Nikolai Gogol, a Russian author, born about 1809, died in Moscow, March 4, 1852. He is said to have failed as an actor, and afterward to have attempted in vain to obtain a position under the government. Subsequently he published "Evenings at a Farmhouse," a collection of tales and sketches, which met with much favor. His first drama was " The Inspector," in which the corruption and venality of the officials was severely satirized. About 1834 he was appointed professor of history in the university of St. Petersburg. In 1842 he published a novel, " Dead Souls," which has been translated into English under the title of "Home Life in Russia" (London, 1854). It narrates the adventures of a rogue who goes about purchasing the rights of the proprietors to serfs recently dead, whose names have not yet been taken from the rolls, in order to obtain advances from government. This work attained great popularity. He went abroad soon after, and in his "Correspondence" (published in 1847) he eulogized the abuses which he had before satirized. By this he lost the favor which he had won from the liberals. He fell into a state of religious melancholy, and destroyed all his unpublished manuscripts, some of which, he said were written under the inspiration of the devil.
His complete works, comprising tales, dramas, and poems, have been published in 4 vols. (Moscow, 18G2).