Nikolai Ivanovich Novikov
was born in 1744 in the family of a rich landowner, who lives in a Moscow estate near Moscow. In 1755, Nicholas began to attend the French class, which was opened in the same year at Moscow University, although in 1760 Novikov was expelled.
Service Nikolai Ivanovich began in 1762 in Izmaylovsky regiment. He personally participated in the events of June 28, 1762, when Catherine the Great entered the throne.
In 1769 Novikov resigned. His intentions included the protection of the humiliated strata of the population of Russia. In the same year he published his first journal called “The Truten.” In addition to this magazine, Nikolai Ivanovich produced the following periodicals: Pustomel, Painter and Wallet.
In 1775 Novikov joined the Masons. Nikolay Ivanovich conducted a wide charitable activity. Together with Schwartz, he established a Friendly Academic Society, which afterwards was transformed into a Printing Company.
In 1792 the publisher was arrested and imprisoned in the Shlisselburg Fortress. Novikov was liberated by the new tsar Paul I at the very beginning of his reign. In 1818, N.I. Novikov died in poverty.
Novikov often missed classes at the gymnasium at Moscow University.
For this he was expelled in 1762. The fact is that Nicholas’s father was sick, and teaching in the gymnasium was not very important. By the way, he left the gymnasium together with the future favorite of Catherine the Great – Grigory Potemkin.
Novikov first saw Ekaterina Alekseevna during the palace coup.
Then he did not know yet that his fate would be closely intertwined with the fate of the future Empress Catherine II. For participation in the events of June 28, 1762, Nikolai Ivanovich Novikov was promoted to non-commissioned officers.
Novikov was interested in literature.
Military service gave him the opportunity to extract knowledge from different sciences. But most of all Nikolai Ivanovich was occupied by “verbal sciences”: he took part in the literary evenings of the empress, which took place in the Hermitage. In 1768 Novikov spent his first works on the saved funds. These were translations of works by French authors and sonnets.
Novikov resigned from military service to protect the humble strata of society.
In 1766 Nikolai Ivanovich was included in the Commission for the development of a new Code. Novikov was appointed the head of the department. Thus, the abilities and education of Novikov were noted in the upper strata. Exactly carrying out his new work, Nikolai Ivanovich discovered for himself all the hardships of the middle class – small traders and artisans, and, of course, the most unprivileged class – of the Russian peasantry. Then Nikolai Ivanovich resigned from military service (1769). This happened immediately after the completion of the work of the Commission. From this moment on, Novikov’s main life goal is to defend the humble estates and blame the vices of noble people.
Novikov is the publisher of the journal Truten.
In 1769 Nikolai Ivanovich published his first journal. Its name is “The Trout”. It was a satirical edition. The main idea of this magazine Novikov saw in that it is much better to be a poor man, to earn a living honestly than to be a noble parasite, which everyone knows only because of expensive decorations. The publisher ridiculed the brutal landowners, flatterers, judges, who are guided only by their own advantage. Nikolai Ivanovich was also able to criticize and state policy, for example, if the matter concerned foreign trade. Novikov could not understand why the Russian Empire was changing the essential goods for luxury goods. Through this journal NI. Novikov led a polemic with the very Catherine II, which, in turn, responded to him in her published magazine “All sorts of things.” By the way, compared to Nikolai Ivanovich, the Empress life in the Russian Empire seemed very prosperous.The content of the journal published by Novikov was not liked by the empress and her entourage – already in 1770 the “Truten” was closed.
Novikov is the publisher of the magazine Pustomelia.
In its content, this was an even more audacious publication, which Novikov started publishing only 3 months after the closure of his first journal, Trutnya, in the same 1770 year. However, the history of this magazine was even shorter than the previous one. His publishing house was banned after the release of the second issue.
Novikov – publisher of the magazine “Painter”.
Previous experience has led Nikolai Ivanovich to the idea that it is necessary to act more diplomatically and circumspectly. This rule Novikov tried to implement in the magazine “Painter” – the first of his numbers included only a subtle satire on the mores of people. In each issue, the praises of the Empress and those close to her were compulsory. Only starting from the fifth issue, the author allowed himself to allow criticism of the brutality of the landlords and the state itself. He again touched the forbidden topics at the time. It should be noted that in addition to Novikov himself, famous enlighteners of the 18th century participated in the work on journals: A. P. Sumarokov, D.I. Fonvizin. In addition to satire, the content of the journal included serious translations of thinkers in Europe, discussions on public topics. The magazine became quite a popular publication, “Painter” was considered the best periodical publication of the time in the Russian Empire. However, in 1773 it was closed for a reason similar to the closure of previous magazines.
Novikov is the publisher of the magazine “Purse”.
This was the last magazine published by N.I. Novikov. His fate measured only two months of existence – only nine issues of this magazine were published. The main theme of the “Wallet” was the criticism of imitation of everything French. The topic is no less unpleasant for the upper strata of Russian society.
Novikov worked on archival materials.
Nikolai Ivanovich always was happy to think about the development of the book business in the Russian Empire. In 1772 he published work, which included biographies of about three hundred Russian thinkers. Soon he recovers forgotten and unused archival materials and devotes his work to the Empress Catherine the Great. The composition of twenty-eight books included works of previous times on political, geographical or historical themes. Poems and prose of Russian authors were also not forgotten. The Empress was pleased with N.I. Novikova and even she herself ordered to give to Nikolai Ivanovich ancient manuscripts.
Novikov is a member of the Masonic lodge.
Nikolai Ivanovich was in search of like-minded people in his views. In 1775 Novikov joined the provincial Masonic lodge. He was immediately given the highest title. However, Novikov himself was not attracted to any rituals, the mystical component of Freemasonry – here he found support for his enlightenment activity. Already in 1778 the members of this Masonic society suggested that Nikolai Ivanovich rent a printing house of the Moscow University. The term was negotiated for ten years. Naturally, Novikov agreed.
Novikov had organizational skills.
Immediately after signing the contract with the Freemasons, Nikolai Ivanovich moved to Moscow, where he started to work in the printing house. His organizational skills made this printing house one of the best in all of Europe. By 1788, it printed about half of all the book products of the Russian Empire. Novikov opened for readers many classical works of both domestic and European authors. Also Novikov made a rather interesting edition of the newspaper Moskovskie Vedomosti, which existed before; under Nikolai Ivanovich, its circulation has increased noticeably.
Novikov established the Friendly Scientist Society.
True, he did this together with his friend IG Schwartz (1779). The purpose of the work of this society was the publication of a variety of useful books for society, which were to be printed in four print shops.Already in 1783, with the help of their efforts, 79 books appeared. They were put up for sale in bookshops and Moscow University. In the same year, Novikov created the first Moscow public library, the use of which was absolutely free. The charitable act of this society was the opening of pedagogical and translation courses. They were intended for fifty gifted, but poor students of the Moscow University. At these courses they were trained for educational work – the preparation was at the proper level. In 1784, this society was renamed the Printing Company. She published a huge number of books. Among them were philosophical books, works of economists in England, as well as works by Russian authors of the 11th-18th centuries. This is not the end of the activities of the Printing Company. Several houses were bought for its funds to house printing houses and provide employees with own housing, and a pharmacy was opened where people who were not rich could receive medicines completely free of charge.
Novikov was engaged in charity.
It reached a particularly large scale in the famine year 1787. Novikov and his associates organized the following action: they arranged special shops in which everyone in need could get grain and bread for free. After the end of the hungry year, these stores continued to operate. The people were grateful to Novikov, but the authorities did not: the Empress was annoyed by the Masons, although the main reason was still the growing popularity of Nikolai Ivanovich. In 1785 the Empress made a grandiose examination of the book production of N.I. Novikov. The printing company suffered great damage: a significant part of the books that were published was destroyed.
After the incident of 1785, Novikov continued his publishing activities.
In 1786, the Empress again allowed Nikolai Ivanovich to trade in books. It is known that for the period 1779 – 1792 Novikov published 944 books of different subjects. However, in 1791 the contract with the Moscow University was not extended. The printing company ceased operations.
In 1792 Novikov was arrested.
This happened after Nikolai Ivanovich lost his wife, whom he experienced very badly, and the collapse of the whole life that marked the closure of the printing company. The interrogation was personally conducted by the head of the Secret Expedition, known to his contemporaries for taking part in torturing the arrested. They accused Novikov of membership in the Masonic society and the publication of books contrary to the law. After more than four years of imprisonment in the Shlisselburg fortress, Nikolai Ivanovich Novikov was released by Paul I. The rest of his life he spent in poverty, which was facilitated by the loss of health, the falling sickness of his son and daughter, as well as numerous debts. He died in 1818. The Novikov estate was put up for auction.