The Bridegroom; with Count Nulin and The Tale of the Golden Cockerel

This book contains three verse narratives by Russia’s supreme poet. Each is a masterpiece of its own genre – and plays with that genre in an entirely Pushkinian way. The least known of them, The Bridegroom, in the stanza form of a wildly popular German Romantic ballad that swept Europe, is far more modern than a Romantic ballad. Count Nulin is a comic tale of Russian country life, as light as a soufflé, has the spontaneous brilliance of Eugene Onegin. The eerie, ironic Tale of the Golden Cockerel transforms the fairytale genre with its bitter subtext of Pushkin’s relations with the tsar.Antony Wood continues the endeavour he began in his much-admired versions of Mozart and Salieri and Pushkin’s other Little Tragedies – to render Pushkin’s style in compelling English verse. His introduction and end-notes place the poems in context, discuss the problems of translation, and give a glimpse of Pushkin’s life and world.Each poem opening has a drawing by a modern Russian artist.


‘The Pushkin translations in The Bridegroom convey the flavour of this largely untranslatable writer … One has the rare feeling of reading the thing itself.’ – John Fuller

‘The translator deserves a vodka toast for his witty and nimble translations of these three Pushkin verse tales.’ – Boyd Tonkin, Independent

‘Lively, elegant and swift – all that I imagine Pushkin to be.’  Christopher Logue‘Antony Wood has produced a superb, crystalline rendering of “The Tale of the Golden Cockerel”, which is attentive to lexical and rhythmical repetition and sharp in its sparse imagery.’ – Oliver Ready, Times Literary Supplement

‘… an outstanding translation of “Count Nulin”. one of Pushkin’s greatest comic poems, a parody of Shakespeare’s The Rape of Lucrece set in the depths of the Russian countryside … There is nothing in English poetry quite like this translation; even Byron’s Don Juan seems, in comparison, heavy-footed.’ – Robert Chandler, Rossica