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The Seven Who Were Hanged (Russian: Рассказ о семи повешенных) is a 1908 novella by Russian author Leonid Andreyev.

The Seven Who Were Hanged
An English-language edition of The Seven Who Were Hanged
AuthorLeonid Andreyev
CountryRussian Empire
GenrePsychological horror
Publication date
Media typePrint (Hardback and Paperback)

The book is believed to have influenced the assassins of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914.[1]



A minister learns of a foiled assassination plot on him by five leftist revolutionaries, and the trauma this inflicts on his peace of mind. The novella then switches to the courts and jails to follow the fates of seven people who have received death sentences: the five failed assassins, an Estonian farm hand who murdered his employer, and a violent thief. These condemned people are awaiting their executions by hanging. In prison, each of the prisoners deals with their fate in his or her own way.

The seven prisonersEdit

Assassin groupEdit

  • Tanya Kovalchuk. Leader of the terrorist group and motherly figure, who worries more for her friends' fate than her own.
  • Werner (full name unknown). A morose and internally bitter man, he learns to feel sympathy and love at the novellas end.
  • Musya (full name unknown). Youngest member of the group, who finds solace in the idea of martyrdom.
  • Sergei Golovin. Ex officer, who copes with his approaching execution by concentrating on his health and an exercise routine called the Müller system.
  • Vasily Kashirin. Most terrified of death amongst the conspirators.

Other prisonersEdit

  • Ivan Yanson. An Estonian farm hand at a Russian estate. He kills his master and tries to rape the master's wife. He appears confused and mentally weak.
  • Tsiganok Golubets. A Russian bandit and thief from Orel. He is to be executed for murder and is proud of his brutal acts, acting mostly jovially towards his execution.

English translationsEdit

  • Seven who were Hanged translated by Herman Bernstein (1909)
  • Seven Hanged translated by Anthony Briggs (2016)

Film adaptionsEdit

  • Rasskaz o semi poveshennykh (Story of Seven Who Were Hanged), dir. Pyotr Chardynin (1920) Russian silent film.
  • Balada o siedmich obesených (The Seven Who Were Hanged) dir. Martin Hollý (1968) Slovakian black and white film.


  1. ^ "Seven Hanged: The book that started World War One". BBC. BBC. Retrieved 8 March 2016.

External linksEdit