A Close Call

Fyodor fyodor-dostoevsky_6-tDostoevsky–author of critically acclaimed works such as Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov–was once sentenced to death for purportedly partaking in anti-government activities. On 22 December 1849, he was prepared for execution and led before a firing squad. Rifles were drawn when a messenger suddenly arrived bearing a pardon from Nicholas I, the Tsar of Russia. Thereafter, Dostoevsky had his sentence commuted to four years of hard labor.

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