Tatiana Lappa – The First Wife of Mikhail Bulgakov

Lappa Tatiana Nikolaevna (1892 – 1982).

Tatiana Nikolaevna is the ideal wife for Bulgakov in the guise of a doctor. Faithful, reliable, selfless, ready to go through any life trials with her beloved. Twice she saved him from inevitable death: Tatiana did not let him die from morphism in the Smolensk wilderness and came out of typhus in Vladikavkaz in 1920. It was her who took upon herself all the burdens of revolutionary hardships. When asked how they lived in Moscow, she answered with a smile: “They ate the golden chain that my parents gave me for my wedding, biting off a link from it and handing it over to a pawnshop.”

Completely immersed in the problems of physical survival and arranging life for Mishen’ka, Tatiana Lappa was not allowed to the creative process. Bulgakov never shared his literary ideas with her. She meekly endured mood swings, outbursts of anger during periods of drug withdrawal. Bulgakov could throw a burning primus into her, which is impossible to imagine in relation to two other wives. By the way, this flying primus was described in the scene of the cat’s shootout with the Chekists. Time passed. The doctor turns into a writer. The literary genius of Bulgakov is more and more clearly manifested. His works are in demand, the first prosperity comes. He begins to receive decent money for his essays, articles and feuilletons.

Tatiana Nikolaevna is the person who went through the most difficult period of his life together with Bulgakov, was forgotten by him and did not receive any reward, even emotional, in the form of dedication, for her self-sacrifice, for the heroic feat of saving writer’s life. Deep down, as a deeply religious person, Bulgakov felt all the meanness of his behavior towards her, and in the last days of his life he passionately wanted to see his first wife. Let’s hope this was in order to repent before Tatiana.