Gogol, Nicolai Vasilievitch (d. 1852), a Russian realistic writer, was born at a village in the province of Poltava in 1809 or 1810. He went to St. Petersburg in 1829, hoping to earn a living by his pen, and two years later became known by his Evenings in a Farm near Dikanda. In 1834 he issued a second series, some of the tales in which have been translated into English. In 1837 appeared his Dead Serfs (translated into English in 1887), a picture of provincial life which is considered Gogol's chef-d'ceuvre. A year before he had satirised Russian officialism in a comedy, The Revising Inspector. He had himself had some experience of office, and he also lectured at St. Petersburg on history. He lived abroad (chiefly in Italy) for some years, but returned to Russia in 1846, and died at Moscow in 1852. His correspondence and collected works were published in six volumes (1856-57). Gogol was intimate with Pushkine, who had much influence on his writings.
His popularity in Russia was second only to that of Turgenieff.