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Fyodor Dostoyevsky - Biography & Selected Products

Selected products from Fyodor Dostoyevsky

 

Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky was born in Moscow on 11th November, 1821 to distinguished parents who came from a multi ethnic and denominational Lithuanian background. His father Mikhail's family were priests as was expected of him but he ran away from home breaking all ties with his family and became a senior physician at Marinksy Hospital for the Poor in Moscow where Fyodor was born. Until he was 16 his family lived in an apartment on the property of the hospital amid an orphanage, insane asylum and a cemetery for criminals. This was hugely impressionable on the young Fyodor who often disobeyed his father by talking to the ill in the hospital gardens. At 9 years old Fyodor experienced his first epileptic fit.

Fyodor's nanny told him a wide range of stories from a very young age as did his parents, with his mother using the Bible to teach him to read. Both his parents died when he was still a teenager but had already enrolled put him in a military academy where he graduated and eventually became a Lieutenant in 1842. He left military service the next year and in 1846 published his first novel Poor Cow to great literary acclaim. However, his second book was unable to consolidate this success but he did continue to write and publish short stories. As he began his next work he was arrested, convicted and incarcerated for treason and participation in the political and literary Petrashevsky Circle. The case was weak and unjustified but he was sentenced to 4 years hard labour followed by 5 years military service in the Siberian regiment.

His remarkable life together with his outstanding talent produced exceptional works of literature that have been translated into 170 languages including Crime and Punishment, the Idiot and of course Brothers Karamazov. His ability to get under the skin of his characters and show the inner workings of their mind was hugely influential as it was so ahead of its time. This psychological characterisation was further enhanced with an interaction of the broader social, spiritual and political forces that were at work in a person's psyche. This is clearly evidenced in the Brothers Karamazov which once read makes it abundantly clear why Dostoyevsky influenced so many others and remains one of the greats of world literature.

Fyodor Dostoevsky struggled financially and remained in poor health for much of his adult life. He died of a haemorrhage of the lung on 9th February, 1881.