Olga Kalashnikova - Pushkin's serf love

She quietly entered his life and with her youthful beauty illuminated the soul of the disgraced poet far from friends and secular entertainments. Before him suddenly appeared "a young charm, half-blossomed in silence." Then this passion echoed in Pushkin's work with the images of his heroines from The Mermaid, The Young Peasant Woman and others, inspired by memories of Mikhailovsky, Trigorsky. It took Pushkin scholars more than a hundred years to unravel the mystery of the poet's "serf love", about which he was the first to write to his friend P.A. Vyazemsky in May 1826 with a request for assistance to a young peasant woman: “... The letter will be given to you by a very sweet and kind girl whom one of your friends inadvertently knocked up ... Take her in Moscow, and then send her to Boldino. At the same time, with fatherly tenderness, I ask you to take care of the future baby ... I don’t want to send him to the Orphanage, but can I still send him to some village - even in Ostafyevo. My dear, I am ashamed, by God ... ".

She was 18 years old when in 1824 A.S. Pushkin arrived in exile at the Pskov estate of his mother, the village of Mikhailovskoye, lost among a pine forest and a wide expanse of meadows on the banks of the sleepy Soroti. And soon here he noticed an attractive courtyard girl "... A friend of my days, innocent, simple ..." It was about her that I. Pushchin, who visited a lyceum friend in the village, wrote about her: "I immediately noticed one figure that was sharply different from others. " And the enthusiastic Pushkin compared her with Eda, the heroine of the poem by E. Baratynsky:

A simple father's daughter,

With beauty of face, soul with beauty,

Young Eda shone ...

She was just beginning to flourish among peaceful fields, green oak forests and mountains, thus captivating the poet and herself succumbed to his stormy passion, to the sidelong glances and ridicule of others, including the inhabitants of Trigorskoye. Pushkin answered them with a sparkling verse: "You laugh that I am captivated by a brisk maiden, by a dear scrubber ..." Arina Rodionovna alone patronized this love. She could not deny anything to her ardent pupil. What was the name of this charming "serf love" of the poet? Was it a short-term hobby?

Researchers of A.S. Pushkin. And only in 1928, in the book of P.E. Shchegolev "Pushkin and the Men" in the chapter "The Serf Love of a Poet" the name of Olga Mikhailovna Kalashnikova appeared. It was her, according to the author, that the poet was sincerely passionate about.

It was not only a whim, a fleeting passion of the young master. Forced to part with her in 1826. Pushkin felt guilty for her crippled fate and how he could help in changing it. So, in the 1950s, Professor of Gorky University S.A. Orlov in the State Archives of the Gorky Region discovered a case on the extradition of the free Olga Kalashnikova, about which he wrote in his book "Boldinskaya Autumn", Gorky, 1962. And ten years later I. Vorobyov published an article "New about Pushkin's" serf love "" in the magazine "Voprosy literatury".

Olga Kalashnikova

According to P. Shchegolev, Pushkin's relationship with the serf girl continued for more than a year until she left for Boldino, Nizhny Novgorod province. She went there with her father, Mikhail Ivanovich Kalashnikov. From January 1825 he was the manager of the Pushkin estate, first in Boldino until October 1833, and then Kistenev.

Here, soon on July 1, 1826, Olga gave birth to a son, as evidenced by the entry in the birth register of the Assumption Church of the village of Boldino for 1826. In the column “Who was born to” at number 24 it is written: “Peasant Jacob Ivanov's son Pavel, baptized on July 4”. The child's mother was recorded as the godmother. This can be explained by the fact that, according to the practice of that time, the illegitimate child was awaiting an educational shelter. Olga Kalashnikova and her father decided to register the child under the false name of Jacob Ivanov, which gave the godmother the right to raise the boy. But the baby Paul lived a very short life - for only two months. But what about Pushkin? What part did he take in the later life of his "serf love"?

As a man of honor and nobility, having removed Olga from himself, he did not leave her without help and support. On his arrival in Boldino in the early autumn of 1830, the period of the famous Boldinskaya autumn, very creatively fruitful, when Pushkin stayed there for a long time because of cholera until the very end of November and, at Olga's request, prepared documents for her free registration. It was already drawn up on October 4, 1830, but had to be certified by Nadezhda Osipovna, the mother of the poet, whose serf was Kalashnikova. And only eight months later, the vacation pay was presented to the county court for approval and delivery. It was this entry in the book of the Lukoyanovsky district court that was discovered by Professor Orlov in the archives of the Gorky region. Here is what is written there on June 2, 1831: “A petition from the 10th grade lord Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin, the courtyard girl Olga Mikhailovna Kalashnikova, at which she presented the leave of absence by the above-appointed Mr. Pushkin to attendance. They ordered: to give a petition for a pov'tya ... through the Lukoyanovsk post office to the father of the dismissive sent on May 25, 1831, then write it down in a book and, taking on it, what is revealed, subject to record with a description of the growth and will accept the dismissal, issue it to her with a receipt ".

From this it follows that Olga received her freedom from June 1831. The only pity is that the vacation pay itself with the description of "growth and will take Kalashnikova" has not survived. Although it is known that she was sweet, beautiful and kind, "stood out with a girlish dress and prettiness." And she's only 25 years old. In addition, her father looked for a suitable groom for her, a widower of 35 years old, with a son of seven years old, a nobleman, the owner of a small estate in the village of Novinki of the Gorbatovsky district. Their wedding took place three months after Olga received the freedom, i.e. On October 18, 1831, which again reads the entry in the birth register of the church in the village of Boldina: “Who exactly are married: ... In the Nizhny Novgorod province of the Gorbatovskaya district of the village Novinok landowner, and now in the city of Lukoyanov at the zemstvo court, a member of the noble assessor titular councilor Pavel Stepanov Klyucharev, the village of Boldin, Mr. Sergei Lvovich Pushkin, the manager and his courtyard, Mikhail Ivanov Kalashnikov, with his freed daughter, the maiden Olga, the groom is the second, and the bride is the first marriage. "

So, the former serf Olga Kalashnikova became the noblewoman Olga Mikhailovna Klyuchareva, about which her father immediately notified A.S. Pushkin, writing to him: “Knowing your great mercies, I will not hesitate how to thank you before God. Thank God, my daughter's fate, although with great difficulty, is over. This October, on the 18th, they got married, the titular councilor, Klyucharyov, and there are 30 peasants in the Gorbatovsky district ... "

But this marriage, concluded as mutually beneficial, did not make Olga happy. She very soon became convinced that her husband was "a drunkard and a man of the most depraved life, " besides, he was all in debt. Already in 1834, after a long litigation with creditors, Klyucharyov lost his Novino estate and returned to work. He even wrote to Pushkin with a request for a cash loan of two thousand rubles on behalf of his wife in order to buy out the Novinskoe estate. Apparently, Olga received this money, since she soon acquired movable and immovable property, registering everything in her own name: for 400 rubles she bought the serf Stephanida Martynova with her daughter and her son and acquired her own house in Lukoyanovo. But Olga was unhappy not only in marriage, but also as a woman-mother. Both her sons, who were born one after the other, Mikhail and Nikolai, like Pushkin's son Pavel, died in infancy, having lived for two or three months. Therefore, the break in the family life of the Klyucharyovs became inevitable. Klyucharyov himself was put on trial for offense in the service, lost his position, and then moved to live in Nizhny Novgorod and lived there in some cheap apartments.

And Olga Kalashnikova met with Pushkin for two more consecutive autumn years when he came to Boldino in 1833 and 1834. Probably, under the impression of a meeting with Olga, Pushkin wrote poems that were in the poet's drafts for a long time:

I thought my heart forgot

The ability to suffer lightly,

I said: what was,

It will never happen! It will never happen!

Gone are the raptures and sorrows,

And gullible dreams ...

But now the trembled again.

Before the mighty power of beauty.

Only memories of strong passion and love could give birth to these lines, and Olga was then only 27 years old. But the first impression soon passed and both realized that, of course, there could not be a return to the old relationship. Life has put everything in its place. This was confirmed by their last meeting in 1834 in the same place in Boldino. Pushkin arrived there exhausted by constant worries about the means for the maintenance of a rapidly growing family and court intrigues. And Olga was in grief. She lost her last three-month-old son only in August.

Thus ended the "languid attraction of the soul" to the peasant woman, whose fate repeatedly intersected with the life of the genius poet just four miles from the main road leading directly to our Simbirsk. But Pushkin could not completely forget Kalashnikova. This is evidenced by his postscript to a letter to Penkovsky dated July 14, 1836, to Boldin's manager: "I will write to you about Mikhail and his family." Then with her father, who no longer served in Boldino, Olga and her brother Gabriel lived together. She no longer had a home or serfs.

And the last thing. It is known that in December 1840, Mikhail Ivanovich Kalashnikov, on behalf of Natalya Nikolaevna, erected a monument on the poet's grave at the Svyatogorsk Monastery, thus completing his service to Pushkin. The Kalashnikovs lived at that time in St. Petersburg with Olga. And she is still only 34 years old.

Memories of the enormous, albeit short, happiness of "serf love" continued to warm her soul and gave the strength to live on, so that more than a century and a half later, arouse interest in herself and immortalize her name alongside Pushkin.