Eugene Onegin is a comedy of manners, written in exquisitely crafted verse, about two young members of the Russian gentry, the erstwhile hero and the girl Tatyana, who don't quite connect. It is also among the greatest masterpieces of Russian literature, one of the most celebrated poems of the world, and a source of many of the human archetypes and the attitudes that define the towering fictional creations of nineteenth century Russia.
Set in 1820s Russia, Pushkin's verse novel follows the fates of three men and three women. Engaging, and varied in tone, it contains a large cast of characters and offers the close reader many literary, philosophical, and autobiographical digressions, in a highly tongue-in-cheek vein.
ALEXANDER PUSHKIN (1799-1837) was born into Russian nobility in Moscow. He published his first poem at the age of fifteen, and is considered by critics to be a father of Russian literature, as revered by Russians as Shakespeare is by the British.
His novel in verse, Eugene Onegin, was serialized between 1825 and 1832.
Notoriously quick-tempered about his honour, Pushkin fought many duels and was fatally wounded in such an encounter with a French officer he accused of attempting to seduce his wife. He was mortally wounded and died in January 1837.