Alexander Pushkin is Russia’s most beloved poet. Pushkin is a decedent of a noble family on his father’s side and on his mother’s side the great-grandson of Peter the Great’s Blackamoor slave, who was presented with his freedom and became a general in the tsar’s Navy. Pushkin’s poem “Ode to Liberty” brought hope to the Russian people during a time when other countries were defining their democracy. He is considered to be the Shakespeare of Russian literature having inspired many other writers to follow him. He was revered for his masterpiece Eugene Onegin, and like the hero in his masterpiece became changed by the woman he loved. As a poet, he was also known as the patron saint of dueling having fought many duels during his short life, often over a matter of words or women. His last duel was surrounded with mystery involving an anonymous letter accusing his wife of being unfaithful. He fought this duel to defend his wife’s honor and the mystery of the anonymous letter was never solved, until now!
Explore the poetry and letters of Pushkin and read about his fascination with dueling, issues with religion, his struggles with censorship, the years he spent in exile while still serving the autocracy, his tribute to his comrades who fought in the Decembrist Uprising and his search for happiness as he finds and marries the most beautiful woman in all of Russia. Author M. A. DuVernet tells a captivating story of a black poet in Russia during the 1800’s, a man who believed in himself and became a legend in spite of the powerful few who hated him.