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Childhood and schooldays

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Tsarskoe Seloe, where Pushkin went to school   Pushkin: schoolboy rebel
Tsarskoe Seloe, where Pushkin went to school
A.E. Martynon, 1821
British Library YC.2002.a.17795
Copyright © The British Library Board
  Pushkin as a schoolboy
British Library Ac.9088b, p.24

Copyright © The British Library Board

Pushkin spent his schooldays at the Lyceum at Tsarskoe Seloe. The school had 30 pupils and was inaugurated in October 1811 at a ceremony attended by the Imperial family, where the boys were presented to Tsar Alexander. Although originally designed for the education of the Imperial family, the Tsar decide not to enrol his brothers Michael and Nicholas, the future Tsar. In the aristocratic circles to which the Pushkins belonged, Sergei Lvovich was regarded as impoverished, but the ancient nobility of his ancestry, along with the distinction of the Gannibals, meant that the family had an automatic entry to the highest layer of society.

Appropriately, his son Alexander received the best education to be had in Russia. The school was next to the Imperial palace. The boys lived on the fourth floor, while below were classrooms, a physics lab, a reading room with newspapers and journals, and a library. The Lyceum was the scene of Pushkin’s greatest youthful triumph, when at the age of 14 his first published work appeared in the journal The Herald of Europe (1814). The following year he was invited to perform after the end of term examinations. The event was attended by various dignitaries, including the Minister of the Interior, and the hugely respected poet Derzhavin. His poem, entitled Reminiscences of Tsarskoe Seloe, was a great success, and Derzhavin predicted that he would be replaced by the young poet. This was the first scene in Pushkin’s life to be later immortalised on canvas.

Guest-curated for the British Library by Mike Phillips

Pushkin, poet and troublemaker - the early years Next - 'Pushkin, poet and troublemaker - the early years'

Introduction Introduction
Alexander Pushkin
Alexander Dumas Alexandre Dumas
George Polgreen Bridgetower George Polgreen Bridgetower
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Introduction
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Alexander Pushkin
Pushkin's African background - the Pushkins and the Gannibals
Pushkin's African background - the Pushkins and the Gannibals
'All nature is a garden'
Childhood and schooldays
Pushkin, poet and troublemaker - the early years
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Alexandre Dumas
Alexandre Dumas
George Polgreen Bridgetower
George Polgreen Bridgetower
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
John Archer
John Archer
 
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