Dostoyevsky (Dostoevsky), Fyodor (Feodor) Mikhailovich, Russian author, born in Moscow, on the 3oth of October 1821, was the second son of a retired military surgeon of a decayed noble family. He was educated at Moscow and at the military engineering academy in St. Petersburg, which he left in 1843 with the grade of sub-lieutenant. Next year his father died, and he resigned his commission in order to devote himself to literature—thus commencing a long struggle with ill-health and penury.
In addition to the old Russian masters Gogol and Pushkin, Balzac and George Sand supplied him with literary ideals. He knew little of Dickens, but his first story is thoroughly Dickensian in character. The hero is a Russian “Tom Pinch”, who entertains a pathetic, humble adoration for a fair young girl, a solitary waif like himself. Characteristically the Russian story ends in “tender gloom”. The girl marries a middle-aged wealthy man; the hero dies of a broken heart, and his funeral is described… read more