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Russian Personalities

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Mikhail Bulgakov – author of Master and Margarita

Mikhail Bulgakov – author of Master and Margarita

Mikhail Bulgakov – author of Master and Margarita


Mikhail Bulgakov was a Soviet novelist, journalist, short story writer, and playwright; author of internationally acclaimed novel Master and Margarita.
Mikhail Afanasievich Bulgakov was born on May 2, 1891 in Kiev. He graduated from the Kiev University Medical School in 1916. He practiced medicine in provincial villages. He witnessed the outbreak of the Russian Civil War in Kiev and struggled with morphine addiction.
In 1920 he abandoned medicine and began writing career. Mikhail moved to Vladikavkaz, Caucasus, where he wrote feuilletons and studied theater.
In 1921 Bulgakov moved to Moscow. His satirical novel Heart of a Dog, a science fantasy in which human organs are transplanted into a dog, was deemed unpublishable. His plays were banned.

The realistic novel The White Guard (1924) was his first major triumph.
The short story Morphine (1927) was his last publication in his lifetime.
In 1930 he wrote to the Soviet government requesting permission to emigrate. Joseph Stalin refused and offered him an assignment as assistant producer at the Moscow Art Theater. He wrote over 30 plays, only 8 of which were performed in his lifetime.
His novel Master and Margarita was written between 1928 and 1940.
Bulgakov’s last play, Batum (1939), written in honor of Stalin’s sixtieth jubilee, was banned.
The writer suffered from poor health and became blind in 1939. Mikhail Bulgakov died of kidney disease in 1940.
It was not until the 1960s that Bulgakov was fully rehabilitated by the Soviet authorities. The first of the novels to appear was Black Snow, a satire on the Soviet theatrical world. However, the number of his manuscripts remain unpublished.

Personal life
In 1916 Bulgakov married Tatiana Lappa, his first of three wives. They lived together for twelve very difficult years. They survived the misery of the Civil War, she helped him to recover after typhus. Eventually, he left the noble girl Lappa.
Lyubov Belozerskaya, whom he met in 1925, was the second wife of Bulgakov.
The new era brought Bulgakov a new feeling, which lasted until his death in 1940. Elena Sergeevna Shilovskaya became his ideal wife. Shilovskaya was the friend of his second wife Belozerskaya. Shilovskaya was married and had two children. Bulgakov’s wife let him go, because she had a love affair. But for Elena Sergeevna it was not easy to broke up with her husband. She was ashamed to leave a good man and they had to share the children: the oldest son was left with his father.
Elena Sergeevna became the queen of Bulgakov’s life.
Until her death in 1970, Elena Sergeevna was engaged in the legacy of her husband and the creation of memories. She enjoyed success with men, but all the fans received a refusal.
They were together during life and even after the death, Elena Sergeevna bequeathed to bury her in one grave with her beloved husband.

Mikhail Bulgakov – author of Master and Margarita