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Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin, one of Russian's greatest poets, was born in Moscow on June 6, 1799. He studied Latin and French literature at the Lyceum. Pushkin was often in conflict with thegovernment and was kept under surveillance for much of his later life. He was also exiled for a period of time. His works include Eugene Onegin and Ruslan and Ludmila. Pushkin died on February 10, 1837 inSt. Petersburg of a wound received during a duel protecting the honor of his wife.

One of the most powerful and significant authors in all modern fiction, Fyodor Dostoevsky was the son of a harshand domineering army surgeon who was murdered by his own serfs (slaves), an event that was extremely important in shaping Dostoevsky's view of social and economic issues. He studied to be an engineerand began work as a draftsman. However, his first novel, Poor Folk (1846), was so well received that he abandoned engineering for writing. In 1849, Dostoevsky was arrested for being a part of arevolutionary group that owned an illegal printing press. He was sentenced to be executed, but the sentence was changed at the last minute, and he was sent to a prison camp in Siberia instead. By the time hewas released in 1854, he had become a devout believer in both Christianity and Russia - although not in its ruler, the Czar. During the 1860's, Dostoevsky's personal life was in constant turmoil asthe result of financial problems, a gambling addiction, and the deaths of his wife and brother. His second marriage in 1887 provided him with a stable home life and personal contentment, and during theyears that followed he produced his great novels: Crime and Punishment (1886), the story of Rodya Raskolnikov, who kills two old women in the belief that he is beyond the bounds of good and evil; TheIdiots (1868), the story of an epileptic who tragically affects the lives of those around him; The Possessed (1872), the story of the effect of revolutionary thought on the members of one Russian...
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