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Aleksandr Sergeevich Pushkin was born in Moscow on May 26 1799 In 1811 he was selected to be among the thirty students in the first class at the Lyceum in Tsarskoe Selo He attended the Lyceum from 1811 to 1817 and received the best education available in Russia at the time He soon not only became the unofficial laureate of the Lyceum but also found a wider audience and recognition He was first published in the journal The Messenger of Europe in 1814 In 1815 his poem Recollections in Tsarskoe Selo met the approval of Derzhavin a great eighteenth-century poet at a public examination in the Lyceum After graduating from the Lyceum he was given a sinecure in the Collegium of Foreign Affairs in Petersburg The next three years he spent mainly in carefree light-hearted pursuit of pleasure He was warmly received in literary circles in circles of Guard-style lovers of wine women and song and in groups where political liberals debated reforms and constitutions Between 1817 and 1820 he reflected liberal views in revolutionary poems his ode Freedom The Village and a number of poems on Aleksandr I and his minister Arakcheev At the same time he was working on his first large-scale work Ruslan and Liudmila In April 1820 his political poems led to an interrogation by the Petersburg governor-general and then to exile to South Russia under the guise of an administrative transfer in the service Pushkin left Petersburg for Ekaterinoslave on May 6 1820 Soon after his arrival there he traveled around the Caucasus and the Crimea with the family of General Raevsky During almost three years in Kishinev Pushkin wrote his first Byronic verse tales The Prisoner of the Caucasus 1820-1821 The Bandit Brothers 1821-1822 and The Fountain of Bakhchisaray 1821-1823 He also wrote Gavriiliada 1821 a light approach to the Annunciation and he started his novel in verse Eugene Onegin 1823-1831 With the aid of influential friends he was
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