Lesser Known Facts About Munshi Premchand

Munshi Premchand was the pen name of Dhanpat Rai Shrivastava. Born on 31 July 1880, he was famous for his modern Hindustani literature. Premchand is considered to be the first Indian Hindi novelist who showcased real life in his work. Here are a few lesser known facts about him:

  • Born in Lemhi, Uttar Pradesh, Munshi Premchand was the fourth child of Ajaib Lal and Anandi Devi.

  • Dhanpat Rai aka Premchand did not have a normal childhood after the demise of his mother. His father got married again and his stepmother was not affectionate towards Premchand.

  • He was named ‘Nawab’ by his Uncle and ‘Nawab Rai’ became his first pen name.

  • The title of ‘Munshi’ was given to him as an honor by the readers. After that, he became Munshi Premchand.

  • He began his career as a sales boy at a bookshop so that he could get a chance to read more and more books. After that, he gave home tuition before joining a government school as a teacher.

  • Munshi Premchand wrote the first book on the life of his uncle but it was never published.

  • Before he started writing in Hindi, he used to write in Urdu. His first short novel was ‘Asrar-e-Ma’abid’

  • By many known writers, he has been referred to as the “Upanyas Samrat”

  •  Premchand married Shivarani Devi, who was a child widow, bashing all anti-social norms. It was a revolutionary move at that time.

  • Premchand has written about 300 short stories, several novels as well as many essays and letters and plays. He also did some translations. Many of Premchand’s stories have been translated into English and Russian.

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