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Sportsman’s Sketches: Volume 2

Ivan Turgenev
Translated by Constance Garnett
Date Published
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A Sportsman’s Sketches was a collection of short stories written by Ivan Turgenev in 1852. As Turgenev’s first major piece of writing they brought him instant recognition.

Based on his own observations riding around his family’s estate the stories explore the difficult lives of the peasants and the Russian system of serfdom. This system came into effect during the 11th century and required the dependency of the peasants on the state. Peasants’ mobility was severely restricted and it was made illegal for them to run away from the estates where they worked – they belonged, in essence, to the landowners who could move them to another estate under another landowner while retaining the serf’s personal property and family.

While there were many rebellions against serfdom it was only in 1861 that it was finally abolished and all serfs were freed by the Tsar, Alexander II. Turgenev’s A Sportsman’s Sketches influenced the Tsar’s decision to abolish the system of serfdom in Russia.

Volume Two includes:

Tatyana Borisovna and her Nephew
The Singers
Pyotr Petrovich Karataev
The Tryst
The Hamlet of the Shchigrovsky District
Chertopkhanov and Nedopyuskin
The End of Chertopkhanov
Living Relic
The Rattling of Wheels
The Forest and the Steppe


Born in Orel in central Russia in 1818 Ivan Turgenev studied at the universities in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Berlin and worked briefly for the civil service before turning to writing. He wrote several novels that examined the social, political and philosophical issues of the time as well as many plays and short stories. Living mainly in Baden-Baden and Paris…

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