Speaking of Dostoyevsky, Today in Literature reminds
that on this date in 1849 the writer-to-be was led out of the Peter and Paul Fortress (commanded by an ancestor of Vladimir Nabokov) with some fellow prisoners to be executed. Just before the first group was about to be dispatched, a messenger arrived with a reprieve from Czar Nicholas I (who had concocted the whole charade). Dostoyevsky was shipped off to Siberia for four years. Another prisoner became completely deranged as a result of the ordeal and had to be confined to an asylum.
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