Ivan the Terrible book review

Featured in

    Learn all about the first Tsar of Russia with this book review of Ivan the Terrible by Yuri Tsivian.

    Ivan the Terrible book review

    Ivan IV Vasilyevich, better known as Ivan the Terrible, is one of the most important figures in Russian history. Born to parents Vasili III and Elena Glinskaya (Serbian princess of Hungarian and Mongol descent), he was crowned the grand prince of Moscow at age three and the first Tsar of Russia at 16. He reigned from 1547 to 1584. By the end of his life, the Russian empire spanned from the Caspian sea in the south and Western Siberia in the east.

    His life, complex personality, and absolute power have inspired many works of art, including paintings, opera, sculptures, films, and books. He was such an astonishing character that even original art about him inspired other works in many languages including English.

    That is the case with the book Ivan the Terrible by Yuri Tsivian, which was inspired by the movie of the same name.

    What is Ivan the Terrible by Yuri Tsivian about?

    Ivan the Terrible, by Yuri Tsivian, is a profound analysis of the widely known film of the same name by Soviet director Serguei Eisenstein. This was one of the first color films made in the Soviet Union, the former name of the modern-day Russian state.

    The film uniquely represents some of the Tsar’s most important milestones. Starting with his coronation, his wedding to Anastasia Romanovna, and his declaration of war to the Kazan—for which he had St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow constructed in commemoration.

    In his project, Tsivian goes beyond what the viewer can see and hear for themselves. He also analyzes the influences and aesthetic beliefs Eisenstein used to make the film.

    The author thoroughly researched the director’s unpublished material and diaries to guide the viewers through understanding Eisenstein’s vision.

    With a vast knowledge of the artistic, literary, and intellectual references that inspired the director, Tsivian provides clear explanations of even the most esoteric ideas.

    His book also includes reproductions of Eisenstein’s drawings and illustrations ranging from Renaissance engraving to Symbolist paintings.

    The author recommends watching the film first before reading the book. Watching each particular scene and then reading about it in the book will make the viewer better prepared to understand much more about it, he says.

    Who is Yuri Tsivian?

    Yuri Tsivian combined his studies on film history in Latvia and Russia with semiotics under the guidance of Yuri Lotman. He also earned a Ph.D. in film studies from the Institute of Theater, Music, and Cinema in Leningrad.

    He has over a hundred publications, including Dialogues with the Screen, which he wrote in collaboration with Yuri Lotman, Silent Witnesses, Russian Films, and Early Cinema in Russia and its Cultural Reception.

    Tsivian has also developed two new fields in film study: carpalistics, which studies the uses of gestures in theatre, and cenemetrics, which uses digital tools to compare the uses of gestures in theatre, literature, visual art, and film.

    Depictions of Ivan the Terrible in various media

    Ivan the Terrible‘s life has been depicted in multiple media, including books and films. He also inspired different art forms, such as opera scores and paintings. Here are various media you can find on Ivan the Terrible.

    Tsar (2009 film)

    It’s set during the era of the Oprichnina between 1566 and 1569. The film is divided into four parts. In “The Prayer of the Tsar,” Hugumen Philip arrives in Moscow and agrees to become Metropolitan of Moscow. He urges the Tsar to show mercy to his enemies after witnessing the horrors committed by the Oprichniki. In the second part, Metropolitan Philip’s nephew goes to battle against Poland and Lithuania for access to trade routes through the Baltic sea. Governor Polotsk surrenders when the Lithuanian and Polish forces arrive at the town. When Phillip refuses to give his blessing, he is exiled to a monastery where he’s treated like a prisoner. In the film’s third part, Heinrich von Staden builds a torture camp for prisoners. Phillip refuses one more time to bless the Tsar, who orders Skiratov to strangle him to death. The final scene shows the Tsar waiting for the beginning of his torture while asking, “Where are my people”?

    Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan (1581 painting)

    Russian realist artist Ilya Repin painted the grieving Tsar on November 16, 1581. Ivan the Terrible had beaten his pregnant daughter-in-law for wearing immodest clothing. When her husband Ivan went to her defense, the Tsar struck a fatal blow to his son Tsarevich Ivan Ivanovich’s head in a fit of rage. The painting shows a crying Tsar full of remorse and cradling his dying son. With his first son’s death, the Tsar ensured the end of the Rurik Dynasty.

    The Tsar’s Bride (1965 film)

    Based on Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera. In 1572, Grigori Gryaznoy was madly in love with Marfa, who was betrothed to Ivan. At the same time, Ivan IV was also looking for a bride.

    Russka (1991 novel)

    This novel follows 1800 years of Russian history, focusing on the families Bobrovs, Romanovs, Suvorins, Popovs, and Karpenkos. Ivan the Terrible, Catherine the Great, Peter the Great, and the Bolsheviks are some of the characters included in the narrative.

    The Death of Ivan the Terrible (Historical drama)

    Stalin decided that the strongest leaders should be praised. This encouraged Aleksey Tolstoy to publish a stage version of the Tsar’s life in the year 1866.

    Ivan the Terrible (Score)

    Composed by Sergei Prokofiev for Sergei Eisenstein’s film. The main subjects of the first tale are the early years of the Tsar’s reign, his attempts to control the boyars, his wedding, the conquest of Kazan, the death of his first wife, Anastasia Romanovna, the Oprichniki formation, and his abdication. The second tale describes Prince Kurbskiy’s defection to Poland-Lithuania, the Metropolitan of Moscow, his disagreement with the Tsar, his triumph over domestic enemies, and the murder of his son.

    The March of Muscovy (1966 book)

    Harold Lamb recounts the growth of the Russian Empire from 1400 to 1648. In his books, he recounts the events from the Muscovite Civil War in the 1400s, the formation of the oprichnina, the Crimean raids, the conquest of Siberia, and more.

    Grozny (2020 TV series)

    This series explores the life of the Russian Czar and the tyrannical actions that led him to be known as the Terrible. Starting with his first years as Czar, when he conquered the khanates of Kazan and Astrakhan, expanding the Russian territory.

    Portrait of Ivan the Terrible (1897)

    Painted by Viktor Vasnetsov in a Romanticism style. It’s now exhibited in the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.

    Listen to audiobooks about historical figures on Speechify

    If you enjoy stories of historical figures like Catherine the Great or Queen Victoria, Speechify is the perfect online platform for you.

    In the Speechify app, thousands of audiobooks are available for streaming from your computer or portable devices.

    Buy the books you like one at a time, or acquire a monthly membership. You can also acquire an audiobook and give it as a gift.

    Visit Speechify and start enjoying the biographies of the most remarkable figures of all time.

    FAQ

    What is Ivan the Terrible’s full name?

    Ivan the Terrible’s full name was Ivan Vasilyevich. His Russian byname was Ivan Grozny.

    What are some of the negative effects of Ivan the Terrible’s rule?

    Many of Ivan the Terrible’s political decisions during his reign had negative effects. For example, when he got rid of the “Chosen Council,” he triggered the Livonian War. As a consequence, Russia lost Livonia and Ingria.

    The formation of the oprichnina caused resentment among the boyars, who conspired against him multiple times.

    In 1553, Ivan established the first printing press. However, this caused anger among the traditional scribes.

    Ivan’s reign was also marked by the Massacre of Novgorod and the Tatars burning Moscow.

    His paranoia was heightened after his wife Anastasia Romanovna died, possibly to poisoning, and one of his advisors, Prince Andrei Kurbsky, defected to Lithuania.

    In the 1571-72 war between Russia and Crimea, his Oprichnina and oprichniki were unsuccessful and were abolished afterwards.

    His standing army known as the Streltsky would later be involved in many uprisings and revolts.

    After the Tsar murdered his first son, his youngest, Feodor Ivanovich, inherited the throne. Feodor’s childless death ended the Rurikid dynasty and marked the beginning of the Time of Troubles.

    How many wives did Ivan the Terrible have?

    He had six confirmed marriages to Anastasia Romanovna, Maria Temryukovna, Marfa Sobakina, Anna Koltovskaya, Anna Vasilchikova, and Maria Nagaya.

    What did Ivan the Terrible do to his father?

    The father of Ivan the Terrible died when Ivan was three years old.

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.

    Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify

    Recent Blogs

    • How to download YouTube audio
      How to download YouTube audio
      Arrow
    • Speechify 3.0 Released.
      Speechify 3.0 is the Best Text to Speech App Yet.
      Arrow
    • Voice API
      Voice API: Everything You Need to Know
      Arrow
    • Text to audio
      Best text to speech generator apps
      Arrow
    • The best AI tools other than ChatGPT
      The best AI tools other than ChatGPT
      Arrow
    • Top voice over marketplaces reviewed
      Top voice over marketplaces reviewed
      Arrow
    • Speechify Studio vs. Descript
      Speechify Studio vs. Descript
      Arrow
    • Google Cloud Text to Speech API
      Everything to Know About Google Cloud Text to Speech API
      Arrow
    • Source of Joe Biden deepfake revealed after election interference
      Source of Joe Biden deepfake revealed after election interference
      Arrow
    • How to listen to scientific papers
      How to listen to scientific papers
      Arrow
    • How to add music to CapCut
      How to add music to CapCut
      Arrow
    • What is CapCut?
      What is CapCut?
      Arrow
    • VEED vs. InVideo
      VEED vs. InVideo
      Arrow
    • Speechify Studio vs. Kapwing
      Speechify Studio vs. Kapwing
      Arrow
    • Voices.com vs. Voice123
      Voices.com vs. Voice123
      Arrow
    • Voices.com vs. Fiverr Voice Over
      Voices.com vs. Fiverr Voice Over
      Arrow
    • Fiverr voice overs vs. Speechify Voice Over Studio
      Fiverr voice overs vs. Speechify Voice Over Studio
      Arrow
    • Voices.com vs. Speechify Voice Over Studio
      Voices.com vs. Speechify Voice Over Studio
      Arrow
    • Voice123 vs. Speechify Voice Over Studio
      Voice123 vs. Speechify Voice Over Studio
      Arrow
    • Voice123 vs. Fiverr voice overs
      Voice123 vs. Fiverr voice overs
      Arrow
    • HeyGen vs. Synthesia
      HeyGen vs. Synthesia
      Arrow
    • Hour One vs. Synthesia
      Hour One vs. Synthesia
      Arrow
    • HeyGen vs. Hour One
      HeyGen vs. Hour One
      Arrow
    • Speechify makes Google’s Favorite Chrome Extensions of 2023 list
      Speechify makes Google’s Favorite Chrome Extensions of 2023 list
      Arrow
    • How to Add a Voice Over to Vimeo Video: A Comprehensive Guide
      How to Add a Voice Over to Vimeo Video: A Comprehensive Guide
      Arrow
    • How to Add a Voice Over to Canva Video: A Comprehensive Guide
      How to Add a Voice Over to Canva Video: A Comprehensive Guide
      Arrow
    • What is Speech AI: Explained
      What is Speech AI: Explained
      Arrow
    • How to Add a Voice Over to Canva Video
      How to Add a Voice Over to Canva Video
      Arrow
    • The Ultimate Guide to Speech AI
      The Ultimate Guide to Speech AI
      Arrow
    • Fan Fiction Audiobooks: The Fusion of Storytelling and Fandom
      Fan Fiction Audiobooks: The Fusion of Storytelling and Fandom
      Arrow
    • Fan Fiction Audiobooks: The Fusion of Storytelling and Fandom
      The Best Celebrity Voice Generators in 2024
      Arrow
    • Fan Fiction Audiobooks: The Fusion of Storytelling and Fandom
      YouTube Text to Speech: Elevating Your Video Content with Speechify
      Arrow
    • Fan Fiction Audiobooks: The Fusion of Storytelling and Fandom
      The 7 best alternatives to Synthesia.io
      Arrow
    • Fan Fiction Audiobooks: The Fusion of Storytelling and Fandom
      Everything you need to know about text to speech on TikTok
      Arrow
    • Fan Fiction Audiobooks: The Fusion of Storytelling and Fandom
      The 10 best text-to-speech apps for Android
      Arrow
    • Fan Fiction Audiobooks: The Fusion of Storytelling and Fandom
      How to convert a PDF to speech
      Arrow
    • Fan Fiction Audiobooks: The Fusion of Storytelling and Fandom
      The top girl voice changers
      Arrow
    • Fan Fiction Audiobooks: The Fusion of Storytelling and Fandom
      How to use Siri text to speech
      Arrow
    • Fan Fiction Audiobooks: The Fusion of Storytelling and Fandom
      Obama text to speech
      Arrow
    • Fan Fiction Audiobooks: The Fusion of Storytelling and Fandom
      Robot Voice Generators: The Futuristic Frontier of Audio Creation
      Arrow
    • Fan Fiction Audiobooks: The Fusion of Storytelling and Fandom
      PDF Read Aloud: Free & Paid Options
      Arrow
    • Fan Fiction Audiobooks: The Fusion of Storytelling and Fandom
      Alternatives to FakeYou text to speech
      Arrow
    • Fan Fiction Audiobooks: The Fusion of Storytelling and Fandom
      All About Deepfake Voices
      Arrow
    • Fan Fiction Audiobooks: The Fusion of Storytelling and Fandom
      TikTok voice generator
      Arrow
    • Fan Fiction Audiobooks: The Fusion of Storytelling and Fandom
      Text to speech GoAnimate
      Arrow
    • Fan Fiction Audiobooks: The Fusion of Storytelling and Fandom
      The best celebrity text to speech voice generators
      Arrow
    • Fan Fiction Audiobooks: The Fusion of Storytelling and Fandom
      PDF Audio Reader
      Arrow
    • Fan Fiction Audiobooks: The Fusion of Storytelling and Fandom
      How to get text to speech Indian voices
      Arrow
    • Fan Fiction Audiobooks: The Fusion of Storytelling and Fandom
      Elevating Your Anime Experience with Anime Voice Generators
      Arrow
    • Fan Fiction Audiobooks: The Fusion of Storytelling and Fandom
      Best text to speech online
      Arrow
    • Fan Fiction Audiobooks: The Fusion of Storytelling and Fandom
      Top 50 movies based on books you should read
      Arrow
    • Fan Fiction Audiobooks: The Fusion of Storytelling and Fandom
      Download audio
      Arrow
    • Fan Fiction Audiobooks: The Fusion of Storytelling and Fandom
      How to use text-to-speech for Quandale Dingle meme sounds
      Arrow
    • Fan Fiction Audiobooks: The Fusion of Storytelling and Fandom
      Top 5 apps that read out text
      Arrow
    • Fan Fiction Audiobooks: The Fusion of Storytelling and Fandom
      The top female text to speech voices
      Arrow
    • Fan Fiction Audiobooks: The Fusion of Storytelling and Fandom
      Female voice changer
      Arrow
    • Fan Fiction Audiobooks: The Fusion of Storytelling and Fandom
      Sonic text to speech voice generator online
      Arrow
    • Fan Fiction Audiobooks: The Fusion of Storytelling and Fandom
      Best AI voice generators – The Ultimate List
      Arrow
    • Fan Fiction Audiobooks: The Fusion of Storytelling and Fandom
      Voice changer
      Arrow
    • Fan Fiction Audiobooks: The Fusion of Storytelling and Fandom
      Text to speech in Powerpoint
      Arrow
    footer-waves