Fyodor Dostoevsky's first marriage: a painful love story
Fyodor Dostoevsky's first marriage: a painful love story
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Maria Isaeva and Fyodor Dostoevsky

About marriage Fyodor Dostoevsky with Anna Snitkina Quite a lot is known, but there is much less information in the public domain about the first great love of the writer Maria Isaeva. The history of their relationship is tragic, but at the same time full of respect, warmth and mutual assistance.

Fyodor Dostoevsky's acquaintance with Maria Isaeva took place in Semipalatinsk, when the novice writer already had four years of exile behind his back, and Maria Dmitrievna was married. Maria conquered the heart of Fyodor Dostoevsky not only with her external beauty and aristocratic sophisticated features, but also with her lightness of character, breadth of outlook, carelessness and love of life. She was then 28 years old, and Fyodor Mikhailovich evoked compassion rather than love in her.

Portrait of Maria Isaeva

The attitude of Fyodor Dostoevsky to Mary was not overshadowed by either self-interest or the desire to win back his beloved from her lawful husband, with whom the relationship, by the way, was not too reverent. Fedor became for her a faithful friend, a sensitive companion. The writer plunged headlong into the feeling that gripped him, he painfully watched Isaeva's husband, who abused alcohol, sinned a rude attitude towards his wife.

Chulpan Khamatova as Maria Dmitrievna Isaeva

However, it seems that fate itself favored the union of two hearts. Initially, the Isaev family decides to leave Semipalatinsk, and Fyodor Dostoevsky regards this as a tragedy, bitterly experiencing the forced separation. But soon Maria's husband dies suddenly, and Dostoevsky makes every effort to help his beloved. He sends Maria a significant amount of money, because she was left all alone in an unfamiliar city with a 9-year-old child without a livelihood. Then the writer decides to explain to Maria, makes her an offer, but gets … a refusal. The reason for this answer was Maria's love for family friend Nikolai Vergunov.

Fyodor Mikhailovich was ready to accept Maria's choice. For the sake of this, he even agreed to a confrontation with a rival, organized by the most fatal lady. Such selflessness conquered Mary, she could not even imagine such generosity on the part of Dostoevsky and immediately announced to him that she was ready to think and, possibly, make a choice in his favor.

Fyodor Dostoevsky in his youth

The torment of the lovers lasted until 1856, then Maria finally agreed to a decisive step - to marry a former convict. Interestingly, Vergunov was also present at the modest wedding ceremony as a witness from the groom. Dostoevsky's wedding was done by the whole world, the writer himself was broke. It seemed to him that he had found a quiet haven, a haven from all mental ordeals, but the idyll was short-lived.

Soon the young were forced to leave. Due to their health worsening every day, both could not stay close for a long time: Maria was eaten by consumption, Fedor was tormented by epileptic seizures. Mary's life was cut short in the spring of 1864 during another seizure. For Dostoevsky, this was an irreparable loss. He long and painfully experienced her departure, constantly emphasizing in letters to his loved ones that the death of Mary revealed the full depth of the loss. Despite the fact that the beloved had been married for 8 years, they had no children. To honor the memory of Mary, Fyodor Dostoevsky continued to take care of her son Pavel throughout his life.

Second marriage was a boon for Dostoevsky… The great writer lived with Anna Snitkina until his death …

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