Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin, b. June 6 (N.S.), 1799, d. Feb. 10 (N.S.), 1837, was Russia's greatest poet. His use of the vernacular as the language of poetry freed Russian writing from the constraints of tradition and set new literary standards for novelists and poets, and his preference for subjects from history and folklore brought fresh vitality to Russian literature. Anthony Briggs, Professor of Russian at Birmingham University, Senior Research Fellow at Bristol University, is a well-known writer and broadcaster on Russian cultural affairs and European poetry. His recent translation of War and Peace was critically acclaimed. Among his many publications are six editions in the Everyman's Poetry series.