About the Author
Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837) was a writer, poet, and playwright of the Romantic era who pioneered the use of vernacular speech in Russian literature. He was descended from Russian nobility and from an African great-grandfather who had been raised at the court of Peter the Great. Pushkin’s commitment to social reform led to a period of exile and government censorship, during which he wrote some of his most famous works. He died after a fighting a duel at the age of thirty-seven.