Illustrated by Harry Brockway
A landmark title in Russian literature, Crime and Punishment is presented here with stirring illustrations by Harry Brockway.
Conceived while Dostoyevsky was serving a four-year sentence of hard labour in Siberia, Crime and Punishment offers a chilling insight into the universal struggle between mind and soul. Tension and claustrophobia electrify the pages as they disclose the story of Raskolnikov, a starving student who convinces himself that logically, the murder of an odious money-lender is entirely justified. However, the forces of logic have no bearing on the workings of conscience …
Sir Stephen Tumim was an English judge and Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons from 1987 to 1995. His introduction to this Folio edition finds him discovering Crime and Punishment for the first time; in a fascinating piece, he uses his unique experience of the system to examine Raskolnikov’s punishment, and the relative mercy of Russian justice at the time. He looks too at the interweaving of British and Russian literature of the period; Dostoyevsky himself was a devotee of Dickens, while Robert Louis Stevenson was to write The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in homage to Crime and Punishment.
‘A wonderful, weird, touching, ingenious creation’
Harry Brockway, who has created some of Folio’s most popular illustrations, has provided 14 beautiful wood engravings for this edition. Figures loom ominously in shadows, their faces watchful, despairing or uncertain, while the binding features two images of Raskolnikov: the front shows him clutching the axe with which he will commit his terrible crimes, while the image on the back depicts him shackled and shaven-headed as he submits to his punishment.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) was a Russian novelist, journalist and short-story writer whose psychological penetration into the human soul had a profound influence on the 20th century novel. He was born in Moscow, the second son of a former army doctor and educated at home and at a private school. Shortly after the death of his mother in 1837 he was sent to St. Petersburg, where he entered the Army Engineering College. Dostoevsky graduated as a military engineer, but resigned in 1844 to devote himself full-time to writing. His first novel, Poor Folk, appeared in 1846.
Harry Brockway is a wood engraver, born in Newport, South Wales in 1958. He studied sculpture at Kingston upon Thames Art School and The Royal Academy Schools, London. He is also trained as a stonemason. He is a member of The Society of Wood Engravers and an associate member of The Royal Society of Painter Printermakers.
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Review by firstname.lastname@example.org on 4th Dec 2017