Mykola Kostomarov (1817-1885) was a prominent historian, publicist, and writer. Professor of history at Kyiv University, in the 1840s he cofounded a clandestine society of Ukrainian intellectuals, the Cyril and Methodius Brotherhood, and wrote its programmatic text Books of the Genesis of the Ukrainian People. In 1847 he was arrested along with all the other members of the society, imprisoned, and later exiled to Saratov in Russia. In the later 1850s, Kostomarov became professor of history at Saint Petersburg University. Because of his political involvements he had to resign his university position in 1862 and could not accept offers from other universities.
Kostomarov wrote a number of fundamental works on the history of Ukraine in the 16th–18th centuries and collected extensive documentary material on Ukraine which he partly published in Documents on the History of Southern and Western Russia in 10 volumes (1861–78). He also wrote a series of books on Russian history. He was the founder of the populist trend in Ukrainian historiography. He also published a series of ethnographic studies. As a writer, Kostomarov is classified as a member of the Kharkiv Romantic School.