Fyodor M. Dostoevsky (1821-81) is known as the author of the great 19th-century Russian novelsCrime and Punishment, The IdiotandThe Brothers Karamazov. This study is a guide to his life as a writer and his literary legacy. Dostoevsky was born in 1821, into an ‘empire as big as the moon’. Rivalled only by Leo Tolstoy in terms of achievement and influence, Dostoevsky’s greatness is his command of such a multitude of human factors, from the most saintly to the most pathological, the deepest emotional states to the most perversely criminal, the greatest sense of evil to the most sublime belief in a Christian God. Throughout, he never became detached from the realities of the Russian world.
Richard Freeborn MA DPhil DLitt, is Professor Emeritus of Russian Literature at the University of London. He is the author of Turgenev: The Novelist's Novelist; A Short History of Modern Russia; The Rise of the Russian Novel and The Russian Revolutionary Novel. He contributed to The Cambridge History of Russian Literature; The Age of Realism; Encyclopedia of the Novel; Reference Guide to Russian Literature; and The Cambridge Companion to Tolstoy and has co-edited Russian Literature Attitudes from Pushkin to Solzhenitsyn; Russian and Slavic Literature and Ideology in Russian Literature. He has also translated several works by Ivan Turgenev, as well as Dostoevsky's An Accidental Family.