

Chapter Fourteen

After the help of the magnetizer, Ivan no longer drank. The prince, having learned that Ivan had spent his money, at first became angry, and after calmed down and told me that he had “given fifty thousand rubles for this Pear”, if only she was with him. Now the gypsy lives in his house.

Chapter fifteen

The prince, arranging his own affairs, was rarely at home, with Grusha. The girl was bored and jealous, and Ivan could entertain and comfort her. All except Grusha knew that in the city the prince had “another love – from the noble, the secretarial daughter of Evgenia Semyonovna,” from whom the prince had Lyudochka’s daughter.

Once Ivan came to the city and stopped at Yevgenia Semyonovna, on the same day the prince visited here.

Chapter Sixteen

Accidentally Ivan was in the dressing room, where, hiding, he overheard the conversation between the prince and Eugenia Semyonovna. The prince told the woman that he wants to buy a cloth factory and is going to marry soon. Grushenka, about whom the man completely forgot, plans to give out for Ivan Severyanich.

Golovin was busy with the affairs of the factory, so he did not see Grushenka for a long time. Returning back, I learned that the prince had taken the girl somewhere.

Chapter Seventeen

On the eve of the wedding, Prince Grushenka appears. The girl tells Ivan that the prince hid in a “strong place and set up watchmen to strictly guard my beauty,” but she escaped.


As it turned out, the prince secretly took Grushenka out into the woods to the bee, putting three “young, healthy maidens” to the girl, who were watching to prevent the gypsy from escaping. But somehow, playing with them in blind man’s buff, Grushenka managed to deceive them – so she returned.

Ivan tries to dissuade the girl from committing suicide, but she assured that she will not be able to live after the prince’s wedding – she will suffer even more. The gypsy woman asked to kill her, threatening: “You will not kill,” he says, “me, I will become your own shameful woman to all of you in retaliation.” And Golovin, having pushed Grushenka into the water, fulfilled her request.

Chapter nineteen

Golovin, “without understanding himself,” fled from that place. On the way he met an old man – his family was sad that their son was taken into recruits. Pitying the old people, Ivan went into recruits instead of their son. Asked to be sent to fight in the Caucasus, Golovin stayed there for 15 years. Distinguished in one of the battles, Ivan to the Colonel’s praise answered: “I, your honor, are not a good fellow, but a great sinner, and neither the land nor the water accepts me” and told his story.

For the difference in the fight Ivan was appointed an officer and sent with the Order of St George to St. Petersburg in resignation. Service in the address table did not work out for him, so Ivan decided to go to the artists. However, he was soon expelled from the troupe, because he stood up for the young actress, hitting the offender.

After that Ivan decides to go to the monastery. Now he lives in obedience, not considering himself worthy for a senior vigil.

Chapter Twenty

At the end, the satellites asked Ivan: how he lives in a monastery, whether he was tempted by his demon. The hero replied that he was tempted to appear in the image of Grushenka, but he had already overcome it. Somehow Golovan hacked the appeared demon, but he turned out to be a cow, and another time because of demons a man knocked down all the candles near the icon. For this Ivan was put in a cellar where the hero had the gift of prophecy. On the ship, Golovan goes “to the pilgrimage to Solovki to Zosima and Savvatia,” before bowing down to death, and then going to war.

“The enchanted wanderer once again felt the inspiration of the broadcasting spirit and fell into a quiet concentration, which none of the interlocutors allowed himself to be interrupted by any new question.”


In “Enchanted Wanderer” Leskov depicted a whole gallery of bright original Russian characters, grouping images around two central themes – the theme of “wanderings” and the theme of “charm.” Throughout his life the main character of the story – Ivan Severyanich Flyagin through wanderings tried to comprehend the “beauty perfect”, finding it in everything – in horses, then in beautiful Grushenka, and in the end – in the image of the homeland, for which it is going to go to war.

The image of Fliagin Leskov shows the spiritual maturation of a person, his formation and understanding of the world. The author has portrayed before us the real Russian saint, the seer, whose “wills” “remain for a time in the hand of the one who conceals his destiny from the clever and intelligent and only occasionally reveals them to the babies.”

We recommend to read not only a brief retelling of the “Enchanted Wanderer”, but also to evaluate Leskov’s story in its full version.

Summary “Enchanted Wanderer”