Pushkin's African Ancestry: A Question of Roots.

Although it is known that the great Russian poet, Alexander Pushkin (1799- 1837), was partly of African descent, the exact locality in the 'dark continent' from which his ancestors came has long been a matter of uncertainty. Pushkin himself was deeply conscious, and proud, of his partial African roots, though there is no evidence of these exercising any very tangible effect on his thought. He was unaquainted with things African, and apparently repeated, and embroidered on, traditions in his family, without elucidating them. Other Russians of his day were still less well informed, and, aware of his darker skin, conjured up entirely fanciful pictures of his ancestry. One of his enemies, Bulgarin, went so far as to sneer that the poet was descended from a slave bought from a ship's captain for a bottle of rum.

To continue reading this article you will need to purchase access to the online archive.

Buy Online Access  Buy Print & Archive Subscription

If you have already purchased access, or are a print & archive subscriber, please ensure you are logged in.

Please email digital@historytoday.com if you have any problems.