Famous people

Kostroma has made a great contribution to Russian culture and literature. Many famous and prominent writers were born in Kostroma or the Kostroma region: V.V. Rozanov, S.V. Maksimov, A.I. Gotovtseva and A.F.Pisemsky. Others had Kostroma roots or connections: A.N.Ostrovsky, P.A.Florensky, Y.V.Zhadovskaya and N.A.Nekrasov.

Alexander Nikolayevich Ostrovsky represents a whole era in the Russian national theatre. He can be compared to Shakespeare in England and Moliere in France. Ostrovsky was born in Moscow, but his roots are from Kostroma. All his male ancestors were priests. Ostrovsky’s father broke the family tradition and became a solicitor in Moscow. He bought Shchelykovo, the country estate in the Kostroma region. This country estate became the favorite place for Alexander Nikolayevich. The playwright would come here every summer for 20 years and he never stopped admiring the beauty of Shchelykovo. Here, in Shchelykovo, Ostrovsky wrote many of his plays and the famous fairy-tale “Snow maiden”, which contains many ancient beliefs and folk legends. The nature of Shchelykovo must have inspired Ostrovsky to write such a poetic fairy-tale. Alexander Nikolayevich was connected with Shchelykovo till his last days. He died in his country estate on 2nd June 1886 and was buried near the church.

Alexei Fiofilaktovich Pisemsky was born in Chukhloma district in 1821. He was educated in Kostroma high school and Moscow University. Back in Kostroma Pisemsky worked as an officer for special assignments in the governor’s office. His work took him to all parts of Kostroma region where he met all kind of people. It gave Pisemsky material for his literary work. Among his novels there are “A Thousand Souls” and “People of the Forties”.

Sergey Vasilyevich Maksimov occupies a special place among Kostroma writers. He was born in a remote part of Kostroma region, in Parfenyevo, in 1831. After finishing Kostroma high school he studied in Moscow at the University and the Medical-surgical Academy. But his true vocation was literature. Maksimov was interested in people’s life and perceptions of the world. He travelled a lot in central Russia, to the North, to Siberia and to the southern provinces of the country. After all these expeditions he wrote books about the ways of life of the local people. These books are excellent scientific sources for those who would like to learn about life and customs of the people of the 19th century. But they also make fascinating reading. One of the most interesting is “Asack of bread and its adventures”.

Yulia Valerianovna Zhadovskaya , who wrote poetry and prose. In the museum of literature, which is situated in the former guard-house, you can find out more about these and other Kostroma writers and meet modern Kostroma writers and poets.

  Anna Ivanovna Gotovtseva was born in Kostroma region. She was educated at home and started writing poetry when she was 16. Her poems were published in periodicals. Her name became well-known in Russia when she published a poem addressed to Alexander Pushkin and he replied. After A.I.Gotovtseva had married she stopped writing. But she taught her niece.