Episode 15: Father of Russian Literature, Alexander Pushkin

Last Updated on February 22, 2023 by Hannah Henderson

Poetry, debauchery and where to find Pushkin today

The Father of Russian Literature, Alexander Pushkin, grew up in St Petersburg and, while leading a colourful life of semi-debauchery, wrote many of his best-loved works about the city. This episode looks first at the man himself, from his schooldays at the elite Lycée opened by Alexander I to his dramatic demise in a duel at the age of only 37. Then we look briefly at two of his best known poems, both of which focus closely on St Petersburg and at his short story ‘The Shot’, a tale of pride, revenge and pistols which eerily previews his own death a few years later. Finally, we outline four places in the city today where you can go in search of Pushkin.


More information about St Petersburg coming soon.

Listen to the POdcast

Links & Reading

Useful websites for tourists
St Petersburg City Tourist Information Bureau
St Petersburg.Com (Tourist Information)

2 guidebooks to St Petersburg
Eyewitness Travel Guide to St Petersburg
Lonely Planet Guide to St Petersburg

Travel Book
Among the Russians by Colin Thubron

Russian History, a Very Short Introduction by Geoffrey Hosking
The Romanovs by Simon Sebag Montefiore
Caught in the Revolution by Helen Rappaport

Peter the Great by Lindsey Hughes
Peter the Great by Derek Wilson
Catherine the Great by Simon Dixon
Catherine the Great by Robert K Massie
Rasputin by Frances Welch
Four Sisters by Helen Rappaport (the 4 daughters of Czar Nicholas II)
The Diary of Lena Mukhina (A diary of the Siege of Leningrad)

Art and Culture
A Short Life of Pushkin by Robert Chandler
Nijinsky by Lucy Moore
Rudolf Nuryev The Life by Julie Kavanagh
Anna of all the Russias The Life of Anna Akhmatova by Elaine Feinstein

St Petersburg A Traveller’s Companion by Laurence Kelly
City Pick St Petersburg edited by Heather Reyes
Literary St Petersburg by Elaine Blair

Novels set in St Petersburg
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Siege by Helen Dunmore
The Betrayal by Helen Dunmore
The Suitcase by Sergei Dovlatov