Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev was born in 1818 in the Province of Orel, Russia. His series of six novels reflect a period of Russian life from 1830s to the 1870s: they are Rudin (1855), A House of Gentlefolk (1858), On the Eve (1859; a Penguin Classic), Fathers and Sons (1861), Smoke (1867) and Virgin Soil (1876). He also wrote plays, which include the comedy A Month in the Country; short stories and Sketches from a Hunter’s Album (a Penguin Classic); and literary essays and memoirs. He died in Paris in 1883 after being ill for a year, and was buried in Russia. Richard Freeborn was an Oxford don for ten years. He was a Professor at UCLA and at Manchester, and then Professor of Russian Literature at the School of Slavonic & East European Studies in the Federal University of London from 1964 until his retirement in 1988. Author of books on Turgenev, the rise of the Russian novel and the Russian revolutionary novel as well as a history of Russia, translations of works by Turgenev and Dostoevsky, and four novels.