Dostoevsky's most political novel

DOSTOEVSKY, Fedor Mikhailovich


[The Devils, sometimes The Possessed or Demons]

Publication: Zamyslovskii for the author, Skt. Peterburg, 1873.

DOSTOEVSKY, Fedor Mikhailovich, Besy

Dostoevsky’s most political novel: a very good example of the first edition, in contemporary Russian binding.

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Our Notes & References

Very good example of the first edition, in contemporary binding; rare such.

One of Dostoevsky’s great novels, and the first of his books published by Dostoevsky himself.

Besy captures “the full grandeur of Dostoevsky’s extraordinary endeavor, which is nothing less than to write a symbolic history of the moral-spiritual travails of the Russian spirit” (Frank, pp.430-434). It is his most overtly political work, and a ruthless exposition of contemporary revolutionary movements. The serialisation of this work, in Katkov’s periodical The Russian Messenger, broke down when Katkov refused to print ‘Stavrogin’s Confession’, an episode which he found particularly shocking.

“As a political tract, a portrayal of sick minds, and a study of the manipulation of groups, ‘The Possessed’ remains Dostoevsky’s masterpiece” (Terras).

***Customers considering purchasing this item will be given a longer, much more detailed note on the work, its background, its influence***


Kilgour 281.

Item number



Physical Description

Three parts in one volume 8vo (21.4 x 15.5 cm).


Contemporary quarter Russian sheep over marbled boards.


Binding slightly rubbed; occasional light foxing, stronger at beginning and end, owner’s signature in blue ink to half-title and quote leaf; with half-titles.

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