On the Eve- Ivan Turgenev



‘On the Eve’ was the third novel by acclaimed Russian author Ivan Turgenev. It follows the lives of idealistic and free-spirited aristocrat Elena Stakhova and the hot-blooded Bulgarian revolutionary Dmitri Insarov. Much to her parents dismay the pair fall deeply in love, but theirs is a doomed love and there is heartbreak on the horizon for the couple. A tragic yet hopeful tale, ‘On the Eve’ is also a poignant study of Russia’s social class system. A must-read for all fans of Russian literature.

Ivan Turgenev (1818-1883) was a Russian novelist, playwright, poet, and short story writer. Born in Oryol, Turgenev spent time studying at the University of Moscow, the University of St. Petersburg, and the University of Berlin. His 1852 collection of short stories, ‘A Sportsman’s Sketches’ catapulted him into the literary limelight - a series of observations on nature and the evils of serfdom, Turgenev regarded it as one of his most important moral works. In 1854 amidst an oppressive atmosphere in Russia for writers and artists, Turgenev emigrated to Western Europe where he would spend a great deal of time throughout the latter part of his life, and which would lead to his belief in Russia’s need to westernise – an outlook which set him apart from his contemporaries Dostoevsky and Tolstoy. Some of Turgenev’s best-known works include ‘Rudin’, ‘A Nest of the Gentry’ and ‘Fathers and Sons’. He died in Paris in 1883.
Constance Garnett
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