Taras Bulba


The character of Taras Bulba, the main hero of this novel is a composite of several historical personalities. It might be based on the real family history of an ancestor of Nicholas Miklouho-Maclay cossak ataman Okhrim Makukha from Starodub who killed his son, Nazar for switching to the Polish side during Khmelnytsky Uprising. Nicholas Miklouho-Maclay's uncle, Grigory Illich Miklouho-Maclay studied together with Gogol in Nizhyn Gymnasium and probably told the family legend to Gogol. [1] Another possible inspiration was the hero of the folk song "The deeds of Sava Chaly" published by Mykhaylo Maksymovych about Cossack captain Sava Chaly (executed in 1741 after serving as a colonel in the private army of a Polish noble), whose killing was ordered by his own father for betraying the Ukrainian cause.[2]

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