The Diary of Dostoyevsky’s Wife – Anna Dostoyevskaya (1928) (1st US edition)


The Diary of Dostoyevsky’s Wife – Anna Dostoyevskaya (1928) (1st US edition)


Title: The Diary of Dostoyevsky’s Wife

Author: Anna Dostoyevskaya, Madge Pemberton (trans)

Publisher: The Macmillan Company, New York, 1928. First US edition.

Condition: Hardcover, no dust jacket. Good. Tanned edges, slight wear to front cover, noticeable wear to back cover. Inscription to ffep. 421pp.

SKU: dostoyevsky-wife Categories: ,

About Anna Dostoyevskaya (from Wikipedia):

Anna Grigoryevna Dostoyevskaya (Russian: Анна Григорьевна Достоевская; 12 September 1846, Saint Petersburg – 9 June 1918, Yalta) was a Russian memoirist, stenographer, assistant, and the second wife of Fyodor Dostoyevsky (since 1867). She was also one of the first female philatelists in Russia. She wrote two biographical books about Fyodor Dostoyevsky: Anna Dostoyevskaya’s Diary in 1867, which was published in 1923 after her death, and Memoirs of Anna Dostoyevskaya (also known as Reminiscence of Anna Dostoyevskaya), published in 1925.

On 4 October 1866, Anna Snitkina started working as a stenographer on Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novel The Gambler. In November Dostoyevsky proposed to her.

As described in the Memoirs, Dostoyevsky shared with Anna the plot of an imaginary new novel, as if he needed her advice on female psychology. In his story an old painter made a proposal to young girl whose name was Anya. Dostoyevsky asked if it was possible for a girl so young and different in personality to fall in love with the painter. Anna answered that it was quite possible. Then he told Anna: “Put yourself in her place for a moment. Imagine I am the painter, I confessed to you and asked you to be my wife. What would you answer?” Anna said: “I would answer that I love you and I will love you forever”.

On 15 February 1867, the couple were married. Two months later they went abroad, where Dostoyevsky and Anna remained for over four years (until July 1871). Shortly before their departure two of Dostoyevsky’s creditors filed charges against him.

During a stop in Baden, Dostoyevsky lost all of his money playing roulette, as well as his wife’s clothes and belongings. Anna seems to have succeeded, like Dostoyevsky himself, in divorcing his gambling mania from his moral personality, and in regarding it as something extraneous to his true character. At that time Anna started writing the diary. For almost a year they lived in Geneva. Dostoyevsky worked very hard to regain his fortune. On 22 February 1868 their first daughter Sofia was born, but she died on 24 May at the age of three months. In 1869, in Dresden, their second daughter was born, named Lyubov Dostoyevskaya (died in 1926). Upon returning to St. Petersburg Anna gave birth to two sons Fyodor (16 July 1871 – 1922) and Alexey (10 August 1875 – 16 May 1878). Anna took over all finance issues, including publishing business matters and negotiations, and soon liberated her husband from debt. In 1871, Dostoyevsky gave up gambling.