Thursday, 10 February 2011
Yermack, the rebel, a drama
Yermacks Conquest of Siberia, 1582 by Vasily Surikov.
"Yermack, the rebel, a drama; (poetic and pathetic) was one of the works De Quincey listed in his diary which he wished; "at some time or other, seriously intended to execute".
I presume that De Quincey was thinking of Yermack Timofeyevich:
Yermack Timofeyevich with a force of free Cossacks were enlisted by the Russian Tsar to defeat Kucham the self-proclaimed Khan of Siberia. Yermacks force prepared for the campaign during the winter and embarked on their campaign crossing into Siberia in the early summer of 1582, culminating in the routing of Kuchams large army on the banks of the River Irtysh and entering the Siberian capital of Khanate on the 26th October 1582. Yermack is shown standing under the Vernicle standard which is now housed in the armoury of the Kremlin in Moscow. Military Art
I am unsure where De Quincey read about Yermack or Yermac but one possible source is Colin Macfarquhar, George Gleig Encyclopædia britannica: or, A dictionary of arts, sciences, and miscellaneous literature, Volume 17, Part 2 1797 or L'Eveque's History of Russia. De Quincey was a prolific reader and may have come across Yermack's story in the encyclopaedia. It is an early example of De Quincey's fascination with the East.
As ever with this blog we search out strange connections on our travels. Here's Group X with There Are Eight Million Cossack Melodies And This Is One Of Them:
According to Rick Resource Forum this is The Mark Leeman Five