FYODOR SOLOGUB was born in St Petersburg in 1863. His first two novels Bad Dreams (1896) and The Little Demon (1907), which he wrote between 1892 and 1902, were drawn from his own experiences as schoolmaster in a remote provincial town. For many years Sologub could not find a publisher for The Little Demon but when in 1907 the novel was at last published - to immediate and resounding success - he was able to leave his restricting career and devote himself to literature. In 1921 his wife committed suicide and Sologub died a few years later in 1927. RONALD WILKS studied Russian language and literature at Trinity College,Cambridge, after training as a Naval interpreter, and later Russian literature at London University. He has translated many works from Russian for Penguin Classics, including books by Gorky, Gogol, Pushkin, Tolstoy and Chekhov.