The town governors . . . all flogged the inhabitants, but the first flogged them pure and simple, the second explained their zeal by referring to the needs of civilization, and the third asked only that in all matters the inhabitants should trust in their valour.
One of the major satirical novels of the 19th century, Shchedrin's farcical history of Glupov (or Stupid Town) follows the bewildered and stoical Russian inhabitants for hundreds of years as they endure the violence and lunacy of their tyrannical rulers.
Mikhail Yevgrafovich Saltykov-Shchedrin (1826-1889) spent most of his life working as a civil servant in various capacities. After the death of poet Nikolay Nekrasov he acted as editor of the well-known Russian magazine, Otechestvenniye Zapiski until the government banned it in 1884. His best-known work, the novel THE GOLOVLYOV FAMILY, appeared in 1876.