Vasily Sleptsov

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Vasily Sleptsov
Vasily Sleptsov.jpg
Born (1836-07-31)July 31, 1836
Voronezh, Russia
Died April 4, 1878(1878-04-04) (aged 41)
Serdobsk, Russia

Vasily Alekseyevich Sleptsov (Russian: Васи́лий Алексе́евич Слепцо́в), (July 31, 1836 – April 4, 1878), was a Russian writer and social reformer.


Sleptsov attended the medical school at Moscow University in 1855-56. He then went to Yaroslavl to try being an actor. He soon returned to Moscow, where he was in government service from 1857 to 1861-62. In the early 1860s he organized a women's commune in Saint Petersburg, and set up a society for female translators. He wrote fiction for several magazines including Annals of the Fatherland, Russian Speech, and The Contemporary, where he published his novella Hard Times in 1865. Sleptsov's works were praised by Leo Tolstoy; especially his story The Ward (1863).[1][2]

In 1866 he was arrested for political activities, and for his association with Dmitry Karakozov, a man who'd attempted to assassinate Tsar Alexander II. Upon his release, he helped to found the magazine The Women's Herald. His works were widely read in the 1860s, but his popularity began to decline in the 1870s. The novel A Good Man was left unfinished at his death in 1878.[1][2]

English translations


  1. 1.0 1.1 Handbook of Russian Literature, Victor Terras, Yale University Press 1990.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Introduction to The Ward from In the Depths, Raduga Publishers, 1987.