'First Love' Summary
First Love was published in March 1860 in the Reader's Library. The author claimed it was the most autobiographical of all his works. Here Turgenev is retelling an incident from his own life, his infatuation with a young neighbor in the country, Princess Catherine Shakhovskoy (the Zinaida of the novella), an infatuation that lasted until his discovery that Catherine was in fact his own father's mistress.
Critics were divided. Some criticized its light subject matter that did not touch upon any of the pressing social and political issues of the day. Others condemned the impropriety of that subject matter, namely a father and son in love with the same woman and a young woman who was the mistress of a married man. But it had its many admirers, including the French novelist Gustave Flaubert, who gushed in a letter to Turgenev, "What an exciting girl that Zinochka [Zinaida] is!" The Countess Lambert, a close acquaintance of Turgenev, told the author that the Russian emperor himself had read the novella to the empress and been delighted by it.
The story begins with a simple love triangle in which a Spanish count has fallen in love with a girl called Rosine. He disguises himself to ensure tha...
Reviews for First Love
No reviews posted or approved, yet...