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Constance Garnett (Constance Clara Garnett) Biography

(1862–1946), (Constance Clara Garnett), The Golden Echo, The Garnett Family

British translator, born in Brighton, educated at Newnham College, Cambridge. A member of the Fabian Society, she worked as librarian at the People's Palace in the East End of London. In 1889 she married Edward Garnett, through whom she met Peter Kropotkin and other exiled Russian revolutionaries. From them she learned Russian in the months before the birth of her son, David Garnett, in 1892. The following year she made her first journey to Russia, bearing money for the relief of famine in Nizhniy Novgorod and secret communications from her Russian friends in London; she met Tolstoy at Yasnaya Polyana. Upon returning to Britain, she began her monumental endeavour of translating some seventy volumes of Russian prose, including all the novels of Dostoevsky, Gogol, and Turgenev and most of the plays and stories of Chekhov. Her work did much to bring about the widespread influence of the Russian novel on English literature in the early decades of the twentieth century. Biographical material is contained in David Garnett's The Golden Echo (1953) and C. G. Heilbrun's The Garnett Family (1961).

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Richard Furness Biography to Robert Murray Gilchrist Biography