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By Alexander Pushkin
Translated by from the Russian by T. Keane
New York: Dover Publications, 1994
ISBN: 0-486-28054-3 85 pages

Bob Corbett
July 2015

This was my first read of anything written by Alexander Pushkin. I certainly know his reputation, and while the stories were interesting, often containing impossible happenings and wild imaginings, there weren’t as exciting or challenging as many other things I read.

I think I will have to tackle something more central to Pushkin’s reputation to do him justice. Below I just make a few notes about each of the stories, trying not to spoil the stories for any other reader, yet leaving enough here to spark my own memory in the future.


The old rich woman controls much of what goes on in the family simply because she has such wealth. When one of her attendants develops a crush on a local military officer whom she’s never met, things move into new territory.

He pursues her and begs her to meet him and to even marry him, but she is nervous and a bit skeptical and unsure. Nonetheless, she’s falling for him. Finally she shares a secret about her mistress with him and he uses that information to try to advance his case with the young attendant.

A surprise ending brings this house of cards crashing down, and it is the old woman who ends up in charge, even after her death.

The story is well written, but does require of the reader a very strong sense of a suspension of disbelief!


This is a cute story of the children of two rich estate owners who fall in love, but the girl is pretending to be a servant girl. When the two fathers end their feud the truth of the girl’s life must come out.

The ending is clever and seemingly resolves the difficulties without any loss to the lovers, yet Pushkin never fully spells out the outcome.


This is a story of a duel which was never really fought, yet it has a story behind it of both courage and foolhardiness. Alas, to tell the outcome would ruin the tale. The fun is in the telling and the ultimate outcome.


The year is 1811 and Gavril Gavrilovitch, his wife and 17 year old daughter, Maria live a decent life on a rural estate. Young Maria has a lover, Vladimir and they are soon to be married, however, on the day of their secret wedding, he disappears in a terrible snow storm and she has remains unmarried.

However, she meets a very handsome and interesting soldier, a colonel who courts her. She really wants to marry him, but he doesn’t trust himself to be ready to settle down, when suddenly he discovers, much to his shock, that he was already, in fact, married to her! A fun surprise story. THE POST MASTER

The postman’s daughter has run off with someone, but her father isn’t even sure who it is. He sets out to find her, discovering that although he tried to forget her when she ran off, he has always loved her after all.


The coffin maker has just moved his business and home to a new location in a different part of Moscow city. He’s invited to a neighborhood home for a wedding anniversary, gets very drunk and he quite an unusual drunken experience!

Bob Corbett


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Bob Corbett