There is a plethora of biographies of Dostoevsky in English. In 1912, the year Constance Garnett’s translation of The Brothers Karamazov appeared (more than thirty years after the Russian publication), J. A. T. Lloyd compiled a work based almost entirely on the Russian biography by Nikolay Strakhov and Orest Miller that was authorized by Dostoevsky’s widow. In 1916, John Middleton Murry, today known mainly as the husband of Katherine Mansfield, established his reputation with Dostoevsky, which is not so much a biography as an account of Dostoevsky’s spiritual pilgrimage. In 1931, E. H. Carr, later the historian of the Russian Revolution, wrote a biography that used the new evidence unearthed in Russia during the Twenties. It was a sober, factual account, detached and even condescending. Dostoevsky appears as a weak, even pathetic figure, disingenuous in his human relations, a victim whose...


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