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Lev Mei

Born Lev Aleksandrovich Mei
13 February 1822(1822-02-13)
Died 16 May 1862 (aged 40)
Occupation DramatistPoet
Nationality Russian

Lev Aleksandrovich Mei (Russian: Лев Алекса́ндрович Мей; 1822-1862) was a Russian dramatist and poet.



Mei was born on 13 February 1822, in Moscow. His father was a German officer who was wounded in the Battle of Borodino and died young. His mother was Russian. Mei completed his studies in Moscow in 1841 and served in the office of the Governor for 10 years. He became part of the "young editorial staff" of Mikhail Pogodin's "Moskovityanin". For a time, he taught secondary school, but was forced to retire because of conflicts with his colleagues. He moved to Saint Petersburg, where he was active in literary endeavors. It was during this period that he wrote "Reading Library", "Domestic Notes", "Son of the Fatherland", "Russian Word", "Russian Peace", and "Svetoch."

He wrote two historical dramas, The Tsar's Bride (1849) and The Maid of Pskov (1859), both of which the composer Rimsky-Korsakov later used as the basis for operas.[1]

Mei lived a dissipated and bohemian life, with a great fondness for drink, which led to his untimely death on 16 May 1862.


  1. ^ Golub (1998, 951).


  • Golub, Spencer. 1998. "Russia and the Republics of the Former Soviet Union." In The Cambridge Guide to Theatre. Ed. Martin Banham. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. 948-956. ISBN 0521434378.

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