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Philhellene Eugène de Villeneuve's Book: Chekhov Library Hosts Author Talk and Book Signing

April 10, 2024: The Diary of Eugène de Villeneuve, a Captain of the Hellenic Army, Kept in Greece in 1825 and 1826 (Journal fait en Grèce: pendant les années 1825 et 1826), which was recently published by Aletheia (Saint Petersburg) was presented at Taganrog Chekhov Public Library.

The French philhellene, historian and archaeologist Pierre-François-Charles-Eugène de Villeneuve had taken part in a liberation war, the Greek War of Independence (1821-1829); the diary covers the time his spent in Greece and Turkey in 1825-1826, as well as his first visit of Russia and the return to Europe in 1826-1827. Later on, in 1837, Eugène de Villeneuve relocated to the Russian Empire and settled in Taganrog, where in 1842 he swore an oath of allegiance to Russia. Most of all, he was known for his tenure as the director of Feodosia Museum of Antiquity (in 1849-1865).

In the diary, Eugène de Villeneuve profiles such heroes of the Greek Revolution as Mavrokordato, Ypsilantis, Kolokotronis, Kanaris, Miaoulis, Fabvier, Mavrogenous. The book contains descriptions of the Greek city of Tripoli, Pylos, Nafplio, Athens, Constantinople, various islands of the Greek Archipelago.

The presentation of the first complete Russian translation of The Diary of Eugène de Villeneuve was hosted by Taganrog Chekhov Public Library on April 7, 2024. The book's translator, compiler and author of commentaries, Taganrog Foreign Relations Officer Alexander Mirgorodsky, talked about his findings in foreign and Russian archives. The newfound material served as a basis of Alexander Mirgorodsky's biographical essay on Eugène de Villeneuve, which is featured in the introductory article of the book. The translator dedicated it to his wife, Ph. D. in Art history Marianna Grigoryan, who is of Greek decent.

"Exclusive materials were found in a French archive, the State Archive of the Department of Indre. Thanks to these materials, the exact date and place of birth of the French philhellene were determined," said Alexander Mirgorodsky.

Chairman of the Greek National Cultural Autonomy, Cand. Sc. Philosophy and docent Pavel Revko-Linardato was among the reviewers of the Russian edition of the book.

For the first time ever, the poet, playwright and director of the literary theater "Odeon" Anatoly Bozhenko made a verse translation of poems of Eugène de Villeneuve and Jean-François Casimir Delavigne into Russian. Fragments from these poems are quoted in the book.