Portrait by George Dawe
|Born||27 July 1784|
|Died||4 May 1839 (aged 54)|
Simbirsk Governorate, Russia
|Known for||Hussar poetry|
Denis Vasilyevich Davydov (Russian :Дени́с Васи́льевич Давы́дов,IPA: [dʲɪˈnʲis vɐˈsʲilʲjɪvʲɪtɕ dɐˈvɨdəf] (
Davydov stemmed from a family of Russian nobility with Tatar roots.After gaining celebrity as a guerrilla leader in the Russian Patriotic War, he became one of the most popular men in the country. Young men of Pushkin's circle viewed him as a model romantic hero and the Decembrists prized his company as well.
Davydov's poems were admired by Vissarion Belinsky for their organic quality and "Russianness". Alexander Pushkin had a high opinion of his poetry and said that Davydov had showed him the way to be original.His poems address such themes as courage in battle, harlots, vodka, and the value of true friendship. In them he sings the praise of reckless valor, on the field of battle as well as before the bottle. His later poems were inspired by a late love for a very young girl.
The diction in some of his poems is considered unconventional,[ by whom? ] and occasionally his words have to be replaced by dots,[ clarification needed ]. Besides hussar poetry, his works included the anti-absolutism poem 'Head and Feet'. He wrote an Essay towards a Theory of Guerilla Warfare (1821) and Some events from the life of Denis Vasilievich Davydov, a series of recollections on military life, used by Leo Tolstoy in writing War and Peace .[ citation needed ] According to D.S. Mirsky, "in his autobiography he indulges in a veritable orgy of puns and jokes not always in the best of taste. His military writings are fresh, vigorous, and racy; and his memoirs contain some of the best military reading in the language".
Davydov fought in the Russo-Iranian War of 1826-1828.His grave, with his statue above it, is situated next to the exit door of the katholikon of the Novodevichy Convent.
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Events from the year 1723 in Russia
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