Book formerly owned by Lermontov grandmother’s friend found in Penza library fund
Penza, 18 December 2014. PenzaNews. The Penza regional library reviewed its book fund and uncovered a book formerly owned by a landlord Semen Turner, a close friend of Elizaveta Arsenyeva, grandmother of Mikhail Lermontov.
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“The book is ‘Full course on fortification, or science of reinforcing castles. Part I: On building castles and reinforcing cities’ by Jean François Gaspard de Saint-Paul. The book was published in Russian in St. Petersburg, and presented to Semen Turner when he graduated from a cadet course of the Emperor war and orphan house (the war and orphan house was transformed into the Pavlov cadet division in 1829). The hardback of the book bears a note: ‘For mastering the sciences of the E[mperor] W[ar and] O[rphan] H[ouse] to cadet Turner 1819’,” the press service of the Penza regional library contacted PenzaNews agency on Thursday, December 18.
They explained that the landlord’s son Vadim Turner presented 531 books from the father’s library to the Penza Lermontov regional library: however, the actual list of these books does not exist.
“We think of most of them as missing. Until now, there was only one known book from his private library, ‘Ruins, or Musings on imperial revolutions’ by the French wise man François Volney (1757-1820),” the library said.
Semen Frantsevich Turner (1801-1869) was a landlord in Schepotyevo village five versts away from Tarkhany. He was a close friend of Elizaveta Arsenyeva, and signed two of her wills (in 1841 and 1845).