Aleksandr Pushkin - Exceptional Russian Poet

Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin was born on June the 6th, 1799 in Moscow and grew to be one of the greatest Russian poets and Russian Romantic authors of his time. Pushkin is also viewed as the founder of modern Russian literature and revolutionized the use of vernacular speech within his plays and poems, mixing satire, romance and drama as a style of storytelling. His original use of the language within these genres has since influenced many Russian writers even to this day.

Aleksandr Pushkin’s father came from a well-known family of Russian nobility that can be traced back to the 12th century, while his mother’s grandfather was Abram Petrovich Gannibal. Gannibal was one of the great military leaders, a noble man and an engineer under Peter the Great, a protégé of his adoptive father. Many British aristocrats have since descended from Gannibal, like Natalie Grosvenor, George Mountbattern, Duchess of Westminister and the fourth Marquess of Milford Haven.

Pushkin was successful in his writings from a young age having one of his first poems published at the age of fifteen. He then joined the impressive Imperial Lyceum in Tsarskoe Selo near St. Petersburg and by the time he graduated with the first class, the Russian literary scene had already recognized him for his talent. From there he became part of the energetic and raucous academically inclined youth in the capital, St. Petersburg. In the year 1820, Pushkin published his first long poem called Rusian and Lyudila, a controversial poem due to its subject and style.

Later on Pushkin became involved with social reform, which angered the government to the point that they transferred him away from the capital. He moved to Kishinov in 1820 and stayed there until 1823 when he then left for a summer holiday to Crimea and Caucasus. When he came back home he wrote two Romantic poems called the Captive of the Caucasus and The Fountain of Bakhchisaray, which again brought him out into the limelight and gave him worldwide acclaim.

He then moved to Odessa, again infuriating the government that they sent him into exile in the North of Russia where his mother had a rural estate and its here he wrote what would later become one of his most famous plays, the drama Boris Godunov. He stayed there for two years and then was given the opportunity to petition the Tsar Nicholas I for release, which he obtained. Some insurgents in the Decembrist Uprising had kept some of his earlier writings that were political in nature leading to the government censoring all his writings as well as controlling where he was allowed to travel.

In 1831 Aleksandr Pushkin married Natalya Goncharova and together they had four children Alexander, Maria, Grigory and Natalie who married into the royal house of Nassau and later became Countess of Merenberg. Pushkin and his wife became regulars of court society where the Tsar gave him one of the lowest court titles not only to humiliate him but also so that his wife would be able to attend court balls because she had attained so many admirers, including the Tsar himself. Later Pushkin died due to a fatal injury gained at a duel against Georges d’Anthes, his wife’s alleged lover.


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