On This Day

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Profession: Novelist


Biography: Dostoyevsky was a Russian writer renowned for his psychological insight into the world of 19th-century Russia in which he lived.

While his writings were largely situated contemporaneously, it is a testament to his ability that they are full of portrayals of enduring relevance to the human condition.

Though Dostoyevsky was himself an Orthodox Christian, he was a keen observer of the first shoots of nihilism and examined this in many of his works—e.g., 'Demons.'

Of his works, 'Crime and Punishment' and 'The Brothers Karamazov' are perhaps the best known. The latter in particular for the view attributed to Ivan Karamazov, one of the eponymous brothers: that if God is dead, everything is permitted.

It is for the relevance of these themes to our age, the skill with which he brought characters to life and wove them into cohesive narratives, and the depth of his insight that Dostoyevsky is today regarded by many as one of the all-time greatest novelists.

Born: November 11, 1821
Birthplace: Moscow, Russian Empire
Star Sign: Scorpio

Died: February 9, 1881 (aged 59)
Cause of Death: Pulmonary hemorrhage

Married Life

  • 1867-02-15 Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky (45) weds Anna Snitkina at Trinity Cathedral in Saint Petersburg, Russia

Historical Events

  • 1846-01-15 Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky's first novel "Poor Folk" is published in the St Petersburg Collection almanac
  • 1849-04-23 Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky and members of the Petrashevsky Circle are arrested in St. Petersburg
  • 1849-12-22 The execution of Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky by firing squad is called off at the last second
  • 1880-06-08 Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky delivers an emotional speech at the unveiling of a monument to Pushkin in Moscow

Famous Novelists