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Samuil Marshak

Samuil Yakovlevich Marshak (Russian: Самуи́л Я́ковлевич Марша́к; November 3 [O.S. October 22] 1887 - June 4, 1964) was a Russian and Soviet writer, translator and children's poet. Among his Russian translations are William Shakespeare's sonnets, poems by William Blake and Robert Burns, and Rudyard Kipling's stories. Maxim Gorky proclaimed Marshak to be "the founder of Russia's (Soviet) children's literature." Samuil was born on November 3, 1887 in Voronezh. His father was a foreman at a soap-making plant. He got a good home education and later studied at the gymnasium (secondary school) of Ostrogozhsk, a suburb of Voronezh. Samuil started to write poetry during his childhood years in Voronezh. His brother Ilya (who wrote under the pseudonym M. Ilin) (1896—1953) and sister Liya (who wrote as Elena Ilina) (1901—1964) both became Soviet authors as well. In 1902, the Marshak family moved to Saint Petersburg. There was a complication: as a Jew, Marshak could not legally live outside the Pale of Settlement, thus he could not attend school while living in the city.


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