Profitable business: What are the fees received by the great Russian writers
It is widely believed that in pre-revolutionary Russia, writers and poets were virtually disinterested. That is, their fees were so meager that they did not allow writers to lead a decent life. Pushkin, for example, left behind a huge debt, Lermontov hardly managed to maintain a befitting nobleman lifestyle. Were the incomes of the great Russian writers really very small?
The genius of Russian literature by today’s standards was not a poor man. For example, the poem “Ruslan and Lyudmila” was purchased by the publisher for 1500 rubles. By the standards of that time for the money it was quite possible to rent a decent house in the heart of Moscow, and even for a few months.
However, along with the success of the writer grew and his fees, “Eugene Onegin” brought the poet an income of 12 thousand rubles. However, biographers say that for a comfortable existence of the great Russian poet with his family needed at least 30 thousand rubles annually. It is worth adding to this Pushkin’s love of card games, not always gave him a win.
It is known that after his death, Alexander Sergeyevich left a 100-thousandth debt, which was paid personally by Tsar Nicholas l. At his command, the complete works of Pushkin were published after his death.
Mikhail Yurievich, he didn’t really need money. And information about the fees Lermontov almost did not survive. However, it is known that in the second edition of “a hero of our time” the poet received 1500 rubles. Very modest, it should be noted, money.
Ivan Sergeyevich is considered one of the most successful writers of the XIX century. For a sheet of text published in the journal, the writer received in different years from 300 to 600 rubles. The fee for the book was on average about 4000 rubles. Historians estimate the annual income of the writer for the book in 6000 rubles, and even “Notes hunter” brought him every year to 1500 rubles. And shortly before his death, Ivan Sergeyevich sold all the rights to his works to the Glazunov bookselling firm, which at that time was headed by Ivan Ilyich Glazunov.
For the poet Nikolai Nekrasov creativity was not the main source of income. He didn’t care much about his fees. Even the purchase of the magazine “Contemporary” did not affect the financial condition of the poet. With the help of the magazine many literary talents of Russia were discovered. But as Nikolai Nekrasov made with love card games. He often several times increased the amount that was saved for his game. Money the poet treated fairly easy, despite the fact that in his youth he lived in poverty. However, in adulthood philosophically noted: about money just should not have a headache.
To secure a more or less decent life, Fyodor Mikhailovich had to write a lot and, as he himself noted, often – at the expense of quality. Dostoevsky’s fee for the sheet was only 150 rubles. Fees for books, it is also not enough, because after the receipt of payment should distribute the debt. Only in the late period, he began to pay a little more. “Teenager” was bought for 250 rubles per sheet, but “brothers Karamazov” – 300 rubles per sheet.
Leo Tolstoy received a good income from his writer’s work. The sheet of his work was estimated at an average of 500 rubles, and the novel “Resurrection” brought the writer an income of 22 thousand. At the same time, if we transfer Leo Tolstoy’s fee to modern amounts, it would have amounted to more than 20 million rubles. It should be noted that at the very beginning of his literary career, Lev Nikolaevich was satisfied with 100 rubles per sheet, and at the end he already received 1000 rubles.
The success of the writer allowed him not only to receive quite decent fees, but also to put forward conditions to the publisher. He did not hesitate to break the contract, if it has ceased for any reason to arrange publishing.
Ivan Bunin also failed to get rich due to his literary work. The poetic line was estimated at only 3-5 rubles, and in his youth and did 50 cents. For the first poetry collection Ivan Bunin received only 300 rubles. the Pushkin award, which was received by the writer, too, was small – 500 rubles, collected works in ten volumes, the publishing house “Sail” is evaluated only in 16500 roubles.
After the revolution, the financial condition of Ivan Bunin was even more deplorable, despite the Nobel prize in literature. Part of the money the writer gave to compatriots, without demanding a refund, and the rest tried to invest in a business that did not bring Ivan Bunin any income. At the end of his life the writer was desperate and wanted to be burned after death, in order not to rot in the damp earth.