Fyodor Dostoyevsky is quite a mouthful and no one really knows how to say his name, but one thing is for sure: he was a gambler. He is most well known as a prominent Russian novelist who wrote two of the most impressive works found in literature: “Crime and Punishment” and “The Gambler.” You may not have imagined a famous novelist as one of the most influential writers of all time, but novelists and gamblers may have a lot more in common than you previously thought. As we all know, gamblers do not often fit into the stereotypes that are figured up by onlookers. Dostoyevsky was one of us; a man who could not be stuffed into a boxed in category. His passions make him seem a lot more like a real, flesh and blood human being instead of a dusty name inscribed inside an advanced English class book. To learn more about this legendary writer and gambler, try taking a look at the information below. You may be surprised at how much you did not know about Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Beginnings Dostoyevsky was born in the year 1821 in Russia (in case you had not guessed by the hard-to-pronounce name). He became well known as a novelist, journalist, writer of short stories, philosopher, and essayist who enjoyed exploring the concept of the human psychology within the turbulent context of his time period. He lived much of his life during a period of political and social unrest, due to the atmosphere of Russia in the 19th century. Perhaps he was so intelligent and such a deep thinker due to his upbringing. His parents introduced him to the written word and a variety of classic literature at a very early age. He spent much of his childhood reading fairy tales and other mythical stories written by past Russian authors and authors from other areas of the world as well. You can only imagine the impact his mother’s death had on him; she died when he was only fifteen years old. Shortly thereafter he left school and joined a school called the Nikolayev Military Engineering Institute. Being an engineer paid well, and after he graduated he did well for himself - for a brief time. During this time period he wrote and published his very first written piece of work, a novel entitled Poor Folk. This novel opened the doorway into many literary circles found throughout the city he lived in at the time. Interests Fyodor Dostoyevsky had many interests that would have seemed peculiar to those during his time period (they may seem peculiar to you right now!) He was heavily involved in a secret society that was both a book club of sorts and a liberal utopian gathering. Supposedly, his involvement with the secret society resulted in much turmoil within the law system of 19th century Russia; he and the members of his secret society were sentenced to death for meeting about such delicate matters. Apparently a note from the Tsar reigning during the time period was delivered directly to the firing squad captain before they fired on Dostoyoevsky and his friends. The note changed the sentence from death to four years worth of hard work for the government in Siberia. He was forced to become a soldier but was shortly thereafter discharged due to his ill health. He struggled with frequent seizures that varied in intensity. In the years to follow, Dostoyevsky worked in the journalism field and published many magazines that were written under his own name. Gambling Years He traveled the world starting in Europe, which is where he developed an appreciation of gambling. Unfortunately, he was not very wise with his money when gambling and developed an addiction to winning. He fell into a great deal of hardship in the financial realm due to losing much of his money on the gambling table. Although he struggled with finances for a long time, he did not let his struggles keep him from writing. Over time he morphed into one of the most famous Russian authors of all time and is one of the most widely read authors today. In fact, his books have been published in so many countries that they can be found translated into more than 150 different languages. Without Dostoyevsky, we may not have had the fortune of reading the works of Chekhov, Hemingway, Nietzsche and Sarte - all of them wereinfluenced by the writings of Dostoyevsky. The next time you want insight into gambling during the 19th century, try picking up “The Gambler,” one of Dostoyevsky’s most famous works. We definitely do not recommend that you develop a gambling addiction (in fact, we strongly encourage you NOT to develop one), however we do recommend that you learn to appreciate the many different people who enjoyed the sport of gambling throughout history. You can learn a lot from the past.