Mikhail Bulgakov, the oldest son of Russian parents, was born May 15, 1891 in the beautiful city of Kiev. Shortly after he and his brothers were enlisted into the White Army they were separated. This resulted in an terrible inward struggle that Mikhail had to contend with until his death. The beginning of Bulgakov’s life long struggle started with his enrolment as a field doctor. Post civil war Russia saw most troops in Paris, France while Mikhail was in Caucasus, veering into the journalism field.
Unfortunately, Bulgakov took his secretive past life to his death bed, never unearthing the reasons as to why he was prevented from visiting his brothers or emigrating, despite his advantageous status under Joseph Stalin and his Soviet rule.
Tatiana Lappa became the twenty-two year old’s first love, as well as his supporter as he pursued his great passion in literature, which resulted in him leaving medicine. By 1921, Mikhail and Tatiana had settled in Moscow, his career as a writer was set, with many of his works being published. During this time, however, Mikhail divorced his first wife and married Lyubov’ Belozerskaya. Amidst the many changes, in 1929 his career was ruined due to censorship.
Yelena Shilovskaya became Bulgakov’s third wife in 1931, inspiring the character Margarita in the infamous novel, “The Master and Margarita”. Bulgakov continued on in his life’s work, writing plays, stories, critical works, dramatizations of novels and translations, all of which remained unpublished for several decades. Mikhail Bulgakov became a very unhappy man; his desire to visit his family abroad did not come to fruition, censorship and a letter to Stalin finally resulted in a job for him at the Moscow Art and the Bolshoi theatre as a librettist. Despite this he remained unsuccessful and unproduced. 1940 saw the distraught and the now legendary writer pass away at just 49 years of age, buried in Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow.
The memorial museum to Bulgakov was founded in 1989 as part of the State Museum, and just two years later on the centenary of his birth its doors opened up to the public. Today the legendary house has become one of the most famous buildings to reside on 13 Andreyevsky Spusk and it has been given the name of ‘Turbins House’ after the essay titled ‘At Turbins’. Anatoly Petrovich Konchakovsky, founder and director of the memorial museum, laid the foundation for the combined and priceless heirlooms generously donated by relatives and friends.