Episode 16: Gogol, Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky

Last Updated on February 22, 2023 by Hannah Henderson

Get to know the St Petersburg through novels which are set there

A look at 19th century St Petersburg thought the eyes of 3 authors: Gogol, Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky. Hear how a long-desired new overcoat caused the demise of the humble clerk Akaky Akakievich, then wander the streets of the city following an escaped body part in another Gogol story, the absurdist The Nose. Learn of St Petersburg’s glittering social life, described in War and Peace, and find out why the author preferred Moscow. And finally, experience the seamy side of the city in the company of Raskolnikov, the student-murderer ‘hero’ of Crime and Punishment. To round off the episode, a visit to the Dostoyevsky Museum in the heart of the Sennaya Ploshchad district, the setting for many works by Gogol and by Dostoyevsky himself.


More information about St Petersburg coming soon.

Listen to the POdcast

Links & Reading

Useful websites for tourists
St Petersburg City Tourist Information Bureau
St Petersburg.Com (Tourist Information)

2 guidebooks to St Petersburg
Eyewitness Travel Guide to St Petersburg
Lonely Planet Guide to St Petersburg

Travel Book
Among the Russians by Colin Thubron

Russian History, a Very Short Introduction by Geoffrey Hosking
The Romanovs by Simon Sebag Montefiore
Caught in the Revolution by Helen Rappaport

Peter the Great by Lindsey Hughes
Peter the Great by Derek Wilson
Catherine the Great by Simon Dixon
Catherine the Great by Robert K Massie
Rasputin by Frances Welch
Four Sisters by Helen Rappaport (the 4 daughters of Czar Nicholas II)
The Diary of Lena Mukhina (A diary of the Siege of Leningrad)

Art and Culture
A Short Life of Pushkin by Robert Chandler
Nijinsky by Lucy Moore
Rudolf Nuryev The Life by Julie Kavanagh
Anna of all the Russias The Life of Anna Akhmatova by Elaine Feinstein

St Petersburg A Traveller’s Companion by Laurence Kelly
City Pick St Petersburg edited by Heather Reyes
Literary St Petersburg by Elaine Blair

Novels set in St Petersburg
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Siege by Helen Dunmore
The Betrayal by Helen Dunmore
The Suitcase by Sergei Dovlatov