Rudin, Turgenev's first novel, is a subtle examination of human weakness which foreshadows many of the themes in the author's later work, with its lead character personifying the type of the "superfluous man" which came to dominate much of the literature of nineteenth-century Russia.
Dmitry Rudin, a high-minded gentleman of reduced means, arrives at the estate of Darya Mikhailovna, where his intelligence, eloquence and conviction immediately make a powerful impression. As he stays on longer than intended, Rudin exerts a strong influence on the younger generation, and gradually Darya's daughter, Natalya, falls in love with him. But circumstances soon show whether Rudin has the courage to act on his beliefs, and whether he can live up to the image he has created for himself.
Ivan Turgenev (1818-83) was a novelist, poet and dramatist, and now ranks as one of the towering figures of Russian literature. His masterpiece, Fathers and Children, is considered one of the greatest novels of the nineteenth century.