Ivan Turgenev is a major figure in 19th-century Russian literature whose work observes the social and psychological interactions of peasants and aristocrats. He is the author of the short story collection "A Sportsman's Sketches," which is said to have contributed to Tsar Alexander II's decision to liberate the serfs.
Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev (1818-1883) was the first Russian writer to gain a wide reputation in Europe. He witnessed the February Revolution in Paris (1848), and his subsequent connection with reform groups in Russia, along with his sympathetic 1852 eulogy of Nikolai Gogol (who satirized the corrupt bureaucracy of the Russian empire), led to his arrest and one-month imprisonment in St. Petersburg. In 1879 the honorary degree of doctor of civil law was conferred upon him by the University of Oxford.