Mikhail Lermontoff, a Russian poet, born in October, 1814, killed in a duel in the Caucasus in July, 1841. He was of noble birth, and in early manhood became an officer of the imperial guards. The death of Pushkin in a duel in 1837 seems to have been his first incentive to poetical composition; but his poem commemorating this event proved so distasteful to the emperor Nicholas, that he struck the name of Lermontoff from the list of officers of the guard, and sent him to serve in the army of the Caucasus, where he remained until his death. During this brief period he composed the greater part of his poems, which have gained for the author the title of the poet of the Caucasus. Among his chief productions are: "The Novice, or the Young Circassian," illustrating the strong love of the Circassians for their native mountains; "The Dream of Valerika;" "Hadj-Abrek," a drama; "Ismail Bey;" "The Demon," published in Berlin in 1857; and the " Song of the Czar Ivan Vasilie-vitch." Most of these were collected at St. Petersburg after his death.
A third edition of them was published there in 1852, and in the same year a German translation by Bo-denstedt appeared in Berlin. During his residence in the Caucasus Lermontoff also wrote a remarkable novel entitled "A Hero of our Time." A fellow officer, feeling himself portrayed in it, challenged and killed him.