Lenin, Vladimir (1870 – 1924)

‘Our hopes of an uptick in activity in the public life sphere seem to be fading’

An extraordinary and rare autograph letter signed by Vladimir Lenin (‘V. Lenin’), written on a postcard sent from Florence on May 18th 1908.  Whilst the card was written during Lenin’s known time in Berlin and London, he visited Alexander Bogdanov in Capri in April 1908, and so perhaps the card was subsequently forwarded by  Bogdanov through the Italian postal system.

Lenin writes to the lawyer and propagandist Peter Mogilyansky (1881-1921), a Revolution sympathizer from St. Petersburg who supported Bolshevism and was apparently an acquaintance of Lenin. Addressed by Lenin: ‘Peter Mogilyansky / Bolshoi Prospect / Petrograd District 11 / Apt. 32 / St. Petersburg, Russia via Berlin’.

In full: ‘Some time ago you mentioned your setbacks with Techn[ical] Soc[iety], etc. How are doing these days? What’s new? Our hopes of an uptick in activity in the public life sphere seem to be fading. And it is not better with other matters, everything seems to cause a depression in me. It is quite warm here – about 12 degrees[C] during the day. We are staying here till February, and by St. Cassian’s Day expect to get back to St. Petersburg. [St. Cassian’s Day=Feb. 29 by Gregorian Calendar]. Give our regards to Natalia, Alexandrovna and Lyosha. It feels odd to think that you can go skating. Occasionally I feel a yearning to feel cold, but [illegible]. What was the reason for Pirozhkov’s bankruptcy? Do write. Yours, V. Lenin.’

The front of the postcard depicts a detail from a painting entitled The Concert by Venetian master Titian. Following his meeting with Bogdanov in April 1908, Lenin encouraged a split within the Bolshevik faction between his and Bogdanov’s followers, accusing the latter of deviating from Marxism.

In very fine condition.