EXPLANATORY NOTES
6Fredericks . . . Hollanders: 'Fredericks' were Prussian coins
worth five silver thalers. 'Hollanders', 'Dutch arapchiki', are
actually Russian gold coins worth three roubles. They were
minted in St Petersburg but called Dutch because they
resembled the old ducats of the Dutch States.
56the Horde: most of the Russian principalities were conquered
by the Mongols in 1237-40, and the vassal-princes and other
dignitaries were obliged to travel to Saray on the Lower Volga
to transact business with the Golden Horde, a state set up by
Batu, grandson of Genghis Khan in 1236, and comprising the
major part of present-day European Russia and western
Siberia.
63for political offences: a reference to the incident in 1849 when
Dostoevsky, along with others of the Petrashevsky circle, was
led out to be shot then reprieved at the last moment.
96not in the government service: by order of Tsar Nicholas I in
1837, members of the civil service were forbidden to wear
beards or moustaches.
99Avis au lecteur: 'Advance warning!'
103Mon mari se trompe: 'My husband is mistaken.'
111se non e vero . . .: part of an Italian saying which continues '. . . e
ben trovato'--'If it is not true, it is well thought-up.'
115The Indépendance Belge was published in Brussels from 1830 to
1937. The newspaper carried extensive coverage of political
and public life in western Europe. It appears that Dostoevsky
read the paper himself in 1867-8.
126Masquerade: a highly melodramatic play, written in regular
rhymed verse. As with Lermontov's other plays, the main focus
of interest lies in the hero's violent self-expression.
132Rira bien qui rira le dernier: 'He who laughs last laughs longest.'
142it was in the papers: a reference to Danilov's trial. Danilov was a
young Moscow University student found guilty of murdering a
money-lender in 1866. Dostoevsky followed the case with
intense interest, finding, as did many of his contemporaries, a

-653-

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The Idiot
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • Note on the Translation xxiii
  • Select Bibliography xxv
  • Chronology of Fyodor Dostoevsky xxvi
  • List of Characters xxix
  • Part One 3
  • Part Two 187
  • Part Three 341
  • Part Four 485
  • Explanatory Notes 653
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