Constance Garnett

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Constance Garnett

Constance Clara Garnett (until she married “Black”) (Brighton, December 19, 1861-17 December 1946) was an English translator of Russian literature. He was the first person to translate Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky and Anton Chekhov into the English language and introduced them to the English and American public.

Constance_Garnett’s Biography

Garnett was the sixth daughter of lawyer David Black (1817-1892) and Clara Maria Patten (1825-1875). His brother is mathematician Artur Black. In 1873, his father became paralyzed and two years later his mother died of a heart attack trying to take her husband to bed.

Garnett studied at Brighton and Hove High School. Then he studied Latin and Greek at Cambridge’s Newnham College where he also studied Russian. For a short time she worked as a teacher at the school.

Her husband Edward Garnett, whom he married on August 31, 1889, was the editor at Jonathan Cape’s publishing house. His only son David Garnet became a writer.

In 1893 after his trip to Moscow, St. Petersburg and Yasnaya Polyana where Leo Tolstoy was, Garnett began to translate Russian literature. As a result, translations of Leo Tolstoy, Nikolai Gogol, Ivan Goncharov, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Aleksandr Pushkin, Ivan Turgenev, Aleksandr Ostrovski and Anton Chekhov will appear. The Russian anarchist Stepniak helped him.

In the late 1920s, Garnett was often sick and short of sight. He stopped translating in 1934.

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