Mikhail Evgrafovich Saltykov, pen-name Shchedrin, (1826-1889) is known as Russia’s greatest satirist. Born into the landed gentry, he worked as a civil servant while writing and editing for radical journals. Though he was exiled for seven years, he maintained an unflagging attack on Russia’s social institutions, the new bourgeois capitalists, and the cowardice of the educated classes. Shchedrin showed his talents in the Fables, The History of a Town, and his masterpiece, The Golovlyov Family.
This is a tragic story, deeply moving, and by means of the figures that pass through it, relentlessly depicts the Russia that so inevitably prepared the Revolution. The book is a classic in its own country, and it is obvious why. —The Spectator