We perceive Pushkin first of all as a great Russian poet, national pride. But we never think about what Pushkin lived and how much he received for his works?
Official and landowner
In the XIX century, making money with creativity was also not so easy. However, Pushkin paid well for his works, and this became one of the main articles of his income. True, not the only one.
Before Alexander Sergeevich began to receive decent fees for his creations, he was forced to live on the salary of an official and income from his estates. And the latter were not so high. For example, the salary of a collegiate secretary at the College of Foreign Affairs was only 700 rubles a year, Pushkin scholar Nikolai Smirnov-Sokolsky said in his book "Stories about Pushkin's lifetime publications."
The Mikhailovskoye estate brought the Pushkin family about 3000 rubles annually. The part of the Nizhny Novgorod estate, which came from his father, the village of Kistenevka with 200 peasant souls, located next to the famous Boldino, Alexander had to be laid before his marriage, which earned him 38,000 rubles. His wife, Natalia Nikolaevna, did not have a special dowry. By the way, Mikhailovskoye and Boldino belonged not to Pushkin himself, but to his parents. During his lifetime, the poet had in fact only one Kistenevka.
Fees and Salaries
The first significant literary earnings Pushkin received for the poem "Ruslan and Lyudmila" - 1500 rubles. When it became obvious that his works were very popular, the writer started asking for large sums of fees. So, "The Tale of Ivan Petrovich Belkin" brought him 5 thousand rubles. "Boris Godunov" - 10 000 rubles. Finally, "Eugene Onegin" - 12 000 rubles.
In 1831, the emperor appointed the titular counselor Pushkin a personal salary for literary merits - 5000 rubles a year. The researcher of the Pushkin biography A. Chashev gives the text of the receipt of Pushkin in receipt of the salary of September 9, 1832: "The undersigned received from the Treasury of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the following [used 14] of five thousand rubles due from the first of May on the first of September of this year 1832, one thousand six hundred and sixty-six rubles sixty-six copecks. "
Debts paid by the king
And yet this money was not enough. In a letter to Benckendorff (May 1835) Pushkin complains: "To pay all my debts and have the opportunity to live, arrange the affairs of my family and finally without hindrance and the hassle of surrendering to my historical works and my studies, I would be enough to get a loan 100 000 rub. But in Russia this is impossible. "
In the same year, the poet, who by that time received the title of the junker chamber, issued a decree of Nicholas I from the treasury in the amount of 30,000 rubles, which was never returned.
According to Smirnov-Sokolsky, for 17 years of his literary career Pushkin earned 255 thousand 180 rubles in banknotes. This amounted to 73 thousand rubles in silver. If you transfer this amount to the modern rate, it will be approximately 2 million 200 thousand dollars. The annual income at the same time was about 130 thousand dollars (in terms of the current rate).
The poet himself claimed that to maintain an acceptable standard of living, he and his family needed at least 30,000 rubles a year. The family was large and the wife had to buy outfits, plus expenses for departures and balls ... In addition, Alexander Sergeevich was a gambler and lost large sums at the card table. In a word, there was not enough money in his possession, and he was forced to constantly get into debt.
By the time of his death, the poet owed about 140,000 rubles. Among his numerous creditors were friends, usurers, card game partners, tailors, shopkeepers. Spas orphaned family is the king, who was petitioned by friends of Pushkin. Nicholas I ordered all the debts of Pushkin, including the mortgaged paternal estate, to be paid. Debt to the Treasury, of course, was also forgiven.