NEH banner

Funded Projects Query Form
One match

Grant number like: FZ-256672-17

Query elapsed time: 0.047 sec

Export results to Excel
Save this query


Kevin Birmingham
President and Fellows of Harvard College (Cambridge, MA 02138-3800)
The Sinner and the Saint: Russian Novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky and the Gentleman Murderer Who Inspired "Crime and Punishment"

Research and writing of a book-length history of Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky’s classic Crime and Punishment.

This project is a cultural microhistory as seen through the making of a single book: Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment. It explores the significance of Dostoevsky’s novel by telling the story of its inspiration, writing and reception amidst the turbulent milieu of 1860s Saint Petersburg. We follow Dostoevsky from his 1849 arrest, mock execution and Siberian exile through his return to literary prominence and his collaboration with (and marriage to) Anna Grigoryevna Snitkina. My research creates a narrative by combining rich biographical detail with substantial historical contextualization and detailed textual analysis—of both Dostoevsky’s novel and its various drafts. One important element of Dostoevsky’s creative process was his fascination with Pierre François Lacenaire, a murderer whose crimes helped inspired Crime and Punishment and whose story helps us to reconsider the significance of Dostoevsky’s novel.

Project fields:
Cultural History; Russian History; Russian Literature

Public Scholars

Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2017 – 8/31/2018