Alexander Pushkin

Alexander Pushkin

Great Russian poet and playwright

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

The history of writing The Captain’s Daughter

He history of the creation of the “Captain’s Daughter” is important for understanding the main idea of the work of Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin.

During the three-year work on the story, which was anticipated by the work on historical material, the author’s idea changed

The idea

A. S. Pushkin, who was interested in the history of the Pugachev uprising, initially thought of writing a documentary work. In order to carry out his plan, the writer in 1832 received from Nicholas I access to the materials of the uprising: documents and family archives. A. S. Pushkin even visited the Urals and the Volga region to learn information from participants and witnesses of the Pugachev uprising. Many stories of real people in an artistic form were displayed in the story “The Captain’s Daughter”.

Work on the work

A. S. Pushkin began working on the work in 1833. Gradually, Pushkin’s novel with a documentary basis developed into an artistic novel, where the main actions took place against the background of the Pugachev rebellion. When the writer had worked through all the historical material, he began to comprehend all the events through an artistic form.

Due to censorship, A. S. Pushkin had to rewrite his novel many times. Initially, the author wanted a contradictory personality to be at the center of the narrative – a nobleman who voluntarily sided with the Pugachevites; however, later A. S. Pushkin came to create two images-antipodes, while emphasizing the positive qualities of Grinev and the negative features of Shvabrin. During the work on the historical novel, the names of the main characters who had real prototypes changed.

For the author of the work, the image of Emelyan Pugachev was important. A. S. Pushkin shows him not so much as a historical person, as a personality with all its character features. To put it briefly, the most important thing for the author is to show Pugachev not only as the leader of the uprising, but also as an ordinary person.

It was only in October 1836 that A. S. Pushkin finished working on the last edition of the story. “The Captain’s daughter” was published in the magazine “Sovremennik” in December of the same year.

Influence of foreign literature

The creative history of the novel “The Captain’s Daughter” is also connected with the fact that A. S. Pushkin was influenced by the genre specifics of foreign literature. At that time, the historical novels of Scott and Walter were translated into Russian. The Russian writer, like foreign novelists, sought to convey the mood of an entire epoch with the help of historical reference, to show an extraordinary personality – Emelyan Pugachev. That is why A. S. Pushkin himself called his work a historical novel, not a novella.