Bazarov scorns traditional Russian values, shocks respectable society and, for the young, represents the spirit of rebellion. His experiences, however, lead him to conclude that Russia has no practical use for revolutionaries. First published in 1861, this is a powerful picture of the clash between generations.
One of the most controversial Russian novels ever written, this protest novel dramatized the schism in human society which divides peasants against masters, generations against gwith Pauline Garcia-Viardot, a young Spanish singer, who influenced the rest of his life; he followed her on her singing tours in Europe and spent long periods in the French house of herself and her husband, both of whom accepted him as a family friend. He sent his daughter by a sempstress to be brought up among the Viardot children. After 1856 he lived mostly abroad, and he became the first Russian writer to gain a wide reputation in Europe; he was a well-known figure in Parisian literary circles, where his friends included Flaubert and the Goncourt brothers, and an honorary degree was conferred on him at Oxford.
His series of six novels reflect a period of Russian life from 1830s to the 1870s they are Rudin (1855), A House of Gentlefolk (1858), On the Eve (1859; a Penguin Classic), Fathers and Sons (1861), Smoke (1867) and Virgin Soil (1876). He also wrote plays, which include the comedy A Month in the Country; short stories and Sketches from a Hunters Album (a Penguin Classic); and literary essays and memoirs. He died in Paris in 1883 after being ill for a year, and was buried in Russia.