Poet and playwright. He was born in Moscow, in a noble family. As a child, he was greatly influenced by the French and Russian culture. His father and uncle were ardent adepts of the French culture. Pushkin was brought up by French tutors. The Russian basis of his upbringing was laid by his grandmother. In 1811, Pushkin entered the Tsarskoe Selo Lyceum which was founded by Alexander I for the children of Russian nobles. Pushkin was one of the best students. After graduated from the lyceum, he was appointed a State Foreign Affairs College official, but continued to lead a high society life composing poetry. Having been influenced by Parnee and Voltaire, he wrote his lyrical-epic poem "Ruslan and Ludmila" and a lot of smaller poems in the taste of French poetics. He also wrote several sharp epigrams and poems to social and political subjects. Nicholas I did not like the spirit of free-thinking in them and told the author to leave St. Petersburg. He was transferred to an official post in Ekaterinoslav. General Raevsky introduced him to Byron's poetry. Pushkin served in Kishinev and Odessa. Here he led a life of a gambler and duel-maker.Soon Pushkin started his ingenious monumental work "Eugene Onegin" (1823-31). In 1824 Pushkin was sent to the Pskov region, to his father's estate Mikhailovskoe. In 1824-25 Pushkin works on his famous "Boris Godunov" following the high poetics of Shakespeare's tragedies. In these years Pushkin created a number of masterpieces of his love lyrics. He desperately wanted to break away from his country seclusion. Lonely country life depressed him, and with the help of his friends he tried to get a permission to choose a place of living to his own taste. The new emperor Nicholas I called the poet to Moscow. The tsar knew he had a dangerous enemy, and he wanted to make him harmless by controlling his every step. That is why he decided to make "friends" with the poet. Pushkin became tragically dependent on the tsar's wishes. In 1831, after the first unsuccessful proposal in 1829, Pushkin married Natalie Goncharova. Before the marriage he had spent the autumn of 1830 in Boldino, his father's village in the Nizhniy Novgorod region. This autumn came down into literature as "The Boldino autumn" because at that time Pushkin wrote a number of his masterpieces "The stories of Belkin","Little Tragedies", "The history of the Goryukhino village". Pushkin wrote historical novels as well. Such are his unfinished "Moor of Peter the Great"," Captain's Daughter", "History of the Pugachev's Rebellion". Other works of this period are his unfinished "Dubrovsky", a romantic story "The Queen of Spades" and the famous poem "Monument". In 1834, J. Dantes, a French royalist and the stepson of a Dutch baron Hekkern, started to ardently court Natalie Pushkina. On November 1836, Alexander Pushkin received an anonymous letter that said he was "appointed" a Master of the Order of Deceived Spouses. Pushkin suspected Hekkern had written the slanderous "diploma" and he offered Dantes a duel. That time the duel was prevented his friends settled the matter, and Dantes proposed to Natalie's sister. Pushkin agreed to their marriage on condition that Dantes would never see Natalie again. However, they met secretly on January, 25, 1837, and Pushkin got to know it. Next day he sent Hekkern an insulting letter, and Dantes challenged him to a duel that took place on January, 27. Dantes was only lightly wounded, and Pushkin was mortally wounded and died on January, 29, 1837.
Bio by: Jelena
Natalya Nikolayevna Goncharova Lanskaya
1812–1863 (m. 1831)