Alexander Pushkin

Alexander Pushkin

Great Russian poet and playwright

"Better the illusions that exalt us than ten thousand truths"

“A friend of my harsh days” – Arina Rodionovna, Alexander Pushkin’s nanny

Alexander Pushkin’s nanny was a woman named Arina Rodionovna, who played a significant role in his early childhood and upbringing. Arina was a serf belonging to Pushkin’s father, Sergei Pushkin, and she became Alexander’s nursemaid when he was only a few months old.

Arina was a deeply superstitious woman, and she passed on many folk beliefs and traditions to the young Pushkin. She also told him stories and legends from Russian folklore, which later became a source of inspiration for Pushkin’s own writing.

Despite the fact that Arina was a serf and therefore considered to be of low social status, Pushkin held her in high regard and wrote about her with great affection in his memoirs. He credited her with instilling in him a love of Russian language and literature, and he remembered her fondly for her warmth and kindness.

Pushkin’s relationship with Arina was not without its complications, however. As a member of the nobility, Pushkin was expected to distance himself from his lower-class origins, and his association with Arina was sometimes seen as a liability. Nevertheless, he remained deeply attached to her throughout his life, and he dedicated several of his works to her memory after her death.