Saturday, January 16, 2016
Pushkin and the Russians
He was born in Moscow on 6 June 1799 into a cultured but poor aristocratic family, with a long and distinguished lineage. On his father's side, he was a descendant of an ancient noble family; his mother was a great granddaughter of Gannibal, the legendary Abyssinian, who served under Peter the Great. Pushkin's mother took little interest in the upbringing of her son, entrusting him to nursemaids and French tutors. Pushkin got acquainted with the Russian language through communication with household serfs and his nanny, Arina Rodionovna, whom he loved dearly and was more attached to than to his own mother. He was afforded an excellent education, and while he angered the tsar at one point, but managed to get beyond that error.
He married well, but it led to his demise in the end--he was wounded in a duel over his wife's honor, and died a young man.