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Yevgeny Baratynsky Russia

Yevgeny Baratynsky
Yevgeny Baratynsky

Yevgeny Abramovich Baratynsky was born in 1801 on the family property in the Tambov region of central Russia. After his father's death in 1810, he was given a place at the School of Pages, an elite boarding school in St Petersburg.

His school days, in which he discovered a love for literature and the desire to be a poet, were cut short by an event that changed the course of his life. He and a classmate stole a substantial sum of money from another classmate's father; they were immediately found out, disgraced and expelled from the school. A career as an officer was now closed to Baratynsky, especially in view of the personal disfavour of the tsar. Even so, after a period of suicidal depression, he decided to attempt to rehabilitate himself by enlisting as a private soldier.

In May 1825, after nine years of disgrace, and just a few months before the ill-fated December uprising against the newly crowned tsar Nicholas I, Baratynsky was finally pardoned and promoted to officer rank. His first volume of poetry was published in 1827, followed by a much larger collection in 1835. Then in 1842 came Half-Light, Baratynsky's most important work, a gathering of poems written since 1834.

Baratynsky died in Italy on 11 July, 1844.