´╗┐

West Wing, East Wing

There's nothing russians love more than a good argument. After the writer Sergei Aksakov bought the Abramtsevo country estate in 1843, it soon grew into an informal club for SlavophilesŚintellectual gentry who demanded that Russia shun Western capitalism and return to her Slavic origins. But Aksakov, best known for his trilogy, A Russian Gentleman, extended his hospitality to pro-Western thinkers too, ensuring lively debates involving such literary luminaries as Fathers and Sons author Ivan Turgenev and writer Alexander Gertsen. The writer Nikolai Gogol, whose works reflected Russia's vagaries and antagonisms, was a regular participant. It was here that Gogol first read...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!