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Vasily Osipovich Klyuchevsky ( ; in Voskresnskoye Village, Penza Governorate, Russiamarker – , Moscowmarker) dominated Russian historiography at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. He is still regarded as one of three most reputable Russianmarker historians, alongside Nikolay Karamzin and Sergey Solovyov.

A village priest's son, Klyuchevsky, of Mordvinian ethnicity, studied in the Moscow Universitymarker under Sergey Solovyov, to whose chair he succeeded in 1879. His first important publications were an article on economic activities of the Solovetsky Monasterymarker near the old Russian town of Belozerskmarker (1867) and a thesis on medieval Russian hagiography (1871).

Kluchevsky was the first historian to shift attention from political and social issues to geographical and economical forces and agencies. He was particularly interested in the process of Russian peaceful colonisation of Europe, Siberiamarker, and Far East. In 1882, he published his landmark study of the Boyar Duma, whereby he asserted his view of state as a result of collaboration of diverse classes of society.

In 1889, Klyuchevsky was elected to the Russian Academy of Sciencesmarker. Although his lectures were highly popular, he published but a handful of biographies of "representative men", including Andrei Kurbsky, Afanasy Ordin-Nashchokin, Feodor Rtishchev, Vasily Galitzine, and Nikolay Novikov.

The last decade of his life was spent preparing the printed version of his lectures. He also became interested in politics, and joined the Constitutional Democratic party.

Further reading

  • Mazour, Anatole G. "V.O. Kliuchevsky: The Making of a Historian", Russian Review, Vol. 31, No. 4. (Oct., 1972), pp. 345–359.
  • Mazour, Anatole G. "V.O. Kliuchevsky: The Scholar and Teacher", Russian Review, Vol. 32, No. 1. (Jan., 1973), pp. 15–27.
  • Vasily Klyuchevsky. "The course of the Russian history", ISBN 5-244-00072-1, [172594] (in Russian)

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