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N.B. Dates are given according to the Julian calendar(or Old Style), which was retained in Russia until the 1917 Revolution and ran twelve days behind the Gregorian calendar during the nineteenth century.

1821 Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky is born in Moscow on October 30 in Hospital for the poor, the second of seven children.

1831-37 Fyodor and his older brother, Mikhail (b. 1820), together attend boarding schools in Moscow. Following the death of their mother in 1837, they are sent to a preparatory school in St. Petersburg.

1838 Fyodor, but not Mikhail, is admitted to St. Petersburg’s Academy of Military Engineers.

1839 Father possibly murdered by his own serfs at his estate, Chermashnya, in province of Tula.

1843 Dostoevsky graduates from the Academy as lieutenant. Translates into Russian Honore de Balzac’s Eugenie Grandet.

1844 He translates George Sand’s La derniere Aldini and works on Poor Folk, his own first novel.

1845 Friendship with the liberal Vissarion Grigorievich Belinsky, Russia’s most influential critic.

1846 Publication of Poor Folk, The Double (appearing two weeks later), and Mr. Prokharchin. Acquaintance with the utopian socialist M. V. Butashevich-Petrashevsky

1846 Anna Grigorievna Snitkina (Dostoevsky’s future wife) is born in Petersburg on October 30th.

1846-47 Various undiagnosed nervous ailments. Onset of epilepsy?

1847 Publication of A Novel in Nine Letters, as well as several short stories, including A Weak Heart, Polzunkov, The Landlady and White Nights.

1848 Publication of The Stranger-Woman, Christmas and Wedding, and A Jealous Husband.

1849 Publication of Netochka Nezvanova. Arrested and convicted for alleged political crimes. Sentenced to death, but due to a last-minute reprieve, was instead sentenced to an indefinite term in Siberia, including four years hard labour.

1850-54 Penal labour in Omsk, in western Siberia.

1853 Onset of periodic epileptic seizures.

1854-59 Compulsory military service in Semipalatinsk (southwest Siberia). Marriage to the widowed Marya Dmitrievna Isaeva in 1857. The couple are permitted to take up residence in European Russia in 1859, the year in which Uncle’s Dream, The Little Hero (composed in prison) and The Village of Stepanchikovo and Its Inhabitants appear.

1860 Publication of the first part of House of the Dead.

1861 Mikhail and Fyordor begin publication of Time, which publishes Dostoevsky’s The Insulted and the Injured, and A Silly Story.

1862 The second part of House of the Dead and A Nasty Tale are published in Time. Dostoevsky makes his first trip abroad, visiting several western European countries, including England, France and Switzerland. Beginning of liaison with Apollinaria (Polina) Suslova.

1863 Winter Notes on Summer Impressions is published in Time.

1864 Epoch, successor to the banned magazine Time, publishes Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground. Death of Marya Dmitrievna, Fyodor’s wife, and of his brother Mikhail.

1865 Epoch ceases publication, ending Dostoevsky’s five-year journalistic career. An Unusual Happening is published. Polina Suslova declines his marriage proposal.

1866 Crime and Punishment and The Gambler are published.

1867 Dostoevsky is married to Anna Grigorievna Snitkina. The couple leave for western Europe, remaining abroad for four years. They live in Geneva for a time, then Florence, Vienna, Prague and finally Dresden.

1868 Publication of The Idiot.

1870 Publication of The Eternal Husband.

1871-72 The Dostoevskys move back to Russia and Petersburg where The Devils is published serially.

1873 Dostoevsky’s The Diary of a Writer becomes a regular feature of the conservative weekly, The Citizen. Publication of Bubok.

1874 Dostoevsky arrested and imprisoned once again, this time for violation of censorship regulations.

1875 Publication of A Raw Youth.

1876 Dostoevsky becomes sole editor of a new monthly periodical entitled The Diary of a Writer, in which A Gentle Creature appears.

1877 Publication of The Dream of a Ridiculous Man.

1879-80 Publication of The Brothers Karamazov. Anna opens a direct-mail book service.

1880 Dostoevsky delivers his famous speech on Pushkin at the Pushkin festivities in Moscow in June. Enormous crowds and stormy emotional responses at Dostoevsky’s readings.

1881 Dostoevsky dies from a lung hemorrage in St. Petersburg on January 28 at the age of fifty-nine. Buried February 1st in cemetery of Alexander Nevsky Monastery.


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