Alexander Radishchev was born in 1749 to a minor noble family and began writing verse and prose in the 1780s. In 1790, after the publication of Journey from St. Petersburg to Moscow caused an uproar, he was arrested and sentenced to death before being exiled to Siberia. Tsar Paul allowed him to return, and Alexander I pardoned him and appointed him to the Commission for Drafting of New Laws. Radishchev committed suicide in 1802.
Andrew Kahn is professor of Russian literature at the University of Oxford and a fellow of St Edmund Hall, Oxford.
Irina Reyfman is professor of Russian literature in the Department of Slavic Languages at Columbia University.