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Surrounded by spies, his writings personally censored by the Tsar, Pushkin (1799-1837) had every incentive both to write historical stories, such as The Captain's Daughter and uncompleted Negro of Peter the Great, and to criticize Russian society. This selection from his work also includes Dubovsky, a Byronic tale of a dispossesed young officer, and The Queen of Spades. This famous story of the card tables, whose self-seeking hero Dostoyevsky called a "colossal figure", was made into an opera by Tchaikovsky.
A collection of short fiction showcasing Alexander Pushkin's application of Romantic sensibilities to uncompromising studies of human frailty
'The Queen of Spades', one of Pushkin's most popular and chilling short stories, tells of an inveterate card player who develops a dangerous obsession with the secret of an old lady's luck, which he believes will bring him the wealth he craves. 'The Negro of Peter the Great', a story based on the life Pushkin's own great-grandfather, is a vivid depiction - and criticism - of both French and Russian society, while 'Dubrovsky' is the Byronic tale of a dispossessed young officer. 'The Captain's Daughter' tells of a young man sent to military service - based on the actual events of the rebellion against Catherine II, it demonstrates Pushkin's unparalleled skill at blending fiction and history. Together these four stories display the versatility and innovation that earned Pushkin his reputation as a master of prose and established him as the towering figure in Russian literature.
In this edition Rosemary Edmonds's translation is accompanied by an introduction examining Pushkin's simplicity of style and the powerful influence he exerted on his country's literature.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Alexander Pushkin was born in Moscow in 1799. Leaving school in 1817, he spent three years in St Petersburg working in the Foreign Office and writing erotic verse. His flirtations with pre-Decembrist movements and his revolutionary verses lead to his exile in 1820. After a stay in the Caucasus and Crimea he was sent to Bessarabia, where he began to write more seriously, beginning Eugene Onegin and Tsygany. In 1831 he retired to a family estate, married, and his literary output slackened. He was mortally wounded in a duel and died in January 1837.
Rosemary Edmonds was born in London and studied languages in England, France and Italy. During the war she was translator to General de Gaulle. Among her many translations for Penguin Classics are Tolstoy's War and Peace, Anna Karenin and Resurrection and Turgenev's Fathers and Sons. She died in 1998.