Big news! LibraryThing is now free to all! Read the blog post and discuss the change on Talk.
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.


Salvage: The Coast of Utopia, Part III

by Tom Stoppard

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1081185,008 (3.69)4
Salvage is the final part of Tom Stoppard's trilogy The Coast of Utopia. It is 1852. Alexander Herzen, who left Russia five years earlier, has arrived in London in retreat from a series of public and private calamities. Revolution in Europe has hit the rocks. 'I have lost every illusion dear to me,' he says. 'I'm forty. The world will hear no more of me.' But émigré circles in London (including Karl Marx) are buzzing with plots and intrigues, and Herzen's money, as well as his sardonic wit, soon have an outlet among them. With the accession of Alexander II, 'the Reforming Tsar', Herzen's revived spirits are boosted by the arrival of his childhood friend Nicholas Ogarev with his wife Natalie. Their journal 'The Bell', smuggled into Russia, enters its heyday in the struggle for the emancipation of the serfs. Will it be reform from above or revolution from below? At home the 'new men' who once looked on Herzen as their inspiration are in a hurry, and in London he is once more at odds with Michael Bakunin, who has escaped from exile in Siberia. Meanwhile Natalie Ogarev finds in him her romantic ideal, and Herzen's public and private travails are far from over.… (more)



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 4 mentions

Completing the trilogy that comprise The Coast of Utopia, Salvage opens with Alexander Herzen resting at his home in Hampstead, England. He dreams of a pantheon of emigre friends, political refugees from Germany, Poland, France, Italy and Hungary. It is "A dream about exiles", he explains -- an almost unreal world much like the one he himself inhabits, in the center of the vortex of those trying still to organise and cause change in Russia from far abroad. It is five years after the revolutionary turmoil of 1848, but the turmoil and lack of direction seem pervasive among the radicals.
The First Act continues juxtaposing domestic turmoils of the Herzen family, a new German tutor for the children, Natalie and Nicholas Ogarev and others. With their tribulations in the forefront the background of change for Russia becomes a descant that is briefly heard from with discussions of the new publication, The Bell, that provides a tocsin for the opponents of the Tsar. The freeing of the Serfs as an event seems not to satisfy either the radicals or the Tsar.
In Act Two Nicholas Chernyshevsky appears on the scene providing another opportunity for dialogue with Herzen over the best approach to effect change in Russia. There is not a definitive answer to that question beyond the continuing disagreement. There is also the voice of Turgenev who gently opposes those who deride him and what he does, believing that his art does also serve some purpose -- and responds when asked what his purpose was in writing a fiction: "My purpose ? My purpose was to write a novel."
The nostalgia of Herzen for his homeland leads him to rue his decision to leave it even though he would likely face prison and Siberia if he were to return. The lives of the Russian exiles are romantic only in an ironic sense as the fog and mist of England mask their disappointments. ( )
  jwhenderson | Jun 6, 2013 |
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.69)
2 1
3 7
3.5 1
4 2
4.5 1
5 4

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 149,326,024 books! | Top bar: Always visible